During this season of gift-giving, there is no task quite as daunting as finding the perfect present for an adventurer. Unlike your cousin Betty, who is thrilled at the sight of yet another Bath & Bodyworks gift basket, outdoorsy folks seek practical and useful souvenirs from holiday exchanges. (Although, judging by the way we tend to smell, some heavily scented grooming products might serve us well, haha!)
Simplify your search for the ultimate gift for the outdoor explorer in your life with this holiday gift guide for adventurers – (the best part? All of these items are totally living-in-a-van worthy. But really, I’m taking ALL of these items on my yearlong trip, so they’re the real deal):
- Columbia Sportswear Powerfly ($220) This down insulated Omni-Heat thermal jacket should be a stable of every adventurer’s wardrobe. It is suspiciously lightweight, and even comes with a tiny stuff sack for backpacking purposes, but this jacket is big on comfort and warmth. The Omni-Heat reflective lining uses your body temperature to amplify heat, making you up to 20% warmer. Equipped with an Omni-Shield exterior to repel moisture, the Powerfly is versatile, protective, and the ideal companion for adventuring.
- Big Agnes Helinox camp chair ($89.95) If there is one item I have been coveting all year, it’s a camp chair. Often overlooked as an essential, having somewhere to park your rear end after a long day of adventuring is crucial to healthy levels of campsite content. The uniquely designed chair folds down into an impossibly tiny carrying case, eliminating the usual inconvenience of toting along camp chairs.
- Colcasac laptop case ($40-65) Any gift that delivers sustainability and planet-pleasing materials is a guaranteed winner for adventures. While a laptop case may not qualify as an outdoor essential, adventurers enjoy documenting and sharing their explorations almost as much as the experience itself. Made from hemp, bamboo, and jute burlap, these minimalistic sleeves are a fantastic off-the-trail item. (And they’re available for iPads, MacBooks, Kindles, iPhones, and even shoulder bags).
- Tetonsports XXL outfitter tent ($100) This tent sets up in less than 30 seconds. Need I say more? No, no I don’t. Gift someone this tent, and they will forever think fondly of you as they pull up to a campsite at 2 AM and don’t have to worry about the hassles of setting up their tent. Automatic brownie points for life. | Check out my full review here.
- ENO SingleNest hammock ($54.95) When adventurers aren’t adventuring, we’re napping. I’ve had many a hammock in my day, but none have initiated a deep sleep quite as quickly as the ENO SingleNest. I opened up my new hammock, set it up between two trees, and woke up two hours later. They’re sturdy, light, and easy to pack into the attached compression stuff sack. Featuring quick-dry nylon, a 400 lb carrying capacity, and a tiny weight of just 17 ounces, these hammocks offer the perfect place for napping on the go – or in your backyard.
While these five items top my list of gift ideas for outdoor adventurers, other products worthy of mention include the Triple Aught Design Valkyrie hoodie LT, the Columbia Sportswear Reactor 35 sleeping bag, and the incredibly comfortable sleeping pads from Teton Sports. To impress the climber in your life, check out Mammut’s sweet Realization shorts.