Do you have a few happy campers on your holiday shopping list? You’re in luck because we’ve collected the best camping gift ideas right here in one place!
Camping has such a wonderful way of bringing people together and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
That’s why camping gear makes such a wonderful holiday gift. Not only does it enhance people’s outdoor experience, but it encourages them to look forward to sunny days, cozy campfires, and toasty s’mores (which we could all use a little bit of during the long, dark winter!).
Struggling to find the perfect camping gift? Well, you’re in luck, because below we share a curated list that features our favorite camping gear of the year. This isn’t some mishmash of products–we selected each of these items based on either our own personal experience with it or our own personal desire to receive it as a gift ourselves!
We’re sure you will find something they will love and start checking off your shopping to-do list today!
The Best Camping Gifts for 2021
The NEMO Stargaze Recliner is an ultra-comfortable camp chair that smoothly moves between upright and reclined positions or can be used as a rocking chair. It packs down so it’s easy to store and comes with a few great features like drink holders and a cushioned headrest.
The Jackery 240 Power Station is a lightweight, lithium-ion charge station that is perfect for weekend camping trips. Charge cell phones, headlamps, and speakers using the built-in USB ports, or engage the 120V inverter to power a small food processor, string lights, or fan. The power station can be charged at home or hooked up to solar panels for indefinite power.
This collapsible silicone pot and fry pan set have been one of our favorite camp cookware upgrades this year. When expanded it’s a 3-liter pot, when collapsed it’s only 3” thick. It is a tremendous space-savings and makes packing up our camp kitchen all that much easier.
Vests are a great insulating layer for fall when the temperatures are cool but not freezing cold. You can retain a lot of freedom of movement in your arms while keeping your core warm. I bought this REI 650 Vest this year and have been loving it. The 650 down fill keeps me toasty, the recycled nylon feels great, and the large baffled stitching has a great vintage look.
The advantages of having a cozy pair of slip-on camping shoes are immense. It makes getting in and out of the tent so much easier! These Teva ReEmber camp shoes have a comfy insulated top, but sturdy rubberized soles – making them perfect for hanging out around the campground.
This is a perfect cool-weather camping shirt. While it looks like a classic flannel button-up the fabric is actually moisture-wicking, breathable, and has a slightly elastic for ease of movement. Great for hanging out around camp or going for a hike. Available in Men’s, Women’s, Plus and Tall sizing as well.
Products can be useful, but meaningful experiences will last a lifetime. Purchase a National Parks Pass and go on an adventure the whole family will remember. Just one pass gets you into every National Park & Monument, as well as National Forests, Grasslands, and plenty of other recreation sites across the country for an entire year.
We own a couple of these Smartwool Merino 250 Quarter Zips and they have definitely made our camping experience much cozier. We often use them as base layers when we’re hiking because the wool fabric is moisture-wicking, breathable, and odor-resistant.
Now you can enjoy a campfire right in your own backyard! But without all the smoke! The Solo Stove Bonfire is an award-winning portable wood fire pit, whose unique design allows for easy-to-light fires that are virtually smoke-free. We didn’t believe it until we saw it in person, but this firepit delivers an incredibly clean burn.
Of all the backpacking sleeping pads we’ve slept on, the NEMO Tensor is our favorite. It’s super cushy and comfy, easy to inflate, packs down small, and most importantly, it’s QUIET (other popular mattresses are notoriously crinkly)! This would be a perfect gift for campers or backpackers who need a lightweight option for a great night’s sleep.
Hydroflask’s new line of insulated bowls allows you to enjoy a steaming hot bowl of soup for longer! Using the same double-walled vacuum-sealed technology as their water bottles and mugs, these bowls keep your food hot even on a cool evening. They also feature tight-fitting lids to trap heat even longer and allow them to double as self-contained food storage.
Michael and I both own these Flexlite Camp chairs and love them. But this bundle is even better! It comes with an underquilt that can be attached to the back of the chair to keep your backside warm.
We recently upgraded from an undersized and overpriced cooler and got ourselves a properly sized and reasonably priced RTIC 45 hard-sided cooler. With a nearly identical construction, this cooler has been a tremendous value that performs every bit as good as a YETI. In fact, how you pack your cooler has much more to do with ice longevity than the brand name associated.
The Omnia Stove Top Oven has been one of the best “upgrades” we have made to our camp kitchen setup. Its innovative design allows us to bake using one of the burners of our camp stove. With an Omnia stovetop oven, cinnamon rolls, fresh bread, and even a tray of nachos can be yours with just a click of the stove (read more about this genius piece of equipment here).
This is the ultimate portable “camp kitchen” setup! Featuring two large bamboo countertops, lightweight aluminum construction, water-resistant fabric, steel windscreen, and a variety of other high-end features, the Dine O Max Camp Kitchen is guaranteed to enhance your outdoor cooking experience.
Improving on their (near perfect) original coffee maker, the Aeropress Go is designed specifically for portability. All the pieces you need to brew an incredible cup of coffee now nest together inside of a travel mug. Perfect for camping trips, hikes, road trips, or anywhere else that could be enhanced by a great cup of coffee.
With fire bans becoming more and more prevalent in the West, investing in a good portable gas grill is perhaps the best way to simulate “campfire cooking” without having an actual campfire. This Weber Q1200 is one of the best portable BBQs on the market. Just one look around any RV park and you’ll quickly see this is a must-have piece of camp cooking gear.
Sometimes you want the ambiance of a campfire, but without the setup and smoke. (like during a fire ban). The Ignik FireCan portable fire pit is a propane-powered “campfire” that can be used anywhere propane stoves are allowed. Campgrounds, tailgates, snow parks, etc.
Breathable, moisture-wicking, and UNBELIEVABLY soft, these jogger pants from Vouri are the epitome of camp cozy. I just can’t get over how comfortable they are. The semi-loose, casual fit means you’ve got a little latitude in selecting the right size. Available for men and women.
Kick your addiction to those green disposable propane bottles and get yourself set up with a reusable propane tank. Not only will you help cut down on waste, but the cost of propane is so much less when purchased in bulk. Propane fills are available at most gas stations or U-haul locations.
Why gift cards might be the best option
So if you’ve reached this point of the guide and you’re still scratching your head about what to get, allow us to offer a suggestion: gift cards.
Buying camping gear can be really challenging. There are a lot of different product options, from different brands, with different tech specs—making it really hard to know what is the right thing to get. And, campers often have strong opinions about what they would or wouldn’t find useful. Trust us, we know—we’re those types of people!
So rather than trying to anticipate exactly what piece of equipment or clothing would be “right”, acknowledge there isn’t any way for you to truly know (aside from asking for the exact product number) and, instead, give that person the power to make their own decisions. This is the beauty and simplicity of a gift card.
Here are a few of our favorite outdoor retailers that we would recommend getting a gift card from:
REI Co-Op: The nation’s largest outdoor retailer with over 100 store locations nationwide and an extensive online store, chances are if it’s an outdoor camping-related product, REI has it. They also have an incredible return/exchange policy, which makes them our number one pick.
Backcountry: This online outdoor retailer has an extensive selection of gear and clothing. They have a toll-free number and live chat feature, you can use to talk to one of their EXTREMELY knowledgeable customer service reps about any of their products. Perfect for anyone where going to an in-store location is not an option.
Huckberry: For the more fashion-minded individual, Huckberry offers a wide range of clothing, shoes, and some gear that have a high-end outdoor aesthetic. You won’t find super technical recreational equipment there, but if looking good outside is a priority, then Huckberry has you covered.