The key to buying a gift for the hiker and camper in your life? Catch them off guard. Go all Steve Jobs on them and get them something they didn’t even know they wanted. If you do it right, you’ll surprise them and they’ll end up with something they’ll love.
It may not seem like an essential, but I think everyone who car camps should own a Rumpl Down Blanket. They’re incredibly warm for the weight, durable, and a lot cozier than cramming into a slim mummy bag. Dog hair doesn’t stick to them, so they make great dog beds, too.
Cast Iron Skillet
When you’re car camping, nothing beats cooking in cast iron. Field Company’s Field Skillet is lighter than most and comes pre-seasoned. Give one of these and you’ll reap the benefits of awesome camp meals for years.
A good watch is a must-have for any serious outdoor person. You can go all out and buy an outdoor-specific watch, with a bunch of widgets for the serious backcountry hiker, or go with a simple classic.
I’m a big fan of United By Blue’s caps because they’re low-profile and proceeds from the purchase go toward cleaning up waterways.
Light My Fire’s Swedish Knife Set includes a killer Morakniv knife and a fire starter for a great price.
Kitchen Set for Camp
I used to think camp kitchen sets were sort of gimmicky, until someone gave me one as a gift. They’re incredibly convenient and guarantee you’ll have an easier time cooking (and eating) at camp, thanks to faster cleanup (nothing sticks to this cookware) and better packability. GSI’s Destination Kitchen Set 24 includes four cutlery sets, a cutting board, spice shaker, and a utility knife—all in one compact case.
Hydroflask’s insulated growlers are perfect for keeping fresh beer cold. Opt for the 64-ouncer if you’re camping, and the 32 if you just want to enjoy a pint with your partner at the end of the day.