It is the season for giving, and I couldn’t let the month go by without at least one gift guide. I naturally decided to take an outdoors theme to my gift ideas list, and all the suggestions on here would be great for anyone in your life who loves getting out and about to enjoy the countryside either close to home or in a much more adventurous fashion.
I have to say this isn’t a particularly Christmassy list of ideas, but at least it’s well timed. I didn’t have time to take photographs of all the lovely in amongst Christmas decorations or beside twinkly lights. Nor did I have time to make a gift guide video with a jingle-bell soundtrack or fake snow floating over the top. But I hope that as you’re doing your Christmas, birthday or other kind of gift shopping (or maybe writing your own wish list!), you’ll find these suggestions useful.
Keep your outdoor loving friend’s hands warm with a beautiful hand warmer like this offering from Zippo. Once lit, the warmer does its work for 12 hours, and comes in a soft case so it’s perfect for slipping into your pocket (bear in mind that it’s up to 12 hours or nothing – you can’t switch it off!). It’s refillable so can be used over and over again – it takes normal lighter fluid that can be bought anywhere that sells cigarettes (and Poundland). Actually Zippo have another cool gift idea that I’ve been using a lot recently, the Flex Neck Utility Lighter, a simple gas lighter with flexible neck that makes lighting barbecues (and camp fires) easy peasy.
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Keep hydrated with a refillable water bottle, an absolute must for anyone getting out and about even if it’s not actually outdoors – saying no to single use plastic water bottles is one incredibly easy way to do something good for our environment. I’ve recently purchased the huge 1.2 litre Klean Kanteen classic bottle and it’s just perfect when you need enough to last you a day (ideal for days out on the motorbike or in the car when you’re travelling miles and won’t be stopping for coffee on the way). There are all kinds of sizes, styles and colours available, with different lid types and from different brands, so you’re bound to be able to find something just perfect for your particular gift recipient.
Don’t scoff at socks! For someone who enjoys getting out into the countryside, there is nothing nicer than a decent pair of socks. It’s possibly one of the most important things we wear when we’re hiking, and the difference a good quality pair makes is hugely valuable. I recommend the Bridgedale Trail Light or Ultra Light socks for everyday walking – taking the technical elements of fantastic hiking socks in a thickness that works with trainers as well as boots. Or if you want to help your outdoor loving friend recover, a pair of CEP Compression Recovery Socks would be a real treat they’d never expect.
In the same vein, good socks or not, our feet take a real battering when we’re working them hard outside in all weathers. I mean, the soles of my feet are still recovering from the Lyke Wake Walk – not a pleasant sight I have to say but they are at least getting there now. For a medicinal treat I like nothing more than Gerlachs Gehwol Extra, or if you want something a teeny more pampering then the Soap & Glory Heel Genius is such a nice treat.
If your outdoor loving friend also likes photography then a GorillaPod is a great way to help them make the most of their camera when they’re out and about. Much more portable than a tripod, and it’ll hug a tree or sign post so you can always get the angle you want. Mine is the SLR-Zoom version that I’ve had for years and years, but Joby do them in all sizes and for all types of camera. And don’t forget if you’re ‘just’ using your phone, adding the GripTight Mount is a great idea.
LED Camping Light
What better gift than light? (There’s a sermon in that!) A torch is ok, but a bit awkward when you’re cooking or changing clothes or similar. This LED Tent Light I was sent by Planet Camping might feel a bit cheap, but it throws out LOADS of light that will make any evening task outside (or in your tent, camper, caravan, bothy, and so on) a whole lot easier – the integral hook means it’s easy to hang from the roof of your tent, or if you’re in a camper it’s magnetic so it’ll just stick to the sides. You could alternatively go for a head torch, in which case I absolutely recommend the Alpkit Gamma, which is only £17 but does its job brilliantly and performs like something much dearer.
Does your friend need some outdoors inspiration? Maybe they are a fair weather hiker and need something for the cold rainy windy days we’re experiencing at the moment? A subscription to Trail Magazine or similar would be a great gift idea. One of my favourite magazines, it’s full of inspirational photographs and stories, as well as route ideas that keep the fire burning even when you’re stuck inside. Magazines like this are good to keep in the coffee table and aren’t expensive either – Trail is £46 for a 13 month subscription.
Anyone, and I mean anyone, who enjoys getting outdoors can find a use for a Buff. They are more convenient than scarfs around the neck when taking part in any kind of activity, but have other uses too – I wear one when I’m hiking or cycling, and carry at least two extras when going any distance (over the top?!). Layer them up, use them as cloths, wear them on your head, super handy. And with so many styles available you’ll be able to get one that allows your outdoor loving friend to show a bit of their personality, too.
Lifedge Phone Case
You all know how much I rate the Lifedge phone case for iPhone 5 and 5S – it’s just perfect for keeping a phone clean and dry when out and about in all kinds of weathers and on all kinds of terrain. It will be the thing that means you can take your precious and expensive tech out of your bag and actually use it to take photos, to use the maps, to check twitter (!). It’s the definitely the best one I’ve tried and if your outdoor loving friend has the right phone then this would make a great gift. I’m told Lifedge are working on a version for the iPhone 6/6S now too, which is great news – but in the mean time if you can recommend one for me I’m all ears.
Local OS Map
Something I think many of us are guilty of is not exploring the area right from our own front door enough. Encourage your outdoor loving friend to do that by buying them the Ordnance Survey Explorer map for their local area. The Explorer map is great scale for spotting trails you might not have seen before, whereas the Landranger covers a larger area. You can get them personalised with a suitable photograph if you like, which could put you’re friend’s house right in the centre on the map, but just their local Explorer map would be sure to make someone smile.
I hope you enjoyed my little gift guide and it’s inspired you with some gift ideas this year. Please remember, though, life isn’t about things, it’s about experiences. It’s nice to get presents and treat ourselves to cool things, to keep and use, but love and smiles are always way more important. I hope you enjoy the build up to Christmas and have a fabulous festive time this year x
This is not a sponsored post, however I did receive some of these things as gifts. Some of the links on this page to external sites might be affiliate links, see my disclosure for full details.