Over the last few years I’ve a good few gift ideas posts aimed at the outdoors lovers in your life, aiming to give you a few ideas of things you might want to treat them to. This year I’ve decided to keep things a little smaller and simpler when talking about things, as I and stick to small and lower cost gift ideas that could be either a main present or a stocking filler for someone who loves to spend time outdoors.
I guess the key thing I am going for here is, if you are wanting to buy someone a gift this Christmas as a token of your love, to make it something that will either inspire and motivate them to spend time outdoors, or to make their time outside a little bit easier. Gift giving is about the thought not the deed, and it’s certainly not about the amount of money spent (at the time of writing everything here was below £25, most things much cheaper than that).
With that in mind, here are 17+ gift ideas for the outdoors lover in your life that would all fit in a Christmas stocking… everything here is affordable and useful. Hope it helps!
Stocking Fillers for Outdoors Lovers
01. Map of the local area or to inspire future trips
My number one stocking filler idea for the outdoors loving person in your life would be an Ordnance Survey Explorer map of their local area. I think it’s fair to say that we are good at getting maps for places we are visiting, but not necessarily of our home – and it’s surprising what cool things we can uncover with a decent local map on the wall. You can easily find the right Explorer map using the OS Map Finder.
Got one of those? How about a map full of inspiration instead? My absolute favourite series of paper maps for inspiration rather than way finding are the Marvellous Maps by Strumpshaw, Tincleton & Giggleswick. In OS Map format, these maps are teeming with ideas for days out, road trips, motorway stop offs, in all kinds of categories. There are five in the series now, meaning there will be one on a topic suitable.
And if you know someone who wants to learn more about the outdoors, or has dreams of heading off exploring on their own, a compass is a good bit of kit to leave in their stocking. Just make sure they learn how to use it. There’s a decent one here in the OS shop, or mine is the classic Silva compass.
One of the most versatile pieces of cloth you can possibly own, a Buff is a good bet even if you don’t know if the person you’re buying for has one already or not. Mine is something of a comfort blanket when I’m out having an adventure, and I always have a spare in my pack just in case. The lime green one is my favourite, but you can get them in all kinds of colours, designs and materials. Non-official ones are also available.
03. Beanie hat
Make getting outside in the cold weather much more comfortable with a beanie hat. I love a bobble hat as much as the next person, but beanies without bobbles are much more versatile in my opinion – much better when you have your hood up or when sleeping. The two here are by Animal (an old favourite that I couldn’t find online) and The North Face (the Salty Dog beanie – my new favourite), and I’d happily recommend both.
04. Journal or notebook
I carry a notebook pretty much everywhere I go, and I always have one when I’m out on an adventure. The act of making a few notes about where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and how I’ve felt about it gives me opportunity to reflect and learn from it as I go along, and remember much more of it when I get home. I have been known to carry my heavy hardback Moleskine notebook, but these thinner fieldnotes style notebooks are smaller and lighter – and still have the squared paper I prefer. There are hundreds of notebook options out there, but these are my personal favourites. Yes, you can make notes on your phone, but there is something luxurious about packing an actual notebook.
05. A washing line!
If the outdoors lover in your life likes to pack light for road trips or camping trips for a few nights at a time, then this very simple washing line will be more useful than you could ever know. Great for drying a towel after a swim or shower, as well as freshly washed socks and pants, you don’t need pegs with these elasticated lines. They come with suckers but I leave those at home and just take the line itself – it easily fits into my wash bag and hooks onto our around all kinds of things (indoors and outdoors). Honestly, a great stocking filler!
06. Waterproof pack cover
Not all hiking packs come with an integral waterproof cover, especially the smaller ones, and so a pack cover would make a great stocking filler for someone you know who isn’t put off by the weather when it comes to their adventures. I have the Osprey ultralight raincover which fits on my 20l and my 30l pack (only one of which is an Osprey pack).
07. Steel tumbler or enamel mug
I think most outdoors loving people will have a desire at some point to have a drink outdoors… whatever that drink might be. These steel tumblers by Klean Kanteen are very nicely designed and ideal for cold drinks when camping, and teamed with a cosy or gloved hand are also great for hot drinks. Or you may choose to wrap up an enamel mug instead – if you do, get one without a metal ring at the top (something like this), as they tend to burn lips.
08. Some good hand cream and lip salve
Anyone who spends time outside, summer or winter, needs some decent hand cream and lip salve to stay comfortable. My favourite is the Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector and either the Aloe Vaseline or the Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, but the outdoors lover in your life will have their own favourite.
Using GPS and taking photos on a phone still uses a lot of battery, and so putting power in someone’s stocking will always be appreciated. I have two power banks, one good for weekends away that will charge my phone several times, and one great for day hikes that will charge my phone once – and the latter is certainly worth considering as a stocking filler. The one pictured is the old version of this Varta one, which I’ve had for years and use almost every weekend; Anker are probably the market leader, and Tecknet also do some great ones (my big one is a Tecknet and I do rate it highly).
10. Wax and gear wash
Outdoor gear is expensive and will lasts longer when you look after it properly. A little tub of boot wax and a decent cloth to apply it goes a very long way; I use this Storm Beeswax Leather Conditioner, but I’ve also used the Grangers one which is equally as good. A bottle of specialist gear wash might seem like a boring adult present, but it can make all the difference to the longevity of those pricier pieces.
11. Water filter or filter bottle
I think it’s fair to say that most outdoors lovers are already carrying around their reusable water bottle with them everywhere they go, and will most likely have a selection to choose from. But if the outdoors lover in your life is heading off on a multi-day adventure, maybe somewhere where refilling bottles is not quite as easy as back home, then having a filter or filter bottle is a nice addition to the kit bag. These Water-to-Go bottles are surprisingly cost-effective and work so well – mine is in the Ordnance Survey GetOutside orange (I’m not sure about the clear sides!), but they come in every colour you can imagine. Alternatively, a Sawyer Squeeze style filter that can be used with any bottle is a great option.
12. Long handled cutlery
It is surprising how much more useful a spoon or fork with a long handle is to one with a standard length handle, I’ll never go back now I have my Vango long handled spoon and my Alpkit Lhfoon. Not just perfect for those expedition meals, but good for any kind of outdoor eating and drinking. Have an outdoor loving friend who can’t do without their Ramen? How about some stainless steel chopsticks as something a bit different?
13. A straw
I’m not sure it’s possible to go out hiking or camping or on any kind of adventure without visiting a pub or cafe, and if you want to encourage your outdoors loving friend to ditch the plastic, a stainless steel straw is a great stocking filler. This one from Klean Kanteen is great because it has a silicone top, which makes it much nicer to drink from than it would be otherwise, while still being easy to clean. Mine came with a special lid that fits my tumbler, but you can also get them individually or in packs of four.
14. Decent chocolate
You might think outdoor adventures are all about the pork pies and snickers bars, but there is nothing nicer than ending a day of exertion with some really nice chocolate as a treat. A bar or two of good quality dark chocolate, maybe with some salt or caramel pieces in, will certainly make someone smile.
15. Travel towel
It’s a shame, but you just can’t pack a large fluffy bath towel when hiking or backpacking. These small microfibre towels are therefore an essential piece of kit, and would make great stocking fillers for anyone who loves to go camping. I even carry mine on a day hike these days, perfect if I decide I really must go for a paddle. Lifeventure do all kinds of sizes and designs – mine is the large plain towel, but I also rather like the range with Ordnance Survey maps on.
16. Outdoors inspired jewellery
If you want to get the outdoors loving person in your life something inspired by the outdoors rather than actually being for the outdoors, then a piece of jewellery is a great option. I was recently introduced to Go Your Own Way, a small Lake District based company making some really lovely – and not expensive – pieces inspired by the views in the area. You can’t quite see it in the main photo so I’ve added an additional one here, but this pendant has a road and mountain scene on it, with the phrase “Find Your Road” on it. There are other pendant designs, cufflinks, rings, pins, as well as coasters and prints. The pendant is only £10 which is a bargain in my opinion, a genuinely lovely stocking filler (or main present, naturally), that would go down very well I’m sure.
Don’t knock the tradition – socks make a fabulous gift for outdoors lovers – life is too short for rubbish socks! In the photo I’ve put a selection of sock liners, which would make for a great stocking filler for anyone who loves to go hiking. I’ve recently entered the world of toe-socks, but can’t really speak knowledgeably about them yet, I’ll let you know when I’ve worn them a few more times. But the Bridgdale Thermal and Coolmax liners are certainly tried and tested, and I would recommend.
I’m sure I could have added 100s more bits and bobs to this stocking fillers for outdoor lovers post, but hopefully this gives you a few ideas of good value, little presents that would be appreciated.
I’d love to know what outdoors-themed items are on your wish list this year… share below.
If you happen to be interested in purchasing anything from my gift guide, I’ve set up an Amazon storefront to make things nice and easy. If you purchase something via that link (or any of the affiliate links on this page), I receive a teeny bit of commission from Amazon as a thank you. It doesn’t cost you any more than it would have otherwise, but means I can go on my next outdoor adventure a little quicker. Check out https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/splodz to see.
In the interests of full disclosure, the pendant was gifted to me by the designer, the long handled spoon, tumbler and straw were from an Outdoor Bloggers camp gift bag, and the Water-to-Go bottle was a gift from Ordnance Survey. This post is based on things I own, use and would genuinely recommend. There are affiliate links on this page, the funds from which help me keep playing at being a part time adventurer and blogger.