11 Gifts for the Outdoor Recreationist

It is that time of year again for many to fulfill their tradition or obligation of gift exchange.  We have put together some useful gift ideas for people who love the outdoors! We hope you find this list helpful.

1. Make a Charitable Donation

Donate to a non-profit instead of buying a commercial gift. It may not look as festive as a gift-wrapped package, but the impact will go farther.
flower on green knob in Pisgah NF

“Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it alright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.”
Henry David Thoreau

Land Conservation Give to a cause that conserves land, protects the environment, or keeps trails maintained, such as:National Forest Foundation, a nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service to care for 193-million spectacular acres of wildlands;

Appalachian Trail Conservancy, dedicated to the conservation of the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail, extending from Maine to Georgia;

The Conservation Fund, acquires and protects landscapes valued for recreation, wildlife habitat, and history;

Sierra Club, America’s oldest grassroots environmental organization founded by John Muir;

The Nature Conservancy, a world-wide organization that protects ecologically important lands and waters across the globe.

Animals and Wildlife Donate to their local animal shelter or no-kill animal shelter. Or, support North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization;

Protect wildlife with The National Audubon Society;

Help care for animals rescued from factory farms with Farm Sanctuary;

Help endangered species with the World Wildlife Fund

2. Dried Meals

Provide some nourishing trail magic ahead of time by stocking them with a pantry full of dried camp meals from Outdoor Herbivore.  They’ll appreciate having tasty grab-to-go meals for that last minute wilderness escape.

Gift Box Sample

Outdoor Herbivore’s meals are packaged in lightweight environmentally-friendly zip top bags.

Try one of our gift bags, which includes three meals wrapped up in either a reusable mesh wet-dry bag or recyclable Kraft box; Pair it with our Trail Sprout Kit for the ultimate gift.

Or, pick these 3 great warming meals for the colder month’s –

Lickety Split Lentils, a spiced rice and lentil dish tossed with vegetables and peanuts; 

Savory Lentil Simmer, a hearty lentil soup with a chock full of organic veggies; 

High Elevation Rice Cereal, a hot creamy brown rice breakfast with a blend of winter seasonings, fruits, and nuts.All our meals are vegetarian, and most ingredients are grown or sourced domestically and certified organic.

3.  Basics: Socks, Gloves, Hats

socks for backpacking Socks, Gloves, and HatsThese three items often get worn out from extended use and are key to staying comfortable in the outdoors; so go ahead and purchase, because a 2nd or even 3rd pair is beneficial.  Look for blended wool/nylon/poly socks for wicking. We think Darn Tough makes excellent, durable socks.Consider fleece or wool hats for the colder months and a packable 360-degree brim sun hat for the warm months.

See our outdoor clothing tips for more detailed information.

4. Reading Material

on the trail Subscription to an online or pulp-based nature/outdoor magazine provides interesting ideas for their next adventure.  Depending on their interest, some good choices include:
Backpacker
Backpacking Light
Adventure Kayak
National Geographic Traveler
Outside
Climbing
Books containing amazing colorful photos provide even more inspiration for the next getaway of a lifetime. Some options include Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips by National Geographic and Off the Tourist Trail: 1,000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives.

5. Reusable Bags

eagle creek travel bag Food Organization. The clear, lightweight, reusable zip-top OPSAK bags from Aloksak are useful for keeping items such as food organized and protected from the elements. The odor barrier helps keep wildlife away from food and campsites.

Gear Organization. A multipurpose waterproof pouch such as this one made by Aloksak to keep essential items such as keys, GPS, camera, cell phone, and mp3 player organized. This bag makes it easy to swap items back and forth from day pack to overnight pack, to bike, kayak, etc.

Eagle Creek also makes a nice organizer if waterproofing is not a concern.

6. Nature or Wildlife Documentary

planet earth dvd Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series narrated by David Attenborough takes you through a journey of some of the most spectacular landscapes of our planet.  The clarity of the high definition footage is entirely breathtaking.  The logistics of maneuvering a camera to capture some of these remote, inaccessible locations will leave any viewer in jaw-dropping wonder.

7. Portable Trail Saw

sven backpackers saw A foldable backpacking saw is a great tool for maintaining trails.The light weight triangular designed folding  21″ Backpacker’s Saw made by Sven allows access to hard to reach spots.The packable trail saw made by Ultimate Survival is another option, but works best with 2 people.

8. Waterproof Writing Utensil

waterproof pen Not just a novelty, but a useful device for keeping notes or journaling in the wilderness.  “Rite in the Rain” makes a waterproof pen that allows you to write great products in extreme weather conditions — not just rain.  Pair it with some water-proof paper.

9. Fire Start Tender

tender for camp fire If you are short on cash, but want to provide some utility, this packable tender is real handy to start and keep fire burning — especially on windy days.Another option is to purchase an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which has the dual purpose of cleaning hands and starting a fire.

10.  Casio Pathfinder Watch

casio pathfinder The Casio Pathfinder watch is an amazing timekeeping device for everyday use and on the trail.   The watch shown here is the solar powered PAW1300T-7V with a titanium band, which includes atomic clock calibration, a digital compass, altimeter with cumulative ascent-descent memory, barometer, thermometer, and stopwatch. We’ve owned this watch since February 2010, and it has performed like a charm.

11. Gift cards

Buy them a gift card for a local outdoor store or online retailer.Outdoor Herbivore offers email or printable gift cards.Amazon also makes environmentally friendly email or printable gift cards.
Disclaimer: Occasionally, Outdoor Herbivore will endorse or suggest other company’s products. Unless otherwise stated, these products are those that we are familiar with and recommend based on our own positive experience. Some of the amazon links on this page are affiliate links – that means that if you buy a product after clicking on one of these links, we may receive compensation for making the recommendation.
Your purchase price is the same regardless if you purchase after clicking on the link or going direct to the website.  Making a purchase by clicking our links does encourage Outdoor Herbivore to continue to provide reviews of products as a service to the outdoor community.  We appreciate your support!

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