clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

22 cool gift ideas for people who love the outdoors

A curated, tried-and-tested list of outdoorsy gifts

If you buy something from a Curbed link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

The holidays are just around the corner, and Curbed has you covered with key intel on the best gifts and deals to score. Today, we’re doubling down on gifts for RV adventurers, people who love to camp, and anyone who wants to explore the great outdoors in teardrops, travel trailers, tricked-out trucks, and more. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.

Whether you have a skoolie or a camper van, an RV helps you reach new places and return to old favorites—as long as you are start with the right gear. I’ve spent years traveling the American West in my Sportsmobile camper van, trying out different chairs, cooking tools, and blankets that make roving homes-on-the-go a bit more comfortable.

I’ve ditched some less-than-rave-worthy products and held on to a select few that pass the test time and time again. Below you’ll find a curated list of my favorites, products that I love to give and would also be pleased to receive. Need even more suggestions for the camper in your life? Don’t miss my camper van gear guide—a comprehensive list of over 90 items for every part of van life.

Go-to accessories

Not sure what to give your outdoorsy family member? These accessories are sure to impress. I’ve picked out lightweight blankets, quick-drying towels, and an adventure-proof portable speaker that delivers seriously good sound.

Nite Ize Gear Line

  • $17

Keep camp organized with this gear line. You can hang it vertically or horizontally; it attaches to almost anything thanks to twist ties at each end, and the S-carabiners can hang everything from gear to clothes. Need a few extra S-biners? You can buy those, here.

Demerbox Outdoor Speaker

  • $299

We’ve tried all sorts of outdoor, portable speakers and never found one that can adventure hard yet maintain good sound quality. Our search ended with the Demerbox, a waterproof, portable pelican case speaker that can go 40 hours between charges. We’ve tested it on mountaintops, in our camper van, and on raft trips and love the loud, clear sound; the speaker also pulls double duty as a dry case for wallets, keys, and phones. Looking for something a bit smaller? Check out the company’s new DB1 speaker.

Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor Pad

  • $70

This low-profile dog bed works well inside a camper van or outside at a campsite. The polyfill stuffing provides just the right amount of fluff for your pup, the water-resistant microsuede top is easy to clean, and it’s nice that the pad rolls up for travel. Available in two sizes, although all but the largest dogs will be happy on the medium.

Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent

  • $16

Slathering on a bunch of insect repellant can be a hassle, so I like to use this battery-powered repellent around the campsite. The Radius Zone protects about 110 square feet for six hours on a single charge, and it’s a good hands-off option for kids or mosquito-prone adults.

Scrubba Wash Bag

  • $50

If you’re miles away from the nearest laundromat and need to clean some clothes in a hurry, check out the Scrubba Wash Bag. The pocket-sized bag weighs less than five ounces, produces a machine-quality wash in three minutes, and is twice as effective as hand washing.

CGear Sand-Free Mat

  • $60

Keep your van clean by using a large sand-free mat at the entry. We like the one from CGear; the mat keeps sand and dirt out, can be sprayed off easily with a hose, comes in multiple sizes, and is lined with heavy duty D-rings so you can stake it down. Consider the 8-by-8-foot medium mat ($69.99) or the 12-by-12-foot extra large mat ($129.95).

Grab a chair by the fire

No matter your RV type, a good camp chair makes relaxing around the fire that much better. Couples will love cuddling on the Kelty Loveseat, and I’ve also rounded up my favorite backpacking chair, rocker, hammock, and one chair that’s built for star gazing.

Kelty Low Loveseat Camping Chair

  • $100

Bring a little house-like coziness to your campsite with this low-slung, foldable loveseat. Each armrest comes with an insulated beverage holder, the backrest is slightly reclined for relaxation, and the chair can handle a weight of 500 pounds.

Nemo Stargaze Chair

  • $220

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Yes, this is an expensive camp chair. But it also reclines and swings into comfortable positions that other chairs can only dream about. The supportive headrest and cupholders are extra perks, and the whole chair packs down into a small case that works for even the most compact camper vans. Wherever I go, this is the gear item people ask me about the most.

GCI FirePit Rocker Chair

  • $65

If you have a larger RV with space to haul a less compact camping chair, opt for this super-comfortable rocker. A mesh backrest and wide, padded armrests keep you comfortable, and the must-have cupholders are conveniently placed. The FirePit sits lower to the ground; if you’re looking for something a bit higher, check out the Freestyle model.

Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest Hammock

  • $50

Even if you love sleeping inside of your camper, no one is ever going to complain about a gently rocking hammock in the forest. The SingleNest is lightweight and packs down easily for one person, or you can opt for the larger double hammock ($69.95). Don’t forget the hammock straps ($29.95).

Cooking on the go

I’ve tried a lot of RV cooking gadgets and the items below are my favorite. From a grill system that incorporates a pizza oven—seriously, you can have pizza at camp—to the ultimate portable espresso maker, these gifts will level up the camp kitchen.

Hydro Flask 128 ounce Oasis

  • $94

This double-walled, vacuum-insulated container keeps beverages and good hot or cold for 12-24 hours, and it’s big enough to feed my family and a few friends to boot on adventures. It also comes with two lids, a smaller one for pouring and a larger one for filling and cleaning. Throw in the lifetime warranty and it’s easy to see why this thermos has earned a coveted spot in my kitchen.

Camp Chef Versatop Grill System, 14-inch

  • $149

Even though I have an induction stovetop in my camper van, I still like to cook outside. Recently I upgraded from an old Coleman stove to the Versatop Grill System, a non-stick flat-top griddle that’s powered by a one-pound propane tank. The flat top is a breeze to cook on, but what I like most about the system is that it’s compatible with a BBQ grill box and a pizza oven. Once you have delicious homemade pizza in the middle of a forest, you’ll never go back to your old stove again.

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler

  • $122

Available in two sizes (20-quart or 55-quart), this bear-resistant cooler is made from thick polyurethane insulation that maximizes ice retention and is built to last. We also love the oversized drain, convenient top handle (on the smaller model only), and Microban protection that inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Omnia Oven

  • $67

With a bundt-pan shape and the ability to hold about 2.1 quarts, the Omnia Oven works on any type of burner or grill to bake pizza, desserts, and breads. It’s a great option for campers that don’t have an oven—and that’s most of us; I often use it to make egg casseroles or cinnamon rolls for breakfast and the additional silicone liner makes clean up easy.