Trail Mix: The Best Gifts for Campers

The tent-toting, backpack-wearing, ground-sleeping person in your life won’t be disappointed with any of these 12 gifts.
Rate this story:

For some folks, wandering ridgelines, gazing at the stars and brewing cowboy coffee at sunrise are part and parcel of a normal weekend. And those adventurers—who already have a closet full of gear—are often the hardest to shop for. That’s why this holiday season, we’ve rounded up our favorite gifts that are sure to get them dreaming about thawing trails, plus a few beginner-friendly options for new campers.


Kelty Discovery 2-Person Camp Bundle

One tent, two pads, two sleeping bags, and a window to the outdoors.

Kelty Discovery 2-Person Camp Bundle

Think of the Kelty Discovery as one of the year’s best BOGO deals: For $250, you get two 35°F sleeping bags, two self-inflating pads and a four-person tent. So if you know a pair getting into camping for the first time, this gift nets a couple of adventurers everything they need to get started. The bags even zip together for an instant conversion into a double-wide bed (if your pals subscribe to the sharing-is-caring mantra), and the entire bundle fits into an included duffel. $249.95


Primus Essential Trail Stove

Fire up the Essential Trail Stove for a cool $24.95.

Primus Essential Trail Stove

Maybe your giftee has borrowed your stove a time too many. Or maybe you’re hoping they’ll wake up first to put on coffee in the morning. Whatever the reason, at only 3.9 ounces, this little thing packs a punch: It will bring a liter of water to boil in only 3 minutes and 30 seconds. The Essential Trail Stove from Primus is easy to pack with no folding parts (no igniter though), so it’s always ready to go. $24.95


Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent

You won't be sorry for springing for our favorite backpacking shelter (as long as your generosity nets you a permanent invitation inside).

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent

Considered one of the best two-person backpacking tents on the market, the beloved Copper Spur from Big Agnes got an upgrade this year—which should put it at the top of your adventurer’s list. The latest model is stronger, lighter and even easier to set up than previous versions. And at just a hair over 3 pounds with two doors and roomy dimensions, it lightens backpacking loads but doesn’t skimp on comfort. We’re also big fans of the awning-style vestibules, which increase living space in both drizzly and sunny weather. (Yes, this is high on my wish list, if you couldn’t tell.) $449.95


Leatherman FREE T4 Pocket Knife Multi-Tool

Nothing says "I love you" like a brand-new knife.

Leatherman FREE T4 Pocket Knife Multi-Tool

Help your friend or loved one upgrade their Ten Essentials with a knife that’s, well, more than a knife. With spring-action scissors, a pry tool, a package opener, an awl, a bottle opener, a file, four screwdrivers and tweezers, the Free T4 from Leatherman proves useful at camp and pretty much everywhere. In fact, at 4.3 ounces, it might never leave your friend’s pocket at all. $59.95


GCI Outdoor MaxRelax Pod Rocker Chair

Snoozing pupper not included.

GCI Outdoor MaxRelax Pod Rocker Chair

Turn the relaxation dial all the way up with this comfy, cozy, camp chair from GCI Outdoor. It sways backward like a rocking chair (unlike a rocking chair, it has stable legs) and features a drink holder, so your loved one will never be too far away from their hot cocoa, cocktail or (reusable) water bottle. For the tech-obsessed, that same beverage holder boasts a side phone pocket, too. The whole thing packs into an easy-to-carry bag, so your buddy can easily grab and go whenever the mountains call. $80


Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat

The Low-Love Seat doubles as a great Valentine's Day gift, too.

Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat

Festivals, campfires, backyard barbecues—this two-person seat can handle every outdoor occasion. (I’ve even used mine during a movie night in my living room.) It doesn’t quite earn the “backcountry sofa” moniker, but the Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat’s quilted, durable polyester fabric is comfy on backends and even offers some insulation. The height-adjustable armrests come complete with drink holders—perfect for maximizing comfort. The seat rolls into an included storage bag, which doubles as a firewood or gear tote. $99.95


NEMO Riff 15 Sleeping Bag

Give your tentmate the gift of supreme warmth this year.

NEMO Riff 15 Sleeping Bag (Women’s and Men’s)

The side sleeper in your life will rejoice over this three-season, 800-fill bag. The Riff 15 has more room at the elbows and knees for thrashers and folks who opt for the fetal position, yet still tips the scales at just 2 pounds, 6 ounces. Its aptly named Thermo Gills let campers vent on warmer nights.  Best part? NEMO made the Riff 15 with Responsible Down Standard-certified down, which ensures humane treatment throughout the supply chain. Sweet dreams! $399.95–$419.95 


REI Co-op Holiday Camp Mugs - Package of 2

One for you, one for me.

REI Co-op Holiday Camp Mugs - Package of 2

You can’t clink glasses with only one cup. This twofer from REI Co-op includes a pair of BPA-free, stainless-steel, vacuum-insulated mugs with sipping lids. Individually, the mugs are $19.95, so by springing for a two-pack, you save. Cheers to sharing the love of camping (and a good deal) with friends. $30


REI Co-op Siesta 30 Double Sleeping Bag

The only thing better than sleeping outside is sleeping outside with a friend.

REI Co-op Siesta 30 Double Sleeping Bag

With plenty of room for a pair, this REI Co-op bag makes a great gift for a couple of friendly car campers. The polyester synthetic fill is rated to about 30°F—perfect for summer nights. Two-way zippers mean each person can ventilate as much or as little as they want from the top or the foot, or the sleepers can flip the top down like a comforter. The Siesta 30 Double also contains materials that meet the bluesign® criteria—so you can feel even better about giving it. $149–$159


YETI Roadie 20 Cooler

The gift that keeps on giving.

YETI Roadie 20 Cooler

Think of all the stuff your pal can stuff inside this YETI cooler: 12 cans, sammie fixings, grilling fare, whatever. When it’s not open, the Roadie 20 pulls double duty as a camp chair or foot rest. It’s built to withstand the toughest of adventures (it’s rustproof and leakproof) and is even certified as bear-resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee—for the most adventurous people in your life. Our pro tip? When you gift this, be sure to invite yourself along for its maiden voyage. $200


REVEL GEAR Trail Hound 30 ft. Camping Light

Light up the night.

REVEL GEAR Trail Hound 30 ft. Camping Light

Help your buddy feel like they’ve walked onto their very own Instagram influencer shoot by giving the gift of sparkle. One hundred high-efficiency LEDs adorn this 30-foot strand, offering eight brightness settings for creating the perfect ambiance for the mood, plus six modes (solid light, fade in/out, strobe, flash and fire-crackle). At only 1.6 ounces, the REVEL GEAR Trail Hound might find its way into a backpacker’s camp setup, too. $24.95


Rumpl Original Puffy Recycled Blanket

The Original Puffy Recycled Blanket is big enough for two, but you might not want to share.

Rumpl Original Puffy Recycled Blanket

Warm friends are the kindest friends. This quilt from Rumpl is stuffed with insulation a lot like a sleeping bag or puffy jacket, making it a toastier option than a single-layer blanket. That doesn’t mean high-maintenance, though. Since the fill is synthetic (and recycled!), your giftee can toss it in the washing machine and dryer, which makes the Original Puffy Recycled Blanket a great option for throwing on the dirt. And at just over 2 pounds, it’s easy to tote. $99

All photography by Andrew Bydlon.


Need more inspiration? Check out our Best Outdoor Gifts, Best Gifts for Less Than $50 and The Coziest, Snuggliest, Softest Gifts, or find more product roundups in our Trail Mix series. We’ll be publishing The Coziest Gifts and The Best Gifts for Skiers and Snowboarders before the holidays.

be_ixf;ym_201912 d_08; ct_150
  • be_ixf; php_sdk; php_sdk_1.4.26
  • https://origin-coopjournal.rei.com/blog/camp/best-gifts-for-campers
  • https://www.rei.com/blog/camp/best-gifts-for-campers
No Comments