Best Gift for Camping-Obsessed Outdoor-Lovers: Tents, Safety Gear, and More

by Amy Myers

It’s hunting season – gift-hunting season, that is, and more than ever, camping and outdoor gear are at the top of holiday wish lists. Thanks to the uptick in national and state park popularity, folks want and need the tools that will help them explore more often and more safely. But finding the ideal gift for these outdoor enthusiasts is easier said than done. Even for camping pros, with so many brands, varieties and accessories, it can be hard to choose which big-ticket items and stocking stuffers to choose from.

Luckily, Outsider has done the grunt work for you and tested out some of the best and hottest products on the market right now. We’ve broken down our list of top six absolute must-haves for serious campers, whether they prefer to rough it or add a little luxury to their outdoor stay. These products range from cost-friendly to splurge-worthy, depending on your holiday budget (and how naughty or nice your favorite campers have been).

Take a look at our picks for this season’s camping gear.

1. Your Survival Stick – Prepared4X Survival Torch Fire Starter

  • Price: $24.99
  • Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Why we love it: dependable and weather-proof
  • Buy on Amazon

There are a ton of fire starters and Ferro sticks on the market, and all of them claim to be the best at sparking a flame in even the worst of conditions. Well, in this case, Outsider’s Jim Casey really can concur that the Prepared4X Survival Torch Fire Starter truly is not only reliable but also cost-efficient (and those two words rarely exist in the same sentence when it comes to outdoor gear).

Under normal camping circumstances, starting a fire can be pretty simple – tinder, kindle, fuel, light. But when the wind is howling and the rain is endless, campers need a no-fail fire starter to keep them warm and fed. One of the shining qualities of the Prepared4X fire starter is its size. The 6-inch Ferro stick is larger than most, making it easy to strike even with cold hands. And there’s no trying to endlessly catch a flame on a piece of tinder. The Prepared4X has a wax-infused hemp rope attached to the end that’s wind-and-water resistant. In Jim’s two-hour field test, even 38-mph winds couldn’t extinguish the rope’s flame.

2. Your Hydration Station – Outsider All Day Water Bottle

  • Price: currently on sale for $20.00 (typically $40.00)
  • Weight: 16.04 ounces
  • Why we love it: long-lasting insulation and easy fill
  • Buy on Outsider

Okay, so we may be a bit biased about this product, but we wouldn’t put Outsider’s name on the bottle unless we were proud of the product. Let’s look at the facts: Not only is the All Day water bottle shatter-resistant and leak-proof, but its slim design also makes it the perfect hydration companion for a backpack side pocket or car cup holder.

And the All Day bottle is just as efficient on the inside as it is on the outside. Whether you fill it with piping hot coffee or ice-filled water, your drink will stay at the temperature when poured. Cold drinks will stay chilly for 40 hours while hot drinks will stay steamy for 10 hours. And, best of all, there’s a no-spill spout, meaning you can enjoy your beverage on even the bumpiest backroads.

Did we mention it’s on sale right now for half off? Run, don’t walk.

3. Your Snuggle Buddy – Therm-a-Rest Honcho Poncho

  • Price: $129.95
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Why we love it: versatile, lightweight and comfy for campers of all sizes
  • Buy on Amazon

We love a good versatile blanket, and the Therm-a-Rest Honcho Poncho is basically an entire bed set in one. Among the hardest skills to master in the great outdoors is temperature control. And for those that tend to be on the colder side when the sun goes down, this poncho is a staple camping product. Made from eraLoft Synthetic material and 50D polyester, the honcho poncho keeps campers warm around the campfire with a fitted hood and kangaroo pocket. Once it’s time to hit the sack, adventurers can unsnap the side buttons and transform the poncho into a 79-inch-by-56-inch blanket for extra layering.

And, if it’s too warm for a poncho or a blanket, the Therm-a-Rest can serve as a comfy pillow when stuffed into its storage sack. Really, there’s no wrong way to use this product, and there’s no bad time of year to bring it along. Store it in the trunk or tuck it into a backpack. It’s lightweight, compressible and out of the way until you need it.

4. Your Go-To Gadget – Leatherman Signal Multi-Tool

  • Price: $129.95
  • Weight: 7.5 ounces
  • Why we love it: versatile and compact
  • Buy on Amazon

Sure, you can get your loved one a specialized knife, set of pliers, emergency whistle, bottle opener and saw. You can also watch them take apart their camping bag for the 18th time searching for the tiny items that always inevitably end up at the bottom of their bag.

Instead, save both you and them the headache by placing a Leatherman Signal Multi-Tool under the tree. With 19 tools, this compact device will definitely be the first item your camper will pack for the next trip. And there’s no need to worry about them misplacing their multi-tool. The fairly lightweight gadget fits perfectly in most pockets. Not to mention, with how many uses the Leatherman has, it’ll basically become an extension of their own hand.

5. Your All-in-One Bugout Bag – Uncharted Supply Co. Seventy2 Survival System

  • Price: $399.00
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Why we love it: emergency-ready and friendly for outdoor beginners
  • Buy on Amazon

For some, camping is about recreation and adventure; for others, it’s about readiness for the worst-case scenario. If your gift recipient falls on the survival side of the outdoorsy spectrum, you’ll definitely want to add the Seventy2 Survival System from Uncharted Supply Co to your cart.

The contents of this all-in-one emergency kit will get you through the first 72 hours of most survival situations. Inside, you’ll find carefully labeled compartments that break the gear down into the following categories: warmth, first aid, electronics, air and vision, tools, food and a water filter. There’s also a separate pocket for necessities like matches, a multi-tool, a flashlight and a lighter. To top it all off, there’s a 48-ounce Nalgene water bottle in the center.

For beginner campers or those still learning their way around the woods, this is the ideal gift. But we wouldn’t recommend this kit for the pros. More likely, they’ll want to customize their own survival kit with the tools and gear that they’ve tried themselves and may even expand on the first aid portion. For these folks, you might want to consider one of the other gifts on this list.

6. Your Second Home – Gazelle T4 Hub Tent

  • Price: currently on sale for $349.99 (typically $429.99)
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Why we love it: quick and easy set-up and breakdown
  • Buy on Amazon

Ditch the diagrams and the three differently-sized poles and pick up a Gazelle T4 Hub Tent instead. Whether your camping extraordinaire is on their own or with their family, this quick and simple shelter sets up in 90 seconds flat. There’s no balancing crossing poles or coordinating movements across the tent pad. The tent literally does the hard work for you! That way, your loved one can get to the fun part of camping faster.

The T4 stands 74 inches tall, so most campers can stand up comfortably inside the structure (so long as you take off your boots first). Of course, the tent is also waterproof – a requirement for any camping shelter – so, no matter the weather, they’ll stay warm and dry all night long.