Find the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family who love hiking and camping!
Are you looking for the perfect gifts for the hikers and campers in your life? Whether they’re hitting the trails, sleeping under the stars, or relaxing by the fire, they’ll love these products that are designed to make their outdoor adventures more comfortable, convenient, and fun. From sporks to mitts, here are some of the best holiday gifts for outdoor enthusiasts who love hiking and camping.
Affiliate Disclosure: This story contains affiliate links through which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. All words and opinions are my own.
Scroll down for our Parks Canada Discovery Pass giveaway!!
Gifts Under $50
Smartwool Liner Gloves – Unisex
Smartwool Liner Gloves are top-rated stretchy merino wool blend gloves with touchscreen compatible thumb and index finger tips to keep you warm and connected. They’re also wind resistant! Available in XS, S, M & L at MEC.
Peak Refuel Titanium Spork
The Peak Refuel Titanium Spork is a durable, lightweight, and versatile utensil that is the perfect length (21.6 cm / 8.5″) for backpackers who like to eat dehydrated meals out of the bag. Carrying pouch included. Available at Valhalla Pure Outfitters.
Pair the spork with the ultralight GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug, a favorite of backpackers (only 3.5 oz)! Get it at Valhalla Pure Outfitters.
Darn Tough Socks
Darn Tough Socks are legendary. By using the perfect blend of merino wool, nylon, and spandex, these seamless wool socks are soft, comfortable, and tough. So tough in fact, that they have a lifetime warranty! They’re a top pick of through-hikers because they’re made to last; plus, they’re naturally odor-resistant and breathable.
For cold weather hiking and snowshoeing, we recommend the Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion Socks. These crew length socks are thicker and cushioned for extra comfort and warmth. Get Darn Tough socks in a wide range of styles and colours at Altitude Sports, MEC, and Amazon.
Buff Merino Wool Neck Gaiter/Headwear
The Buff Lightweight Merino Wool Multifunctional Neck Gaiter / Headwear – made of soft, ethically sourced merino wool – makes a cozy neck gaiter, face cover, headband, or hat! It’s double-layer for extra warmth, but isn’t bulky, and comes in lots of fun patterns and colours. For extreme cold, get the Midweight Merino Wool Buff or Polar Buff. Buy Buffs at Altitude Sports, MEC, and Valhalla Pure Outfitters.
Subpar Parks Postcards (& Book)
Following the success of the wildly popular Subpar Parks: America’s Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors book (Amazon affiliate link), you can now get the cool artwork on postcards (Amazon affiliate link). Illustrations of each park include hilarious hand-lettered 1-star reviews, and are a snarky love letter to the American National Parks System. Find the book and postcards on Amazon.
Happystep Genuine Sheepskin Insoles
For the friend who always has cold feet, gift them Happystep Genuine Sheepskin Insoles. These natural wool and felt insoles retain heat, wick moisture, and let feet breathe. Available in full sizes from Women’s 5 to Men’s 12 at Amazon.
Gifts Under $100
Aurora Heat Hand, Thumb, Foot, and Wrist Warmers
Image credit: Aurora Heat
Aurora Heat Hand Warmers, made of ultra-soft sheared beaver fur, add extra warmth to your mittens or pockets and can be reused over and over again. I can’t get over how soft and plush they are, and can really feel the difference when I use them! Aurora Heat Hand Warmers are made in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories by a women-run, certified Aboriginal family business with the mission to provide everlasting warmth year over year.
These luxurious reusable hand warmers are available in:
- Two colours: Natural Brown (shown above) or Luxurious Black
- Two sizes: Small is 3 X 4 inches. Fits gloves and small mittens. / Large is 3.5 X 5 inches. Fits medium to large mittens.
- Two thicknesses: Regular or Slim. To get the maximum benefit, I recommend getting the Regular thickness, however Slim hand warmers are suitable for less extreme weather (or hockey arenas) or slimmer-fitting mittens.
After an amazing winter testing the Hand Warmers, this year I’m testing the Ultra Hand Warmers (long enough to warm both sides of your hands), thumb warmers, and wrist warmers. I wore them in the recent cold spell (-15 C!) and could really feel the difference! I love that these natural warmers don’t require charging and can be used over and over again for several years. Foot warmers, ankle warmers, body warmers, comforters, and cell phone warmers are also available!
Fjällräven Ulvö Hip Pack
The Fjällräven Ulvö Hip Pack Medium is fashionable and functional, and just the right size (12 cm high x 28 cm long x 10 cm deep; 2 L volume) for every day use. Features include an adjustable waist strap, inner mesh pocket to organize essentials, and security pocket on the back side. This PFC-free bag is made of 100% recycled nylon, so it’s waterproof too. Find it in 6 vibrant colours at Fjällräven, Altitude Sports, or Fjällräven Calgary at 815 17th Ave SW.
If you’d like a bigger hip pack, choose the Fjällräven Ulvö Hip Pack Large (15 x 37 x 12 cm; 4 L volume).
Anker 335 Power Bank (20K)
Disclosure: This description includes Amazon affiliate links through which I earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.
Keep a small but mighty Anker 335 Power Bank in your backpack so you can charge your phone, AirPods, bluetooth speaker, Garmin inReach Mini 2 satellite communicator, GoPro, or smartwatch on the go. The 20,000mAh cell capacity allows you to charge three devices at the same time via 2 USB-A ports and 1 USB-C port. Charge your iPhone 13 4.3 times or Samsung Galaxy S22 3.1 times! The Anker 335 Power Bank comes with a USB-A to USB-C cable and 18-month warranty. Find it on Amazon.
MEC Get Down Booties – Unisex
An oldie but goodie, the MEC Get Down Booties are perfect for backcountry campers, ice climbers, and mountaineers. Take off your boots and pop these light and warm booties on at the end of the day for the ultimate comfort. They’re like sleeping bags for your feet!! With a water resistant shell, 650 fill-power duck down, 9 mm foam insoles, and textured anti-slip soles, you can even wear them outside to get snow for more hot cocoa (though they aren’t made for heavy use). Available in 3 colours and sizes XS to XL at MEC.
Black Diamond Spot 400-R Headlamp
The Black Diamond Spot 400-R Headlamp can light up any adventure. Whether you need a bright beam for hiking, a dim mode for reading, or a red light for preserving night vision while doing astrophotography, this headlamp has you covered. It has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 200 hours on low mode, and a micro-USB port for easy charging. You can adjust the brightness and switch between modes with a single button, or use the PowerTap technology to quickly change the intensity with a tap of your finger. The headlamp is also waterproof, durable, and comfortable. Get it in your favorite colour at MEC.
Bagsmart Camera Backpack
The BAGSMART Camera Backpack has all the features you need in a camera backpack, and is under $100! Top features include side/back access to photography gear, adjustable dividers, an upper compartment for hiking gear or additional photography gear, inner and outer zippered pockets (1 each) for small items, 15″ laptop compartment, chest strap and hip belt, tripod pocket and strap, and water bottle pocket. Most camera bags don’t have a hip belt, water bottle pocket, or laptop compartment – and the ones with these features are more than twice the price. The 25L Bagsmart Camera Backpack is made of water-resistant canvas and comes in 3 colours: cream, dark grey, and khaki. Available at Amazon.
For more photography (and videography) gear, see our Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers and Content Creators.
JBL Clip 4 – Portable Mini Bluetooth Speaker
The JBL Clip 4 – Portable Mini Bluetooth Speaker is small, waterproof, dustproof, and has a built-in carabiner, so you can bring it on every trip. Get 10 hours of play time on one charge! Tween and teen approved! This cute little speaker comes in 14 vibrant colours and is available at Amazon.
Therm-a-Rest Z-Seat Pad
For a lightweight, waterproof seat, you can’t beat the Therm-a-Rest Z Seat Pad! It weighs only 60 grams and folds up to the width of a Nalgene bottle! With puncture-proof eggshell foam cells, and an aluminized coating to retain more heat, it has an R value of 2.6. We carry a Therm-a-Rest Z seat pad (or Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol sleeping pad to share) from late fall through spring to stay dry and warm when sitting in the snow. Get it at Amazon, MEC, Altitude Sports, and Valhalla Pure Outfitters.
Gifts Over $100
Venustas Heated Camping Chair 7.4V
Keep your backside warm with the Venustas Heated Camping Chair 7.4V! This water-resistant folding camp chair has a removable carbon fiber heated cushion that provides three levels of warmth for 3.5 (high setting) to 12 hours (low setting). A 7.4V Lithium battery with a USB charging port is included, so you can enjoy instant warmth while charging your phone. The Venustas Heated Camping Chair 7.4V is available in blue and black from Venustas.
Columbia Sportswear Women’s Outdoor Tracks Full Zip Fleece Jacket
Pair the Columbia Sportswear Arch Rock Double Wall Elite Mid Jacket with the Outdoor Tracks™ Full-Zip Fleece Jacket for a trim, lightweight climate-control system! The flattering full-zip fleece adds heat without bulk thanks to Omni-Heat™ Helix “performance heat cells” that create air pockets to retain heat and manage moisture. Available in four colours and standard/plus sizes at Columbia Sportswear, Altitude Sports, and Valhalla Pure Outfitters. There’s a hooded version of this fleece too!
Teva ReEmber Quilted Slip On Shoes (Men’s & Women’s)
The Teva ReEmber Slip On Shoes will keep your feet warm and happy whether you’re camping, hiking, or lounging at home. These slip on camp shoes/slippers are made from 100% recycled materials, so you can feel good about your eco-friendly choice. They have a ripstop, water-resistant quilted upper, microfleece lining, comfy foam footbed, lugged outsole, and a collapsible heel for easy slip-on and off. Find the ReEmbers in your favorite color at Amazon in Men’s or Women’s sizes.
Helly Hansen LIFA Merino Base Layers (Women’s, Men’s, Kids’)
With a merino outer layer and synthetic inner layer, the Helly Hansen LIFA Merino Midweight Base Layers (lightweight base layers also available) provide the benefits of merino wool (lots of warmth for its weight, anti-odor, breathable) with superior moisture management and no itch. I like the half-zip tops for temperature control, but the crew neck tops are great for layering, and the balaclava hoodie is super versatile. Choose full length leggings for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing; or 3/4 length leggings for downhill skiing. We’ve been buying these for years and love them!
Venustas Heated Jacket with Heating Areas Control 7.4V (Unisex)
Keep warm with the Venustas Heated Jacket with Heating Areas Control 7.4V. This unisex jacket has six graphene heating panels in the neck, chest, front pockets, and back; and the battery pack can provide warmth for up to 10 hours. It also has a USB port to charge your phone and removable hood! A dual control button allows you to select which part of the jacket you heat – front or back – a great option when you’re wearing a backpack. Check the size chart to ensure you get the right size since this is a Unisex jacket. Available in White, Black, Green (turquoise), and Yellow from Venustas.
Jetboil Flash Cooking System 2.0
The Jetboil Flash Cooking System 2.0 is a fast and easy way to boil water or cook food in the outdoors. It can boil 500 ml of water in just 100 seconds, making it ideal for coffee, soup, or freeze-dried meals. Save fuel and time! Main features include push button ignition, an adjustable stainless steel burner (you can now simmer food!), a 1-litre pot with a cozy that changes colour when the water is hot, and a bottom cover lid that doubles as a measuring cup or a bowl. Buy it at MEC, Valhalla Pure Outfitters, or Amazon.
Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ Trekking Poles
The Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ Poles are lightweight (284-386 grams) and foldable trekking poles that offer excellent performance and durability. Three carbon fiber sections fold z-style to take up less space when stowed, and a FlickLock Pro mechanism allows you to easily adjust the length of the poles when you need them. EVA foam grips and breathable straps keep your hands comfortable, and interchangeable (rubber and carbide) tips are included for different surfaces. Available in 3 lengths: 95-110 cm, 105-125 cm, or 120-140 cm at MEC.
Leatherman Wave+ Multi-Tool
The Leatherman Wave+ Multi-Tool is a versatile and compact device that has been a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts for 35 years. Whether you need to cut, screw, saw, file, or open something, this 241 gram multi-tool has you covered. It has 18 stainless steel tools, including two knives, scissors, screwdrivers, pliers, and replaceable wire cutters; and all tools lock securely in place to ensure safety and stability. A nylon sheath is included. Get yours now at Valhalla Pure Outfitters, MEC, or Altitude Sports.
Vessis Waterproof Stormburst High Tops – Men’s and Women’s
The versatile and stylish Vessi Waterproof Stormburst High Tops designed in Vancouver, BC (where they know a thing or two about rain) are awesome for every day adventures and travel. They are 100% waterproof, breathable, and lightweight, and super comfortable. High rebound cushioning in the sole and a rugged outsole mean you can even wear the Stormbursts on easy hikes! Stormburst Shoes are available in Mens’ and Women’s at Vessi.
See the full lineup of waterproof footwear for Men, Women, and Children at Vessi.
DUER Fireside Fleece-Lined Jeans (Men’s and Women’s)
DUER Fireside Performance Denim is made with interwoven fleece fibres to provide warmth without bulk. The high-performance fabric is stretchy and a hidden gusset makes it easy to move in them. As if that weren’t enough, the jeans have a water-resistant treatment and anti microbial silver ion treatment to keep you dry and resist odor. So whether you’re exploring the urban jungle, pathways and parks, or enjoying a casual night out, you’ll feel and look good all day long. “The World’s Most Comfortable Jeans” are available in Men’s and Women’s in a variety of cuts, lengths, and colours. The ones I’m wearing above are the DUER Fireside Slim Straight Jeans. Get DUER Performance Denim at Altitude Sports.
Black Diamond Mercury Mitts – Women’s and Men’s
The legendary Black Diamond Mercury Mitts feature a stretchy shell treated with a PFC-free water repellent finish, removable liner with 170 g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation with Cross Core on back of hand and 133 g PrimaLoft Gold on the front and soft fleece lining, rugged goat leather palm, and long gauntlets to keep cold and snow out and heat in. With a -31 to -12 C temperature rating, the Mercury Mitts will keep hands warm all winter long.
Gifts Over $200
Yukon Charlie’s Advanced Spin Snowshoes
Yukon Charlie’s Advanced Spin Snowshoes are a great gift for anyone who loves to explore snow-covered trails. They are rugged, lightweight, and have awesome Northwave SPIN bindings that tighten with a twist of the dial for the perfect fit. When it’s time to take the snowshoes off, the bindings open quickly with one pull a toggle. I love how light they are and how easy the bindings are to use! Being able to hit the trail faster, especially when it’s really cold out, has been a game changer!
Constructed with an aluminum frame, high-density polyethylene deck, and forged steel crampons, these snowshoes are built to last. Despite being rugged, they are quite light; the 8×21 size snowshoes for 100-150 lbs are only 3.4 lbs!
When buying, choose the size that corresponds with the user’s weight. Yukon Charlie’s Advanced Spin Snowshoes are available in 4 sizes: 8×21 (for 100-150 lbs), 8×25 (for 151-200 lbs), 9×30 (for 201-250 lbs), and 10×36 (for 251-300 lbs). Get the Advanced Spin snowshoes at Yukon Charlies.
Fjallraven Keb Trousers – Women’s and Men’s
Fjällräven’s award-winning trekking pants are a hiker’s must-have. My all-time favorites are the Keb Trousers that have stretch in all the right places and water-resistant G-1000 fabric reinforcement on the seat, knees, and pockets (wax the fabric at any time to refresh the waterproofing). They also have side vents, lots of pockets (including side pockets big enough for your phone!), suspender attachments, adjustable ankle hems, and boot clips so your pants can work like gaiters. Not only are they feature rich, you can order the Keb Trousers by waist size and length for the perfect fit.
Theragun Prime Quiet Percussion Massage Gun
Massage sore muscles with the Theragun Prime Quiet Percussion Massage Gun. This wireless massager recharges via an included USB-C cable and comes with a soft case. Use the free Therabody App to get the most benefit from the massager. Get it on Amazon.
Garmin inReach Mini 2
Navigate to your destination and stay in touch with the InReach Mini 2, a compact, lightweight, waterproof GPS and satellite communicator. With excellent coverage (connects to Iridium’s network of 66 satellites), you can send an SOS or text message when you’re out of cell phone range. It’s great for peace of mind, and could make the difference between life and death in an emergency.
A monthly subscription plan is required, and there is a learning curve (watch some YouTube videos to get set up and figure out how to use it), but hikers and search and rescue organizations agree that a 2-way communication device like the InReach Mini 2 is much more useful than a basic Personal Locator Beacon that sends an SOS with GPS coordinates and nothing more. The InReach Mini 2 a worthwhile investment for outdoor adventurers and a great way to keep in touch when you’re not in cell phone range (a few free messages are included in your monthly plan, so you can let loved ones know if you’re running late).
On Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boots – Men’s and Women’s
Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boots are made by On, a company “Born in the Swiss Alps.” Designed with the comfort and support of their award-winning running shoes, they are also waterproof and grippy. With their FlexLock lacing system, you can lace the bottom and top separately, or tighten them with one pull. The most noteworthy feature is the unique cloud sole that provides a “cushioned landing and firm takeoff” and is proven to reduce muscle fatigue and lower heart rates! Hiking in the Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boots really is like hiking on a cloud. Available in Men’s and Women’s at Altitude Sports, On, and Valhalla Pure Outfitters.
Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket – Women’s and Men’s
With 750-fill power, hydrophobic down; a water-resistant and abrasion-resistant shell; adjustable helmet-compatible hood with stiff brim (so it won’t droop in your eyes); drawcord hem and elastic wrist cuffs to keep heat in, it’s easy to see why the Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket is so popular. It’s also light (430 grams), slightly tapered at the waist for less bulk and a flattering fit, and has a chest pocket and two handwarmer pockets. Available in Women’s and Men’s, in a rainbow of colours, at MEC, Altitude Sports, and Valhalla Pure Outfitters.
For the person who has everything
Gifts of experience (cave tour, dogsledding, ski passes), gift cards, and park passes are awesome gifts for the outdoorsy folks who have everything.
MEC Gift Card
A MEC Gift Card is the perfect gift for outdoor enthusiasts. It can be redeemed at any MEC store, online, or by phone, and has no associated fees or expiration dates. You need to be a MEC member to shop there, but memberships are now free! Get a physical gift cards in store, or purchase an e-gift card online (which will be delivered via email within 24 hours).
Parks Canada Discovery Pass
With a Parks Canada Discovery Pass, give the gift of discovery! The Discovery Pass provides unlimited admission for a full year to over 80 Parks Canada parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas. Purchase a park pass at the park gates, visitor information centres, or online (order by December 11th to ensure it arrives by Christmas). The cost of the pass is $69.19 for adults, $59.17 for seniors, and $139.40 for families or groups traveling together in one vehicle.
Enter to win a group Parks Canada Discovery Pass below!
Conclusion & Giveaway
We hope our Holiday Gift Guide helps with your holiday shopping! Take advantage of Black Friday sales to save money; many brands have sales on now through Black Friday (November 24, 2023) weekend.
As a thank you for your support this year, we are giving away a group/family Parks Canada Discovery Pass!
- Entrants must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Canada.
- To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter form below. More entries = more chances!
- Contest closes on December 2, 2023 at 11:59 PM.
- A winner will be selected randomly via the Rafflecopter app and announced on the blog. The winner will also be contacted via email (by karen [at] playoutsideguide.com), so please provide your correct email address! The winner will have 48 hours to respond after which time, if no response has been received, a new winner will be selected.
Please beware of fake accounts. We will never ask for credit card or financial information! Good luck!
- One (1) annual group/family Parks Canada Discovery Pass. This prize has no cash value and has not been sponsored by Parks Canada.
Tips: Please log in with the email you’d like to be contacted at if you win (it will not be sold or shared with 3rd parties), and scroll down to leave a comment. 🙂