36 Best Gift Ideas for Every Kind of Camper

From backcountry breakfasts to alpine treks, we've got all the essentials for stocking stuffers and wishlist gifts for your favorite campers.

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November 08, 2022

The titanium spork is a gateway utensil.

Falling in love with camping starts small, with a cheap department store tent and dishes brought from home, but once you start getting into it, you realize how many gadgets there are for every scenario you could encounter. You can get camping-specific coffee, camping-specific mugs, camping-specific chairs and even a camping-specific grinder.

But no matter how long your favorite camper has been sleeping under the stars, there's no shortage of gifts to help them experience nature from a place of a little more comfort.

Camping Essentials Under $50

Whether you’re shopping for a small celebration, a stocking stuffer, or the camper whose kit is running out of space, it’s basically impossible to have too many wool socks. Darn Tough has a lifetime warranty for their socks, so if they fall apart, you can send them back for a new pair.

Restocking a camper's first aid essentials is always a good idea, and so are yummy backpacking meals that only require hot water. Good To Go makes some of the best backpacking meals we’ve tasted yet, and make great stocking stuffers. Pair a meal or two with a Light My Fire titanium spork, which is basically indestructible.

The Therm-a-Rest Z Seat is a hero on chilly days, damp mornings, and rough surfaces. It weighs next to nothing and creates a dry, cushy seat in an instant.

A lifetime REI Co-op membership is also a great bargain for someone who loves gear or is just getting into camping and needs to stock up. For $30, you can gift access to the Co-op's used gear sales, discounts on their events, rentals and trips and members-only sales that make camping gear a bit more affordable.

Gifts for Campers Who Love Coffee

For campers who never miss their morning cup of coffee, you can't go wrong with gifting drinking vessels, instant coffee that's actually good and compact gadgets for making coffee on the go easier. Snow Peak's flawless, minimalist Japanese design makes for beautiful products that are hard to resist, and the Tsuzumi Bottle is no different. This stainless steel bottle keeps drinks hot or cold for up to six hours. Bonus? Its ergonomic design is a different shape than most other travel mugs, so your camper is likely to field compliments from other envious travelers. For a splurge coffee gift, VSSL's clever coffee grinder fits in the palm of your hand and packs down almost small enough to fit in your pocket. For campers traveling by car — and backpackers willing to carry the extra weight for their beloved morning routine of grinding fresh beans — this is a nifty, well-designed gift that's easy to take on the road.

Gifts for Campers Who Love to Stargaze

For campers who want to linger under the stars, get them gifts to keep them cozy. We love Glerups’ wool felt slippers for keeping toes toasty at home and by the campfire, and it’s hard to beat Rumpl’s pretty designs or versatility for blankets we’re not afraid to bring outside. NEMO’s Stargaze Recliner is the ultimate campsite luxury, letting you lean back to gaze upward without tipping your chair, and Big Agnes’ mtnGlo string lights can make for a pretty campsite if your camper likes to play with night photography.

Gifts for the Perfect Fire Pit

Make the best part of camping — the campfire — even better with these useful products. Whether you're shopping for a camper who likes to pack light or someone with a little more space, Solo Stove has the perfect fire pit to gift. Ranging from small backpacking camp stoves to larger bonfire-sized models, Solo Stove's products are favorites of HGTV editors thanks to strategic design and airflow holes that make them burn efficiently with minimal smoke. You can't have a fire without making s'mores, and these roasting sticks pack down thanks to the retractable sticks and feature a thumb wheel for evenly roasted marshmallows every time.

Gifts for the Car Camper

If you’re shopping for someone who sleeps in their car, Luno’s car camping kit is the ultimate upgrade. These mattresses tailored to fit specific car models will make for a much better night’s sleep. The Ultimate Car Camping Bundle includes an air mattress, fitted sheet, seatback organizer and a fan. And for the serious road-tripper who’s out in the backcountry for days or even a week or two at a time? You truly can’t beat the function of a YETI cooler.

Gifts for the Camper Who Loves Paddling

Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards keep getting more and more portable, making it feasible to carry them into the backcountry in a backpack to paddle around lakeside campsites. This inflatable paddleboard from Red comes with a backpack roomy enough to fit all the necessary gear, and Oru's new Lake kayak weighs just 18 pounds and fits into a pack the size of a large suitcase, so you can travel with it, too.

Cozy (and Functional) Campsite Apparel

Every camper needs a good flannel shirt for the great outdoors that also doubles as passably fashionable in everyday life. REI has no shortage of options for both women and men. They also stock Fjällräven's men's and women's trekking tights, which have reinforcements in the knees and seat to prevent snags, rips and tears while collecting firewood or scrambling for a good view. For the camper who likes a good, cold swim in the lake to wake up in the morning, Red's changing robe offers a more comfortable way to warm up and change into dry clothes.

Unique and Personalized Gifts for Camping

Etsy has loads of film cameras, from the ultra-vintage to the new and shiny, which are far more fun to play with than a smartphone camera when you want to be truly off-the-grid. The Film Photography Project offers a fantastic assortment of film for nearly every kind of camera. And if all else fails? Give the gift of making custom gear. Many companies have started letting customers design their own clothing and apparel by choosing which colors go where, and one of the latest is the Swedish company Fjällräven. After decades of making the super-classic Kånken backpack, they’re now letting you design it yourself. It makes a great, versatile daypack for switching between day hikes and city life.

Books for Campers

Know a camper who's been everywhere and is looking for their next adventure? Try Lonely Planet's epic book of the country's best campsites. Know someone who's looking for a riveting adventure read? Gift Blair Braverman's brand-new novel, Small Game, about a reality survival show gone horribly wrong.

Gift Cards, Memberships + Travel Expenses for the Camper Who Already Has It All

It can be tricky to shop for the camper who already seems to have every gadget and high-end tool on the market. So when in doubt, gift a gift card to their favorite brand— REI, Backcountry.com and Moosejaw should carry most of the ones they love — or give an experience.

Throughout the United States, there are local, regional and national-level hiking and camping organizations where you can gift a membership or make a donation in honor of a loved one. Some, like the Colorado Mountain Club, offer discounted memberships for people under the age of 30, plus fun benefits like pro deals — ultra-discounted rates — on gear from name-brand companies. Others, like the Appalachian Mountain Club, come with special member pricing for alpine lodges and huts. And still others, like Leave No Trace, have sweet benefits like friends and family pricing on buying a new Subaru — the classic adventure car — once you’ve been a member for a few months.

If your camper has their heart set on a dream trip abroad, contribute by offering to pay their passport application or renewal fee, getting them a gift card to a flight-finding site like Skyscanner or a deals newsletter like Scott’s Cheap Flights or paying for their rail pass. TourRadar is an online marketplace for adventure trips where you can browse through offerings worldwide by destination and budget, and REI Adventures — the travel arm of the country’s best chain gear shop — offers well-run hiking and camping-focused trips, currently only within the U.S.

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