The 18 Outdoor Recreation Gifts

Find the perfect gift for family and friends who love being outside

Outdoor enthusiasts are easy to shop for — just figure out what they love and get them a gift that allows them to do that activity more. Which is the best gift for you to get your loved one? We’ve got the scoop on all the best outdoor gear whether you’re shopping for a hunter, snowboarder, beach bum or party animal.

It’s easy to post pics from the beach. If you really want to get some likes, post selfies from the piste on powder day. But have you ever tried using your smartphone with gloves on? Doesn’t work. Here’s the solution: the North Face Etip Gloves, available in men and women’s sizes. When you tap a touchscreen with your bare finger, it completes a circuit directing the computer to open that app or send the Tweet. Normal gloves block that circuit, but The North Face’s Etip tech doesn’t just keep your fingertips conductive, it offers full conductivity through the palm of the glove and adds silicone grip.

Want to turn your campsite or cabin into a craft brew bar? Map out the mountain town brewery nearest your tent and hike over to fill up the Hydro Flask 64 OZ Stainless Steel Beer Growler prior to arrival. Hydro Flask’s Fresh Carry System keeps beer cold and carbonated for 24 hours and the 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel is BPA- and phthalate-free. Pour your craft suds into Hydro Flask True Pint (Buy on Amazon) to keep it cold even when things start to heat up around the campfire.

Give the caffeine addict on your list this JetBoil Java Kit and they can turn an old log or rock into a coffee shop. The Flash cooking system lights with the push of a button and boils coffee in less than three minutes in a one-liter cooking cup with built-in French Press. The cooking cup clips onto the burner preventing spills, and the insulating koozie has a color-changing heat indicator so they’ll know when to press their coarse-ground coffee. The entire system weighs just less than one pound, so they can bring this coffee shop anywhere the trail takes them.

Take the tunes into the wild with the Outdoor Tech Big Turtle Shell, a wireless, water resistant, dustproof and shockproof speaker. It connects to any Bluetooth-enabled device for 110 decibels — more than enough to power a mountain dance party. The onboard 70 milliamperes battery will power the speaker for 16 hours of playtime (324 hours on standby) and it has an outbound USB port for charging smartphone or GPS up to four times.

Give your whiskey aficionado this Stanley’s Stainless Steel Shots and Flask gift set and they can enjoy their favorite dram at the cabin, around the campfire or in the ski lodge. The eight-ounce steel flask will keep your whisky at the right temp, and the integrated lanyard ensures you’ll never lose the cap. It comes with four two-ounce shot glasses and a carrying case with screw top lid. Add this low-cost Stainless Steel Funnel (Buy on Amazon) to ensure they don’t waste a drop of whiskey when they fill up the flask.

Give the beach bums in your life this Coleman Road Trip Beach Tent and they can stake a slice of sand whether visiting remote beaches or packed seashores. It’s just six pounds and setting up the three-pole tent on the sand is simple. But this is more than just a sunshade — this tent’s UVGuard fabric protects against ultraviolet rays. Zip up the privacy door to change in and out of your suit, and the back works as a wall, mesh window or door. Anchor it to the beach with the extra long stakes, or weigh it down with sandbags. Other smart touches include a front awning for extra shade, interior mesh pockets for water bottles and gear and a built-in drying line.

Is somebody on your list just getting started in road biking? The Giro Savant MIPS helmet packs big MIPS safety, svelte race style and a comfy fit in an affordable, lightweight helmet. Giro’s collaboration with MIPS adds proprietary In-Mold construction that fuses the helmet’s polycarbonate outer shell directly to the EPS foam liner to maximize protection without adding bulk or weight. The Savant’s 25 vents are designed to channel air over the head for maximum cooling, and its Roc Loc 5 system dials in a customize fit.

This soft-sided cooler is engineered to withstand a beating by outdoorsman, who rely on it for packing quartered deer, skinned pheasants or fresh rainbow trout out of the wild. Haul the Hopper 30 to your secret fishing hole — it won’t weigh you down on the river and it’s large enough to bring home your limit of trout. Upgrade to the larger Hopper 40 for the drift boat or canoe. Yeti’s DryHide shell has welded seams similar to whitewater rafts and it's resistant to mildew, punctures and UV rays. Inside, closed-cell rubber foam insulation raises the bar for soft-sided coolers, and the interior liner is made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. The zipper was developed for hazmat suits, so you can count on it keeping the elements out, and handles, hitch points and tie downs are double stitched.

Add the power of sonar to your Angler’s next outing with iBobber, the smallest, simplest fish finder and app on the water. This castable bobber is about the size of a golf ball, but it packs sophisticated sonar technology to locate and identify fish at depths reaching 135 feet. Then, use the free app to see your catch depth-tagged and color coded by size. After you reel in your fill, use the trip log to GPS tag favorite fishing holes, and you can also map waterbed contours and water temperature, as well as post pics to the Web. The iBobber connects to the app on your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch via Bluetooth from distances of up to 100 feet and is powered by a rechargeable battery with a 10-hour charge life.

These solar panels will allow you to generate electricity any time or place — just add sun. The seven-watt, weather resistant solar panels can charge handheld USB and 12-volt devices, which happens to be most smartphones, tablets, GPS, headlamps and certain camp lighting systems. The entire kit weighs a hair over one pound, making it easy to bring along plenty of power. 

Give your skier the gift of perfect ski turns with these advanced all-mountain rippers. Head’s Monster 88 Ti Skis are built from decades of experience on World Cup racecourses, but these sticks also feature space age tech with new graphene-core construction. According to Head, Graphene is the thinnest, lightest element ever discovered, and it's 300 times stronger than steel. They lay a thin layer of Graphene to the core of theses skis that adds strength while keeping them surprisingly lightweight. When Head says all-mountain, they mean it: a progressive radius sidecut arcs turns, while traditional camber underfoot translates to control on frontside groomers.

Stomping through the snow is better in snowshoes, and with these MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes the outdoor adventurer in your family can play outside winter long. This is a great entry-level snowshoe, but experienced snowshoers will also be psyched to see this under the tree. They’re built on MSR’s ExoTract platform providing tons of traction under foot and an injection-molded plastic deck that is tough as nails even while it allows for torsional flex. A cradle binding completely eliminates pressure points for all-day comfort and Ergo Televator tech lifts the heel to reduce fatigue on uphill climbs. Add the modular flotation tails (sold separately) for increased maneuverability and float in really deep powder.

Got a shredder on your gift list? Make their holiday season — and entire winter, really — one to remember by getting them this sweet snowboard. The Lib Tech Skate Banana is a legendary line that redefined snowboarding when it introduced rocker profiles to the slopes. This new Skate Banana FundaMENTAL BTX takes the evolution to the next level with hybrid camber: Rocker profile bracketed by camber underfoot. The combo allows this board to ride playful and loose on jibs and butters while adding stability for speed and control on hardpack. Lib Tech’s Magne-Traction edges are another of the industry’s top innovation, adding seven strategically located edge serrations for additional surface area and edge hold no matter the snow conditions. Best of all, this ride is made in the U.S.A., something that can’t be said of most boards on the market.

The right snow goggle can make all your winter adventures pop, whether you enjoy skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing — and they’ll fit perfectly in that special someone’s stocking. Smith Optics is a leader in mountain eyewear, and their I/O 7 is the goggle you should stuff in your loved ones stocking. It starts with a selection of 18 lenses (replacement lenses sold separately), most of which feature Smith’s Chroma Pop tech — spherical Carobnic-X polycarbonate lenses that mirror the shape of your eyes to provide clear vision no matter the lighting conditions. And these goggles stay fog-free, thanks to dual Vaporator sandwich lens tech, which consists of a Porex filter that draws moisture from between the inner and outer layer, as well as a 5X anti-fog coating on the exterior. Patented AirEvac ventilation and dual-axis outriggers ensure superior helmet integration (see below), while a three-layer DriWix foam molds to your face without pinching or itching.

Make sure your loved one is protected for every ski run with Smith’s Vantage Helmet, an advanced lid designed to integrate perfectly with their rad goggles (see above). The helmet combines separate lightweight and durable shells for a low profile fit that doesn’t compromise on safety. Up top you have Smith’s Bombshell ABS, and on the sights you’re wrapped in a lightweight In-Mold shell. Next, add new Aerocore construction to increase airflow and improve temperature regulation for fog-free vision and increased impact resistance. The key is new Koroyd, a revolutionary new material that absorbs more energy upon impact than most foams while increasing airflow via a honeycomb structure. Some 21 vents allow air to flow through the helmet, and a Boa fit system makes sure you’re comfortable — and protected — from first chair to last run.

Got a budding scientist in the family? Get them outside with the Meade Instruments Polaris 70mm telescope. This model offers everything the beginner needs for under a Benjamin. Three included eyepieces provide low, medium and high magnification, with a red dot finder helping you pick out and then focus on the heavens. A stable tripod is included, and the user-friendly equatorial mount makes it easy for even novice astronomers to track planets and stars throughout the night. Refractors remain the lowest maintenance, most durable telescopes on the market, and the Polaris line adds a solid build, so newbies don’t have to worry about damaging it while honing their stargazing skills. ?

Give your big buck hunter the gift of superior scouting with the new Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor Wireless Trail Camera. Completely wireless, this trail cam allows you to monitor and analyze patterns of 12-point bucks from your smartphone, tablet or computer. The motion sensor reaches to 60 feet, and with the touch of a button you can set the time-lapse to snap pics at intervals of one minute to one hour, night or day. It’s powered by 12 AA batteries (not included); one set should last three full months in the field, according to Bushnell. It also requires 3G data connectivity to beam these pics to the Cloud, so you’re also going to want to buy one of Bushnell’s prepaid data plans (Buy from Bushnell).

If the outdoorsman in your life likes to do it the old fashioned way, put a bow on these Bushnell Legend M Series binos. Getting the shot requires more than magnification — the best hunting binoculars must present wide fields of view for tracking animals in addition to brilliant contrast and color for spotting potential trophies. These binoculars rock ED Prime Extra-Low Dispersion fluorite glass engineered to eliminate chromatic aberrations and draw out contrast and color even in low-light morning and evening hunts. Dielectric roof-prism coatings have been found to allow 92 percent light transmission, and Bushnell’s Ultra Wide Band Coating transmits that full color spectrum all the way to the ocular lens. They’re waterproof, fogproof, and, critically, treated with new Rainguard HD coatings ensuring that you see your prey clearly in rain, sleet or snow.

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