Gift Guide for Outdoor Adventure Lovers - 2020

Article by:
Julie A. Cockburn

The holiday season is upon us. And if you have an outdoor adventure lover on your gift list, you might be wondering what on earth an outdoorsy person would actually want. Here at Charles Cockburn Photography, we are all about outdoor adventures. So we’ve put together a gift guide for outdoor adventure lovers with a few of the items that we would personally love receiving as gifts, and that the outdoorsy people on your list are sure to love, too. 

Rustic gifts
Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Gifts under $50

Mt. Bachelor Poster - $

One of the most iconic locations in the Pacific Northwest, Mt. Bachelor is an outdoor adventure lover’s dream destination. The area is best known for its skiing, but is also home to miles of mountain biking and hiking, and is close to many alpine lakes with countless adventure options. If your outdoor adventure lover has ever spent any time in the Mt. Bachelor area, they are sure to appreciate our beautiful Mt. Bachelor poster. 

Learn more HERE.

Mt. Bachelor Poster

Smartwool hat for cool weather outings - $

Nothing beats wool for keeping warm and comfortable in cold, wet, or windy weather. And Smartwool (Amazon affiliate link) is the softest, most comfortable brand of activewear wool products available. A simple beanie is perfect for carrying in a pocket or pack without taking up a lot of space or weight and is easy to pop on when the weather turns nasty. 

Smartwool socks designed for their favorite sport - $

Everyone can always use more socks! This is especially true for those of us putting our socks through the rugged paces of the trails and slopes day in and day out. In my opinion, wool socks are the absolute best option for every activity. They keep your feet comfy - not too hot and not too cold, they are breathable and don’t seem to get that soggy feeling that other materials sometimes can, and they don’t get as stinky as other socks. 

If you are buying socks for your favorite outdoor adventurer, keep in mind that socks are designed for particular activities. Believe it or not, there is actually some engineering that goes into sock design! I used to think that this was gimmicky until I started trail running and discovered the blisters that can come from wearing the wrong type of socks. Getting the right type of sock is especially important for high-intensity activities, like skiing, hiking, and running (Amazon affiliate links), where the feet are doing a lot of work. 

Small, lightweight camp chair for keeping at the ready in the car - $

It’s always nice to have an extra place to sit near the car, whether for putting on gear before heading into the wild or relaxing with a bite to eat and a beverage after. See Amazon's selection HERE (Amazon affiliate link).

Trail guidebook - $

If your favorite trail lover is heading to a new area, a trail guidebook is a fantastic way to begin familiarizing themselves with the local trails. 

Amazon has a huge collection of guide books to get you started HERE (Amazon affiliate link).

Forest Service map covering their region of the world - $

While trail guidebooks are great for getting a general overview of an area, detailed Forest Service maps are excellent for discovering every possible trail, road, mountain, and valley in a region. Many Forest Service maps are printed on water-resistant paper, making them perfect for carrying along on an adventure, no matter the weather. The best ways to purchase a Forest Service map are to stop into your local Forest Service office or to order online at

Headlamp - $

Headlamps (Amazon affiliate link) are useful for so much more than just lighting a path. They are handy for reading at night, using as a flashlight to find small things in dark corners of a backpack, and for shining into the trees when creepy animal noises are surrounding camp!

Lifestraw or Lifestraw waterbottle - $

Water is heavy, and if an explorer is going into the wilderness for more than a day or so, carrying enough water becomes a challenge. Fortunately, the folks at LifeStraw have developed a range of lightweight, highly effective products to purify water on the fly. Hop over to Amazon to see their collection HERE.

Lifestraw from Amazon

Gifts under $200

Multi-tool or pocketknife - $ - $$

Everyone needs a small, handheld multi-tool that can do everything from cut a rope to open a bottle of wine in a pinch. They are perfect for carrying in a pack, stashing in the car, or simply having on hand for any situation. Multi-tools are also one of those things that seem to disappear with regularity, making them a great stocking stuffer for everyone, even the outdoor lover who already has everything. Amazon has a huge selection of multi-tools, from simple, inexpensive models, to top-of-the-line do everything under the sun models HERE.

Recreational area parking pass - $ - $$

Accessing the wilderness is rarely free. Most parks and trailheads require parking passes, usually sold as a single-day use pass or an annual pass. 

  • If your favorite adventurer is a frequent visitor to any of the national parks or federal lands, then an America the Beautiful national parks and federal recreational lands pass is the way to go. Learn more about it HERE 
  • If the state parks are where they hang out, then a state park entrance pass would be a great option. Every state is different, but a quick search online should reveal what is required for their particular state. Here is a great state by state overview of the state park pass systems at Trip Savvy HERE 
  • In addition to national and state park passes, many areas also have trail and wilderness access areas with their own parking pass system. Do an online search for local wilderness passes to learn about the options in the area. 

Gifts in a range of prices

A gift card to their favorite outdoor store - $ - $$$

Sometimes a gift card is really just the best choice! Let ‘em choose their own gift! 

An overnight stay in a yurt or luxury camp - $$ - $$$

This gift is perfect for an outdoor adventure-loving couple. Even the most rugged explorers sometimes like upgrading the tent and sleeping pad for a bit more luxury. Yurt camping and “glamping” has become very popular recently. Check out the huge selection of yurts on Airbnb to get a few ideas for a luxury camping retreat for your favorite outdoorsy couple.

If you are anywhere near Washington state, consider the yurts and domes on Orcas Island. We recently stayed in a yurt here and did a whole write-up about it HERE.

The Orcas Yurt at Doe Bay Resort |

Mountain print - $$ - $$$

Most of us can’t spend all of our time in the wilderness, so it’s nice to be able to bring a bit of the wilderness into our homes and offices. A stunning fine art print, reminding them of their favorite wilderness locations is the perfect gift for them to enjoy every day. 

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