Gift ideas for outdoorsy people

Christmas present ideas for that tricky adventurous person on your list

There’s always one. That person who is always a bit untidy, always either just off on or back from an adventure. They are always a pain to buy for, and you are never really sure what they would actually want… but we’re here to help!
We are in the lucky position of getting to play and try out dozens of outdoor gadgets, pieces of equipment and other useful outdoor ‘things’. We know which ones are really good – and which ones are a bit… rubbish. We can be pretty confident that there is something in the list below that will be suitable for the person you’re buying for.

And if you’re the outdoorsy person looking to put something on your wish list then you might find inspiration here!

The items below are some of the best outdoor gadgets we can personally recommend – even if some of them have been around for a few years now. This isn’t one of those blog posts where a website just lists the last five things they saw at a trade show or in a press release – each and every thing on the list is something we use ourselves regularly and are happy to put our name to.

Finally, may we also suggest a gift voucher for one of our ever-popular Foraging, Bushcraft or other outdoor courses?

Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker

I’ve been using one of these for around a year now and I can honestly say it’s one thing that I will always try and find room for in my kit bag. It can be used pretty much anywhere you have access to recently-boiled water and a mug. The simple piston action and filter discs are really simpel to use, and make some great coffee. It’s also lightweight, rugged and doesn’t take up much room.

PEDCO Ultrapod 2

We reviewed this a little while ago and it impressed us all. It’s a small, folding travel tripod that supports a hefty weight and is suitable for most cameras up to and including DSLRs. It’s small enough to throw into the rucksack and really makes the difference when it comes to getting ‘the’ photo on a day in the moutains.

Life Venture Thermal Mug

Vacuum flasks have been accompanying people on adventures for decades, but they are not all created equal. Some of the metal ‘travel’ ones only work for a few hours, and you don’t necessarily get what you pay for. These thermal mugs are basically mini flasks, just enough for one person or a day trip. The solid design and lack of a handle makes them easy to slide into a pocket or the side of a bag – I was using one this morning taking sunrise landscape photos on Anglesey, stowing it in the lens pouch of my camera bag.

Ruffwear Webmaster Dog Harness

Dogs love mountains, forests and mud. A dog collar does the job, but it’s no help for lifting over stiles, into boats or just grabbing onto if they’re being a bit TOO adventurous. Most of our instructors and friends use a variation on the Ruffwear harnesses for their furry friends and they’re pretty much faultless.

Black Diamond Spot Head Torch

Not only is this a head torch I recommend, it’s the one I use almost daily! It’s powerful enough for running mountain tracks at night but light enough to be carried anywhere and not be noticed. It’s pretty much waterproof (up to 1m) so suitable for the finest British weather and has a simple button arrangement for different power levels. I don’t know what else I would want in a general-use head torch…

DD 3mx3m Tarp

This might not look like much, but it’s all anybody would need with a tarp. A tarp can be used in many different ways, as a shelter in its own right or as a cover for an outdoor ‘living space’ in front of a tent or strung between two trees (or even trekking poles). The DD tarps are not the lightest or most agile on the amrket, but they are rugged, simple and relatively inexpensive.

Kungix Tent Pegs

Again, not the sexiest of items but very useful! The pegs that come with even quite expensive tents bend and pull out under tension – these triangular-profile ones are suitable for stamping in with a boot and have a handy cord loop for easy removal.

Harveys Maps Jigsaw Puzzles

Harveys are famous for providing a high-quality and easily-read alternative to the OS maps for the popular walking areas of the UK. These jigsaw puzzles of their most popular mountain areas (Snowdonia, Lake District, Cairn Gorms, Glencoe and Skye Cuillins) are both infuriating and addictive at the same time. Whenever we have one out at home and friends come over they always end up engrossed in trying to match fiddly contour lines up…

Go Pro Hero Session

I acquired one of these cube-shaped adventure cameras about 6 months ago to replace a much older model and it’s done several trips with me and has yet to show any signs of abuse or maltreatment. It records 1080p HD footage at 60fps – which means good quality video clips at the push of a button. It can also be paired with a smartphone or tablet for fine control of the settings and as a remote control.

If that isn’t enough we have a whole category of blog posts about outdoor books that you need on your shelf!

On the loss of a friend.
RSBC on Ben Nevis - with Jon Culshaw

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