If you’re looking for the perfect camping gift for the outdoors lover in your life, you’ve come to the right place.
In this gift list, we highlight cool camping gear that’s unique, fun, and versatile, and of course, we’re sharing the essential camping accessories that you can’t camp without too.
From tents and sleeping bags to cookware and camp chairs, we’ve got everything you need to make their (or your) next camping trip an amazing outdoor adventure.
So take a look at our list of the best camping gifts, and find the perfect present for your favorite camper, or alternatively visit our gifts for outdoorsy people guide for a broader range of outdoor gift ideas.
This cool camping gear list is sponsored by two of our favorite outdoor brands YETI & REI. Thank you for supporting us, so that we can create original content like this camping gift list.
The best camping gear to choose as a gift may depend on when they go on their camping trip
If the person you are buying a gift for is in the process of planning a camping trip, or they generally enjoy camping during all four seasons of the year, then you may consider camping gear that best suits the time of year for when their next trip is planned.
For example, camping in the Summer is a totally different experience than in the Fall so be sure to read our little sections below which give camping gear ideas with the time of year taken into consideration.
It’s also worth considering outdoor gifts that would be considered camping essentials as they’re versatile and will get the most use during a trip.
An example here would be a good quality, comfortable camping chair, or a sleeping bag for example.
Considerations when choosing the best camping gear to gift someone planning a Fall camping trip:
✓ The weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for both cold and warm days with the right clothing like merino wool base layers, for example.
✓ There will probably be fewer people camping in the fall too, so you may have more peace and quiet, WIN!
✓ The leaves will be changing color, making for a beautiful landscape, so take a camera with you to capture those moments!
✓ Some animals may be more active in the fall as they prepare for winter, so be aware of your surroundings.
Considerations when choosing gifts for someone planning a Winter camping trip:
✓ Be prepared for colder weather and pack accordingly. This means having extra blankets, warm clothing, and hand and foot warmers.
✓ Make sure your tent is properly insulated and that you have a good sleeping bag and don’t forget to buy a sleeping pad to lie on.
✓ Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia and frostbite. Know the symptoms and how to prevent and treat them.
✓ Be careful with fire. In cold weather, it is easy to get hypothermia from being wet and near a fire. Make sure your fire is in a safe place and keep an eye on it at all times.
✓ Be cautious when hiking in cold weather. Ice and snow can make trails slippery and dangerous. Stick to well-traveled trails and take your time.
Considerations when choosing gifts for someone planning a Spring camping trip:
✓ The weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for both warm and cold weather.
✓ Spring rains can make the ground muddy, so wear appropriate footwear.
✓ Be aware of potential flooding in areas that are prone to it.
✓ Ticks and other insects are active in the spring, so take precautions against them.
✓ Some plants are poisonous, so be sure to identify them before handling them.
Considerations when choosing gifts for someone planning a Summer camping trip:
✓ Be prepared for the heat and bring plenty of water.
✓ Wear sunscreen and insect repellent.
✓ Check for local fire bans before building a campfire.
Best Camping Gifts For Outdoor Lovers
In our Best Camping Gift list below, we are sharing our favorite camping gadgets that are generally cool, and extremely useful.
It’s also gear that we know anyone will enjoy because, well, we only recommend gear we’ve had great experiences with ourselves! Think of it as the Trail & Kale quality filter! 🙂
YETI Trailhead Camp Chair
A good camp chair is important when camping because it provides a comfortable place to sit, which can be especially helpful (and downright essential) after a long day of hiking.
Additionally, many camp chairs come with storage pockets that can be used to store small items like sunglasses, a phone, or more importantly a beer (or morning coffee, depending on the time of day ;))!
The YETI Trailhead Camp Chair is a great camping gift for those reasons but it also elevates you off the ground when spending time around the campfire, or simply relaxing at your campsite.
Anyone familiar with spending time outdoors will know that it’s so much more comfortable not sitting on the ground.
YETI’s sturdy Trailhead Camp Chair is a best-in-class seat designed for durability & comfort and packs down into the included carry bag making it easy to carry to your campsite or fishing location.
At first thought, a chair may seem like a bit of a boring present, but it’s one of the best camping accessories to give as a gift for all the benefits mentioned above.
It’s a wondrously sturdy camping chair (the most durable one we’ve tested to date), and it has that coveted dock for your drink on the right or left side without giving up armrest space.
Grayl GeoPress Water Filter and Purifier Bottle
You may need a water filter on a camp trip to ensure you’re drinking clean and safe water that will actually taste better too once it has passed through an activated carbon filter.
If you’re camping in a location that has a questionable water source, it’s best to use a portable water filter/purifier to protect yourself from potential illnesses.
A purifier takes that water-cleansing process one step further and will kill or remove protozoa, bacteria, and viruses from your water. This is an awesome camping gift because it’s affordable, and will get a ton of use over the years.
The Grayl GeoPress can filter 24oz of water in 8 seconds with one press, it’s very affordable, weighs less than 16oz (when empty), and can produce 250 liters (65 gallons) of clean drinking water with each replaceable water filter/purifier cartridge.
YETI Rambler Mug with MagSlider Lid
Camping mugs come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: They keep your hot coffee hot while you chill at the campsite, or go for a hike.
When they have a lid like the Rambler, your morning coffee will stay hotter for longer and bugs won’t be able to find their way in there.
YETI’s Rambler mug is made from stainless steel and is double-wall vacuum insulated to keep your coffee piping hot (or cold) for hours on end.
One of the unique things about this hot cup is the MagSlider Lid which helps prevent spillages.
At $30 the 14 fl. oz Rambler mug makes for the perfect camping gift.
BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern
There’s no electricity (or artificial lighting) when you’re camping, depending on how luxurious your campsite is or if you’re camping totally off-grid, so unless you have a portable power station to power some fairy lights around your site, then you’ll need a portable lighting solution like one of these camping lanterns.
Having a headlamp, flashlight, or camping lantern will allow you to illuminate your way when you go to the toilet in the middle of the night so that you don’t go off the beaten path inadvertently – it’s a campers best friend at night.
Camping lights like this one can be really helpful when you’re getting ready for bed too, or when you’re cooking dinner and need to see what you’re doing while having your hands free.
Another great thing about these fun camping accessories is that they can keep bugs away from where you’re camping. This is especially important if you’re camping with kids, as bugs can often be a nuisance and turn a fun trip into a Lampoon vacation! haha.
The BioLite AlpenGlow 500 lantern (which also comes in a cute 250-lumen size) is our favorite camping lantern as it is reasonably priced, and is the most versatile rechargeable LED camping lantern capable of adjustable dimming, light temperature, and colors – it is the clear winner out of all our lantern reviews over the years.
It can also charge other smart devices with its onboard USB socket, and it has a long battery life between charges.
To learn more about this awesome camping lantern, read my BioLite AlpenGlow review next.
EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station WITH Solar Charger | Cool Camping Gear Idea
A portable power station is worth having on a camping trip so that you can charge your phone, camera, or any other electronic devices you may need while out in the wilderness.
They are also great for powering lights or small appliances and other electrical camping gear including your smart dog’s collar (GPS dog tracker).
T&K TOP TIP: use it to inflate your stand-up paddle board with an electric pump – game changer!
An EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station is a great investment for anyone looking for a reliable and durable battery bank that can also be turned into a solar generator simply by adding one of their solar panel add-ons.
The RIVER weighs only 11lbs, and has all the charging ports you could want including 3 600W AC outlets and 288 Watt hour capacity to power up to 10 devices simultaneously.
The most unique feature, however, is that with Ecoflow’s patented X-Stream Technology and a smart inverter, it can be recharged from 0 to 80% in less than 1 hour and gets fully charged in 1.6 hrs.
We love our Ecoflow portable power stations and take them with us on all our adventures.
If you’re camping for more than a couple of days and nights, definitely look into getting a solar panel to connect to it, so you’ll never be left without electricity, solar panels like these will even generate a charge on a cloudy day.
ENO DoubleNest Hammock | Super Fun Camping gift
A camping hammock is one of those great items of camping gear that most campers sometimes overlook when packing for a camping trip.
A camping hammock is lightweight and portable, easy to set up, and provides a comfortable place to relax during the day, or even at night for stargazing with the family.
The ENO DoubleNest Hammock is spacious enough for two people with a maximum weight capacity of 400lbs, and is beautifully constructed with a durable yet soft FreeWave™ fabric that packs down small when not in use.
All you need to consider when setting up a hammock is that you’ll need two trees in order to put it up.
This camping hammock weighs only 1 lb. 3 oz. and packs down into a small bag that can be easily grabbed with one hand, and stuffed into a backpack – this makes packing for your road trip a more enjoyable experience when you have other, larger camping gear to carry.
Personally, I think $75 is inexpensive for a camping gift that you can potentially use too, with the gift’s recipient. Top rated camping gear like this will make you both love camping even more.
Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight 18F Sleeping Bag
Sleeping bags and sleeping pads are important items of camping gear and essential for all camping trips when you’re sleeping in a cozy tent as temperatures will tend to drop considerably so you need to be wrapped in a well-insulated sleeping bag.
If you’re looking to get really cozy with your gift recipient, you’ve got to check out our favorite double sleeping bags and sleeping pads for couples – so much fun! 😉
The cold will transfer over to your body when in contact with the floor, so make sure you research comfortable inflatable sleeping pads to lie on (our buyer’s guide linked to above will help with that), or consider a sleeping cot as an alternative.
The Helinox brand manufactures some excellent sleeping cots, if you’d prefer to go that route – also available at REI.
The Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight 18F sleeping bag is designed for late spring to early fall use, and is our lightweight pick for ounce-counting backpackers. It serves up easy ventilation and cozy comfort.
For an even warmer 3-season sleeping bag, check out the Spark Ultralight 5F instead.
YETI Hopper Flip 18 Soft Cooler | Cool Camping Gear, Literally
A hard or soft cooler is a great investment for outdoor lovers, especially during the summer months.
While a good quality hard sided cooler like the YETI Tundra will keep your food and drinks cold for much longer than traditional coolers, a soft cooler bag is a perfect option for camping, fishing, picnics, or day trips where you need an easy-to-carry cooler for a day or so.
YETI is a well-known and respected brand in the world of soft coolers, and their Hopper Flip 18 is a great option for anyone looking for a durable, high-performing cooler bag. Its volume accommodates the provisions you need for a weekend camping trip in the great outdoors.
Sure this is a pricey camping gift but in my experience, you always get what you pay for when it comes to YETI products.
REI Co-op Half Dome SL 3+ Tent with Footprint
A good quality tent provides shelter from bad weather and insects and is one of the more important camping accessories to have in your camping gear lineup.
Tents also provide a place to store your belongings and keep them safe while you’re out exploring the great outdoors.
The Half Dome SL 3+ tent is over a pound lighter than its famed predecessor and because it’s so lightweight (minimum trail weight is 4 lbs. 13 oz), it doesn’t limit them to car camping only as it can easily be carried to a remote location for camping.
This camping or backpacking tent is great for up to three campers who appreciate some extra room (or two people and a dog, which is how we roll here at Trail & Kale).
This lightweight tent is also very intuitive to set up and also has storage pockets on the inside to keep you all organized on your upcoming camping trips.
If you think a tent for the car may be a better option for you or them, have a read of our best roof top tents for cars buyer’s guide next or our lightweight backpacking tents guide for multi-day hiking trips.
Nomadix Ultralight Towel
Quick-drying towels make for unique camping gear that’s hard to live without once you experienced them. I know it’s camping and all but you still need to wash! 🙂
Quick-drying towels like this Nomadix towel are useful because they’re so lightweight and pack down much smaller than traditional towels, giving you more space in your backpack for other things.
Oh, and due to their microfiber material, they dry much faster too, which keeps that wet-towel smell away for longer. Nomadix has so many great designs and patterns to choose from, check them all out below.
YETI Lowlands Blanket | Perfect Shareable Camping Gift
Insulated blankets are just as useful at home as they are by the campfire on a cool evening. The YETI Lowlands Blanket is one of those fun camping accessories that can be shared with the family as it’s 79 x 55 inches in size.
This machine washable blanket also has durable water repellent properties on one side so you can stay outdoors and keep dry when light showers roll in.
Dogs can enjoy this durable water resistant blanket too as it repels dirt and burrs, and easily shakes off pet hair. The warmth to weight ratio on this puffy blanket is great.
A great alternative to the YETI Lowlands blanket would be Rumpl Original Puffy Blankets – they come in a plethora of cool patterns and colors to choose from but don’t have a waterproof design.
To learn more about camping blankets and the best brands that make them, read our camp blankets buyer’s guide next.
Eureka Ignite Plus 2-Burner Camp Stove
This cool camping gear is for campers who take themselves for a bit of a chef. Having a camping stove is pretty important if you want to have enjoyable meals.
Sure campers can use a portable fire pit like the BioLite Firepit+ to cook some meals over flames or on the griddle (things like hot dogs or burgers), or a dual-fuel portable pizza oven if you’re especially fancy (and you want one of the best porch parties on the campsite – people just love pizza, haha) but a camping stove allows you to cook more tradition meals cooked in pots and pans.
Note: you’re totally allowed to rock up to a car camping campsite with a fire pit AND a camp stove if that’s what you want to do!
This Eureka camp stove weighs only 12lbs and helps you create culinary masterpieces while camping. The Plus sizing is perfect for group camps but for something more minimal, see our backpacking camp stove buyer’s guide.
This is a great camping gift to give someone who you’d like to make a good meal for you, lol.
REI Co-op Trail 40 Backpack
A backpack allows you to carry your smaller supplies and equipment with you when you go on hiking trips and they provide an additional layer of organization in the day-to-day – there’s nothing worse than forgetting where you put your flashlight for example!
A good backpack will distribute the weight of your gear evenly, so it’s important to choose one that is the correct size with backpack straps that fit your body properly.
The REI Co-op Trail 40 Backpack is a great option because it is durable, comfortable, and has plenty of space to store your belongings with pockets with enough room for water bottles or a Bluetooth speaker for example.
I love the built-in loops on the pack which allow you to clip things like a cap or water bottle to the backpack when you’re on an adventure.
This backpack gives you easy access to your camping gear items and has tons of handy organizer pockets, all for the reasonable price of $129 – bargain!
To learn more about packs, read our best daypacks and backpacking backpacks buyer’s guides next.
YETI Rambler Vacuum Bottle with Chug Cap | Useful Camping Gift
This 36 fl. oz. insulated water bottle from YETI is a year round backpacking and camping accessory that makes for the perfect camping gift. 36 fl. oz is the perfect size for exploring the wilderness for the day.
It carries enough water to keep you going and because it’s insulated, if you put some ice in there before you head into the mountains or plan to follow a trail route, your water will stay ice cold for the whole day – even in very warm weather.
You can hang this from your backpack too with a carabiner as it has that awesome built in loop on the top.
Being made from stainless steel, It’s also incredibly rugged and durable and has a very secure seal to stop water leaking out, or the elements from getting in.
BioLite HeadLamp 425
A good headlamp will really enhance your wilderness getaway, from low light backcountry nature hikes to reading in your tent after dark.
BioLite is our favorite brand when it comes to headlamps because they’re not pricey yet they have an incredible amount of features, put out a high lumen value (lots of light), are very tough, are waterproof, lightweight, and have a very long battery life.
The HeadLamp 425 (reviewed here) is the most popular headlamp from BioLite for all the reasons outlined above, they also have a HeadLamp 800 Pro which is super bright and runs for extended periods.
REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0
This down jacket from REI Co-op features 850-fill-power goose down which will keep you warm in even the coldest of conditions.
It features REI’s warmest, lightest insulation and a tough Pertex® ripstop shell, and is extremely packable making it perfect for cold backcountry adventures.
It’s a pretty luxury item but it’s so huge for any backpacker or camper who isn’t the sort of person to let the weather get in the way of an adventure. More photos of this awesome insulated jacket can be found by clicking the link above.
For a rain jacket that’s totally waterproof, check out REI’s affordable Rainier Rain Jacket which costs less than $100 – it uses a peak 2.5-layer waterproof breathable laminate technology to keep you dry.
AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press
The AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press is thoughtfully engineered to provide all the delicious brewing capabilities you or your recipient deserves while camping.
It includes a convenient drinking mug that doubles as a carrying case too and brews remarkably delicious American, espresso and cold-brew style coffee.
If they’re anything like me, nothing happens until I’ve had my coffee in the morning – so this is the best camping gear for someone who loves coffee.
Additional camping supplies a first time camper may need (More camping gift ideas)
- A First Aid Kit – The VSSL First Aid Stash Kit is a good choice here.
- A camp kitchen – bowls and mugs of various sizes can be bought as sets. This could be a great gift for him or her if they enjoy cooking up camp meals for breakfast or dinner. Camp kitchens sometimes come with collapsible tables too.
- Walkie Talkies – stay connected with the family even when your cell phone has no service. If your group splinters off for the day to do different activities like trekking, biking, paddleboarding or backpacking trips, it’s a great idea to stay connected with walkie-talkies. These are great if kids or friends are sleeping in a different tent to you – as you’ll be able to communicate without having to leave your tent in the middle of the nights.
- Insulated booties / hiking boots/shoes / hiking sandals
- A Can Opener
- Merino wool base layers will help you stay warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather and are comfortable when layered during the day or to help regulate temperature when you sleep.
- Wine tumblers
- A smart GPS dog tracker like our dog’s collar, the Fi GPS collar. Read our Fi Collar review to learn how this can keep your dog safe while camping.
- Spare batteries – for those battery operated walkie talkies and other gadgets that you may have with you.
- Cutting boards
- A collapsible sink – you may be having crazy amounts of fun on your trip but bowls and silverware unfortunately still need a wash after use – sorry to be a downer here.
- Food (this could include surprise s’mores for cooking on the open fire)
- Water (lots and lots of water)
- An emergency whistle – in case you need help
- Bug spray