Outdoor Gear and Gifts We Love

Camping gear and hiking gear make perfect gifts for those who adventure. That’s why we’ve put together this collection of things we use and love; to help you find just the right item for everyone on your list. And hopefully for you as well.

The links in this post are sponsored and we may earn a fee if you make a purchase through them. They help make possible our podcast, blog, and social posts. Thank you for your support.

Also, listen to our companion episode of The Dear Bob and Sue Podcast where we discuss many of the items in this guide.

Kuju Coffee
This is a great pour over coffee product that is easy to use and clean up afterwards, especially if you’re backpacking or camping. The folks at Kuju Coffee sent us samples of their product to try out – thank you. They make a great cup of joe.

GAIA GPS: Hiking and Off-Road Maps
This app has literally saved us from becoming lost in the wilderness more than once. With our special 20% discount code, the annual Premium subscription is only $31.99.

Delorme Atlas and Gazetteer
Half the joy of a road trip is looking at the map. Prices vary by state. Example below.

UBeesize Phone Tripod with remote
Always one of the most popular gift items each year. Price is about $15.99.

Small Portable Phone Charger
There are many times backpacking when we just need one extra phone charge. These small chargers do the trick and are lightweight. Price is about $13.99.

Carhartt Men’s Knit Cuffed Beanie
Carhartt Men’s Watch Hat
Carhartt Women’s Lookout Hat
Super-popular and very practical. Everyone needs a beanie. Shown here is the cuffed beanie, but check out all three links for the different styles. Wide range of prices from about $15 and up.

North Face Women’s Recycled Etip Gloves
These lightweight gloves are easy to carry with you anywhere and allow you to use your phone’s touchscreen without taking them off. Prices range from around $45 to $60.

Darn Tough Socks
These are the best socks we’ve ever worn. Period. And they seem to last forever. Well worth the price for a product with a lifetime guarantee. Photo here shows just a couple examples of their huge selection of styles. Prices vary.

Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking Backpack
A great pack for day hikes. High quality, comfortable, just the right size. Price: $100.

Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole(R) Mini Hip Pack 1L
Yep, fanny packs are back folks. Get ’em before they’re all gone. Price: about $29

Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction System
Do not take these out of your backpack, ever. Easy to put on, fantastic traction, lightweight. Price: about $69.95.

Black Diamond Frontpoint Gaiters
They keep the snow out of our boots when snowshoeing or hiking. Price: about 69.95.

Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
Durable, light, and easy to adjust. Women’s model shown here. Price: $109.95

MSR Lightning™ Ascent Snowshoes
These are our favorite snowshoes. They come in several colors and lengths. Generally, the more you weigh, the longer the snowshoe you buy. Price: $325.95

Solo Stove Bonfire (about $299 on sale)
Solo Stove Ranger (about $230)
We have three different models so we’re covered for all occasions. Bonfire model shown here.

Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter
You might wonder why you need one of these until you start using it. Then you won’t be able to stop. I’m addicted. Price: Large $114.99, Extra-large $124.99. Large model shown here.

S.O.L. Fire Lite Fuel Free Rechargeable Lighter
It won’t run out of fuel and the wind can’t blow it out. It’s my new favorite fire toy. Price: $24.99

LEATHERMAN FREE P4 (about $140)
LEATHERMAN Wingman (about $60)
When you need it, you need it. And you better have it. We’ve listed a couple of models and different price points. Model shown here in the Free P4.

S.O.L. Stoke Camp Hatchet
Sturdy, lightweight hatchet for backpacking or general use around camp. Price: about $34.99

YETI Rambler 14 oz Mug
Insulated with slider lid. Indestructible and stylish. Price: $29.98

YETI Rambler 10 oz Wine Tumbler with lid
Unless you are drinking right out of the bottle, you gotta put your wine somewhere. This insulated metal tumbler is perfect for traveling and around the campfire. Price: 24.98

YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler with lid
One of Yeti’s most popular Ramblers. Available in a whole bunch of colors. Price $29.98

Hydro Flask 25 oz. Wine Bottle – Vacuum Insulated
Perfect size to hold an entire (750ml) bottle of wine when traveling, camping, backpacking, or hiking. Price varies by color. We found this watermelon version on Amazon for under $30.

Hydro Flask Insulated Food Jar with Leak Proof Cap
I bought this just because it looks cool. Now I put soup or chili in it and throw it in my backpack when we snowshoe. Price: about $40

20-ounce model shown

Jetboil Flash Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking System
Great for boiling water for meals and coffee while backpacking. I also use mine to make coffee when traveling. Price: about $150

Titanium Long-Handled Spoon
Titanium so it’s durable and light. Long-handled so you can reach the bottom of your freeze-dried meal pouches when backpacking. Price: $9.95

Stanley Adventure All-in-One, Boil + Brewer French Press Coffee Maker
Your best bet for making french pressed coffee while backpacking. Makes about 24 oz. of coffee. Price: $24.99

Helinox Chair One Original
A lightweight comfortable chair is an absolute must-have item when backpacking. Price: about $100

ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair
Best combination of durability, weight, size, and comfort – in our opinion. The rafting company OARS has used these on the river trips for years, so we know they’ve been stress tested and have made the grade. Price: about $75

Lifetime 24″ Folding Table
Marketed as a child’s table, this sturdy small table is perfect for camping or impromptu happy hours at your favorite national park pull out. Price about $50

ENERGIZER LED Headlamp Flashlight
Price: about $15.99

3M Safety Sunglasses
Inexpensive, lightweight, and fashionable. And I don’t have to worry about losing or breaking them. Win, win, win, win, win. Price: about $15 for a pack of four

Smokey Bear Only You Puzzle
Does this say “family fun,” or what? Price: about $35

National Parks Puzzle
The perfect entertainment for snowy cold days by the fire. Price: about $30

Patagonia Men’s Nano Puff(R) Jacket
My favorite puffy jacket. 100% recycled polyester shell sheds moisture. Also comes in a hoody version for fifty bucks more. Price for jacket: about $200


Patagonia Women’s Nano Puff(R) Jacket
Similar to the men’s but more fitted. Also come in hoody version. Price: about $200


Patagonia Houdini Jacket Women’s
Patagonia Houdini Jacket Men’s
It’s hard to believe this lightweight jacket that packs down to almost nothing can keep us so warm. But it does. Available in several colors. Price $99


Patagonia Black Hole Duffel
Ours go on every trip with us. Variety of sizes. The 55-liter (shown here for $139) is perfect for 1-3 night trips.

Model 55L

Black Hole® Gear Tote 61L
We use ours to keep groceries and snacks in one place in the truck on road trips. You will find a million uses for yours. Price: $99

Therm-A-Rest Z Seat
We take these on every hike. Soooo much better than sitting on sharp rocks, mud, or snow during snack/lunch breaks. Price: $15.95

Therm-A-Rest Z Lite SOL™ Sleeping Pad
Lightest, most compact closed-cell foam pad with boosted warmth. Many uses besides a sleeping pad – like nap time on a long day hike.
Price: $35.95 – 45.95

Therm-A-Rest Stellar™ Blanket with Bison Design
These synthetic-filled camp blankets are perfect for when you need a little bit more cozy. And it has a bison on it! Price: $79.95

RTIC 65 QT Hard Cooler
OVERBUILT. NOT OVERPRICED. Great hard-sided cooler that’ll keep your stuff cold for a long, long time. Price: about $250 for this 65-quart model when on sale at Amazon

RTIC 20 Soft Cooler
This 20-can model is perfect for day activities, but also keeps food and beverages cold long enough for a several-day outing. Price: about $120

Nalgene BPA-Free Water Bottle 16 ounce
Nalgene BPA-Free Water Bottle 32 ounce
32-ounce model shown. Price: about $11 and up depending on size and color

SteriPen Ultra UV Water Purifier
Purifies water with UV light. Weighs so little I keep it in my pack always. This model has a rechargeable battery. Price: about $80

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Place bottom of straw in water and suck it through the purifying filter. Simple and lifesaving. Another lightweight item to keep in your pack always. Price: about $18

Small First Aid Kit for Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Travel, Vehicle, Outdoors
One of the ten essentials. Model shown here was on Amazon for $13.75

One Man’s Wilderness
Dick Proenneke’s diary about building a cabin and living in the wilds of Alaska, 50th Anniversary Edition. Price: about $18

Alone in the Wilderness
The video documentary version of Dick Proenneke’s Alaskan adventure. Price: about $28.50

America the Beautiful Annual Pass
Check out our Mailbag! podcast episode #54 where we talk about this and all the versions of the pass that are available. Price: exactly $80

Books by Matt and Karen Smith
Heck yeah! This is the best stocking stuffer, birthday gift, thank you gift, just-thinking-about-you gift you’re gonna find. — in our opinion. Buy them all! Prices vary depending on whether Amazon discounts them – range is about $10 to $16
Dear Bob and Sue (the first in the series)
Dear Bob and Sue Season Two
Dear Bob and Sue Season Three
Dories, Ho!

27 Replies to “Outdoor Gear and Gifts We Love”

    1. Hampton Inn. Ha ha just kidding – kind of. We had a couple of days of blowing sand on our Colorado River float trip and the only thing that helped was a small tent with a rain fly to have at least one place we could get out of the wind and sand. I made sure to take a pair of glasses I could wear because the sand got into my eyes and I wear contacts. The glasses saved me. I also carry a pair of non-tinted safety glasses that I wear when there is blowing sand. These saved me when we hiked MT St Helens – they kept the ash out of my eyes. I’d also have bandanas to wear across your face. I found open-toed shoes – like water shoes – are helpful when hiking up sand dunes. Otherwise, the sand will fill up your shoes/boots and is extremely uncomfortable. For that, you could also try hiking gaiters – short ones, not the kind for snow – to keep sand out of your shoes. Hope this helps.

  1. Let people know about roadid.com for a lifesaving device. if someone should happen to fall while on a trail somewhere,
    at least they have some kind of ID on them!

  2. I bought several Ubeesize phone tripods as stocking stuffers last year thanks to your list. They were so well received by my family & friends that I bought one for myself! I’m glad to see it as part of this year’s list as well. Great product!

  3. Great list! Of course, I think the books should be at the top of the list because they are how I found you two in the beginning! 🙂

  4. Just listened to the podcast with the blog post open so I could see the items! My Christmas list has just expanded! Bought my husband the phone tripod last year based off your suggestion and we love it! Thanks so much – it’s such a pleasure listening to your travels!

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