The Camping Gear Gift Guide : 2018 Edition

Our Second and Final List for 2018: The 2018 Edition of the Camping Gift Guide!


Struggling to find a gift for that dad, soon to be dad, wife, mom, husband, grandfather, friend, or pretty much anyone else in your life?  Do they have hobbies that cause your eyes to glaze over when brought up in regular conversation?  Do they spend more time outside than inside?  Well then, do I have the gift ideas for you! 

Yes, these lists arrived later than everyone else’s wish list.  Why you may ask?  I don’t like it when the Christmas decorations go up after back to school shopping or Halloween.  I guess I’m a December 1st is the start of the holiday season, whichever holiday or days you may celebrate, kind of guy.  I’m a Christmas guy myself and you won’t catch me putting up decorations until the first or second week of December.  I need to let all of the tryptophan work its way out of my system from Thanksgiving.  Yep, that is still a thing you greedy retailers!

Take a look below at the different categories with several ideas in each and wrap up that cumbersome shopping list!  I’ll include a few links too. Those links will take you to some of our favorites in each category (psst..we might receive small percentage of the purchase if you click through the website.  We appreciate it greatly!).

Safety First!

First Aid Kits and Supplies:

If your gift is for someone camping with the kiddos, or an immature adult, you will need this eventually, but hopefully for nothing more than a splinter or bee sting.  I am far from a doctor or EMT, so perhaps an expert could chime in in the comments with suggestions, please.

Help Them Shed Some Light on the Situation:

When out in the woods, especially if you haven’t camped much before, things get surprisingly dark. As in, I can’t see my hand in front of my face kind of dark.  If you forgot some lights, it is a bit unnerving.  Bring along a couple flashlights and head lamps.  Also, don’t just bring/buy the rechargeable types, having replaceable batteries is a good thing since we all forget to charge things before a trip. Also, bright colors (except greens) are nice when you drop your flashlight or headlamp in the woods, think yellows, oranges, etcetera.

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp, Octane
Black Diamond Equipment LTD

Help Them Help Smokey:

A fire extinguisher, yes, I know, a bit overkill, but I do keep at least one in the Jeep.  Even if you never need it, you may have the chance to help someone else who is having car troubles (electrical fire?) or their campfire got a little out of hand.  Trust me, it’ll feel pretty cool to show up as the prepared dude or gal that saves the day! If it will be used for their car, I highly recommend a Halguard fire extinguisher. It performs better and won’t corrode all electrical components like a typical fire extinguisher which might end up totaling the car anyways. Keep in mind that the Halguard extinguisher is MUCH more expensive.

the Short and Sweet Budget Friendly List

A quick list of cheap, but useful, ideas:

Fire Starters:

Magnesium flint strikers, Esbit tablets, compressed saw dust and many more options to help any type of camper from the novice weekender to the person who only owns flannel and books on survival and bushcraft.

Thermocell or Thermocell Refills:

These things really do work great as long as there is little to no wind, but honestly if there is a decent breeze bugs usually aren’t a problem.

Starbucks Via Packs:

Check Costco as they usually have great deals on packs.

Starbucks (or ANY other local coffee house) Gift Cards:

A great gift for anyone, the mailman, school bus driver, your local bike shop, etcetera.

For the Caffeinated Camper

Coffee Makers


A Cult favorite, but I still haven’t mastered it.  One day...

Stanley or Snow Peak Percolator:

Old school, but the coffee tastes great.

Snow Peak Titanium French Press:  

A very cool option that makes great coffee, but then again, what is made of titanium that isn’t great? Be sure to use a coarsely ground coffee or you may get some grinds in your cup. No big deal, but some people HATE when that happens. I’m ok with any coffee, even cowboy coffee, as long as there is coffee! Which reminds me, I need a cup of coffee…

GSI, Snow Peak, Chemex, etc. Pour Over Style Coffee:

So many choices for this slow, yet traditional and tasty way to make a cup or more and no, it doesn’t make you a hipster unless you want it to.

A Starbucks Gift Card:

Pressed for time?  As previously mentioned, a gift card from a favorite coffee shop always works for those thank you gifts for neighbors, the school bus driver, mailman, etc.

Give Them the Beans!

A Coffee Club Subscription will expand their coffee horizons

A Bag of Beans:

Encourage them try something new!  You can always also buy a bag of their favorite beans, or a coffee grinder, or both!

For the Camp Chef

(or at least for the person who wants to graduate from hot dogs and backed beans (not that there is anything wrong with that)).

A Good Knife (pocket, fixed blade or chef knife):

Check out offerings from Benchmade, Spyderco, MSR, etc., the choices are endless.  A few of our favorites that we still currently use are linked below.  Use them for cooking, shaving kindling from a log, opening dehydrated food packets or as a toothpick after a tasty meal (we don’t actually recommend that last one).

MSR Alpine Kitchen Knife, Green
Cascade Designs Inc.

A Spice Holder:

Spices, an easy way to make any meal tastier with little effort.  Try a purpose made container and avoid having chili powder everywhere when the ziplock 'spice bag' breaks. FYI, it looks much larger on the inter-webs, in real life it is perfect even for the backpacking chef.

Cooking Utensils:

If you’re backpacking you may want to watch the weight and size on this one.  GSI makes a great, compact all in one kit.  For car camping, all bets are off and the choices are endless.

Cooking Pots and Pans Set:

Many choices here, but Stanley makes a great kit if you happen to be car camping and check out cool titanium and lightweight sets from Snowpeak, MSR, etcetera.

Dishes/Eating Utensils:

Check out a few options we like, listed below, that would make great gifts.

Camp Stove (Car or Backpacking):

Car camping?  Go with the tried and true Coleman stove, simple, no gadgets or wizardry and cheap!  Backpacking or Bikepacking?  Check out offerings from Primus, MSR, Snow Peak, Esbit, JetBoil and more.  

Coleman Stove Ppn 2 BRN Ml Triton
The Coleman Company, Inc.

Dehydrated Meals (for the anti-chef or hiker):

Trust me on this one, if your camper is going on a trip soon, pick up some mountain house meals.  They are far and away the best dehydrated meal option.  They are tasty and come in large portions.  I am quite partial to the breakfast skillet, biscuits and gravy, and the chili mac with beef, yummo!

Water Bottles:

Don’t forget to hydrate regularly with some high quality H2O.  The tried and true Nalgene bottles make a great stocking stuffer.  Camelbak has some nice options as well.

Nalgene WM 1 QT Pomegranate Bottle, 32 oz
Liberty Mountain Sports LLC

The Gift of Relaxation


Two words (or one word and one acronym, and the one word isn’t technically a word, but I digress…) ENO DOUBLENEST, trust me, so comfortable and even more so when solo.  ENO also offers mosquito nets, rain flys, hammock comforters, pillows and more.  If they already have a hammock there are plenty of accessories for you to choose from!

Camp Chairs:

Bag chairs are great to keep in the car for camping, tailgating, school events and more.  Take it one step further on the cool scale and check out camp chair offerings from Helinox (Big Agnes) that are light weight and might even fit in your glove box.

Insulated Cups:

Those stainless, insulated cups and bottles you always see the cool kids drinking from are useful for everyone, in the summer, winter or any other time you want to keep drinks hot or cold for hours.  A quick tip:  Buy the stainless, unpainted options from Hydroflask and others so you can still wash them in the dishwasher.  We have a few powder coated bottles that are starting to bubble and peel.


From a simple Coleman to high end models from Yeti and Pelican.  You can even get a 12V powered cooler that will keep drinks and more cold as long as your battery lasts from ARB, Dometic, Smittybilt and more.

LED Light Strings: 

We’re currently using the light strings below.  They work great and will light up your campsite or patio perfectly.

Camping Games:

Endless options here, maybe a fancy set of cards, board games or outdoor games like Bocce Ball and Ladder Toss.

Bluetooth Speaker:

The market for bluetooth speakers has exploded in recent years.  We really like the speakers we have from Anker and Ultimate Ears, but other companies like Bose, JBL and more are jumping on the modern day boom box trend as well.

A Really Nice Hatchet: 

I know, if you’re not into camping this seems a bit sketchy, but hear me out.  A good hatchet can become an irreplaceable tool to a regular camper.  With a hatchet, one can cut smaller branches for firewood, split kindling off a larger log, pound in tent stakes, shave and more!  The option below is currently on my Amazon wish list, wink wink, nod nod...


With that, thanks for reading and stopping by We hope this article gave you some holiday, or any other occasion, gift ideas. As always, if you don’t see something listed that should be, or even a mistake, please let us know. Also, check back for our Amazon Store coming soon!