Do you have an outdoor adventurer in your life? You know, the kind who heads straight to the great outdoors once the work week ends. Her camping gear is usually already packed in the car trunk, and her only stop along the way out of town is to pick up her dog. Buying the perfect gift for your camper might seem like a challenge, but here are some great ideas for what you can put under the tree this year.
First aid kits
Even the most experienced camper or hiker can get hurt out on the trail, so first aid items for both humans and dogs make for great kits. You can buy a kit, with a cleverly-designed, lightweight pack from any number of outfitters.
Or, if you like to give custom, handmade gifts, you can assemble one yourself. Find a small, lightweight backpack or carrier case and load it with a mylar space blanket, alcohol, bandages, medical tape, gauze pads, aspirin, Benadryl pills, itch cream, antibiotic ointment and sunscreen.
If your friend routinely takes her dog into the wilderness, consider adding an extra space blanket and antiseptic spray. You can also buy thoughtfully assembled dog first aid kits that put together all the things an injured dog might need.
A Lifestraw bottle
Perhaps the gravest danger to a distance hiker or camper is dehydration. Show you care by giving the outdoor adventurer in your life a Lifestraw. The Lifestraw is a lightweight and easy to use water filtration device that can be reused for at least a year.
It filters water with iodine and makes any water, from stream, lake, or mud puddle safe to drink. It takes up very little space in a backpack, ensuring that it won’t be left behind because it’s too heavy or bulky.
Super lightweight gear
Every camper needs a floodlight, a four-burner stove and a studio apartment. Unfortunately, those things are way too heavy to pack. The secret of a sensational gift is something small, lightweight and extremely useful. If it can fulfil multiple functions, all the better.
A headlamp makes a good gift because when it’s worn on the head, it doesn’t add to pack weight. It leaves hands free to do other important work, like stake a tent. Furthermore, campers and hikers sometimes find themselves lost in the dark, despite all the best preparations.
Lightweight and super thermal clothes are a godsend to anyone who hikes mountains. Even on a summer day, temperatures can plummet unpredictably. Look for synthetic fabrics, merino wool, bamboo, and treated silk. Those materials have been vetted by outdoorsmen for being comfortable, light and protective.
Also look for fabrics that are marketed as “moisture wicking.” These materials move sweat from the inside of the fabric to the outside, keeping the wearer dryer during exertion.
Books and games
People hike for the challenge, the views, the exercise. But at some point, a hiker may want to work out the analytical part of her mind. Here are some good gifts for those rest stops and campfire moments:
- Miniaturized versions of popular games, like micro bocce and cribbage games. There are even travel-sized Scrabble games.
- A paperback copy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring written by the bird and nature lover who outlawed DDT.
- A paperback copy of Following Atticus, a memoir by someone who hiked mountain summits with his small dog.
With a little imagination, you can buy an amazing gift or two that will dazzle the hiker or camper in your life. Just put yourself in her well-worn hiking boots, and brave the world of camping gear. You’re bound to find the perfect give that shows how much you care.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.