Eight Outdoorsy Holiday Gift Ideas for Under $40

Gift ideas 1, 2 and 3.
Don't leave home without them!
With a month to go until the holiday season is upon us, it's time to start thinking about what to get the outdoors-person on your gift list. As much as we'd all love to give super cool gadgets like the GoPro Hero 3, ultra warm down sleeping bags, exotic trips, they aren't always in our budget. However, there are a few staples nearly everyone with a passion for playing outside will appreciate. I've chosen a few of my favorites for this holiday season.

A vessel to hold (the world's most important beverage) coffee ($39.99 and under). When it comes to getting your morning caffeine kick, it's more economical and environmentally friendly to BYO. For the coffee addict on your list, a vessel for carrying it around is an ideal gift. But the wrong choice can mean leaks, spills, and other unfortunate events for the gift recipient. I've found bullet mugs like this from Liquid Solutions are perfect for leak prevention. The steel, BPA-free vacuum bottle's lid doubles as a cup, and the separate sip lid makes it easy to drink without dumping coffee all over the place. There are similar models available from the amazing Eileen  Ringwald's store if you have a climber in mind, and from REI.

A durable, warm pair of liner gloves ($35.00). If the outdoors-person on your gift list gets outside during all four seasons, they're going to need a solid pair of gloves. The Stretch Merino Wool Glove Liners from Ibex are designed to be worn as a lightweight insulating liner under thicker gloves or mittens, but they can hold their own in just about any situation. I've worn them under ski gloves, under mittens for winter hikes, and on their own when I'm about town in the winter. I'd recommend these over other liners because merino wool keeps my hands warmer, plain and simple.

Absolutely love the Demerit Badges!
Some of my favorite things from recent reviews, including Climb On! Creme ($14.50-28.50) and Demeritwear (patches $3.95 each). I reviewed Climb On! Creme earlier this month and it still does wonders for my hands on a daily basis. I plan on getting tubes for both outdoorsy and non-outdoorsy folks on my list; it's a great product. And then, of course, there are the hundreds of cute, silly demerit badges from Demerit Wear. A week after I reviewed and gave away the badges in August, I bought several as stocking stuffers. Making a Christmas purchase four months in advance isn't my style; I just loved them that much.

One of the most versatile outdoor essentials - a reliable headlamp ($25.00 and under). I have a Petzl Tikkina 2 that stays in my camping essentials bag at all times, unless it's being used, of course. And it doesn't just make getting around outside in the dark easier. I've used it to find many a cat toy under furniture and more. The Tikkina 2 has been part of my gear stash for two years and I have yet to replace the battery. It's also available from REI and Amazon.

An amazing adventure-themed read (various, and potentially even free). Whether your gift recipient craves knowledge from books like Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills or loves living vicariously through pioneers like Arlene Blum and her non-fiction stories, a good book can be one of the best gifts. Currently, I have every single one of the books in this Reader's Choice post on my list. Then there's Finding Everett Ruess and Before They're Gone. If you have books on your list, let your friends and family know if it's alright to gift used copies. They tend to be cheaper and I love getting a used book from a friend because they loved it and couldn't wait to pass it on.

A few pairs of durable, warm socks ($25.95 and under). Most of us put a considerable amount of thought into the shoes we put on our feet for all of our outdoor pursuits. But socks are also a key piece of the equation. If the outdoors-person on your gift list is a skier, they could benefit from a pair of solid ski socks, like these from Helly Hansen or these from Smartwool (men's version here). Smartwool makes some amazing hiking socks, too.

Experiences like walking in the woods make great gifts.
Stuff sacks and/or dry bags ($39.95 and under). While I was prepping for my first real backpacking trip in 2005, I had all of my clothes neatly folded in my bulging pack the night before we left. Imagine my delight when my partner in crime introduced me to compression sacks. Since then, I have at least five of varying sizes in my gear stash. Compression sacks like this are go-to options. I also have a lightweight dry bag to take when there's rain in the forecast. If you're looking to save on multiple dry bags, try this set from Exped.

The gift of experiences (free, except for the gas and an occasional park entrance fee). Whether it's taking a friend on a backpacking trip or a short hike, the gift of an outdoor adventure is never out of style. Create your own hand-made voucher for a hike, a bike ride, a backpacking trip, a day of rock climbing, or another activity you know the recipient will appreciate. Great experiences lead to wonderful memories, and wonderful memories are priceless.

What's on your wish list this year? Anything else you'd put on this one? Leave a comment!


The Wingers said…
How about a great outdoor adventure book of photography? (shameless, aren't I?)
Heather Balogh said…
Ok, I have a similar post lined up in the next 10 days or so....we think alike :)
Lynn said…
I love giving merchandise or gift memberships from my favorite outdoor oriented non-profits as gifts. The Access Fund has a cool store and so do the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy. That way I support organizations I care about and find awesome gifts to give away.

Honestly, most of my friends and members of my family get logo merchandise from the non-profit that I work for, but it's really awesome stuff like Klean Kanteens and Chico Bags.

I'm putting warm socks on my list this year!
Katie said…
I got an Access Fund membership one year and an American Alpine Club membership last year, such amazing gifts! I totally agree, supporting organizations through gifts is an amazing way to show someone you care on the holidays. Great suggestion, Lynn!
Katie said…
sweet! can't wait to see what's on your guide :)