Our 15 best gift ideas for outdoor enthusiasts


November 10, 2023


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best outdoor gift ideas

Finding the perfect gift for an outdoor enthusiast is not always a simple task. Most lovers of the great outdoors know what they want and can be quite picky when it comes to their gear. Fortunately, the SAIL team is here to give you a few pointers to explore! We have compiled the best gift ideas for men and women who love to spend time outdoors, whether they’re hikers, campers or rock climbers. Let’s find out how to bring joy (for sure) to a loved one who’s always outside!

In this article, you will discover our best gift ideas for outdoor enthusiasts:

  1. A nice pair of socks
  2. Ice cleats
  3. A pair of hiking boots or shoes
  4. A headlamp
  5. Hiking poles
  6. An insulated water bottle
  7. A microfibre towel
  8. A solar charger
  9. A compass
  10. A backpack
  11. Some heating accessories
  12. A climbing kit
  13. A pair of snowshoes
  14. Gaiters
  15. A smart watch

A nice pair of socks

Most hikers already have a few pairs of hiking socks. But do they have the kind of plush, warm socks that provide maximum comfort while also wicking sweat away at the same time? When it comes to base layers, nothing beats natural fibres such as merino wool to retain body heat and keep moisture away from the feet. Smartwool Mountaineer socks (made using a blend of sustainably sourced merino wool and recycled nylon) do just that, which makes them the perfect present!

Ice cleats to help them conquer any terrain

Hiking in winter can be truly magical. From ghostly snow-covered trees to beautiful frozen rivers, the views are often breathtaking. And let’s not forget the mandatory hot chocolate afterwards! But walking in the winter is demanding, and winter boots or snowshoes are not always adapted to the kinds of icy terrains outdoor enthusiasts may encounter. Ice cleats, on the other hand, can handle any tricky ice patches or steep slopes they may stumble upon. Treat someone to a pair of ice cleats from a brand like Hillsound, Kahtoola or GV so they can tackle any trail, whatever the weather.

If you would like to learn more about how to choose winter crampons, read the article on the SAIL blog.

Hiking boots or shoes to protect their feet, no matter how far they walk

Looking for a gift idea for a man or woman who’s passionate about the outdoors? You really can’t miss the mark with a sturdy pair of hiking boots or shoes. It’s pretty much the most important piece of equipment for any hiker!
Hiking boots and shoes protect feet from natural obstacles: branches, rocks, mud, snow… They also keep feet dry, and that can make all the difference between a memorable hike and an ice-cold nightmare. Choose between hiking shoes, lighter and more versatile, or hiking boots for added ankle support. Several brands do well in this area, including Keen (with its Targhee II for men and women), Merrell (with its Moab 2) and Lowa. They’re not the only ones, of course, but they manage to offer excellent protection and breathability.
If you’re not sure whether you should pick hiking boots or hiking shoes, check out the SAIL blog for advice.

A headlamp so they can stay outdoors longer

Unfortunately, winter also comes with shorter days and dark evenings, which could put an early stop to someone’s winter outdoor pursuits. Unless, that is, they have a headlamp! Whether you are buying one for a runner who wishes to keep pounding the pavement, a cross-country skier who would like to glide on the trails at night or a camper who just needs to find their way back to their tent, a headlamp is the perfect gift. You may want to find out more about its intended use before purchasing, as runners will require something light that will stay firmly on their forehead, while those exploring the woods at night will focus on maximum brightness. Have a look at brands Black Diamond and Petzl for some reliable models with plenty of lighting power.

Hiking poles to reduce the strain

Hiking poles can sometimes be viewed as cumbersome and get left behind. However, serious hikers will tell you they are an essential part of their gear kit. Walking for long periods of time with a backpack can take its toll, so giving a pair to someone who may not have otherwise considered them can really make a difference to their back, knees, and leg muscles. There are a few factors to consider when purchasing hiking poles, including (but not limited to) their total weight, how comfortable their grip is and the material they are made of. To find out more about how to choose hiking poles, read our blog article. Otherwise, have a look at the different types of poles offered by staple hiking brand Black Diamond, or in SAIL’s own range.

An insulated water bottle so they stay hydrated

Let’s be honest, most outdoor enthusiasts already have one (or several) water bottles knocking about in their cupboards. But do they have the kind of luxury insulated water bottle that will keep their drinks at the perfect temperature for hours on end? Go further than the usual plastic bottle with an insulated travel mug or tumbler for that much-needed pre-hike morning coffee, or a stainless-steel bottle that will keep drinks cold or hot on long journeys. Brands Yeti and Hydro Flask are both staples when it comes to making sure outdoor enthusiasts have a nice drink to take along on their summer or winter activities.

Have a look at our blog article on how to pick the perfect hydration system for hiking.

A microfibre towel for just about everything

A microfibre towel is the gift that keeps on giving. Campers, hikers, backpackers and anglers could all use one, whether it’s to lie on the beach, to do yoga, to towel off after a camping shower, to wipe their hands in the boat after handling a slippery fish or to clean their camera lens after snapping beautiful outdoor shots. Microfibre towels pack small, but are extremely absorbent, making them the perfect accessory for backpackers conscious of every gram they add to their backpack’s load. Make sure you find out what it will be used for so you can pick the right size. Take a look at brands Packtowl or SAIL for a wide choice of materials, lengths and colours.

A solar charger to help them stay in touch

When you’re alone in the wilderness, being able to get in touch with someone can be crucial. Make sure your loved ones are equipped with a solar charger to keep their phone alive and kicking, even in the most remote places. Some of Biolite’s products can even be chained with multiple other solar panels to collect as much power as possible! You can also check out the brand Goal Zero.

A compass so they always find their way home

Do you know any outdoor lovery who want to up their game and get into orienteering? A compass is the perfect gift. Give them the only thing they’ll need to keep exploring uncharted terrain and get safely back home afterwards. There are many features to look for when choosing a compass, as these can range from extremely accurate tools designed for experienced hikers and adventurers, to easy-to-use compact compasses. Brands Silva and Sunnto are experts in this field and manufacture models for every type of orienteering enthusiast

A backpack for all their gear

A backpack is an essential component of any hiker’s gear kit! It’s also an invaluable gift for someone who seizes every chance to hit the trails. But first, it’s important to determine the type of adventure the backpack will be used for, so that you can choose the right size. Are you shopping for someone who goes on day hikes nearby? A camper who loves a good camping spot on a fully equipped site? A minimalist backpacker leaving on a multi-day hike through the wilderness? Once you’ve settled on the right bag size and type, look for backpacks with breathable fabric on the back and plenty of adjustable straps, such as those offered by Osprey. You can also check out brands like The North Face, Vaude and Gregory.

To simplify your search, take a look at our article on the best hiking backpacks of 2023!

Some heating products for a little bit of luxury

We all know someone who loves being outside but doesn’t love the cold. We’ve got plenty of gift ideas for you, so your loved one can keep on enjoying the great outdoors without suffering too much from the cold.
From heated gloves to heated clothing and jackets, to camping chairs that warm the lower back (like Kuma’s Lazy Bear chair), there’s a wide range of items available to make winter even more enjoyable. Browse our range of heating accessories, fill someone’s stocking, and make the cold season just that little bit warmer. Think of Ignik’s foot, hand or body warmers, for instance. And to make sure your loved one never worries about the cold again when out camping in winter, spark things up with an electric campfire (like the one from Biolite, for example).

A climbing kit

Finding a good outdoors-oriented gift idea for a climber is easy enough; a climbing enthusiast always needs gear! All you have to do is discreetly sound out your loved one to find out what they need most. And if you’re shopping for someone who’s new to the sport, that’s even better: you’ll be spoiled for choice! You can even get them a whole set of equipment to jumpstart their practice.
Among the best gift ideas for an outdoor climbing enthusiast are harnesses, carabiners, chalk bags… If your loved one’s climbing shoes are wearing out, this could also be the perfect opportunity to give him or her a brand-new pair. With top brands like Black Diamond, Mammut and Petzl, no wall will resist your beloved climber!

A pair of snowshoes

When all is white outside, there are those who stay at home, and those who go out to enjoy it. If your friend or relative is one of the latter and loves a good winter hike, a pair of snowshoes is the perfect gift! Short walks, snowshoe runs or long hikes in the backcountry: there will be plenty of options.

In winter, snowshoes provide the means to explore further, where access would be difficult with just a pair of hiking boots. Your loved one will be able to tackle hills, play in the fresh powder, move through icy patches…

Recreational snowshoes, expedition-ready snowshoes… Choosing the best snowshoes to give to an outdoor enthusiast is all about adapting to the way they will be used and the terrain they’ll tackle. Not all models have the same flotation, traction or rigidity (to name but a few characteristics). Renowned brands like TSL, GV and MSR have some solid options to consider, but there are many others.

The choice is yours!


Not many hikers have the habit of slipping one on when they put on their gear, but a pair of gaiters can come in very handy when venturing out on (or off) the trails. This practical accessory makes a great gift idea for a woman or a man who loves the great outdoors.
Worn over a pair of hiking boots or shoes, gaiters provide protection from the elements (snow, rain…), as well as from any obstacle on the ground (rocks, roots, fallen branches…). Their waterproof properties make them perfect for accompanying your loved one on a nearby snow-covered trail or an off-piste adventure! Contrary to what some might think, gaiters are both comfortable and lightweight. Some models can even be folded up and easily stored in a jacket pocket.
For a sturdy, breathable pair that will stand up to abrasion, time and all weather conditions, gift a model from Outdoor Research or SAIL. And if you have a hunter in your life, you might want to consider hunting gaiters (we love the Connec model, for instance).

A smart watch

Do you have a loved one who enjoys running, hiking, cross-country skiing…? Whatever his or her favourite outdoor activity, a smart watch is a gift that’s sure to be a hit!

Each model has its specific features, but most of today’s watches are little wonders of technology. GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, calorie tracking, sleep analysis… these watches do it all – or come impressively close. The most advanced models also boast features like preloaded maps, a touch screen, and advanced metrics such as VO2 max calculations…

Today, there are smart watches to suit all tastes and fitness levels. Entry-level models are affordable and pretty straightforward, but they still pack a lot of features. The more advanced models, designed for avid runners, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, are true activity monitors that track every kind of data.

In addition to Garmin, an absolute reference in the world of smart watches (read our article to know how to choose the right model), there are other brands with strong selling points.

Take Suunto, for instance, a brand that has made its mark with its ultra-complete monitors and the impressive battery life of its products. And let’s not forget Polar, a well-known brand, particularly among runners, whose models are packed with training analysis and optimization tools.


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