For those of you shopping for family members or friends who love the outdoors — whether it’s hiking, camping, fishing or canoeing — there are some fantastic gadgets available that make any of these activities more enjoyable. We’ve come up with 7 great gift ideas for the outdoor adventurer in your life and, best of all, most of them are available for less than $50.
1. A Multi-Tool
Everyone needs a multi-tool, whether you’re the outdoorsy type or not, as they come in handy in all sorts of situations. Can’t find the scissors? You’ve got some on the multi-tool. Need a bottle opener? Yep, there’s one of those on there as well, along with pliers, a selection of knives, a file, a saw, and any number of other useful gadgets, with some even incorporating an ever-so-handy tooth pick.
To find a multi-tool that suits the needs of the person you’re giving it to, do a bit of research online. Note that, in multi-tool land, the most expensive doesn’t always equal the best, so read some reviews before making your selection and you’ll more than likely find a decent multi-tool that falls within your budget.
2. Solar-Powered Torch Cap
These genius torches are now an indispensable item for anyone involved in nighttime outdoor activities. The caps have LED lights under the peak, charged by a solar panel on top of the peak, providing you with a powerful and long-lasting source of light while leaving your hands free. This makes the cap perfect for night fishing, bushwalking, reading, playing card games or even knitting! All you need to do is leave the cap in the sun during the day, to charge up the battery, or wear it while you’re out and about.
Again, do a bit of research before purchasing a cap, as you’ll probably find that the less expensive versions are just as good as the top of the range. And trust us – the beneficiary of this gift will wonder how they ever lived without it!
3. Water-Resistant Smartphone Pouch
With the ubiquity of mobile phones comes the need to protect them from getting wet, as we all know what happens to a phone if it accidentally lands in a puddle or falls out of your pocket while you’re canoeing. Now, for those who love watersports or spending time in the great outdoors, there is a variety of waterproof pouches available, and the vast majority are incredibly reasonably priced.
The quality of a pouch is based on how waterproof it is, which is measured by a metric called IPX. The best pouches have a rating of IPX8, which means they are fully submersible up to 100 feet. There are also floating waterproof pouches on the market, which are ideal for canoers or even just for lounging in the pool, as the phone won’t sink if you accidentally drop it. The best news is, pouches range from $8 - $15, so they make a great stocking stuffer or Kris Kringle
4. Ultra-Light Backpacking Pillow
Anybody who’s gone on an overnight hike knows how precious a decent sleep is at the end of a long day, and you also know that you don’t want to be carrying too much stuff on your back. This is where an ultra-light backpacking pillow comes in handy, giving the keen bushwalker somewhere to rest his or her weary head without adding to the load.
While there are some pricey top-of-the-range pillows on the market, an outdoor gear blogger recently tested nine of the most popular pillows and the winner – the Therm-a-Rest Trekker Pillow Case – retails at around $30, making it both a useful and inexpensive gift for the hiker in your life.
5. Waterproof Playing Cards
Great for sailors, campers, beachgoers, or even when you’re relaxing on your deck or patio by the pool, waterproof playing cards are readily available from online outlets or game shops. They come in standard packs or in Poker, Uno and Canasta sets, to name just a few, and are coated in a high quality PVC to ensure they are completely waterproof. This includes the box, which means if you leave them outside overnight, they won’t be affected by humidity, rain or dew. Costing between $4 - $15, waterproof playing cards are a good, budget gift for kids and adults alike.
6. Fast-Drying Pocket Towel
These new generation super-light, fast-drying towels are a must for anyone involved in outdoor activities, whether canoeing, hiking, rock-climbing or camping, or even for the gym. Made from woven micro or nano fibres, the towels can absorb up to three times their weight in water, with the pocket variety weighing around 0.06kg and larger towels weighing a mere 0.07kg.
While top-of-the-range towels can be quite pricey, one of the most popular on the market retails for between $14 - $19, dependent on the size. And they are one of the most useful and practical accessories you could possibly give to anyone who spends time in the great outdoors.
7. A Gift Voucher
If you’re still stuck for gift ideas or the person you have in mind has already got all of the above, why not get them a gift voucher from one of the quality outdoor equipment shops. You can purchase gift vouchers online from most of the top brands and some even have an e-gift voucher, which can be emailed directly to the recipient. Imagine what a nice surprise that would be for that special someone who is busy planning their next outdoor adventure!