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Camping Gift Guide

Posted by 
December 11, 2012
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If you've got to buy for a camping enthusiast, reading this guide should give you plenty of present ideas for the upcoming holiday season. Whether they're a novice or a pro, there are always a few pieces of camping gear worthy of adding to one's collection. From big-ticket items to small stocking stuffers, we've got you covered on what to wrap for your special camper.

Dome Tent
Bass Pro Shops Three Person Dome Tent

If you've got to buy for a camping enthusiast, reading this guide should give you plenty of present ideas for the upcoming holiday season. Whether they're a novice or a pro, there are always a few pieces of camping gear worthy of adding to one's collection. From big-ticket items to small stocking stuffers, we've got you covered on what to wrap for your special camper.

Camping Shelter

If your loved one's tent has past its glory days, a new one is a great gift. Advancements in innovation and design make the latest tents lighter and easier to set up. They're often more spacious than earlier generation backpacking- or family-style models.

If a new tent isn't a viable gift option, there are plenty of other tent accessories any camper would appreciate. Spare pegs, a tent stake mallet, ground cloth and extra rope are just a few examples.

Lights for the Campsite

Flashlights make great gifts and are available in a range of price points. Tiny LED models put out more light and are often smaller and lighter than traditional flashlights. Submersible models are a good choice for water enthusiasts. Headlamps are also sensible for campers; their design leaves your hands free, so one isn't restricted when light is needed.

Lanterns are another attractive gift. Tiny models are best for the lightweight, minimalist camper. Larger ones come with multiple mantels and put out plenty of light, making them great for big camps. If buying a fuel lantern, include a protective carrying case as part of your gift. Battery-powered lanterns offer an alternative to fuel. Their no-flame operation makes them perfect for children and use inside of a tent.

Backpacks & Bags

Ascend Heavy-Duty Dry Bag
Ascend Heavy-Duty Round-Bottom Dry Bags

Backpacks and bags are important for transporting gear to and from sites. Buying someone a multi-day backpack is a bit of a gamble. Similar to buying someone else shoes, unless you have their exact measurements, getting a good fit can be difficult. There are still options though. Consider a small daypack, dry pack or a duffle bag. Waterproof dry bags are good gifts for canoe and kayak campers. Large duffle bags are great for family camping and can be used to store just about anything.

Sleeping Bags & Air Mattress

Quality sleeping bags and air mattress help you give the intangible, precious commodity of rest. There are plenty of styles, sizes and temperature ratings for sleeping bags. Choice is abundant for sleeping pads, too. For backpackers, go with a lightweight, auto-inflating model. For car or family camping, inflatable mattresses are available in a variety of sizes. Note if the item comes with a storage bag. If they don't, purchase a stuff sack. If an air mattress doesn't come with a pump, include this accessory to complete the gift.

Camp Cooking Accessories

Outdoor cuisine is one of the best things about camping. Any camper appreciates gifts that upgrade their cookware selection. Cook sets cover the basics of pots and pans and are good for someone who's beginning to assemble their own gear.

Camping stoves are another gift idea. Stoves come in single and multiple burner models. Cooking and eating utensil sets are great camping gadgets. For example, a quality spatula is under $3, but its function is priceless when flipping pancakes by the fire. If you're not sure what to get, spices and seasoning are good as they're non-perishable and add flavor to any fireside meal.

Camping Clothing

Outdoors enthusiasts appreciate active wear. These clothes are designed specifically for outdoor activities. Cuts are often loose enough to ensure comfort, but designed to be tight fitting when necessary. Base layers and insulating hats are a great gift for cool-weather campers. For warmer conditions, look for shorts, convertible pants and shirts offering sun protection. Wide-brimmed hats also help with sun protection. Lastly, regardless of the kind of camping, plenty of time will be spent on one's feet. High-quality hiking socks are inexpensive and make great gifts.

Drinking Water Accessories

Hydration Pack
Bass Pro Shops XPS 2-Liter Hydration Pack

Water is critical when outdoors and there are plenty of gifts related to it. The most basic are water bottles and there are several shapes and sizes to choose from. Hydration packs provide fluid through a small hosed valve and let you comfortably carry your water supply on your back. For family camping, large water coolers or fold-a-carriers are good ways to transport water to the site. Water treatment may be needed on some camping excursions, so water purifiers or purification tablets may be good ideas.

Camping Safety

Outdoor activities have a degree of risk associated with them. To help your loved ones stay safe, consider giving them some safety items. First-aid kits are available in a variety of sizes from basic to multi-day packs. A kit is a worthwhile gift for backcountry and car campers alike. Sunscreen, SPF lip balm, bug spray and other repellants are items most campers need. Biodegradable soap and hand sanitizer are important to keep clean.

Miscellaneous Camping Gift Ideas

This list gives a few more gift suggestions for various kinds of camping gear:

  • Camping furniture is great for family camping. Items include hammocks, folding chairs or folding tables.

  • A hatchet or axe can be used for various campsite tasks, such as putting in tent pegs or making kindling.

  • Knives and multi-tools are critical to carry in the woods. There are plenty of choices in this category. Consider engraving the item to personalize the gift.

  • Binoculars and a wildlife viewing guidebook tend to please naturalists.

  • A compass or GPS unit paired with an instructional book on using the device may meet the needs of camping explorers.

  • Camping cooking books help keep outdoor menus fresh and flavorful.

  • Rope, tie-down straps or bungee cords are always handy around a campsite.

  • A set of two-way radios is useful when camping in large parties.

  • Books, games, cards and other activities are important to have when stuck camping the rain.

  • A waterproof book and pen are all that are needed to give a journal. Write a note on the first page to encourage your special camper to catalog their adventures.

Gift CardBass Pro Shops Gift Cards

Still can't decide on the perfect present? Consider a gift card so the camper in your life can decide what they'd like. Bass Pro Shops Gift Cards come in traditional or E-Gift Cards. You also have the flexibility to enter any dollar amount you want to give.

Remember, the thought of giving is what matters most this holiday season. Regardless of the gift you give, your loved one will think of you when they use it, appreciating the effort you took to get them a great piece of outdoor camping gear.

Tagged under Read 4175 times Last modified on December 22, 2014
Tim Allard

Tim Allard hails from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He's a full-time outdoor journalist and author and photographer of the multi-award winning book, "Ice Fishing - The Ultimate Guide" (2010), which is also available in French under the title, "Pêche sur glace". Tim regularly contributs to numerous North American print and online publications. For more information visit

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