Finding the perfect gift can be an annual struggle, especially as many families try to focus on experiences over things. Here is a round up of both fun and functional gifts sure to please any adventure orientated family member. As a bonus, many of the items come from small shops running some great holiday sales and deals.
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Given the choice between the beach or the mountains, I’ll pick mountains every time. If you know someone who feels the same, check out the many outdoor themed offerings from The Outdoor Adventure Society. They carry men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes in a variety of styles. If you are looking for cute and practical tee’s and hoodies in kids sizes, check out the Outdoor Rambler. Hats and adult tees are coming soon to their site also.
A good pair of hiking socks is essential and well worth the price to avoid blisters or sweaty feet. We have used this brand for years and all our socks are still going strong. They are available in a wide range of sizes and styles. From left to right, Women’s Size 1/4 crew, Men’s Crew, and Kid’s 1/4 crew.
Keeping kid’s hands and heads warm means happier play time during those freezing temps. Both our kids own N’ice brand gloves and mittens. They are waterproof and insulated for plenty of snow fun. Older kids may enjoy the animal gloves while younger ones may do better with mittens. They also make adorable fleece and knitted hat and glove sets.
Staying hydrated while hiking is critical. We have tried a few different brand of hydration packs, but the Source brand is our favorite. It doesn’t leak, is easy to clean, and has a spout cap. It makes a great gift for hikers and bicyclists. For the kids, the Camelbak Eddy cups have worked great for us for several years. There are so many fun styles for kids of all ages.
A good pair of hiking poles can really help navigate rocky or slick terrain. Even an inexpensive set of poles can work great. We love having a pair like this affordable 5 star rated set that can adjust from 24″ to 54″ inches to work for both adults and kids. (Just watch out for those surprise jousts and pole swings that can happen with kids and sticks!)
Wanderwild is a Colorado based company that makes backpacks and lunchboxes designed for adventures. These packs feature plenty of pockets and fun prints. The company also gives a portion of each sale to organizations that exist to address childhood hunger, education needs, and spreading kindness.
Getting that great photo of the whole family on an adventure is a lot easier if they have a handy and flexible tripod to make use of that cell phone self-timer.
We firmly believe in starting kids young to instill a love of being outdoors. We have carried our kids hiking on the trails with us since they were babies. We started as infants with the popular Ergo soft carriers and switched to the amazing Deuter Kid Comfort backpack carriers from age 1 until over 3 years old. These hiking packs are amazing to distribute the child’s weight and still leave room for carrying all the gear. They even have a women’s model designed to fit better for those with smaller body frames.
We have a whole post here with a review of all of our favorite hiking books for the St. Louis area. The top three that we use the most include the 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of St. Louis, Best Hikes St. Louis, and Best Hikes with Kids: St. Louis and Beyond. The last one is a must for hiking with little ones while the others give a great overview of the trails in the area. If you are not in the St. Louis area, you might find a 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles Series book for a city near you.
If you are looking for fun book to get kids excited about exploring the outdoors check out one of these fun nature journals and activity books. On the Nature Trail is a beautifully illustrated field guide for kids 4 and up. Exploring Nature Activity Book contains over 50 different activities to do outdoors. This would be a great addition to homeschoolers as well. This Interactive Hiking Journal looks like a fun way for kids to record their hikes and practice writing as well.
Gifts for Kids
For kids who love creepy crawlies, check out this bug and nature explorer kit. It includes binoculars, flashlight, net, bug box, and more.
My kids are really getting into taking photos lately so a pair of digital cameras is on their list this year. These Vtech models are easy to use and rugged for the 1,000 times a day they will drop them.
I’m always looking for creative craft kits, especially for the winter months. These handmade kits look like so much fun. These cork boats could be a hit in the bathtub in winter and in the pool or pond in summer. These DIY Bear ornaments from the same shop are adorable as well. If you want an activity to keep the birds happy, try out this cute birdfeeder kit and watch the birds have a Christmas feast.
I love finding kits where everything is included in one handy box. This fossil and gem digging kit looks like a fun activity for all ages and one I added to my rock loving daughter’s list. Or maybe you want to get your kids interested in growing their own food. Check out this adorable gardening kit with everything you need to get started. If you are a regular camper or know a family that is, this super cute camping kit is packed full of activities to keep kids engaged and busy in nature.
Trekking the National Parks is an award-winning game for the whole family. Whether you are shopping for a family that loves board games or one that explores the parks, this game is sure to be a hit.
Did anyone else play with Sunprint paper as a kid? I thought it was the coolest thing ever and now I need to show my kids it’s magic.
Scavenger hunts are always fun for kids. You can try a nature version here and look for colors, texture, shapes and more then record them in this beautiful nature journal. If you have a long road trip planned, this version for travel should help with the “are we there yet?
Gifts for Adults
These adorable mugs for camping, RV, or hiking families can be personalized with names and dates. Add in some hot cocoa mix or fancy coffee for a fun complete gift. Check out the website and etsy shop for a full product selection. Some items ship from the U.K. and others from the U.S. so check each description.
This personalized wooden adventure sign makes a stunning gift. The color and styles can be customized with many different options.
This two pack of scratch off maps features both the U.S. and a map of the world. Fun for both kids and adults, you can scratch off each spot to track where you have visited.
This one is another book, but an oh-so-handy one. Since cell reception can sometimes be spotty, and trying to find a restroom or gas station can quickly turn into an emergency, keep this handy guide in your travel vehicle.
When all else fails, there is always the gift card option. If you are a St. Louis local, the Alpine Shop in Kirkwood is a great local shop to support in store or online. They carry a huge assortment of gear for all types of outdoor recreation. They also have an online shop and can ship. Or consider an annual National Parks Pass to give the gift of adventure all year long.