Great gifts for campers and outdoorsy types

What do you buy the camper in your life for a birthday? What do you put on your own present wishlist? We’ve been doing a bit of window shopping and come up with some lovely ideas for camping presents – from rechargeable lightropes to a portable camping washing ‘machine’.

There’s something for most price ranges – from £2 up to £70. And if you’ve got an idea to add, do leave a comment at the end.

Herb firelighters

How lovely! Pretty and sweet-smelling wax ‘cakes’ for lighting your campfire or barbecue. They come in a set of eight for around £9. If you like handmade Christmas presents, use them as inspiration for your own creations too.

The Honcho Poncho

Cosy, water-resistant, versatile and very packable. It’s an insulated coat that doubles as a blanket. Perfect for sitting around the campfire. It all folds easily back into its own pocket, there’s an adjustable hood, side press-studs and a choice of colours. Comes in one size. Around £80


We love ours! An LED light strip that has integrated magnets and loops, plus clever cable clips so you can hang it anywhere – stick it on the side of your van, drape it over your tent. Bright enough to read by. Stuff the rope into its bag and you have a lantern. Different lengths to choose from, a rechargeable battery pack (that you can also use to charge your phone) and other accessories too. From around £20. Brilliant!

National Trust Almanac for kids

Really lovely hardback book that’s (almost) guaranteed to get children interested in nature and wildlife. Month-by-month guide with beautiful illustrations. Nature spotter guides, indoor and outdoor craft and activity ideas, seasonal recipes and celebrations of religious festivals and special days, such as the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Around £10.

Security bells

Bells to go on bags or any of your kit you don’t want to lose to thieves. Probably the simplest theft alarm we’ve come across. Some readers have even attached them to triplines around their campervans and caravans. There are more anti-theft ideas in our campervan security Beat the Burglar article (we learnt the hard way!). Around £2.50.

Solar lighter

One for the stocking – and less than £2. This little disc uses the sun to give you a windproof, waterproof lighter. Gets VERY hot and sure to be a talking point.

Source Liquitainer

It’s turned out to be our favourite and most-used water container for travelling and camping. The four-litre version is big enough to see you through a couple of days, it’s easy to fill, the tap works well and it feels strong and well-made. It folds up

completely when empty and has a hanging strap. Oh, and no NPA or nasty taste. Perfect, in fact. From around £14 to £25 depending on size.

For bird-loving caravanners

Cute, eh? A vintage caravan birdhouse made of wood. Nicely designed with a perch in front of the opening and a backdoor so you can clean it out. What bird could resist? Around £17

Scrubba portable washing ‘machine’

Put your clothes inside this clever bag, add laundry liquid, rub for 30 seconds to three minutes and woohoo. It’s the lightest washing ‘machine’ in the world at just 145g. The secret is in the flexible washboard inside. The Scrubba people say it’s twice as effective as hand washing.

The bag doubles as a dry bag or to transport wet swimming things. Around £40.

Ice grips

This is the sort of present that doesn’t get an immediate ‘wow, thank you so much’, but boy, will they thank you for it later. Indispensable for safe walking in the winter months, ice grips just fit on to ordinary shoes or boots and let you stride off with confidence! From around £2.

The extra spiky ones are best in snow (and you’ll definitely need to remove them before going indoors). You can also get ones with smaller lugs and some with chains – these are more useful if you’re going from street to shop or campsite to inside the shower block.

Petzl Noctilight

A Petzl headtorch

Every camper needs a good headtorch, and Petzl make the best. Many of their torches will also fit into the neat Noctilight. It’s designed to turn your headtorch into a little lantern. You can even turn it on and off when the box is closed. Ingenious and less than £15 (torch extra).

Our favourite camping cookbooks

Something for the Christmas tree

Definitely too much plastic at Christmas, so choose these metal tree ornaments instead. The campervans come in a set of 6 for around £15 and the Kurt Adler caravan is around £7 for one.

A wood-burning stove for £10

This little beauty folds flat and can burn twigs, leaves, solid fuel blocks, spirit or charcoal. You can even buy a teeny gas burner to fit inside. It’s made of stainless steel and weighs just over 200g. If you cook your Christmas dinner on it and send us a photo, we’ll DEFINITELY send you a prize!

Telescopic dragon breath

Packed neatly inside a little case, you’ll find something that looks like an old car aerial. Telescope it out to full length, stick the small end in the embers of your dying fire and blow through the other end. Whoosh!! It’s a nifty little gadget that concentrates your breath to give the fire a much-needed blast of air. Around £7.

How could you resist a brick-built bear?

Although, we don’t like plastic stuff, Lego is a bit different because it’s usually kept for generations rather than being ditched after one play. There are some fun Lego and Duplo sets with a camping theme so you can get the kids in the spirit in time for your next trip.

Most sophisticated of the bunch is the Lego Creator Vacation Getaways. You can rebuild the motorhome to become a cruiser or a summer cottage and the detailed interiors are soooo exciting! Plus don’t forget that there’s a brick-built bear about to nick your sausages off the barbecue. Around £70, though!

We like the new sunshine surfer campervan Lego set at around £17. A camper that converts into a lifeguard tower with beach buggy.


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