What do you buy the camper in your life for a birthday or just to say you care? 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 to suit most budgets.
Latest update: March 2021
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OK. It’s a brolly…but it’s a lot more than your average umbrella.
The canopy won’t turn inside out in the wind (up to 55mph) and it’ll spin if you accidentally knock into someone, so won’t jar. Comfy handle, repairable too. Masses of lovely colours.
Who could ever have imagined that the idea of a face mask would be normal.
But here we are, so we may as well look good while staying safer and keeping those around us safer too.
Ann’s Cottage (the Cornish Aladdin’s cave of outdoor and watersports gear) has a nice range of unusual, sporty masks and buffs.
We like the Buff with filter for its versatility and extra protection. Oh, and it’s made from recycled plastic bottles.
The Volcom masks are neat and are made from recycled fabric. Again, lots of colours and designs.
A brilliant series of guides that help you discover lovely landscapes, places to swim and camp, unusual and special places to eat and more.
Thermarest’s Honcho Ponchos (now out of stock almost everywhere) are cosy, water-resistant, versatile and very packable.
Y-Only make their own poncho version that’s almost as good (but not quite).
It’s an insulated coat that doubles as a blanket. Perfect for sitting around the campfire. It folds easily into the included bag and has an adjustable hood, side press-studs and a choice of colours.
How lovely! Pretty and sweet-smelling wax ‘cakes’ for lighting your campfire or barbecue.
Lots of choices from £5 upwards.
Go for pinecones, maybe, or jars of wax ‘sweets’.
If you like to make your own Christmas presents, use them as inspiration for your own creations. You’ll just need a bag of soy candle wax and your choice of ‘ingredients’ – pinecones, cinnamon sticks, dried flowers…and more.
A great gift for a swimmer, kayaker or anyone into watersports or wet weather walking.
Big enough to fit keys, phone, a first aid kit and a bit more, this is a lightweight waterproof bag that can handle submersion but won’t sink!
What do you buy the person who has everything? Or at least the person who already has a VW T1 lego kit? Lights!
This set is for Lego set 10220 and includes dot lights, strip light, expansion boards, connecting cables, battery holder (batteries not included), adhesive squares and instructions.
We love ours!
Luminoodle is 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 set with rechargeable battery pack (that you can also use to charge your phone) and other accessories too. Just Brilliant!
Just imagine how many of those 5l plastic containers of screenwash get chucked away every year.
And just imagine how sort of delighted someone would be to get screenwash for Christmas…maybe!
P1 Autocare screenwash pods save masses of plastic, work just as well and work out cheaper.
Just add one to your empty container and fill with water.
It was our friend Kathy who introduced us to the wonders of these lightweight binoculars. For birdwatching, a pair of carryable binoculars is a really good idea.
These Nikon binoculars are the best we’ve tried for portability and clarity. We’ve spotted a golden eagle, seals, yellowhammers and a naked man having a shower next to a green bucket on the beach! Who could that be?
Who wouldn’t be delighted and amazed to open this nifty little package?
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is a micro-sized stove with BIG power. Even if you have a full-size camping stove, one of these is a great back-up or an option for quick cuppas.
It’ll boil a whole litre of water in 3.5 minutes and the flame is beautifully adjustable so you can actually simmer. It weighs only 73g.
You’ll need to buy MSR IsoPro fuel (or a similar canister with thread) separately.
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!).
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!
The extra spiky Unigear 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 popular Yaktrak grips with chains – these are more useful if you’re going from street to shop or campsite to inside the shower block.
Every camper needs a good headtorch, and Petzl make the best, especially our favourite rechargeable hybrid, the Actik Core.
Many of the Petzl 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 only around a tenner (torch extra).
This Actik Core headtorch has a USB rechargeable battery, but can also take AAA batteries if needs be.
We like Rubbastuff’s waterproof ponchos, and we love these carry-all bags.
They’re lightweight, waterproof wipe-clean base, reversible and very strong.
The bag has a simple shoulder strap and enough room to fit in an A3 size thingy. When empty, it becomes a waterproof sit mat. Loads of designs too.
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.
We came across Voited when looking for a lightweight insulated blanket for camping trips. We were after something that packed reasonably small, had good insulation and withstood damp and drizzle.
Voited’s blankets have it all and more. Use them as a blanket, a wraparound, a sleeping bag and a pillow. Plus they’re made of recycled fabric. There’s a choice of gorgeous designs and colours (I have the Bahia), as well as models with a fleecy lining.
Voited also do camping in-out insulated slippers, coats and caps. Keep an eye on them as they add even more to the range.
After using a serving spoon for the job on our last trip (not recommended), I knew I had to get more professional.
Use this Redcamp trowel for digging a toilet hole on wild camps, or for sawing, chopping, cutting branches, pulling out nails and more. Use it for weeding at home.
We can’t recommend Etsy enough if you’re looking for something unusual, handmade or vintage.
We love this laser-cut caravan model kit.
And for tent campers, this camping-themed bracelet.
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 shown above. 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.
We like the sunshine surfer campervan Lego set. A camper that converts into a lifeguard tower with beach buggy.
We also like the Lego Great City Vehicles van and caravan
Plus a three-in-one Creator caravan, car, campervan and lighthouse kit for around £65. And a kayak and buggy set
When I first researched and wrote our round-up of reusable cups and insulated mugs, plant-based cups were fairly rare.
They’re everywhere now, but not all can stand up to our tests!
Our favourite that is both green and insulated is the fabulous BioGo mug made of rice husk.
It’s the perfect shape for drinks holders, keeps contents hot, feels nice, doesn’t scald your lips and can even be put in the dishwasher. Great!
A portable pumped shower that recharges by USB.
The kit includes a showerhead, a thumb-trigger spray attachment and a jet nozzle. There’s a charging cord, hanging thingy and instructions – all in a neat carry case.
Our favourite camping cookbooks
We’ve liked Luci’s inflatable camping lights for a while, but they’ve come up with two great options we’re definitely adding to our kit.
The Base is the biggest Luci to date – four settings with a top illumination of 300 lumens. It’s claimed to last up to 50 hours on a single charge (solar or USB) And it also acts as a power bank for mobile charging – 4,000 maH capacity. Oh, and it’s fully waterproof.
The String is such a neat set of fairylights. 10 pairs of LEDs on an 18′ string that all packs away into a tiny cylinder. Up to 20 hours on a full charge (again, solar or USB).
For more gadgets check out our gadget section in our Camping Must Haves Article
Cut the size you need for wrapping sandwiches, using to seal bowls or for wrapping around loaves to keep them fresher. We struggled to find individual wraps big enough for large loaves, so this is a super alternative.
You can rinse it in cold water and use it over and over. There’s also a vegan version that uses plant-based wax.
See more green camping ideas in our special feature.
Tricky one, this. I know someone whose wife left them after he bought her a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. So be careful who you buy this for.
On the other hand, a couple of cooking sessions and they’ll be VERY grateful. This Zyliss hand-powered processor is fantastic for taking camping because it doesn’t need power. We also use ours at home because it’s easy to clean.
Make purées and houmous or chop vegetables and nuts.
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. Oh, there’s a mini version available now.
Treats for vegans and vegetarians
Something for the Christmas tree
Definitely too much plastic at Christmas, so choose these glass campervan baubles instead.
Or how about a glass festival tent with a hanging ribbon that can be personalised with a special message?
And for caravanners, a pretty handmade felt tree decoration