25 great gifts for campers and outdoors types

What do you buy the camper in your life for a Christmas or 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. 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.

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 thg. Around £10.

Nikon binoculars

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 £80-ish 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?

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.

Etsy – for sheer loveliness

We can’t recommend Etsy enough if you’re looking for something unusual, handmade or vintage.

 

We love this laser-cut caravan model kit. Around £20.

And for tent campers, this camping-themed bracelet. Around £15

And for campervanners, these tea towels are great. Around £9.

But there’s oodles more. You can choose to have only UK gifts, widen your search to Europe or go worldwide. Postage is free or reasonable and you’re supporting smaller businesses.

Perfect espressos and Americanos

The best cup of coffee we’ve ever had. Honestly. Wacaco – a portable, hand-powered espresso maker that gets to the same pressure as a barista machine in a café. Double shot version and a pod version (if you must). From around £50.

Happy going

Skip to your loo

Make someone laugh – or punch you! One of our funniest bits of kit is useful too. A waterproof toilet roll holder with built-in light (flashing option!). The Happy Going. Just get one. It’ll make you smile every time you pack. £3!

Woodcut bandana

Look at this gorgeous woodcut printed bandana from the brand &SONS. Around £15.

Orlando goes camping

Orlando camping cat bookThe Orlando books are gorgeously illustrated. This one is perfect for young campers. Hardback is around £15 and soft cover around £7.

Here’s a marmalade cat exhausted from his camping holiday!

Luminoodle

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 set with rechargeable battery pack (that you can also use to charge your phone) and other accessories too. From around £10. Brilliant!

Brilliant lights from Luci

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 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). Around £40.

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. Around £50.

Rite in the Rain notebooks

Brilliant and HUGE range of notebooks and journals that you can write on even when they’re wet. Hard and soft covers, all sizes, even printing paper. Affordable and recyclable too. Now you can write your novel while camping in the rain.

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. Oh, there’s a mini version available now too (£30).

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 £13 for one.

A wood-burning stove for £11

This little beauty by Lixada 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!

Plastic-free ‘clingfilm’ on a roll

You’ll probably have already come across cotton and beeswax (or vegan wax) wraps? Well, we’ve just found this fantastic plastic-free wrap on a roll.

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. 

There’s a metre x 33cm on a roll and it costs around £15. You can rinse it in cold water and use it over and over.

Vegan version uses plant-based wax. Around £14

OS puzzles for mapreading fun

The maps in this book have been selected for a significant reason – whether that is a noteworthy moment in national history, a rare geographical feature or a site of special cultural interest.

The puzzles are designed to make you look a little closer and dig a little deeper into the detail of each map, unearthing what you might have missed at first glance and testing your skills

40 maps with hundreds of questions in a mix of word puzzles, search-and-find clues, general knowledge questions, connection-making conundrums and various mathematical, map skill and navigational challenges throughout. Around £14.

The Honcho Poncho

Cosy, water-resistant, versatile and very packable. Honcho ponchos are insulated coats that double as blankets. Perfect for sitting around the campfire. They fold easily into their own pocket and  have an adjustable hood, side press-studs and a choice of colours. Comes in one size. Thermarest’s lovely version costs around £80, or you can go for a cheaper unbranded option from around £45.

The Wild Guides

brilliant series of guides that help you discover lovely landscapes, places to swim and camp, unusual and special places to eat and more. There are guides to Scotland, the Lakes and DalesWalesPortugalCornwall and the South WestScandinavia and wild swimming in the UK and France.

 

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. Around £3 for two.

There are more anti-theft ideas in our campervan security Beat the Burglar article (we learnt the hard way!).

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 only around a tenner (torch extra).

If you’d prefer a rechargeable headtorch, the best we’ve found (though a little on the bulky side) is Aennon’s 220-lumen torch. Around £15.

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 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. Around £80, though!

We like the sunshine surfer campervan Lego set at around £16. A camper that converts into a lifeguard tower with beach buggy.

The Lego Great City Vehicles van and caravan set costs around £35.

Map-themed picnic rugs and more

Some more great gift ideas from Ordnance Survey. Take your pick of picnic rugs with maps of places like the Isle of Arran or the Brecon Beacons.

Or choose a giant trekking towel with a map of Ben Nevis, the Peak District or other landmark areas.

Prices range from around £20.

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