It’s a common experience—the moment on a hike, camping trip or outdoor excursion that you realize you forgot something important, or would be much better off if you had just decided to splurge and get that futuristic camp stove or bespoke hatchet, and maybe it would be a lot less dark if you’d gotten those solar-powered string lights. The holidays offer an opportunity to share the lessons you’ve learned and the products you’ve come to rely on with your loved ones. Below, read about some of the gear that’s worth adding to the arsenal of your favorite outdoors-person.
BioLite CampStove Complete Cook Kit
At the center of this cook-it-all kit is BioLite’s flagship CampStove 2+, which can burn sticks, wood scraps and pellets to create smokeless flames that create power to charge gear, or get stored via the onboard battery. The kit also brings along an attachable grill grate and the BioLite KettlePot and CoffeePress for quickly boiling water that can just as easily be for fireside pasta or a morning pick me up. As a bonus, the kit comes with a FlexLight to help see what is being cooked.
Adler German Axes Rheinland Hatchet
No, it’s not going to be easy to wrap, but if your outdoorsy loved one can spot quality, they won’t care what it looks like once they open up Adler’s Rheinland Hatchet. The venerable German brand has been making axes for more than 100 years, and the handsome Rheinland model combines European C45 steel with an American hickory handle featuring anti-slip paint to improve the user’s grip. The Rheinland comes with cotton storage bag, as well as a leather sheath featuring a 2-button release system.
Smith I/O MAG Imprint 3D Goggle
It’s officially ski and snowboard season, and Smith’s latest innovation in protective eyewear is built using Bellus 3D technology to create a completely custom fit. Smith’s custom app allows users to scan their face to map its contours and features, and the goggles are then 3D-printed and shipped within 14 days. To make gifting easy, you can buy the goggles online and send the recipient their scan code, allowing them to scan their face and choose from the four visor colors and two band colors for their customized goggles.
Quechua MH500, 3.5L Non-Stick Stainless Steel 4-Person Cookset
One of the hardest parts of preparing to camp is balancing what you need with what is easily packable, particularly when it comes to cookware. Enter sports retailer Decathlon’s house brand, Quechua, and its 4-person cookset that includes a saucepan, frying pan, and four dining sets (plate, cup, and cutlery)—all designed to stack together for easy packing. There’s also a 2-person set for excursions with fewer people.
Therm-a-Rest Air Head Down Pillow
Even with a comfortable sleeping pad, there are few creature comforts in camping. This inflatable down pillow, shaped to fit into the hood of a sleeping bag, is eminently more packable than a standard pillow and has a removable, machine-washable polyester cover to keep it clean after the adventure.
Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket
Rumpl’s flagship product, the Original Puffy Blanket is made with recycled synthetic insulation and a ripstop shell to make it warm and weather-ready. The 1-person version features the brand’s signature cape clip, letting you keep warm while keeping your hands free. The machine-washable blanket comes in a variety of prints and comes with a stuff sack for portability.
Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad
Big, comfortable sleeping pads can come in small packages. The Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad starts about the size of a burrito and inflates into an insulated pad to make camping a little more comfortable. The pad, as well as the Big Agnes Pumphouse, come highly recommended by Annelise Poda, head of support at Hipcamp.
Designed for easy on and off, Teva’s reEmber shoes feature a grippy sole and a foam midsole, offering structure and durability that can hold up to padding around the campsite and then some, while encasing the foot in an upper reminiscent of a sleeping back. Add in the collapsible heel and you start to understand why Fast Company Senior Editor Amy Farley called them the best slip-on shoe for camping.
Mpowerd Luci Color Solar String Lights
Initially shared with Fast Company by Alyssa Ravasio, CEO of camping booking site HipCamp, these string lights quickly became a must-have for Senior Editor Amy Farley this past summer on a road trip through the Southwest. The 18-foot light string is solar powered (and can be charged by USB), with 10 light nodes that can be at three brightness settings.
Kinfield Surf Weekender Kit
Whether the surfing enthusiast in your life wipes out or not, they can still protect their skin. Kinfield—maker of plant-based, outdoor-focused skin and personal care products—has created a kit with its Sunday Spray cooling mist, Daily Dew SPF 35 water-resistant sunscreen, and Golden Hour DEET-free repellent. When Recommender tried it out, we were struck by the pleasant scent, as well as its ability to keep biting bugs at bay.
VSSL First Aid Kit
VSSL knows how to pack a lot of functionality in the most efficient space possible. The company’s combination flashlight and first aid kit is designed to be rugged and versatile, offering first aid essentials, a compass and a 200-lumen flood beam flashlight with four lighting modes in a packable, waterproof package made of military grade aluminum. VSSL also offers the First Aid Mini Kit, which includes only the essential of the essentials. Or you can customize your own kit with the company’s Build Your Own option.
Fast Company’s Recommender section is dedicated to surfacing innovative products, services, and brands that are changing how we live and work. Every item that we write about is independently selected by our editors and, wherever possible, tested and reviewed. Fast Company may receive revenue from some links in our stories; however, all selections are based on our editorial judgment.