There are so many gadgets and gizmos out there. It’s crazy what people come up with. Crazy and creative! Here are some Christmas gifts ideas (or birthday, or Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, whatever) for the campers on your list…
These highly portable and packable camp stoves will cook your food and boil your coffee much faster than starting a fire and keeping it going. You can still have a fire for ambiance, but for cooking I recommend a camp stove. Also necessary if you happen to be in an area or season with fire restrictions.
EcoZoom Rocket Stove
I love the idea of a camp stove that doesn’t use liquid fuel. I wish I could say I’ve used this—I haven’t, but the EcoZoom has mostly 5-star reviews on Amazon. $99.95
MSR PocketRocket Stove Kit
A 10-piece cook kit and stove for two that includes everything but the fuel canister. $99.95 You can get a fuel canister for about $7.00 at various places. If you don’t need the cook kit (or need a cook kit for more than just two) you can get the PocketRocket alone for $44.95.
Budget Backpacking or Canoe Tripping Stove
This mini, supremely light and packable camp stove is less than $10, not including the fuel canisters. Despite it’s low, low price 87% of its users gave it a 5-star review. Not bad!
Great Balls of Fire Eco-Firestarter
These nifty little firestarters are handmade entirely of non-toxic, all-natural palm wax and recycled local wood. Mary Hannahan, from Centuria, Wisconsin, sent me a pack of these fire starters to try out.
They work great and are super easy to use. Just light the packet on fire and away it goes. They burn for several minutes so you have time to add tinder and kindling. $5 for 6 small or $10 for 6 larger. Free shipping and discounts on large orders.
(Spring 2020: Unfortunately, it looks like these are no longer available! It’s a great idea if someone wants to try making firestarter at home!)
Scorch Torch Dominator Triple Jet Flame Butane Torch
That’s a long name for a tough little weatherproof lighter. It’s got an adjustable, weatherproof flame and it takes replaceable butane fuel canisters ($6.94). Great for wet, windy conditions, especially in tandem with a reliable fire starter. $11.99
Did you know you can pay up to $500 for a headlamp??!! For we mortal folk, here’s REI’s listing of headlamps for under $20. The best reviews are for Petzl or Black Diamond lamps. And of course if you want to spend more, there’s plenty more over $20, too.
Packable First Aid Kit
An example is this Adventure Medical Kit from REI for $25. First aid supplies aren’t cheap, so a complete (even self-stocked) first aid kit is a great idea for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s one of those items you hope you don’t have to use, but don’t want to be caught without one if you need it.
LL Bean Camp Futon
I bought one of these last year and used it on a Boundary Waters trip last summer. I slept so good! It’s light, but bulky to pack. I didn’t care though! At my age I want a good night’s sleep when I’m sleeping on the ground. I didn’t feel anything but air beneath me. The Camp Futon is a cushy 3-inches thick. $109.95
Drysure Shoe Drying System
What’ll they think of next? I know a couple girls who would’ve loved having this on a certain canoe trip last summer! A heat-less, electricity-less drying system for wet shoes. See a review and demo video here. Drysure is based in the UK and can be bought here in the US on—where else? Amazon. $29.95
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Sharon is the founder and publisher of Active Outdoor Women. She loves getting outside in beautiful places to hike, paddle, camp, snowshoe, ski, ride—and encouraging others to come along! Besides maintaining AOW and her other website, Twin Cities Outdoors, Sharon writes and designs websites, newsletters, blogs, emails, books and other marketing tools for clients.