The 21 Best Stocking Stuffers for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Picking out stuffing stockers for hikers, campers, and al fresco adventurers can be challenging, particularly if you’re an armchair explorer who’s not into the great outdoors. Take it from us: The wild souls in your life will love these oh-so-useful gifts.
If you’re shopping for stocking stuffers for the hikers, fishermen, and backpackers in your life, you probably already recognize how difficult a task it is to find gifts that are both useful and delightful. Those of us who aren’t hitting the trail or the creek every weekend might not know exactly what to get someone who prefers nature over the neighborhood. Luckily, this gift guide will help.
Below are our recommendations for some of the best stocking stuffers for outdoorsy types—most of which you can pick up for less than $20! From the gear that will help keep them safe to gifts made for cleanliness and food prep, there’s something on this list for just about any kind of outdoor enthusiast.
For more terrific holiday gift ideas, check out 25 Stocking Stuffers for DIYers, 15 Super Cool Holiday Gifts to Get Before They’re Gone, and 16 Gifts That Look Way More Expensive Than They Are.
1. A Good Pocket Knife
All outdoorsmen and women know how important it is to have a great knife on them. Among the jobs of cutting lashing for setting up camp, preparing food, whittling on rainy days, or being ready for possible self-defense, a good knife is worth its weight in gold. The Morakniv Companion Spark is one such knife, with a built-in fire starter, a fixed-blade design, and a tough polymer sheath for safety on the trail.
2. Bear Spray
Okay, this one might require a big stocking, but it’s worth the stretch. If you know someone who spends most of their outdoor time in bear country, equip their stocking with a can of bear spray. Udap Bear Spray is a fogger-style aerosol spray full of OC (pepper spray) that will have an attacking bear thinking twice about making your beloved a snack.
3. A Real Carabiner
Key carabiners are great, but real outdoorsy types need something that can carry some weight. Whether they’re using them to strap something to a bag, hang a hammock safely, or connect rope while rock climbing, they need a heavy-duty carabiner. Black Diamond is one of the best in the rock climbing game, and their Litewire Carabiners are among the lightest heavy-duty carabiners.
4. A Water Purifying System
Everyone knows the importance of clean water, but have you thought about stuffing a stocking with it? The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter allows outdoorsy folks some reassurance that they’ll be able to drink water without getting sick, especially if they’re in an off-grid, survival-type situation. It’s a gift that could save their life.
5. A Folding Saw
When you’re off-grid, fallen trees and limbs for firewood are around every corner. But, cutting that wood so it fits safely within a fire ring is another story. With a folding saw, your beloved outdoorsy one can lop off manageable sections of firewood, so carrying and burning it is safer and more controllable. Fiskars’ 7-inch folding saw will fit nicely in a stocking—and even nicer in a backpack.
6. A Waterproof Wallet
If there’s one thing an outdoors person might not think they need, but can’t adventure without after receiving, it’s a waterproof wallet. The Nite Ize Runoff waterproof wallet will keep cash, cards, IDs, and other small documents and valuables safe, no matter the weather or conditions. It also has carabiner tabs for clipping to a bag and a belt loop for wearing on a hip.
7. A Headlamp
No one will argue the benefits of a flashlight, but what’s even more useful is a quality headlamp. Your outdoorsy pal will be able to light the path as they walk hands-free or split wood without holding a flashlight. Slip the Petzl Tikkina Outdoor Headlamp into their stocking to brighten up their holidays.
8. Tough Boot Laces
Ask any camper, hiker, prepper, or outdoorsy person how important their footwear is to them, and they’ll talk your ear off. Since you probably can’t fit a $300 pair of boots in a stocking, try the next best thing: some hardcore laces. Ironlace boot laces are stretch-free, nonslip, and offer a 1,500-pound breaking strength. They come in several sizes as well.
9. Eating Utensils
Eating with your fingers isn’t just difficult, it can be unsafe when you’re away from civilization for a few days. Ease those queasy worries by giving the hiker or camper in your life a set of camping utensils. A simple set like the Sublimed Camping Utensil set is all it takes: A fork, spoon, and knife, all in a handy carrying case.
10. Biodegradable Body Wipes
Just because your wilderness lover likes getting out in the pines and oaks doesn’t mean they want to live (or smell) like an animal. Give them a way to freshen up and stay clean with biodegradable wipes. Combat Wipes are 100 percent biodegradable, contain natural soothing aloe, and are thick enough to withstand some vigorous wiping.
11. Survival Fishing Kit
When things get tough, the tough get fishing. Shoving a survival fishing kit down your wild one’s stocking will say two things: You care about them, and you know how much they love to fish. The Best Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit comes in a small pouch that will fit a stocking and includes lures, hooks, line, knife, and a primitive fishing reel.
12. Survival Flask
A lot about survival depends on morale, and what better way to boost it than some woodland spirits? The VSSL Flask features a liquid-proof 9-ounce reservoir, a heavy-duty bottle opener, and two collapsible shot glasses, ideal for fireside toasts. Also, this flask has a compass in one end of the flask and a bright survival flashlight with high, low, SOS, and a red light in the other.
13. A Trustworthy Multi-Tool
A knife is great, but a quality multi-tool is absolutely essential for real outdoorsy folks. Slipping the Leatherman Rev Pocket Size Multi-Tool down their stocking means they’ll have access to pliers, screwdrivers, a can opener, and more. This gift allows them a compact way to stay prepared when they’re getting away for a few days.
14. Extendable Bellows
Even veteran fire builders could use a breather every now and then, and a pocket bellows is just the ticket. The PSKOOK Pocket-Sized Fire Bellows extends to allow users to blow on the fire without bringing their face uncomfortably close. This allows them to start a hotter fire faster while remaining at a safe distance from the smoke and heat. Produced by a veteran-owned small business.
15. Survival Blankets
If things really hit the fan, your woodsman or woman might need to spend a night or two in the wilderness. But being unprepared is a recipe for disaster. Slip a mylar emergency blanket in their stocking so they’ll have something to keep them warm and retain their body heat if they are ever caught in an ugly situation. These Swiss Safe Emergency Blankets come in a pack of four and are rated to retain up to 90 percent of body heat.
16. Tough Watch
Did you know it’s possible to use the hands on a wristwatch to determine which direction north lies? A tough watch built for the woods is a great stocking stuffer, and the Expedition TW4B14000 from Timex is up to the task. The watch is tough and durable, while the nylon strap has more than what it takes to survive a few trips to the woods.
17. Pocket Notebook
Some of the greatest authors were outdoorsy folks, and they often found inspiration from their forested forays. Give your would-be Jack London a place to scribe their ideas and notes with a pocket notebook. This set from Field Notes is actually inspired by the great outdoors, with illustrations of some of our national parks on their covers, so choose your adventurer’s favorite park and slip it in their stocking.
18. Emergency Whistle
Unfortunately, things can get pretty sketchy in the woods, and even the most experienced hiker or camper could find themselves in a heap of trouble. If you place an emergency whistle in their stocking, they’ll at least be able to draw attention to themselves by emitting loud shrill chirps. Not only do these LuxoGear Emergency Whistles chirp distinctively, but they also take less energy than screaming, and that could be a major factor in a life-or-death scenario.
You can’t have a list of outdoorsy stocking stuffers without mentioning the importance of a compass. A compass like this model from Sportneer allows your wilderness explorer a bit of assurance that they’ll always know which way to head. This compass, paired with a local map, can be all it takes to navigate to new areas without getting lost.
20. Rain Poncho
Getting soaked to the bone isn’t safe, and even the best hiking gear can become compromised in heavy rains. Your outdoorsy loved one doesn’t deserve that fate. Keep them dry and warm with a pocket poncho: This five-pack from Hagon PRO should do the trick, as it’s not much larger than an envelope, fitting into a stocking perfectly this holiday season.
There are times when life or death hinge on one’s ability to light a fire. Give your forest friend the upper hand with a quality Ferro rod. These rods create a tremendous amount of hot sparks that can start a fire in a variety of conditions. This model from Bayite features a 4-inch long rod, a striker tool, and 5 feet of paracord, ideal for a variety of survival and outdoor applications.
The prices listed here are accurate as of the article’s last update on November 16, 2022.