7 unique gift ideas for outdoor adventurers

Don’t fall into the same trap this year.  Forget the hiking boots, new pack, latest tech gadget that you’ll only carry once or twice on the trail.  Put your hard earned money into unique gift ideas for the outdoor adventurer in your life.  Here are a few hand selected ideas to give you a place to start.

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why by Laurence Gonzales

Great book on the science of survivalYou might be thinking that a book is anything but a unique gift idea but reserve your judgement until you read Dave’s review.  This book is part science, part anecdote, and completely spot on for the risk taking trail stomper in your family.

The author knows a thing or two about survival and has even deeper insight into what shapes our survival instincts perhaps.  Exploring this book from cover to cover just might give the reader a better understanding of how they would react in a life threatening situation.

Wavian NATO Jerry Can

Great option for gas storageHey look, we all want to go farther, deeper, sometimes even get lost in our wilderness experiences.  A fuel storage option like the Wavian NATO jerry can is your ticket to more miles between fuel stops.

These jerry cans were designed for military use by NATO forces which means you will be hard pressed to treat them any more harshly than that.

Imagine what your outdoor adventurer can do and see with an additional 50 miles or more between fill ups.

Helle Eggen Outdoor Knife

Great fixed blade knifeWho doesn’t appreciate a beautifully crafted knife?  I don’t know any folks like that either.  Truth is, we’ve moved towards a disposable economy where everything can be replaced on a whim.

But there are still craftsmen that want to build products that stand the test of times.  The Helle Eggen Outdoor Knife just might fit the bill.  Highly functional and versatile enough to be your favorite go-to blade, this knife would please any outdoor enthusiast.

Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine

Best book I read this yearWhat?  Another book idea for Christmas?  You bet.  Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine is one of my all-time favorite books.  It’s full of real life examples of how the author is raising his children and providing for his family in better harmony with the natural world.

Harvesting clams when the time is right, foraging mushrooms in peak season, fishing for salmon during their runs.  It all makes sense and it’s actually how life should be.  The book is organized by the seasons, allowing you to read your way through a year in the life of the author, his family, and the backdrop of the Puget Sound that they call home.

Closer to the Ground came to me at a time when I was completely open to the message it had to offer.  The person in your life that appreciates their time on the trail will also see the honesty and truth in this book, in the way of life that it describes.

The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide to Hammock Camping by Derek Hansen

A look inside the bookAnd now a third book! You bet, 2014 is the year to learn something new and The Ultimate Hang is the perfect read for that lazy day reading in the, well you know, hammock.

Wilderness Dave’s review describes it as “a fun, well organized, beautifully illustrated, interactive book that reveals a real passion for the subject”.  This book has it all.  The author covers the basics of hammock camping as well as the more advanced knot tying techniques.

Deluxe Complete MRE

Meals Ready to EatMREs aren’t necessarily unique, but this one from TopSpecUS.com is different from the bag meals you’ll find at REI.

It contains the entree – beef taco is pictured – as well as a spoon, salt, pepper, a moist towelette, jelly, coffee, an energy bar, cereal, and crackers. It even comes with a book of matches!

At $89.95 for 12 individually wrapped meals these MREs are about the same cost as the traditional MRE you’ve been buying for just the entree.


Portable propane campfireWhat do you do when you’re camping somewhere with fire restrictions?  What about tailgates and family gatherings where a real fire isn’t possible?

Campfire-in-a-Can is your answer.  It’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that” products that’s a crowd pleaser in any setting.  Just connect the unit to a propane tank on your deck, at the campsite, or on your RV for an instant mood-setting fire experience.

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I'm the founder of Vestor Logic, the digital strategy and web design firm that created Trail Sherpa, ParksFolio, and Modern Steader. I'm a day hiker, top chef in camp, doting husband, and father to two headlamp wearing boys. My work in digital media brings those experiences to life.