Nine out of ten gear junkies agree: there’s nothing better than finding something under the tree that’s made for your next outdoor adventure. Yes, there’s still time to find the perfect gift for the campers in your life. Whether you need to make a big splash, add another item to the present pile, or simply stuff a stocking, we’ve got you covered right here with these last minute gift ideas.
I never thought I needed a camp table until I used this one from GCI Outdoor. The Slim Fold Cook Station folds down flat for easy storage and transport, and is a cinch to set up once you get to camp. And when it is set up, oh man, it does everything! During summer and fall car camping excursions, I used it to hold a 5-gallon water container, wireless speakers, loose beers, a lantern, plates, utensils and food bags. And there was still enough room to fire up a stove and cook dinner.
The frame is made of powder coated steel, and the main surface is aluminum. This thing is tough as hell, easy to clean, and as mentioned, provides a central location in your camp to store just about anything you’re not holding on to. It’s the first thing I throw into the truck when it’s time to get out of town, and because it folds flat, it is easy to play “Gear Tetris” with. For around $80, the Slim Fold Cook Station will be a road trip favorite for years to come.
Let there be light! If the outdoorsy guy or gal in your life is still lugging an old-school gas lantern to camp, it’s time for a major upgrade. The Cairn Lantern provides users with a 300 Lumen LED light (this thing is frickin’ BRIGHT!) and runs for hours off of a USB charge. A multi-axis lanyard allows for easy positioning just about anywhere. I usually hung mine from a low tree limb to light up the cooking area. An IP65 rating means it’s both dustproof and waterproof, and the rigid construction means it’s one tough little light source.
Because it’s so lightweight and well built, the Cairn Lantern will be appreciated by backpackers and overlanders alike. Bottom line: when the sun goes down, this baby shines. For $50, you might have found the most budget-friendly gift to light up someone’s holiday*.
Stuff someone’s stocking with the greatest gift of all: backcountry coffee that’s actually enjoyable. It’s hard to beat a fresh, hot cup of joe while watching the sun rise over a remote lake, but man is it a pain to lug a French press in your pack. The other side of the coin is that while instant coffee is convenient, it’s often pretty lacking in flavor. This is not the case with Alpine Start coffee. I tried a pack of the Original Blend, and found it to have a bold taste with enough body to satisfy my morning craving.
I’m not stretching the truth when I tell you this is the best instant coffee I’ve found. For around $9 per box (8 instant packets), it’s a better deal than any barista will offer you. And good luck finding one of those guys out on the lake!
*absolutely terrible puns intended by author.