Do you know an outdoors enthusiast or someone who road trips a lot? As someone who essentially lives on the road, I know we can be extremely hard to buy for at times. With this in mind I thought it would be a great idea to put together a list of what I consider to be perfect gifts for road trippers and camping enthusiasts. I’ve included a variety of budgets and practicalities so there’s something for everyone and if you choose to give one of these to the traveller in your life, I guarantee they’re going to love it!
Buying for someone specific? Narrow down your search with the links below!
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6 Eco friendly gifts for road trippers
Our first list is a set of eco friendly gift ideas for road trippers. There’s a huge incentive for people to reduce the amount of waste they produce in their day to day lives. These gifts will help your friend carry that through to their holidays and road trips!
Zero waste starter kit $45
This plastic-free starter kit is the perfect gift for road trippers and a great gift idea for hikers and campers too. Single-use plastic like cling wrap and water bottles lead to a lot of waste which can be hard to manage while you’re on the road or hiking – especially if your friend is into wild camping.
This zero-waste starter kit aims to reduce the need to store rubbish on road trips by providing reusable answers to the items mentioned previously. Beeswax wraps not only replace plastic wrap but they’ve also been proven to make fresh food last longer! Also included is a set of reusable and fully biodegradable cutlery, a net produce bag, reusable straws a refillable drinking bottle and a bamboo toothbrush, making this the most complete eco-friendly gift idea for road trippers!
Life Straw $20
Over 60 million water bottles end up in landfill every day. With that in mind, the life straw aims to considerably reduce that figure by enabling road trippers and campers to refill their own water bottles from almost any water source – essential for those who do a lot of wilderness camping. This personal water filter is inexpensive, fits in any backpack and is the perfect gift idea for hikers and road trippers alike.
Go plastic-free book $10
With the talk of going plastic-free booming in recent years, help your friends and family learn more about how they can reduce their plastic waste – even while on the road with this handy book!
Electronic Lighter $15
I had no idea electric lighters were a thing until I met a camper with one. They’re a really great gift idea for road trippers who like to build campfires on their trips. These lighters are charged via USB and use 0 gas or fuel.
Portable clothes washing bag $55
The Scrubba washing bag makes doing your laundry on the road not only possible without visiting a laundrette but easy. It’s lightweight and easy to store away in small spaces – perfect for micro-vanlifers too! Of all the eco-friendly gift ideas for road trippers on this list, the Scrubba is at the top of my wish-list!
Soap nuts $10
There’s no point having an eco-friendly portable washing bag if you’re having to use chemicals in the water that might ultimately end up killing plants if there’s nowhere safe to empty it. Soap nuts are the best way to counteract that. It might sound crazy, but these completely organic, completely natural soap nuts are a natural detergent that can be used as a laundry detergent but also a household cleaner! The shells of these fruits/berries contain a natural substance called Saponin. Once they come in contact with water, they create mild suds similar to soap. You can read up more about soap nuts here. They’re also another way of reducing the amount of waste we accumulate on road trips.
A lush gift card $10+
If you haven’t heard of lush before – where have you been! This is eco-friendly, anti-animal testing, a vegan-friendly cosmetics company that are dedicated to having 0 single-use plastic and unnecessary packaging on their products. A gift card from Lush is perhaps the best gift idea for road trippers who are looking to replace the bulk created by multiple hygiene bottles. Moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, body wash… you get the idea… all of these can be replaced with smaller but longer-lasting bars. Our personal favourite is their Godiva shampoo and conditioner bar!
7 of the best gifts for van lifers
We lived in our van for 2 years and know how hard it can be to find the best gifts for van lifers. We’re almost always short of space and don’t feel much need for more ‘stuff’. So these campervan gifts are more practical gifts than what you might usually give but we know from experience they’ll be well received.
Audiobooks + Podcast subscriptions
These are life savers for long trips and something every van lifer needs to have. If someone in your life doesn’t already have a Spotify or audible subscription I highly recommend these as one of the best gifts for van lifers! Here are my best podcast reccomendations too!
Compression packing cubes $35
Again, storage and space are a big deal when it comes to living in a van. Compression packing cubes go a step further to increase the number of clothes you can store in your tiny home. Not only do they help you stay organised but they’ll also help keep your clothes from wrinkling! We particularly like these ones by TRIPPED as they’ve been designed by road trippers for road trippers!
Adventure enamel mugs $30
Add some cute mugs to your vanlife friend’s collection. It’s important for a home on wheels to feel homely, cute mugs can do just that! Or, alternatively, encourage your wanderlust friends to take to the road.
Bluetooth waterproof speaker $85
Our waterproof speaker came everywhere with us and acted as our in-car speaker when the stereo broke. The JBL charge 3 is durable, portable and has great sound quality. They can also be linked to any other JBL charge speaker to create some pretty awesome surround sound! We never had a quiet road trip and I actually really miss ours!
Nanopresso portable espresso maker $65
Coffee whenever you fancy it, wherever you are with the Nanopresso espresso maker. This light and portable coffee maker is easily hand-operated, meaning you can have your favourite coffee even in the middle of the forest. It’s the best gift idea for van lifers who have limited power capabilities and for hikers who need an extra boost mid-hike.
Magnetic tins $15
Have we mentioned storage being an issue for van lifers? No? Give the gift of more space with these magnetic tins, they’re a fun way of freeing up cupboard space and displaying your favourite cooking spices.
Mosquito nets $10
Being able to sleep with your window down is a luxury not many van lifers have without a mosquito net. Ours were permanently fitted to our windows during the Australian summer as the flies there can be pretty bad. Window nets can also give an added layer of security as they obscure the fact that your windows have been left slightly open overnight.
A hammock has been on my van lifer wish list FOR-EVER. No matter how many times I stop and look at them Dec never gets the hint haha. Don’t let your van dwelling friend go without too! A hammock is a great way of relaxing in nature and letting your body decompress. They’re easy to store away and can even be taken out on day trips too just in case you find the perfect place to chill along the way!
Here’s a great guide to help you go plastic free!
8 Practical gift ideas for hikers
When it comes to buying gifts for hikers, I think it’s best to stay with things that are practical. Nobody wants to be carrying around a novelty flask that doesn’t stay warm and leaks at the slightest tilt. These are our favourite practical gift ideas for hikers that will come in handy for their next outdoor adventure!
Dry sacks $20
We swear by our Osprey dry sack. If we’re out and about you can guarantee we’ll have it on us. I’ve used it as a day bag to keep my nick-nacks dry on the way to and from work, we’ve stored our camera gear in it during river crossings and I’ve even doubled it up as floats when we’ve been swimming in the sea and didn’t want to leave our valuables on the beach. They’re a must-have for short trips as well as multi-day hikes.
Life proof phone case $30
There’s nothing worse than being out on a hike, dropping your phone and it ultimately dying while you’re on the track. A life proof case prevents a disaster happening to your precious device while you’re out exploring.
Trail cookbooks $15
The hardest part of multi-day hikes, for me, is knowing what to cook along the way. I’m a bit of a fussy eater but don’t particularly enjoy plain food. Trail cookbooks are a great way of getting new ideas and inspiration for long hikes and stop fussy eaters like me getting bored with their meal plans!
Treat your hiking buddy to a new camera. The GoPro is our favourite action camera that makes a great practical gift idea for hikers and outdoor explorers. They fit in your pocket but are advanced enough to get some really high quality photos and videos so that you never have to miss a moment!
Barefoot hiking shoes $45+
When I can’t actually be barefoot, I swear by barefoot shoes. I have quite bad knees and hips but I love hiking and being outdoors. My Merrell barefoot shoes have been a game-changer when it comes to comfort on long hikes. If you know a hiker who’s struggling to find the perfect shoes, we think you should treat them to Merrells and change their lives for good.
Thermal Flask $20
There’s nothing like a hot drink or soup to warm you up on a long winter hike, or a nice fresh ice cold smoothie in the middle of summer. We found a decent thermal flask that can do both hot and cold beverages, making it one of the best gift ideas for hikers
Head torch $17
This is something I always overlooked. In an era where everyone has their phone with them, who needs a torch right? But what happens if/when your phone runs out of battery? Or you need some light and you have your hands full? Now there’s always a head torch in my backpack even when I don’t plan on being out after dark. We recommend one like this that has a red light too, not only are they great as a reading light but they make great glow-worm spotting torches too!
Portable phone charger $20
Following on from the last gift idea for hikers, a portable phone charger is something everyone will appreciate. This Anker charger supports fast charging, is strong enough to provide 2 full charges for most phones and the price is low enough to not break the bank while still being high quality. We love that they can fit in a small pocket in your backpack too meaning it doesn’t take up too much space.
7 Gift ideas for campers
So far everything we’d listed would also be perfect for your friends or family who love a good camping trip. This time we want to give you a specifict list of gift ideas for campers. We’re talking practical and fun ideas that campers of all ages with appreciate as a gift.
Camping cookware $25
There’s nothing quite like cooking around a campfire surrounded by friends and family. This Camping Cookware Set is lightweight, built to last and folds down into each other to save space in the car. If your friend is a camping newbie or a professional survivalist, they’ll love this camping cookware set!
Solar shower $10
Gift your friend the ability to wash in the wilderness. With a 20L capacity, this solar shower is a great choice for remote camping showers. Simply fill before you set off then leave the bag in the sun and before you know it you have your own hot shower without hooking up to a water source. This is something we craved while camping in the outback and it’s definitely one of the best gift ideas for campers!
I can guarantee your female friends will really appreciate a SheWee as a gift. Sometimes the walk to the nearest campsite toilet is just too far in the middle of the night and not everyone wants to squat. A SheWee gives you the same freedom guys have – being able to pee standing up. It does take a little practice but once you’ve got the hang of it, your peeing experience will be revitalised!
Camping Sofa $30
Camp in comfort with this inflatable camping sofa! No pump is required means there’s less equipment to pack for the camping trip. Make your friend or family the envy of other campers by giving them this epic camping gift. Pair it with a comfy blanket to create the best camping gift set.
Camping activities $10
Are you buying for a camping family? This camping activity book is guaranteed to get the whole family enjoying the camping trip. It includes activities such as nature-themed treasure hunts, outdoor crafts, songs and lots of other great camping themed activities. This would be a great gift idea for a family who are planning their first camping trip with kids.
Portable bug zapper $20
Mosquitos can really ruin a camping trip. Lure them in and get rid of them with this portable battery powered bug zapper that is waterproof and also acts as a light. This is a really good practical gift idea for campers and one that is an essencial item for all trips.
Rainbow Flame $10
Make campfires more magical with mystical fire dyes. They might not be practical but they are a fun way to add a bit more colour to your evening by the fire.
Hopefully this gift guide has helped you pick the perfect gifts for the campers, hikers and road trippers in your life! We hope the person your buying for loves these gifts as much as we would! Don’t forget to share this post to help others find some inpriration.
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