25 Best Outdoor Gifts for Women [Updated for 2021]
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Whether we like it or not, the holiday season is coming up like a steam roller and the pressure to find the perfect gifts is building. Should you go for unique gifts or practical gifts? If you’ve got an outdoorsy woman in your life who loves outdoor adventures like camping trips and backpacking trips, then you’re in luck because there are SO MANY different outdoor gifts out there.
However, because of the massive market, shopping for gifts for your favorite outdoorsy woman can lead you straight into the unknown. What are the quality brands? Does she have everything she needs? What could she really use on her next ? If you’re feeling lost in a forest of endless options, Explorer Chick is here to guide you in the right direction (it’s kinda our thing).
Thanks to our uber-knowledgable Dream Team, we’ve got plenty of awesome gift ideas for the outdoors-woman in your life. From in-the-field tested gear to fun stuff she didn’t even know she needed, we’ll help you find the perfect outdoor gift.
Gift Ideas for Outdoor Clothing and Accessories
You know we have to start out our gift guide with a shameless plug! Seriously, though—this Explorer Chick sisterhood is a force! We know you love to rep it! (Especially with the free swag you get when you sign up for trips.) But did you know we have tons of outdoor clothing and accessories in our Shop? From pullovers to leggings to hats, it’s easy to gear up your favorite Explorer Chick for her next adventure.
The name says it all. These 100% merino wool socks will see her through the most demanding hiking trails in all types of weather. With fun designs and color combinations, Darn Tough socks are great addition to your gift ideas list for the outdoors-woman in your life.
Taking that same hiker-friendly merino wool and applying it to everything from pullovers to undies, Smartwool clothing is one smart choice. Explorer Chick founder Nicki Bruckmann is especially fond of their skirts for summer hikes. Their t-shirts are also a must for warm-weather hiking, and are ideal for layering in cooler temperatures.
4. National Parks Trucker Hat
We love us some trucker hats. The mesh backing, flat bill and extra headroom means enjoying cool sun protection and hiding greasy trail-hair all at the same time. Hats sporting the various National Park logos are a particular favorite. There are several options available on America’s National Parks (where your purchase directly supports our national parks) or through Etsy or other online retailers. Whatever you choose, feel great knowing you’ll help her celebrate an upcoming US National Parks trip while gifting her something she can use all at the same time.
Just because she’s voluntarily living sans-shower for days on end and getting dirty in the backcountry doesn’t mean she can’t have pretty things. These bandanas (which can be used as scarves, handkerchiefs, face masks—you name it) are both versatile and beautiful. That’s a double-check in our book! The designs are hand-drawn and printed on 100% premium cotton.
6. Sensi Graves Swim and Waterlust Swimwear
Sustainability. Environmental research support. Those are things you won’t find most swimwear companies considering. But when you combine a love of being in the water with a love of protecting the planet, you get sport- and eco-friendly suits that don’t skimp on style. Both Sensi Graves and Waterlust provide gift cards, so no guesswork on your part involved! You can give your adventurous mermaid the opportunity to find exactly what she’s looking for.
Outdoor Gear and Equipment for the Outdoor Lover
Explorer Chick Guide Kirstie raves about this pack. With tons of pockets and handy straps, this little waterproof wonder is a workhorse on day hikes. She’ll appreciate details like a hip belt with pocket, padded back panel, and sternum strap with whistle. And can all the ladies out there give a hallelujah for the bright orange lining?! No digging blindly in the bag abyss. All in all, a great gift to enjoy the great outdoors.
8. Kula Cloth
When nature calls in, er, nature, women already have enough to deal with. How about making it a little less difficult? Kula Cloth is designed for women, by women (not to mention they’re a vetted Explorer Chick partner). So what is it? To put it simply, it’s pee cloth. A reusable, antimicrobial pee cloth to be exact. Look, nothing will turn an epic backpacking adventure into a miserable death march faster than poor female hygiene. Kula Cloth is a fantastic way to avoid packing toilet paper or having to suffer the thigh-burning hell of the squatting drip-dries. Your lucky gift recipient will be extremely grateful. Trust us.
Want to know other outdoor pee hacks? We have a guide for that!
Truth bomb: Drinking straight from a lovely little mountain stream can result in the giardia poops and toxic farting. Every good outdoors-woman knows it’s crucial to filter water! There are several water-filtration methods, but one of our favorites is this system from Platypus. Ultralight and pump-free, it’s a great idea for a present and welcome addition to any backpacker’s pack.
10. Camping Hammock
Take their overnight camping experience to the next level—literally. Camping hammocks are lightweight, easy to set up, and a cozy way to cocoon for the night. Made from parachute nylon using tree-friendly straps, they’re a fantastic way to cap off a long day on the trail. You can find several options on Amazon, or at REI or your local outdoor outfitter (we encourage you to shop local if you can!).
11. Camping Chair
Sore muscles. Tired feet. Doesn’t your backpacking beauty’s booty deserve a comfy place to park after a long day on the trail? We think so! Explorer Chick Guide Lauren swears by the REI Co-op Felxlite Camping Chair. Another popular choice is Helinox. These foldable, lightweight chairs with aluminum frames are guaranteed to generate plenty of envy and groans from the log-sitters around the campfire. For those who want to pack extra-light and don’t mind sitting on the ground, Crazy Creek chairs are another great option.
Let her finally say goodbye to that metal mess kit she’s had since Girl Scouts. This complete kit checks all the boxes: lightweight, durable, and fun colors. (Hey, it’s important!) The bowl, plate and spork seal tight and stay together thanks to a silicone rim and extra-tough rubber tether. Include a couple of bags of backpacking food from our favorite companies and you’ve got a gift you know she (and her insatiable hiker hunger) will be thankful for.
13. Big Agnes Women’s Torchlight 20 Sleeping Bag
This super warm and cozy sleeping bag is the perfect gift for the outdoorsy women who live for the next camping trip. Of all the camping gear she’s gonna have, the sleeping bag is a priority and if she doesn’t have one yet or has one that she’s constantly cold in, the Big Agnes Torchlight 20 is one of our favorite options. We use these sleeping bags in the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. She’ll love it because it offers a customizable sleeping experience (no more cold feet and sweaty back), had waterproof down, and is super lightweight — great for her next backpacking trip!
Jewelry that Celebrates the Outdoors
Pura Vida bracelets are an easy and lightweight way to bring a little extra to your hiking ensemble. Providing fair wage and steady business to artisans from Costa Rica to India, these handwoven bracelets are easy to collect and fun to wear—and may help support her favorite charity in the process. Choose from several nature-inspired designs for your gift, from the beach to the mountains.
Want a super-cool gift idea for an outdoors-woman who happens to be a beach-lovin’ babe? Dune incorporates nature into their necklace pendants using sand and elements from a location you select. How cool is that?! They have “banks” of sand from all over the world, or send in your own for a truly custom piece. It’s a lovely way to commemorate and remember a favorite tropical destination.
Small business? Check. Women-owned and operated? Check. One-of-a-kind jewelry that remind us of our favorite trips? Double-check. Lucca’s 100% alder wood earrings are simple, beautiful, and inspired by nature. Their small size and light weight make them the ideal accessory and present for any avid outdoor adventurer.
Memberships and Subscriptions
Aaron Owens Mayhew loves ultralight long-distance backpacking. She also loves good food. In 2017 she combined the two to create Backcountry Foodie. This membership-based service provides everything a serious backpacker needs to plan her meals with simple, low-cost recipes. The basic Backcountry Foodie plan unlocks 75 ultralight meal recipes, while gift-givers for more serious adventurers can opt for meal planning, webinars, group calls and more for an additional cost.
18. AllTrails Pro
AllTrails in a trail-finding app used and loved by outdoor enthusiasts the world over. Simply type in a location, and get a list of hiking trails in the area. Each entry includes level, length, estimated time to complete—as well as reviews and comments from the AllTrails community. While the app is free, upgrading to Pro unlocks some great extras. These include the ability to download trail maps with real-time map overlays, off-route notifications, and use of Lifeline: a real-time tracker you can share with friends and family. Super-cool bonus? One percent of every subscription goes to support nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting the planet.
Are spacious skies and purple mountain majesties on her gift wishlist? You’re in luck: those will fit in a box! An annual pass from the US National Parks Service can be used at over 2,000 federal recreation sites nationwide: national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests and grasslands, and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Whew! According to their website: “A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). Children age 15 or under are admitted free.”
The Perfect Gift for the Outdoorsy Woman Who Has Everything (Or So She Thinks)
Give the gift of adventure! Yep, you can help make her adventure travel dreams come true.These e-gift cards can be used on any of our adventure travel trips or Mini Adventure day trips and come in easy-to-give denominations of $25, $50, and $100.
Nothing whets wanderlust quite like good adventure travel writing. These books, curated by our We Are Explorer Chick Facebook Group members, will whisk her to faraway places or inspire new travel bucket list additions. Purchase one based on a destination she’s mentioned, or get her a bookstore gift card and let her dreams be her guide.
22. Food Dehydrator
If your fresh-air fanatic is also a foodie, a food dehydrator is a must! These little babies are a great way for an outdoors-woman to bring favorite recipes from the kitchen to the campsite. Excalibur is the Rolls-Royce of all the brands out there, but plenty of lower-cost options exist. Presto Dehydro gets the job done (and done well according to Nicki) for less than $50.
There are times when every backpacker needs a mood-booster. Let her stake her claim as Fairy Queen of the Forest with a string of twinkling lights. Placed around a tent and campsite, these colored campsite lights give any backcountry boudoir a fun, magical glow.
24. Photo Puzzle
Turn their favorite summit photo into a puzzle! These highly-rated 500-piece puzzles from Etsy seller ISeeMeBooksUS are a unique way to commemorate and celebrate an adventure travel achievement.
If your adventurous woman plans to do any off-grid camping or backpacking on her own somewhere with bears like Yosemite or Banff then a bear canister is an absolute must. True fact — bears do not care about your privacy. They will tear through just about anything (even your car!) to get to your food, so having a reliable bear canister will help keep any outdoor woman and her food safe. We use the Bear Vault on our Yosemite trips because it’s light for a bear canister, durable, approved by Yosemite, and made in the USA.
What are some of your favorite outdoor products or services you love to use? Do you have any of your own gift ideas for an outdoors-woman? We’re always on the lookout (even for ourselves)! Let us know over at the We Are Explorer Chick Facebook Group!