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The Best Gifts for Your Outdoorsy Friend

Updated: 2 days ago

If finding the perfect gift for your hard-to-buy-for adventure-loving friend has

sent you on a little adventure of your own, we got you. We’ve all seen the

type. They already have nearly everything they want and they're picky on matters like size, and a ton of other variables. With the help of a certified Search and Rescue professional, we’ve put together a gift list that both outdoor lovers and your budget will appreciate.

PRO TIP: If your friend had a Yayday wishlist you wouldn't have to guess

what they want, and we wouldn’t have to write stuff like this (not that we

mind geeking out on gear).

All products featured on Yayday are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our Amazon Associate links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


1. Kahtoola RENAgaiter Low Gaiters - Most people are aware of using gaiters in snowy conditions to keep their boots from filling with the cold, white stuff, but a good low profile gaiter that keeps dirt, rocks, weeds and seeds out of your shoe can make any trek suck a lot less. These handy little guys do all that and they breathe well to boot (see what we did there?). They’re also water resistant for those dewy, drizzly or melty days. They retail at 49.99 and are basically worth their weight in white gold.

Best Gifts for hikers


2. Here’s another idea that we’re tweaking the usual customer paradigm on… arm warmers. They’re typically used by cyclists on cold rides to keep the arms, well, warm… but also functioning. When the arm muscles cool off too much, it’s hard to do much with your hands and fingers. And if you’ve ever tried to open a protein bar, work on your gear or fend off a bear with cold hands, you know it’s a problem in the great outdoors. So what’s our twist on these? In cold weather activities, layering is everything, however, the arms often suffer in the layering game. With these PEARL iZUMi Elite Thermal Arm Warmers at $35, or any decent arm warmer, you can cool off your core temperature without sacrificing the warmth of the arms and later on, the use of the hands.

pearl izumi arm warmer gifts for hikers


3. Let there be light… that doesn’t blind you, weigh a lot, or die mid-adventure! Enter the Reactive lighting tech from Petzl headlamps. One of our favorite lights for good battery life and massive light output without weighing down your noggin, at $120 the Petzl Swift RL puts out 900 lumens while weighing in at just 100 grams. But here’s our favorite feature, which we think your outdoor adventure seeker will love as well—instant, automatic light adjustment. Translation: Less blinding your friends or wasting battery power when looking at things nearby and instant full power when trying to see things far away. Let’s see your headlamp do that.

best headlamp for hikers Petzl


4. Hot head, cold ears? It’s a familiar problem when cooler weather sets it. Many of us need to get the hat off in order to stay cool at the core level while hiking up mountains or pulling the 3-year-old back up the sledding hill. The ears however tend to freeze. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution that runs just about 20 bones. Headbands may conjure up images of the 1980s for some of you, but in the 2020’s being comfortable and warm is in style. Specifically, we like the $22 Smartwool Merino 250 reversible headband which is available in 3 colors this year. Merino wool is a must have when sweat is involved as it’s antibacterial, wicking, and breathable by nature. Smart indeed.

headband for hikers Smartwool birthday ideas


5. Other than oxygen, the most important thing we humans need most often is water. Preferably water that won’t make us sick with bacteria or pollutants. In rare survival situations during an adventure, water can be the difference between getting out alive or not. A big issue with many survival-type items for hikers and the like is size and weight. Is it worth carrying this thing, that I’ll most likely not use? We’ve got the solution here for you. The LifeStraw Peak Squeeze water filtration bottle filters out 99.999999 (yes that’s six 9’s after the decimal) of bacteria and nearly that level of water-borne parasites, while weighing just 3.9 oz and collapsing into a very small space. At $38 it’s a great gift to make sure your adventure friends get another trip around the sun! And who wouldn’t want to potentially save a friend’s life for just 38 bucks?

save a friends life birthday gift lifestraw


6. Darn Tough Socks! - Socks with a lifetime warranty!? Say no more!

best socks for hiker birthday gift idea yayday


Thanks for reading. We hope you’ve got an idea of what to get your outdoorsy friend. If they don’t love it, that’s on them for not filling out their Yayday wishlist. Check out our other birthday gift ideas as we post them. We'll let you know when we do on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Also, go grab our app, find or add your friends on the app, and build your own wishlist so your friends aren't also stuck reading blog articles to figure out what YOU might want.

birthday freebies app


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