If you know someone who enjoys going camping or RVing but are struggling to come up with gift ideas that they will love, we’ve gotcha covered! From our own experience as campers ourselves, we know exactly what is the most useful to have in the great outdoors.
Whether it’s RVing, tent camping, car camping, hiking, etc. there are plenty of useful gadgets, safety items, and other gear that make it super convenient when you are out there traveling or parked overnight. Sometimes these items can ultimately make the whole camping experience that much more enjoyable.
So here are some of the top camping gifts we would want to have (or perhaps we already have them and can’t live without them!).
To help make it easier, we’ve grouped the different types of camping gifts depending on the type of activity or type of camper you are shopping for.
** READ MORE: 10 Reasons Why RV Travel is the Best
Generally Useful Gifts for All Types of Campers
Here are some camping gift ideas for all types of campers, no matter if they like to camp in a tent or in an RV.
Having a camping chair is great, but how about a cushy lounger that doubles as a place to nap or just watch the trees overhead? These inflatable loungers are awesome because they fold up super small, so you can bring it with you even if you are tight on space. Plus, they are good for more than just camping. You can take them to the beach, picnics, or any other type of outdoor activity where you want to kick back and relax. Whoever you give it to, they are sure to get a lot of use out of it.
Josh always has to have a koozie for his drinks. But koozies can take up a lot of space, so what we love about this Rumpl Beer Blanket is that it’s so compact and can fit into such small places. Which makes it really easy to pack, or even just stuff in your pocket!
So this is actually an item that I recently purchased last summer, and I love it! I had been wanting a kayak for a while, but even in our RV we don’t have a ton of room. We didn’t want to have to tie one on the top of the car, so we figured we’d give the inflatable version a shot. And honestly, this 2 person inflatable kayak is GREAT! Sure it’s not a professional kayak, but it does the job for what I need to float and paddle around. Plus, it’s so compact and comes with a great carrying bag to keep it all together.
Josh and I really enjoy being able to have music with us wherever we go. We don’t go anywhere without our Bluetooth speaker! And this Bullfrog Bluetooth speaker is a great option because it’s waterproof and perfect to handle the rugged nature of the great outdoors. Whether we are relaxing at our campsite or going for a hike in a beautiful National Park, we love having a Bluetooth wireless speaker wherever we go (in fact, we have a few of them large and small).
I have to admit, I would really like to have a cool pair of binoculars like this! When we go camping with my parents I enjoy taking my dad’s and looking around at wildlife in the distance. I enjoy watching them and the binoculars can make it kind of fun to get a closer view of them without disturbing them in their natural habitat. Plus, these are waterproof and fog proof, which is really convenient to have! Although, we didn’t need binoculars to see the Moose in the campsite next to ours in the Grand Tetons (he was a surprise!).
So I couldn’t resist putting a little something in here for our four-legged furry best friends! We travel with Hana, our rescue Labrador, and she just loves sunbathing outside! But when we are camping, I don’t always want her to lay around in the dirt. Luckily, she’s not a huge fan either. So having a packable waterproof dog bed like this is perfect for her on our camping trips. This way she can lounge outside and not bring everything inside with her! There are actually a number of dog RV accessories that we recommend and have made our experience traveling with her more enjoyable. But this one is definitely top on the list.
If campers need to have better access to the internet while they are camping / traveling in an RV, then definitely consider a mobile router! We actually DO already have one of these, and it was one of the best investments we made. Basically, a mobile router like this Netgear Nighthawk that we have uses a SIM card that runs off of cellular network towers to create a wifi network in your RV where you can connect multiple devices. We then use it to work on our computers, and also to stream on our TV! I explained all about it in this blog post about RV internet and how we get wifi on the road. Now, users will need to buy a separate SIM card with a monthly fee to use the data, but the router itself would make for a great gift!
We really enjoy games. Whether it’s playing with our family or friends when we are at home, or when we are traveling. In fact, Josh and I always travel with a bunch of games – especially in our RV (we have a whole compartment full of them). If you enjoy a more casual game of just chit-chatting by the campfire, or even something fun to do when you are meeting people at various campgrounds, this is a great game to have! 501 questions is full of topics to get the conversation going and have a little fun together, off of our electronic devices!
Camping Gifts For the Kids (or big kids at heart)
If you are bringing the kids with you camping, or know little ones who enjoy going camping, here are some fun camping gifts that kids will enjoy – or even the big kids in your family!
These are pretty cool. Throw them into the fire and your fire will turn all sorts of awesome colors! It’s kinda fun to watch and enjoy the night being illuminated with all these vibrant colors in the flames!
I don’t know about you, but for us no camping trip is complete without roasting marshmallows over the fire. In particular, s’mores have become a camping tradition in our family! So having a set of these functional sticks that extend and retract for easy packing make it a lot easier. This set of 5 also comes with a nice carrying bag to keep them all together.
I love this gift idea! As a kid who grew up camping almost every weekend, I would have loved to have a camping journal like this. With different writing prompts and other activities, including a scrapbook, it’s a fun gift that kids will really enjoy during their camping trips.
Tools & Safety Camping Gifts
Every camper should have a set of handy tools as well as safety items in case of an emergency. For traveling in our RV, we actually have a very specific RV Tool Kit that we bring with us which has everything we typically need. The key is having items that serve multiple purposes as well as being compact and lightweight so they are easy to bring with you. Here are some great items that we would love to have ourselves!
You don’t want your matches to get wet! These special matches come with a waterproof case to help ensure that they stay dry and useful when you need them.
The last thing you want is to have trouble starting a fire. This fire starter tool is a great option because it’s not only a fire starter, but it has a thermometer, compass, bottle opener, whistle and an assortment of other emergency features all in one.
Now, this thing right here is amazing!!! It’s got so many things all together in one, I just love it. A hammer, an ax, a saw, a knife, a screwdriver, wirecutter, bottle opener, this thing would really come in handy as a camper. Plus it’s super compact and lightweight – just perfect!
Josh loves his leatherman! And it has come in handy more times than I could count. I would highly recommend that anyone who is a camper or likes getting outdoors have a great leatherman. This one is a great option because it’s really compact and can fit on a keychain. It’s a wonderful gift at this price point.
We all need power of some sorts when we are camping. Some more than others. So this is a good option if you need a more powerful source of electricity. It’s a quiet and compact portable generator which runs on a battery pack – no gas or fumes! It also has a solar panel option if you want to be able to recharge it that way while you are out. What’s great about this portable power station is that it’s specifically designed to charge electronics, such as laptops. Great for people like us who always have our laptops even when we are out camping.
Outdoor & Active Camping Gifts
If you know someone who is super outdoorsy and spends a lot of time out hiking and exploring in the wilderness, then here are a number of great camping gift ideas that they will love for their activities!
These are awesome! Honestly, everyone should have these in their camping emergency kits or hiking bags. These portable straws are actually filters that can handle up to 1,000 gallons of contaminated water without harsh chemicals. Doesn’t need batteries or any other type of power either. A must-have!
I never realized just how handle trekking poles were until we got a set. They are fantastic to have with you when you are out hiking on the trail, even just for small hikes. It’s one of those things that a person may not buy for themselves, but if they are a hiker (or even if they aren’t a hiker) then they will appreciate having them on hand when they need them. What’s great is how these collapse for easy carrying and they also come with different tips and exchangeable features.
We don’t have one of these, but they look so awesome I would love to have one! These compact portable stoves have a fuel contraption plus a cooking container and are made for hikers. They can boil water in just a few short minutes and the insulated cup keeps the contents warm. The bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup too. Together with a few other accessories, this is an awesome item to have on hand to make drinks and food easily when you are out on the trail.
If you are out on the trail, you may not always have cell phone service. So it’s really important that you have a GPS as well. We have had a few over the years, but our favorite are the Garmin models. They are reliable, easy to use, and have some great features depending on the mode. This model here has a bundle for campers and hikers that is quite useful.
Cooking & Kitchen Gifts
There’s something about cooking in the woods that just makes everything taste better. Even baking in our RV with our awesome convection oven (one of our favorite features of our RV) seems to turn out better than at home! Whether you are cooking over the campfire, on the grill or inside your RV, here are some items that we would find useful.
My grandmother was the queen of cooking over the campfire. No matter if it was a dutch oven, grill or foil – she could do it all effortlessly. And it was some of the best food you could have. This book has some really great recipes as well for dutch oven grill, foil and more which are super easy to make and look delicious. Perhaps if I had this book I could as over a campfire as well as my grandmother could!
If you want a snack while camping that isn’t super sweet like s’mores, popcorn is perfect. With over-the-fire popcorn popper, it’s also a lot of fun. Another grandma specialty at my house growing up, just be careful the lid doesn’t accidentally open or popcorn will be popping all over camp! Open your mouth, because it’s pretty funny (and a true story). You can get the disposable ones, but we prefer the reusable popper for over the fire.
There are many adorable camping coffee mugs out there. It’s hard to choose which I like they best. No matter what you choose, they are great gifts that campers in your family are sure to enjoy using when they are out in mother nature.
Lighting Camping Gifts
Lighting is always a vital necessity when you are camping. Especially if you are car camping or in a tent, these are some really useful lighting items that will make your trip more enjoyable.
Headlamps are super convenient when you are camping. Because you usually need your hands to help do things at night, such as putting up your tent or preparing your hotdog, or holding your bowl and spoon, having a headlamp is a huge benefit! And this biolight headlamp is awesome because it’s thin, lightweight, moisture-wicking and rechargeable. Plus gives you over 40 hours of good light.
I love this light! This Luci Inflatable Solar Light allows you to collect solar rays to charge it. 14 hours of direct sunlight will charge it for up to 50 hours of power! Plus, it has a USB 2-way charging option, so you can either use your phone to charge the lamp or use the lamp to also charge your phone! It’s super functional, and it’s super lightweight as an inflatable light that you can set anywhere you need it!
These individual hanging lightbulbs are another really useful item to have if you are camping. They run on batteries, so no need to fuss with long cords or hanging them near a plugin. Each have their own carabiner clips so you can hang wherever you want! They are lightweight and durable, making it easy to take them with you on any type of camping trip.
Everyone needs a great lantern when they are camping. This Coleman Quad pro is great because the panels are actually magnetic and removable, so you can remove them to recharge. It’s also water-resistant and has a built-in flashlight as well. The base itself can give off light for 20 hours and the panels each can hold about 3 hours of light. Oh and of course, it can also charge your phone too with the built-in USB charger!
Tent or Car Camping Essentials
If you enjoy camping in a tent or in a car, then you have some unique needs that will differ from those in bigger vans or RVs. Here are some essentials that help to make car and tent camping more enjoyable.
There’s nothing like the feeling of taking a clean shower! If you are car or tent camping out in the woods, a great option is this portable solar shower. Use the sun to warm it up, hang it, and use the on / off switch to manage your water consumption. A convenient way to get squeaky clean even out in mother nature.
There might be nothing worse than a hot tent at night when you are trying to sleep. This light & fan combo hangs easily at the top of your tent and functions as both a light when you need it, as well as a fan. Running on batteries, it can give you 37 hours of light and between 30 and 50 hours of fan power!
This is a great little stove that is perfect for those car and tent campers in your family. Coleman is a trusted brand, and this stove runs on butane and doesn’t need matches to start. It also comes with a carrying case to keep it all together. One butane can lasts a little over one hour for cooking.
We always recommend travel-sized microfiber towels to people as gifts. You can never really have enough, and they are SO useful no matter if you are going on a trip overseas or if it’s just a simple camping trip. Microfiber towels are so soft and super absorbent. The travel-sizes can pack up really well for carrying with you too.
Let’s face it, the ground can be pretty hard when you are trying to sleep. Having a pad to sleep on which is both durable, comfy, and also packable is key so you can bring it with you easily without taking up to much space. This one’s a great option because it’s self-inflating too, which makes it even more convenient!
Another useful item when you are camping that comes in handy is a collapsible tub. We like this one because it’s just big enough at 2 gallons, but not super huge. It’s big enough to do dishes or even wash clothes if you need to. Plus, it collapses down to a small size and is super packable.
RV Gift Ideas They Will Love!
Alas, the RVer’s out there have a different set of needs when it comes to camping. No matter which type of RV you have, you are likely to have a lot more space available to haul gear. RVer’s like to bring many of the comforts of home with them. Below are a few gift ideas that people with RVs will enjoy.
We’ve actually been wanting one of these portable Coleman grills for a while now. They are fantastic for RV camping because they fold up nicely for travel, but feel like a larger grill like we have back at home. Perfect for cooking breakfast outside or grilling steaks in the evening.
Of course, if you have a grill, then you also need a set of grilling utensils. We like this 6 piece set because it covers your bases for the main items you’ll need while camping and grilling, plus it has a convenient carrying case to keep them all together.
These chairs are an absolute must! They are so comfortable to sit outside at your campsite or lounge back. Laying all the way back, it’s so flat that you can easily fall asleep looking straight up at the sky. With locking mechanisms, you can lock it to stay in place at various positions. After seeing people with these, I immediately had to have one. And soon, I had to get Josh one too because he kept always trying to steal mine!
Know Someone Who Would Like These Camping Gifts?
As campers ourselves, we know how important it is to have the right kind of gear for a particular situation. Whether we are camping in the summer, winter, in the mountains or by the sea. Things like having the right RV tools & accessories to help you in case of an emergency or useful RV accessories that help make life a bit more comfy on the road…and even living in our RV we needed certain items to help manage our day-to-day living and working.
We have many of these items ourselves already, and the others we would love to have (hint hint…). So if you know a camper or an RVer and are trying to decide what type of gift they would enjoy, chances are any of these items would be GREAT gift ideas for them!