This site requires javascript please enable javascript to avoid problems.

Holiday Gift Guide: Hiking and Camping

November 22, 2021

  • by
  • Drew Zieff

If you ask us, nothing beats hiking ridgelines, hanging with friends and family around a campfire, and sleeping beneath the stars. Over a decade ago, Active Junky was born out of love for both the great outdoors and the gear that gets us there. While we’ve grown significantly since those early days, not much has changed. We still love helping fellow outdoor enthusiasts save money on high-quality gear, and we still live to put that gear to the test on the trail. Below, you’ll find eight stoke-worthy gift ideas for campers, hikers, and anyone who values time spent outside as much as we do. 

Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth

Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth Starting at: $42.93

Whether embarking on a short hike or a serious overnight, hydration is mission critical. Hydro Flask’s double-walled 32 oz wide-mouthed water bottle insulates liquids, keeping hot drinks warm for 12 hours and cold drinks frosty for a full 24. The versatile 32 oz size is perfect for daily life and backcountry adventures alike. In the summer, we stuff this Hydro Flask with ice cubes, then fill it with water or an electrolyte drink mix for long hikes. When ski-touring or camping in the winter, hot cocoa, tea, coffee, or even spiked apple cider are our drinks of choice. No matter the season, this durable, practical Hydro Flask will have you sipping in style for many years to come. 

Big Agnes Salt Creek SL 3

Big Agnes Salt Creek SL 3 Starting at: $321.96

Designing a functional tent is equal parts art and architecture—and no one knows that better than Big Agnes. The Steamboat-based outfitter’s line of tents ranges from ultra-light, minimalist backpacking tents to palatial, family-friendly car-camping tents, and the three-person Salt Creek SL plays a welcome middle ground. The Salt Creek is light enough for backpacking, yet it’s also surprisingly spacious, with 42 square feet of floor space, generous vestibules, voluminous storage pockets for books and headlamps, and three doors. Our favorite feature? An awning that pops open at the head of the tent—simply prop it open with trekking poles and boom! You’ve got a shaded porch, perfect for watching the sunset over the mountains. Our advice? Use it as a three-person backpacking tent or a roomy two-person (plus dog) car-camping tent. 

Fun fact: several members of the Active Junky team also call Steamboat home—so big shoutout to our neighbors at Big Agnes. 

Nixon Hauler 35L 

Nixon Hauler 35L Backpack Starting at: $123.50

Nixon’s Hauler 35L is a Swiss Army Knife in backpack form. The aptly named pack is spacious and well-organized, with a comfortable hip belt and cushioned shoulder straps for carrying maxed-out loads. Thanks to REPREVE, a tough fabric sourced from recycled ocean plastics, the sustainably crafted Hauler is durable enough for any trail. A compartment on the bottom of the pack is perfect for stashing wet gear or muddy shoes, and straps significantly increase carrying capacity by offering a variety of lash points. Factor in a laptop sleeve, and the Hauler’s not just trustworthy on the trail—it’s a capable commuter, too. 

Nixon Regulus Expedition Watch

Nixon Regulus Expedition Watch Starting at: $237.50

Nixon’s Regulus Expedition Watch has adventure entwined in its DNA. Rugged and waterproof, the Regulus sports an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, and compass, all of which encourage smart decision-making in the backcountry. It even boasts a “camp mode,” which updates the wearer on incoming weather patterns. Thanks to a slim case and smooth silicone strap, the watch is unobtrusive and comfortable on the wrist. Not only does the Regulus aid hikers and campers in the field, but watch designers imbued the timepiece with street-ready style, too. At this point, we expect nothing less from Nixon.  

Stanley Adventure Fast Flow Water Jug

Stanley Adventure Fast Flow Water Jug Starting at: $42.50

Thanks to the drink dynamos at Stanley, the water cooler has never been cooler. The Adventure Fast Flow Water Jug holds two gallons of your favorite beverage—perfect for campground margaritas or Gatorade for a hiking group. Double-walled foam keeps cold beverages chilled for 13 hours, and if you fill the jug with ice, drinks stay frosty for up to 48 hours. Stanley built the leakproof, burly jug to withstand proverbial bumps in the road, and it’s easy to clean, difficult to damage, and backed by the brand’s long standing lifetime warranty. We’ll drink to that. 

Kodiak Stave Waterproof Hiker

Kodiak Stave Waterproof Hiker Starting at: $168.00

Stylish enough to hit the town and technical enough to tear up the trail, Kodiak’s Stave Waterproof Hiker is a jack of all trades—and a master of them, too. Kodiak’s attention to detail is evident in every stitch, and materials are nothing short of premium. Full-grain, waterproof leather and suede bring old-school durability and new-school flavor, while beneath, a waterproof, breathable membrane ensures dry, comfy feet. Kodiak kept sustainability in mind when sourcing materials and opted for eco-friendly whenever possible. For instance, the Stave sports a 100% recycled plastic lining, mesh collar, and tongue bottom; a 50% recycled plastic lace; and PrimaLoft’s energy-efficient P.U.R.E. insulation. In short, the Stave is a boot hikers can be proud of—for its bold aesthetic, on-trail performance, and sustainable origin story alike. 

Osprey Hikelite 26

Osprey Hikelite 26 Daypack Starting at: $94.00

We’ve put enough Osprey backpacks through the wringer over the last decade to fill a garage—or two. We’ve tested the Colorado brand’s specialized ski packs, their huge, multi-day backpacking backpacks, and everything in between. And you know what? We’ve never had a single sub-outstanding experience. If you’re hunting for a high-quality pack, you can’t go wrong with Osprey. Case in point, the Hikelite 26. A sleek yet capable pack, the Hikelite is purpose-built for anything from short hikes to full-day alpine adventures. The exceptionally ventilated Airspeed back panel keeps the lower back from resembling a swamp of sweat on muggy or mountainous hikes. The pack also sports an integrated rain cover that protects electronics and gear from unexpected downpours, stretchy mesh pockets for water bottles, and an internal hydration sleeve that fits up to a 3-liter reservoir. No doubt about it, the Hikelite 26 is a thoughtful, pragmatic gift for avid and aspiring hikers alike. 

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket

We have a soft spot in our hearts for Rumpl, as our test team has relied on the Original Puffy Blanket for warmth all over the west. From vanlifing around Vancouver Island to car-camping in Utah’s deserts and winter camping in Colorado, we’ve done it all. Essentially, the puffy blanket is a lofty throw wrapped in recycled ripstop. The easy-to-clean, durable nylon shell can handle dirt, bark, and brambles, yet it’s also soft against the skin. Perfect for hike-to picnics, cold nights in a tent, or even just snuggling up on the couch, the Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket is a gift that any outdoor enthusiast—or indoor enthusiast, for that matter—will surely love.

Share this Article

Featured in Activity Guide

Products Featured in this Article