Last Updated on 01/02/2024
In this guide to camping gift ideas under $30, we share some of our favorite and affordable gifts for people who enjoy camping. It is often worth checking if your gift receiver already has any of these items, but I bet there is one they don’t have, which will be a nice surprise.
When it comes to buying gifts for outdoor people, it can be hard to know what they really want without asking them to their faces and ruining the surprise. It is hard because most outdoor people already have large collections of camping and hiking equipment. Not only that, but they can also be very picky about the brands or types of equipment they use. This is why we put together this list of some of the best camping gift ideas for under $30.
10 Camping Gift Ideas Under $30
**Update 2023 – Some prices may change over time
Hammocks are, without a doubt, my favorite way to spend a night outside. Throw a rain tarp over your head, and you are set to go. If you have never spent the night in a hammock gazing at the stars in your sleeping bag, then you should also consider getting a hammock for yourself as well as a gift for outdoor people. Check out the Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock, which I made by a well know hammock company and I guarantee – any outdoor person will appreciate.
- Related: Top 10 Best Backpacking Hammocks
Personal Water Filter
Portable Water filters make great gifts for outdoor people because they can be used every day of the year as well as being incredibly useful on any backpacking trip. You can get expensive pump-action filters for well over $100, but the most portable and lightweight options are also the cheapest and achieve exactly the same thing.
I don’t know about you, but as a 28-year-old outdoor guy, I pretty much rely on Christmas and birthdays to replace all my socks with holes in on a twice-yearly basis. As for hiking socks, these cost a whole lot more and are treated very. This is why socks, and hiking socks in particular, make the best camping gift ideas for friends and family that love being outdoors. Look for the highest wool content and an appropriate climate rating, and go with reputable hiking brands.
- Related: Best Merino Wool Socks for Hiking
Unless the person you are looking for a gift for is a full-on caveman or woman, they are going to have some kind of device that relies on electricity. This could be a smartphone, GPS device, head torch, or camera. People who spend long periods of time outdoors with any electronic device will know that sooner or later, the battery will run out. Power banks are a great way to extend the amount of time you can stay outdoors without returning back to civilization to charge up.
The Anker PowerCore Speed 10000 will charge an iPhone 6s well over three times and is one of the most lightweight and compact for its specifications. You can also get more rugged/waterproof options as well (see the link below).
Because knives are a fairly high-ticket item, and the fact that people can be very particular about the shapes, brands, and sizes of knives that they use, a knife sharpening stone or tool makes a great little gift idea that you could possibly pair with something like a Magnesium Fire Steel Rod and still spend less than $30. For a quality and well-known knife sharpening stone, get a Fallkniven Knives DC4 or if you think a pocket knife sharpener is better suited then see our top 10 list of pocket knife sharpeners in the link below.
Hats make great gifts for outdoor people because whether it is hot or cold, they will always need protection from the elements. Seeing as how Christmas is in the wintertime for most people reading this, warm wooly hats make the most sense. Check out the Icebreaker Skyline Hat, which is made from 100% New Zealand Merino Wool – incredibly comfortable and versatile.
Bowl/Spoon Carving Knife
If you have ever admired the skill of bushcraft or seen somebody whittle down a piece of wood into a spoon, then you know how appealing it looks to have a go at your own. While it does take some skill, care, and attention to create a beautiful bowl – you have to start somewhere. Learning lots of new skills helps you figure out what you enjoy and what you are good at. This is why hand tools like the Morakniv Wood Carving Knife make such great presents.
Lighter or Fire Starter
Whether you grew up in the countryside or in a city, fire is as intriguing as it is forbidden to play with as a young child. Being drawn to flames is not just a term used for moths. Most people who enjoy camping know the true value of a campfire and understand how difficult it can be to light one in poor conditions.
Having a reliable fire lighting device is as important as having a trusty blade. I try and carry two fire starting methods whenever I can, the Ultimate Survival Technologies Klipp Lighter and Fire Steel Striker are both safe and easy to use.
Does your friend or loved one enjoy taking pictures of their wilderness camping adventures? The Joby GorrilaPod SLR-Zoom is a camera tripod for people who like to get unique angles in hard to reach places. It attaches to objects like trees or railings with a few simple twists and is easy to balance on rough ground. Lightweight, compact, and easy to use make this one of the best camping gift ideas for people who like outdoor photography.
- Related: JOBY GorrilaPod Tripod Review
Having a bottle opener or small pocket knife on your keys might be standard protocol, but it can often make your keys heavy and bulky in your pocket. The keyring multi-tool is a very useful thing to have because you will find a use for it so often. Opening bottles, tightening or loosening screws, nuts, bolts, and prying things open is easy with little keyring tools like the Gerber Shard or the Leatherman Cam Pocket Tool.
Camping Gear Choices
As a self-confessed outdoor gear addict, I know how easy it is to garner a large selection of every kind of camping gadget you could imagine. But at the end of the day, there is only a handful of small items that I trust and use regularly, while everything else might only get used once or twice a year. For these reasons, it is not recommended to buy high-ticket items without first consulting with the recipient. But with a small camping gift under $30, you can’t go wrong with some of these ideas.
Because some people can be picky about the gear they use, we have not included any low-quality products and have instead focussed on well-known brands with good reputations. Luckily, there are always new and innovative products being released every year that your friend or loved one probably doesn’t own yet. The items on this list have been well thought out to appeal to anyone who loves camping and being outdoors, avoiding any kind of disappointment on the day.
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