Has the idea of camping recently peaked your interest, or is your Secret Santa an outdoors enthusiast? If you, or someone you’re buying gifts for this holiday season wants to get back to nature, we've just made your a life a little bit easier. There are a few essential items every camper should have and these items will cover most of the bases.

  • Outdoor First Aid Kit 201, Amazon.com
    Outdoor First Aid Kit 201, Amazon.com

    First Aid Kit

    Price: $26.95

    Experienced campers often put together their own first aid kits, but beginners might find it easier to purchase on of the nifty, well-stocked kits out on the market. They come in a variety of sizes, appropriate for one or two days of camping, or longer periods of time, for those of you who like to venture deeper into the wild. This 201-piece kit, for example, is designed to handle camping, boating, fishing and hunting.

  • Leatherman Charge, Tackletour.com
    Leatherman Charge, Tackletour.com

    Knife and Multi-Purpose Tool

    Price: $99.90

    A good camping knife is more like a multi-purpose tool. The Leatherman, for example, usually includes several knives for any given situation. You won’t always be able to anticipate what kind of instrument you’ll need before the occasion arises, and it's smart to always have your bases covered.

  • Silva Polaris Type 7 Compass, Amazon.com
    Silva Polaris Type 7 Compass, Amazon.com

    Old Fashioned Compass

    Price: $10.94

    GPS units are awesome, but you can’t beat an old fashioned compass. They're easy to use and don't require constant charging on your part. Some are even quite attractive, which makes them wonderful presents. If the batteries in your GPS unit die while you’re out in the wood, you’ll be glad you brought a compass along.

  • Coleman LED Rechargeable Lantern, Sportsbasement.com
    Coleman LED Rechargeable Lantern, Sportsbasement.com

    Flashlight, Headlamp or Lantern

    Price: $50

    When the sun goes down in nature, you can’t just reach over and flick the light switch on. Some kind of flashlight, headlamp or lantern is imperative on any camping adventure. Of course, if you or the person you’re buying for has an owl’s night vision, you can scratch these items off you list. Otherwise, that "thing" that goes bump in the night will probably be you.

  • MSR DragonFly Backpacking Stove, Rei.com
    MSR DragonFly Backpacking Stove, Rei.com

    Camping Stove

    Price: $129.95

    If you end up camping somewhere fires aren’t allowed, or fuel for fire is hard to come buy, a gas powered camping stove will save you from a lot of cold, tasteless meals. Depending on how long you’ll be away, you can pack different fuel bottles of various sizes, which themselves make nice gifts.

  • Marmot Limestone 6P Tent, Rei.com
    Marmot Limestone 6P Tent, Rei.com


    Price: $389

    You can't go wrong with getting a tent. Some people like to sleep outside at night, but if it’s snowing, raining, misty or just downright cold, you’ll appreciate a protective shelter. Take into consideration the climate where you’ll be camping, and how many people need to squeeze inside the tent.

  • Marmot Helium, Amazon.com
    Marmot Helium, Amazon.com

    Sleeping Bag

    Price: $368.90 - $418

    Fun fact -- it gets cold at night. A good sleeping bag will keep you warm, and dry. Considering all the various different bags out there, the first two things you should consider are the camping environment and material of the bag. One affects the other, and the choices narrow down once you know where you’ll be spending the majority of your outdoor time.

  • Coghlans Waterproof Matches, Appoutdoors.com
    Coghlans Waterproof Matches, Appoutdoors.com

    Waterproof Matches

    Price: $3.75

    Don’t laugh. This might seem like a puny gift, but when you’re stuck out in the freezing rain trying to light a fire, you’ll be forever grateful to Santa, or whoever stuffed a few packs of waterproof matches into your Christmas stocking, for saving your hide.

  • MSR HyperFlow Microfilter, Amazon.com
    MSR HyperFlow Microfilter, Amazon.com

    Water Purifier

    Price: $76.44

    Completely leaving civilization for days unfortunately means that drinking water might be hard to come by. Even water that looks safe, may still carry pollution and bacteria. A good charcoal, or chemical water purifier, will ensure safe and clean refreshments.

  • Sidecountry 20, Marmot.com
    Sidecountry 20, Marmot.com

    Durable Backpack

    Price: $119

    Well, you’ve just bought a ton of camping gear for yourself, or someone on your holiday gift list. Now all you need is a solid backpack with enough room to haul that gear out into the forest, or up the mountain, or through the swamp, or across some grassy meadow. Make sure you buy a pack with strong lumbar support, and that's appropriate in size for who ever is going to carry it.

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