7 Holiday Gift Ideas for Lovers of the Great Outdoors


Recommendations from SCA’s Gear Guru

Shopping for a true lover of the great outdoors can be tough. More than anything, they’ll appreciate gifts that make getting out and connecting with nature easier, lighter, and more seamless, but they likely have high standards when it comes to such things.

How do you make sure your gift will be useful enough to see some actual trail time? You consult an expert, that’s how! Our equipment managers have put together this list of trail-tested goods to help you shop for the most outdoors-obsessed members of your holiday gift list:

Mpowrd Luci Solar Light

Luci inflatable solar powered light.

The Luci is pretty little solar powered (or rechargeable), inflatable LED lantern, great for illuminating a tent or card game and can even fill in for a fire when you’re someplace where fires are forbidden. (perhaps reference Leave No Trace Min Campfire Impacts Principle).  During the day when it’s not in use, you just deflate it down to a flat disk and strap it to the back of your pack where it catches the sun’s rays and recharges for another night of futuristic illumination Bonus: kids of all ages love ‘em. They’re just that neat. Price: $10 to $25

The MountainSmith Modular Hauler

Modular Hauler Outdoor Gear Organizer

A sweet, simple, and easy way to keep your gear in order, whether it be for climbing, camping, biking, soccer, home repair, a day at the beach or even just pet care.  Sturdy (the shell’s made from ballistic poly!) and not too costly, it fits nicely in your rig’s trunk or in the closet, then packs down easily when not in use, making it just a good, reliable, all around system for organizing, storing, and transporting your goods. Price: $90 to $100

GSI Outdoors Compact Scraper

The perfect pocket-sized gift for anyone who cooks in the wilds (urban or otherwise), the compact scraper is great at getting all the little leftovers out of your cooking pot, esp. when water and/or a sponge is lacking.  This simple tool will become a favorite after, say, scraping out that sticky, mushy mess that results after your friend thinks it’s a good idea to try and cook corn at 8000 ft (corn pasta will turn to gloop before it cooks at high elevation due to lower boiling temperatures). Price: $5

The MSR Trail Lite Cook Set

 The MSR Trail Lite system of cook sets features all the pots and personal dishes needed for 1 to 4 people.  Engineered so that everything nests easily, it’s also easy to just take a pot or two and hit the trail with a nice, sturdy, lightweight, set of cookware at the ready.

Bonus: They use the latest ceramics-based nonstick technology, which is ultra-durable and free of nasty chemicals like PTFE and PFOA. We’ve got a couple of these in the SCA Warehouse and they are the go-to when you need a lightweight cookpot for a small crowd.  The ‘colander-ready’ lids alone win all sorts of accolades… Price: $70

Audubon Field Guide App

I usually prefer to leave my phone at home when I head into the wild, but Audubon’s Field Guide apps would make a wonderful gift for any tech-loving outdoor adventurer. There are versions for most devices, and all of them are beautifully illustrated and bursting with thoughtfully presented knowledge of the natural world.

SCA Apparel and Accessories

What lover of the great outdoors wouldn’t be happy to support our effort to build the next generation of conservation leaders by sporting an SCA t-shirt, hat, or hoodie? Check out the SCA store for all sorts of wearable ways to show your support for connecting America’s young people with life-changing opportunities to study and protect our priceless natural landscapes.

Donate to SCA

By donating on behalf of the outdoor enthusiasts on your gift list, you’re contributing to the protection of the thing they love most: natural lands and the hiking trails that make them accessible.  

Amazon Smile

Regardless of who you’re buying for or what you’re buying them, do your online holiday shopping through Amazon Smile and select SCA as your designated charity, and 0.5% of your spending will go toward supporting our efforts to ensure that America’s public lands are kept healthy and accessible for generations to come! 

Student Conservation Association