Gifts that travellers and outdoors lovers actually want

I can’t believe it is already this time of the year. The darkness and the cold -though never an excuse not to enjoy the outdoors-, the frost and… the panic to find the perfect gifts before Christmas… (Yes – how fortunate we are to face such a problem that can keep us busy for the all month!).

I truly believe in the power of giving and the pleasure of finding the perfect gift. However too often Christmas, birthdays or over gifting occasions are a synonym of an accumulation of just more “stuff”, most of it ending up in a drawer and never seeing the light of day again or on Ebay.  It doesn’t have to be… Know some globe trotters, nature lovers, adrenaline junkies? This article is about finding a gift that will make their eyes sparkle!

The best gifts

Gifts that matter and keep giving

Priceless gifts are my favorite! There is joy and pride in finding the perfect match which will create amazing memories. These gifts require usually a bit more work from you, but I can guarantee it is all worth the trouble – both for the one receiving and the one giving!


The gift of time
Or more exactly of time with somebody that matters – you! Bring somebody on a trip with you may be the bets gift you can give. It can be an older relative that doesn’t get many chances to go explore the world, or just a great way to catch-up with a friend you haven’t see in a while.


The gift of discovery

The gift of discovery is really special. We all have big dreams and long bucket lists, and sometimes we just need a little push help. Taster sessions are more and more popular and you will now find them covering a wide range of activities: painting, cooking, dancing but also climbing, diving, skiing, martial arts… Their next big hobby may just be around the corner.

The gift of challenge
This one – a bit radical- is about helping them to take the first step to a great challenge. Have they been talking about running a marathon again? Here you go! Cover the entry fees for them, no turning back. Marathon entry, local 10k race, hiking challenge, cycling sportive, triathlon… You will find events at all prices from ten dollars to thousands, all over the planets for all tastes.  Choose an event a few months away so that they have time to prepare. This gift is usually more appreciated if you join as well 😀

Well thought gifts that will be used

It may feel to personal or too difficult to find a gift from the above categories for the person you have in mind. What if you just want to buy a little something?

A good piece of equipment
This is always a great gift, as it will get used over and over again. It is not alway easy to buy equipment for somebody else – I should not as I am probably the most picky for choosing my equipment – but there are a few items that are maybe less personal (forget about clothing – except if you know exactly what they want). A few examples are: good pocket knife. Pay it with a coin, a Thermos/ nice water bottle, a notebook for travel journaling, a battery charger, a dry bag, a headlamp (read more about equipment). Choose quality over quantity. Boring? Not if you add a personal note to inspire wanderlust.

Inspirational Books
Aim for the ones that get open over and over again, and inspired great journeys: guidebooks, maps, travel novels… For me that’s how it all started. A South America guidebook, a simple Christmas present that inspired quitting the job to go 7 months on the roads to discover this exceptional continent. You have been warned!


Giving money: it doesn’t have to be weird

Still not sure? Giving money is always an option, and there are a few ways to make it more special and personal than a few notes in an envelope.


Money with a purpose
These make a great gift for loved one who planned have a trip planned. Add to the traditional envelope with cash a note on what the money is for.”You will use this money to enjoy a good argentinian steak for me!” You are effectively sponsoring a part of a trip, giving them the opportunity to enjoy something that they may not have given their travel budget. And even if they can afford it – isn’t it nice to show that you are interested in the trip? It can be anything from an entrance to a famous monument, a night in a great hotel to change from the dorms or a diving class!


For the ones who insist they don’t want anything
A good way to respect their decision while still giving is to make a donation for their favourite cause or charity. It takes just a few minutes – most of charities accept online donation- and you will make more than you both happy.


“Have you not forgotten vouchers?” you may ask
You may be surprised I haven’t really mentioned this possibility. Vouchers remains an option, though from my experience they have the tendency of being lost or out of date when you get the chance to use them (sounds familiar?). Another issue is with vouchers: you usually end up overspending to use the complete amount -yes that why they have been created in the first place. Handle with caution.


What about you? What is the best gift you ever got? Share you experience below.


Share your thoughts!