13 gifts outdoor-explorers didn’t know they needed

These epic gift ideas are guaranteed to inspire an adventurous summer for the outdoor lover in your life.

Last updated: 18 September 2023

It can be tricky to buy for outdoorsy peeps or the sports-obsessed – they either know exactly what they want or they already own it! But there’s no need to fret – we’ve found a dozen gift ideas to surprise and amaze the nature-lover in your life this year.

1. Balance board

A balance board is the perfect training buddy for all active folk. It’s purposefully unsteady surface helps to build coordination and strength, and is particularly useful for surfers, skaters, paddle boarders – or anyone who relies on having strong ankles and balance to do their favourite things. They’re small, portable and easy to incorporate into any training programme. 

These make great gifts for adults and kids alike. Some wooden wobblers and yoga wheels are so beautiful they wouldn’t look out of place in the corner of the living room!

2. A multi-tool

A pocket knife is the perfect present for nature nerds. Leatherman or Victorinox are our top rated multi-tools due to their durability and functionality. Need a low-cost, Secret Santa surprise? Try this two-piece screwdriver set designed for keychains. 

Stealing the show, however is Leatherman Tread – it’s a toolbox they can wear on their wrist! Weighing only 168 grams, The Tread has 29 tools and the stainless steel links are even customizable. Whether they’re hunting, diving or cycling, they’ll be able to wrench, twist or cut whatever they need – in style. 

Give the active person in your life a breath of fresh air with a gift they won’t expect – you’re sure to be front of mind on their next adventure!

3. A hooded towel

They’ve probably already got a wetsuit, but do they have a hooded towel? Change that water-baby’s life with a poncho-style towel which makes getting changed after a surf or swim a breeze. 

Hyper Ride has leopard print ponchos and tie-dye towels, Hyped Sports has them in heaps of colours or you can even find hooded towels for kids – a unicorn or dinosaur towel is guaranteed to spark glee this Christmas day.

4. Something sentimental

Don’t feel like your gift has to inspire them to get outside – the athlete in your family is going to get out either way! So keep them dreaming of starry skies, brilliant birdsong or the rush of ocean waves with a keepsake or memento for home. 

You could gift a pretty poster that references their favourite pastime, like one with seafood, or botanical prints. A thoughtful gift for the globetrotter in your family could be a global scratch map – celebrate everywhere they’ve been as well as where they’re yet to go!

5. A kayak or stand up paddle board

Whether they seek the thrill or to chill, a kayak or stand up paddle board (SUP) is a safe bet for the outdoor explorer you’re still getting to know – paddling can be as serene or as adventurous as they want it to be. 

Check out our range of inflatable SUP’s and kayaks as well which can easily be chucked in the boot of their car. A thoughtful touch for that already-full garage, too!

6. Action cameras

What’s more fun than windsurfing, kayaking or skating? Being able to share footage of their action-packed antics with friends and family, of course! 

The DJI Osmo or GoPro are popular brands for those wanting to share their tricks or pics, with some of the newest models enabling livestream straight to socials. 

Whether they’re already equipped with a camera, it’s unlikely they’ll have all the accessories… There are head strap mounts, tripod mounts, phone clips and wrist bands. There are even multi-pack accessory kits if you’re really stuck, and if they’ve ever lost their camera in the water, the GoPro floaty is a great gift for the clumsiest of water-lovers.

7. A backpack

An outdoor lovers’ essential. If they tend to work on the go, upgrade their backpack to one with a USB charging port – they’ll be able to work from any outdoor spot a little while longer…! 

A folding backpack like this stool & picnic bag will get them settled into their fave fishing spot with no sweat, or check out Kathmandu for the best in backpacks. A lightweight backpack will allow them to travel further, but this convertible cargo bag is our top pick. It’s a backpack, duffle and shoulder bag in one.

8. Picnic bits and bobs

Sure, you could get them a simple spork, but collapsible camping gear like a silicon kettle or this stockpot are much more boujee gift ideas your alfresco-adoring friends won’t expect. 

If they’re keen on their campervan, this folding picnic table with LED light can be permanently attached to the outside of their vehicle – practical and cool! 

Or make the park their dining room with these mini picnic tables, a travel-friendly cheese board and these virtually unbreakable wine glasses. They’ll love rolling out their picnic blanket like these Kiwi as ones from Swanndri or setting up this portable fire pit (which doubles as a grill!) with nature as their backdrop.

9. Outdoor gifts at home

If the outdoor-lover in your life isn’t as much of an adrenaline junkie as they are interested in simply enjoying the fresh air, give them a gift that can be enjoyed from their backyard. 

Gift them a mini greenhouse or some pretty plant labels like these chalkboard stakes to get their green thumb going. Or be creative and create an at-home activity kit – include a workout mat, a funky microfibre towel and this water bottle-come Bluetooth speaker.

10. An Aeropress

Enjoying a fresh brew on a hike or camping adventure is always a treat, but it will be even easier with this neat little gift. If they love getting off-grid but hate to give up their cup of jo, give them the gift of good coffee on the go with an Aeropress

This small and compact coffee maker is well suited to hikers and campers because it brews like a french press, except it’s faster, has less grit and is simple to clean. The Aeropress Go is cleverly designed with a built-in cup – a delicious way to fuel their active lifestyle.

11. A telescope

If their love of the outdoors extends to the furthest corners of our universe, check out our wide range of telescopes. There are beginner telescopes to suit the amateur planet-watcher, kids telescopes to encourage their love of space or Celestron telescopes for the keenest of star-thusiasts. 

If they’re more interested in the birds and the trees, a set of binoculars for bird-lovers will brighten their Christmas day – give them night vision with a pair of digital goggles!

12. Outdoor-inspired reads

Whether it’s a plant identification guide, a how-to on outdoor cooking, or stories about living off the grid – there are thousands of books onsite, so your imagination is the only limit when it comes to gifting outdoor pursuit reads. 

You could even present them with a drawing pad and charcoal pencils to inspire a nature sketch in their favourite place.

13. Recovery gear

Whether the fitness fanatic in your fam loves snorkelling, golfing or walking – engaging in recovery is an essential part of their active lifestyle. Unless they’re obsessed with recovery as much as they are with the outdoors, you’ll be able to surprise them with at least one of these rehab-themed gifts.

A foam roller or recovery ball

The Triggerpoint brand offers great quality, colourful massage therapy tools. They’re always adding new products to their range too, from vibrating foam rollers to handheld massage balls – even ergonomic massage canes.

A massage gun

Sure, a massage gun isn’t as relaxing as the real thing, but they sure are cheaper and pretty effective! Perfect for recovery on-the-go, give the gift of a masseuse that’s available 24/7.

Fitness and compression clothing

Compression gear helps to stabilize muscles, resulting in decreased fatigue, increased blood flow and decreased muscle pain. Tops and tights or sleeves and socks can be found onsite – 2XU is a favourite brand among fitness junkies, so check out Sport Shoes for their wide range.

An acupressure mat

An acupressure mat may be described as bed of nails (eek!), but it offers incredible benefits to users when it comes to relieving tight back muscles. 

Check out Kiwi-owned company Shakti which sells mats in yellow, black, pink, orange, green and purple. Be sure to read the descriptions before you buy, as the colours stand for different intensities.

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Looking for more gift-giving inspiration? View our great range of gift ideas for every special person in your life.