In today’s world of smartphones and electronic gadgets, it is often difficult to get kids interested in outdoor activities such as camping and backpacking. The best way to get them enthusiastic about such activities is to gift them an item that they would not only love but that would also encourage them to explore the outdoors.
So which are the best gift items to consider for outdoorsy kids?
In this article, we look at some great gift ideas to consider this holiday season for kids to make them love camping, backpacking and wilderness exploration. We will share interesting gift suggestions along with some of the best options available in each category. So buckle up and read on!
Please note that some of the suggestions we list may not be suitable for all ages and some items should not be handed over to kids without proper supervision.
Suitable For: Boys and Girls, Age – All Ages
Want to get kids interested in the outdoors while encouraging them to read and learn new things? Then there is no better way than getting them a useful and interesting book on outdoor activities to read.
For teenagers, you can pick any of the beginner guides for camping, backpacking and survival. If you are looking something for pre-teen kids (9 -13 years), you can check the following options. For more details, you can check out our article on the best camping books for pre-teen kids.
- Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids’ Guide: A perfect, all-round book for outdoor activities ranging from backyard overnights to camping trips. In 250+ pages, this illustration-rich guide covers both the basics of camping such as choosing the right gear and advanced topics such as how to build a tarp tent and starting a fire.
- Pocket Guide to the Outdoors: This book is based on the generational classic – My Side of the Mountains. In 140 odd pages, the book covers all aspects of exploring the outdoors – how to build shelters, make fire, cook in the outdoors, identify animal tracks and so on.
Kids younger than 9 years have slightly different preferences for books. They look for books which are illustrious and tailored with content suitable for their age. You can check out our article on the best books for young kids for some popular suggestions. You can also look at the following options:
- The Kids Campfire Book: A best-selling books for kids activities during camping. The book contains useful information such as finding a campsite, identifying night sounds, observing and identifying creatures by the shape and glow of their eyes, in addition to some interesting things such as cooking and telling stories or singing songs around the fire.
- Kids Camp! Activities for the Backyard or Wilderness: A perfect introductory book for outdoor activities, filled with interesting activities kids can undertake in the backyard and during camping. Also available on Kindle.
Suitable For: Boys and Girls, Age – 5+ years
Walkie-talkies (a common name for two-way radios) are easy-to-use, limited range communication devices and are quite popular in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and hunting. And they have some excellent neighborhood or indoor uses as well.
A walkie-talkie set can allow your kid to stay in touch with you or his/her friends. With so many durable kid-friendly options available, you can pick one which fits your kid’s personality and preference. Some of the most popular walkie-talkies to consider are listed below:
- Little Pretender Walkie Talkies: Best-selling, three-channel walkie-talkies with authentic spy looks. Advertised range of 2 miles, the functional range is about 1 mile. Feature a bright LCD display, call-alert function, and even a built-in flashlight. Come with one belt-clip per radio.
- Kidzlane Durable Walkie Talkies: Hugely popular kid walkie-talkies. Compact, lightweight and extremely durable. Kidzlane walkie-talkies feature 3 separate channel operations and can work over a range of 1 mile (advertised range is 2 miles).
- Retevis RT628 Kids Walkie Talkies: Most authentic, commercial looking walkie-talkies, designed for kids and teenagers. 22-channel FRS walkie-talkies with an LCD display and support for VOX (hands-free) operation. Come with one belt-clip per radio.
Suitable For: Boys and Girls, Age – 4+ years
There is no better way to increase children’s engagement with the outdoors than by providing them with a discovery tool that would encourage them to explore the wilderness. Binoculars are one such item that helps in exploring the far open world through magnification. Binoculars are also an excellent item for your kid’s spy or detective kit.
Kid binoculars need to be durable, vibrantly colored, smartly designed and still have a decent magnification. They should also be lightweight and priced suitably. Some of the best binoculars to consider for kids are listed below:
- Kidwinz Kids Binoculars Set: A perfect 8X binocular, designed specifically for kids. Features rubber-coated eye-pieces, shock-absorbing durable body and foldable to match the eye-to-eye distance of the child. Come with a neck strap, carrying case and cleaning cloth.
- ExploreOne Kids Binoculars: Another popular kid binocular set with a 21 mm, 6X magnification lens. Smart, rugged design with rubber coating for extra durability. Comes with a nylon wrist strap and a carry bag.
- Cobiz 10X Kids Binoculars: A high-magnification binocular meant for older kids (8+ years). Features a 10X magnification, 25 mm adjustable lens. Perfect for bird watching, camping and other outdoor activities. Come with a neck strap and cleaning cloth.
Bug Catcher Sets
Suitable For: Boys and Girls, Age – 5+ years
The outdoors provide a perfect environment for all kinds of bugs and insects to flourish. And considering children’s fascination with insects, a bug catcher kit can make another excellent gift idea that mixes fun with science. A word of advice – just advise your kids to stay away from insects such as bees and hornets.
Two of the best bug catcher sets to consider are listed below:
- Nature Bound Bug Catcher Set: 7-piece bug catcher set that comes with tools to catch and store bugs without touching them – a bug net, bug tongs and tweezers. The kit has three storage habitats for bugs along with a magnifier habitat to study them up-close. A colorful activity booklet is also included with the set.
- Kangaroo’s Bug Adventure Set: Another excellent bug exploration set with 18-pieces. Includes three types of bug catchers, compass watch and collector container along with folding magnifying glass.
Outdoor Exploration Kits
Suitable For: Boys and Girls, Age – 4+ years
Instead of getting items such as binoculars, flashlights and compass separately, you can look at getting a decent exploration kit for your kids. Outdoor exploration kits are smartly bundled and can be carried around in a draw-string backpack. These kits work well as educational kits as well as entertainment in the wild.
Some of the best outdoor exploration kits available in the market are listed below:
- Adventure Kidz Outdoor Exploration Kit: Best-selling adventure kit that comes with a flashlight, 4X binoculars, compass, 3X magnifying glass and a whistle. All items can be neatly packed and carried around in a Nylon drawstring backpack. Provides a medium for STEM Learning and scientific exploration during camping.
- Back to Nature Outdoor Set for Kids: Another popular outdoor set for kids that comes with four high-quality items – 4X binoculars, hand-crank battery-less flashlight, 4X magnifying glass and a Lensatic Compass.
- Planters’ Choice Outdoor Exploration Kit: A decent outdoor set for kids that encourages the spirit of wilderness exploration. Comes with four high-quality items – 4X binoculars, hand-crank battery-less flashlight, 3X magnifying glass, whistle and a Lensatic Compass, along with a drawstring carry bag.
Backpacks and Cargo Vests
Suitable For: Boys and Girls, Age – 3+ years
Children’s love for backpacks is universal. Most kids love to carry their own stuff and gear during an outdoor trip – makes them feel grown-up. Hiking backpacks designed specifically for kids are obviously an excellent gift item. Such backpacks are available in different sizes and colors and suitable even for kids as young as three years old.
Some of the popular hiking backpacks to consider for kids are:
- Deuter Junior Backpack: A perfect kiddy backpack made with micro-rip Nylon. All-round extra padding makes it suitable for kids of age-group three years and above. Available in three vibrant colors and additional shapes.
- Osprey Youth Jet Backpack: A children-specific travel backpack with a lot of storage – mesh side pockets, expandable stash pockets and interior and exterior zipper pockets. Backed by a lifetime warranty.
Another fun item that kids can use to carry their outdoor gear is a cargo vest. Backyard Safari has a perfect cargo vest with ample storage and is made with rugged poly-twill fabric for extra durability. It is an excellent gift item for outdoor loving kids.
Marshmallow Roasting Sticks and Forks
Suitable For: Boys and Girls, Age – 4+ years
No overnight family camping trip is complete without some entertaining time around the campfire. And the best activity around a campfire is to roast marshmallows, hot dogs and what not. Marshmallow roasting sticks and forks are meant specifically for these activities.
The best marshmallow roasting sticks are the standard telescopic sticks with a rotating fork axle. MalloMe Premium marshmallow roasting sticks are a perfect example of such roasting sticks.
For more options and suggestions, you can check out our article on the best marshmallow roasting sticks and forks.
Suitable For: Boys, Age – 4+ years
Fishing is an excellent outdoor activity. And the best way to get your boy interested in it is to get the right type of fishing rod. Such a simple rig can help kids learn nuances of fishing without worrying too much about the rods getting broken.
A couple of fishing rod combos to check out are listed below:
- PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Rod and Reel Combo: A popular kids fishing kit that features a telescopic fishing rod, spincast reel, line and lure tackle kit with baits and bobbers. Available in multiple sizes (45 inch and 59 inch) as per kid’s age.
- SYL Fishing Portable Mini Fishing Rod and Reel Combo: Another decent fishing kit with rod, spincast reel, lure, floats and hooks – everything to get your kid started on fishing.
Swiss Army Knife
Suitable For: Replica – Boys, Age – 3-8 years; Real – Boys and Girls, Age – 8+ years
A Swiss Army Knife is probably one of the most popular Every Day Carry (EDC) toolset to carry for adults and teenagers. And it undoubtedly makes an excellent kids. For young kids in the age group of 3 to 7 years, you can look at getting a replica or toy knife such as the Theo Klein Toy Swiss Army Knife.
Older kids would like to have a real one. Victorinox – My First Swiss Army Knife is an excellent beginner model for 8-year-olds. For teenagers who are responsible enough to handle a blade, the standard Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife is the best choice.
For more suggestions and options, you can check out our article on the best Swiss Army Knife for EDC and camping.
Suitable For: Boys and Girls, Age – 8+ years
A paracord bracelet is a nice fashion accessory which has become quite popular in past few years. A paracord bracelet or survival bracelet is not an ordinary piece of jewelry, it is a survival equipment with items such as a compass, whistle, fire starters, even fishing snares in it.
Some suitable options for kids are listed below:
- Sahara Sailor paracord bracelet set: This excellent 550 lbs.-paracord bracelet has additional survival items such as compass, fire-starter, whistle and a scraper. And a set of two costs less than 10 bucks, making it an excellent budget choice.
- Paracord Planet Survival Youth Paracord Bracelets: A truly multi-functional bracelet with compass, fire-starter, whistle and scraper knife. Available in a bunch of youth-friendly colors suitable for both boys and girls.
For some more information and options you can check out our article on the paracord bracelets.
In addition to the categories listed above, there are a few miscellaneous ideas that we considered before picking our favorite categories. You can check them out and see if any of them would be interesting gifts for kids:
- Camping Playsets: Who said that toddlers and young kids cannot have fun with camping while being indoors? Camping playsets are perfect pretend play toys for 2-5 year olds. Learning Resources Pretend & Play Camp Set and Liberty Imports Little Explorers Camping Playset are two excellent options to consider. And if you are looking for a full campsite experience, check out the wonderful PLAYMOBIL Camp Site Playset. This playset has everything to teach children about organizing around a campsite.
- Flashlights and Headlamps: Children’s fascination with light is well-founded, and outdoor activities give ample opportunities to have fun with these items. Kids can stargaze, play flashlight tags and tell scary stories using these lights. Backyard Safari has an excellent flashlight with multiple adjustable modes, designed specifically for kids. Similarly, Coghlan’s has a Bug-Eye Headlight suitable for kids older than six years.
- Fire-starters: Starting a fire is one of the most important skill to have in the wilderness. You can consider getting a Ferro-rod fire starter for your kid and teach him/her on how to use it responsibly under supervision (to prevent any mishaps). Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 is an excellent fire-starter than comes with an emergency whistle. You can also check our article on the best camping fire-starters for more information and suggestions.
In this article, we shared 10 excellent gift suggestions to consider this holiday season for kids who love the outdoors (or ones whom you want to love it) and also shared some of the best options in each category.
We hope that you would find these gift suggestions useful this holiday season. Do let us know your feedback and additional suggestions by commenting below. Happy holidays!