Best Gifts for Outdoor Moms

With the holidays coming up, I thought it was time to update our list of what outdoorsy moms really want to receive. Getting my kids and family outside and adventuring is a top priority, so gear and clothing that helps me do that are always at the top of my list. I’m also a big fan of experience gifts, particularly those that involve nature and being outside, learning a new skill, or about nature. We polled our audience and the members of our Creative Team and put together a big giant list of fun outdoor gear and perfect gift ideas for nature and adventure-loving moms and women in your life. 

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the best gifts for outdoorsy mom - gear, clothing & experiences

 

Gifts for outdoorsy moms (and other nature-loving women)

We have been working hard to put together the ultimate gift guide for outdoor moms. Any of these outdoor gifts would make great gifts for that special outdoorsy mom (or stepmom, grandma, aunt, sister, friend, neighbor, etc.) on your list. Moms appreciate thoughtful gifts and useful gifts. The recommendations on this list are both. You can use this list for the best mother’s day gifts ideas, as well as for the holidays, birthdays, and special occasions. 

We know that sometimes moms are hard to shop for. But, we also know that we tend to put the needs of our kids and others before ourselves, so we don’t always have the nicest outdoor gear for ourselves. Having good quality gear for mom is important, though! Moms deserve to be comfortable and have quality items as much as the kids do. 

We’ve broken down our gift recommendations into three categories: (1) gear, (2) clothing, (3) experiences. For the gear and clothing, we’ve included links to online shops where you can find these items. However, for the experience gifts, we’ve just included ideas. You’ll have to do some research in your location to find a place, destination, location, shop, outfitter, guide, etc. that offers the specific experience you’re looking for. We’ve included as many things as we could to give you a variety of options. There should be something on this list for nearly any outdoorsy woman that likes to play and explore outside, no matter what her interests are. 

Some of the recommendations are pricy – we know that. We’re big believers in buying quality gear that will last a very long time. We want you to get lots of use out items so that we keep as much waste out of landfills as possible. Sometimes that means a higher price tag. Please know that many of these items can be found at resale shops or online marketplaces at discount prices.

best women's gifts for camping, hiking, water sports, and outdoor adventures

Gear gifts for outdoor moms and outdoorsy women

Camping Hammock – A hammock makes a great gift – especially if you pair it with a long cozy nap! This double camping hammock is perfect for snuggling up with a kid or loved one. If you don’t want to share, there’s also a single-sized hammock.  Both are easy to pack in a backpack for camping, travel, the beach, or the backyard.

Stanley Classic Growler – There’s not much that tastes better in life than a cold beer by the campfire. But sometimes that’s hard to transport and keep cold. This stainless steel growler is perfect for the job. I love the handle, the color, and the fact that it can hold a serious amount of beer. Keeps beer cold for 24 hours. Fill it up with mom’s favorite microbrew and pack it for your next camping adventure, picnic, or outdoor date night. Bottoms up!

GoPro HERO Session – I don’t know a single mom that wouldn’t love a GoPro. The GoPro Hero Session model is small, waterproof, easy to grab and go, durable, and perfect for exploring the great outdoors. It has a super simple one-button video/photo function, which makes it perfect for first-time GoPro users. Takes video, single shots, burst photos, and time-lapse pictures.

Camping chairs – I’m on the hunt for the perfect camping chair. I want something relatively lightweight (because I have to carry it to baseball games), sturdy, durable, comfortable and not too big and unwieldy. A cup holder and storage pocket for my phone would also be nice. If you want to go top-of-the-line with a camp chair and aren’t concerned with size or weight or price, choose the Yeti Trailhead Collapsible Camping Chair. However, if the sticker price on that one gives you a heart attack, try the GCI Freestyle Rocker or the Kijaro, which comes in a ton of fun colors (I have this one in yellow). If you’re packing your chair, the REI Flexlite camp chair is great. 

Kayak – If the mom in your life loves water, a kayak would be an incredibly special gift. Kayaks come in a variety of sizes, weights, and price points, so you may need to do a little research before purchasing. If storage space and transportability are an issue, consider an inflatable kayak or a collapsible kayak. If she wants to take a kid along on adventures, consider a 2-person kayak. 

SUP – Along the same lines as a kayak, a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) is at the top of many of our Creative Team members lists this year. We recommend the inflatable ones from Badfish. The Flyweight SUP is ultra-light and easily packable. 

Bike rack – A bike rack may not sound like a super exciting gift, but think about all the possibilities and adventures it opens up being to take all your family’s bikes on the road with you! Most bike racks require that you have a hitch installed on your car, so if you don’t have one, that appointment needs to come first. We had one installed at our local U-Haul store. We choose this Yakima full-swing 4-bike mount that swings out so we can still open the back of our minivan without removing the rack and bikes. If you don’t have a hitch, consider a trunk mount bike carrier

Satellite phone – Want to give that mom in your life some peace of mind when she’s out adventuring (solo or with the kids)? A satellite communicator is perfect for any mom that likes adventuring off the beaten path, where service is spotty or non-existent. We recommend the Garmin InReach satellite communicator which has 100% global Iridium satellite coverage and two-way text messaging from anywhere (satellite subscription required). It also has the ability to trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center, should you ever need help. 

Mirrorless camera – A mirrorless camera has been on my wishlist for years! This Canon EOS full-frame body is perfect for the mom that wants to take more/better photos of her kids, but not have to drag super heavy gear around with her on adventures. It’s compatible with all Canon lenses and is a nice upgrade from my current DSLR. 

Family tent – We recently upgraded our family tent and I’m so impressed with our new tent, I’m recommending it to all of you. We went with the North Face Wawona 6 camping tent and love it. It has a huge vestibule big enough for all our gear and plenty of space inside for our entire family. Another tent for the whole family with great value is the Kelty Discovery 6 tent

best experience gifts, outdoor clothing and gear recommendations for moms

Packable blankets – We love this fun and colorful packable down blanket from Rumpl. The Rumple blanket is perfect for traveling, camping, picnics, etc. The bright color is fun and it’s so soft! Or this Classic Wool Blanket Rug Throw from the Tartan Blanket Co. is a must-have. It’s the perfect rugged, durable, year-round blanket for everything from picnics to cozying up by the fire. 

Osprey backpack – For hikers and backpackers, having the right backpack is key. We love Osprey backpacks that are specifically designed for women. If the mom in your life is into overnight backpacking trips, the Osprey Women’s Aura AG 65 Backpack is one of the best backpacks out there with an anti-gravity suspension system that gives outstanding ventilation and comfort.  If you’re shopping for a new mom or have a little tiny one in your family, consider the Osprey Poco Child Carrier backpack, so you can take your kid along on hikes. If you need a good hiking backpack, the Osprey Hikelite is a great choice for day hikes and has a ventilated back panel to keep you from getting sweaty. If you’re in need of a hydration pack, we recommend the Osprey Salida, which comes in a variety of sizes, depending on how much water you’ll need to carry with you. 

Lamzac the Original Seat – If you really want to up the comfort and relaxation level while out on adventures, how fun is this unique personal inflatable air lounger from Lamzac? It takes three big “gulps” of air to fill and folds flat so it can be easily taken anywhere. Easier to set up than a hammock, perfect for the beach, parks, festivals, camping, picnics, and backyard lounging. 

TeamFar 12 Ounce Ceramic-Coated Cups – I love this bright, colorful set of 4 ceramic-coated enamel camping cups/travel mugs. Small (easy to pack), with a heat-resistant handle and wide-mouth design. Perfect for coffee, milk, juice, tea, soup, cereal, hot cocoa, beer, or wine!

Backpacking cooking system – If mom is a backpacker (or wants to be), she’s going to need a good cooking system or camp stove. We recommend the JetBoil Flash cooking system, which is lighting quick, small/packable, and durable. It has an easy push-button igniter and is compatible with a ton of fun accessories. 

Dry bags – Moms are usually the ones in charge of packing the gear, snacks, camera, and change of clothes for the kids on outdoor adventures. Set her up for success with these awesome dry bags, so everything on the trip stays high and dry. This dry bag pack comes with 3 in a set of various sizes and is perfect for any adventure. 

Stasher bags – While we’re on the subject of cooking and bags, don’t forget about Stasher bags. These reusable bags are perfect for packing snacks and eliminating food waste. They’re a bit pricy, which sometimes keeps moms from buying them for themselves, but they make for really thoughtful and useful gifts. 

Wagon – And speaking of hauling all the gear for the kids, whether it’s a trip to the beach or down to the ball fields, a portable/collapsible wagon to haul all the gear is a great gift idea. This heavy-duty wagon is great for the garden or camping. Wheelz makes the best carts for the beach and battling the sand. This sports wagon is perfect for baseball or soccer moms. 

Simms waders – Fishing moms are going to love this gift! Give her a pair of high-quality waders so she can get in the water, too. In our opinion, Simms makes the absolute best waders out there for women. And don’t forget to add the wading boots and a fly rod (this set comes with fly rod, reel, and fishing line) to round out the ultimate fishing gift package! 

Waterproof speaker – Bring your tunes with you (or your podcast or your audiobook) when you’re outside enjoying your adventures. We love the JBL Flip 5 portable waterproof Bluetooth speaker. We take ours everywhere with us. It’s recharge and very durable (trust me, it’s been dropped many many times with three kids). 

Yeti cooler – I’m a bit obsessed with my Yeti Hopper cooler. I take it with me everywhere! While smaller and lighter than most Yeti coolers, it’s still a bit big for carrying around, but I keep it stocked in the car and filled with snacks and drinks. We also take it with us to baseball games, picnics, and BBQs. 

Clothing gifts for outdoor moms

Wool base layers – We are all slightly obsessed with merino wool layers. They are warm, super-soft, and naturally odor-resistant, which makes them the perfect base layer for outdoor adventuring in colder weather. We highly recommend merino wool for kids, but mom deserves to be warm, too! We recommend Kari Traa base layers, which are 100% merino wool. 

Vivobarefoot shoes – Vivobarefoot is one of our all-time favorite shoe companies because they understand the importance of connecting with nature. They pride themselves on their sustainability efforts and lead the way in creating shoes that last with as little environmental impact as possible. My all-time favorite shoe is their Ultra Bloom lightweight amphibious summer footwear. I personally own these shoes in multiple colors and wear them almost exclusively from April through October. You can usually find them in the Revivo resale shop (where Vivo reconditions and regenerates footwear to keep them out of landfills). 

Patagonia coat or jacket – The outdoorsy mom in your life deserves an amazing winter coat. Hands-down, Patagonia makes the best, most comfortable, and stylish outdoor gear for women on the market. This is a company I personally and professionally admire and look up to for its ethics and commitment to the environment and sustainability. The Nano Puff is perfect for fall and layering. The Down Sweater Hoody is great for active on-the-go moms. The 3-in-1 parka is the ultimate winter coat. And the Torrentshell rain jacket will make any mom excited about playing in the rain. 

Gloves – The ultimate ideal winter gloves would not only be insulated, waterproof and windproof, but they’d also be tech compatible so you can still use a touchscreen device without having to take off your gloves. We found a few options at different price points that worked for all these requirements – Outdoor Research Melody Sensor Gloves, Koxly 3M Insulated Gloves, The North Face Etip Gloves, and OZERO Thermal Gloves

Chaco Women’s Outcross Evo Mary Jane – I own these shoes and they’re a favorite. Classic Chaco sandals are great for summer days on the river/lake or at the farm. This waterproof shoe is perfect for hiking/creeking because it feels like a tennis shoe and will keep sand and small rocks out. 

Hiking pants – A good hiking pant is a must for the active mom that spends a lot of time on the trails. We love Title Nine hiking pants. They come in a variety of styles and colors, for women of all shapes and sizes. Title Nine is a women-owned US-based company that makes amazing clothing for women only. Their clothing is high quality, durable, fashionable, and ethical. 

Wool socks – If you’re adventuring outside and your feet are cold, you’re going to be miserable. Get mom some nice wool socks for all those wintertime outdoor explorations with the kids. Smartwool makes great hiking socks. As does Darn Tough

Hiking boots – All outdoor lovers need a good pair of hiking boots. There are so many amazing brands out there and this is a bit of a personal choice. If you already know what style and colors she likes, go with that. If you’re looking for a new pair, our team members recommend the following: Teva, Columbia, Keen, Merrell

Vuyori shorts and pants – The Vuyori performance joggers are the most comfortable pants I’ve ever owned. They’re a little pricy, but they’re like wearing butter. They also make a pair of shorts (the Halo performance shorts) that will change your life. Perfect for those of us that usually despise wearing shorts.  

best experience gifts for outdoorsy mom

Experience gifts for outdoorsy moms

If the outdoorsy mom in your life has all the clothing/gear she needs, or is more interested in getting experiences than stuff, don’t worry! We’ve got a huge list of outdoor activity ideas, adventures, lessons, and experiences that should help inspire you to find a thoughtful gift that she’s interested in. Experiences make for amazing and unique gifts that can be tailed to any interest, whether that’s adventuring, reading, gardening, photography, or anything else. Because so many of these are based on where you’ll be doing the activity, we’re not including links, just a list of ideas to get you starting thinking about an adventure you could gift. The best part about having the right gear and clothing is being able to put it to good use – these ideas will help you do just that! 

  • National parks pass 
  • RV rental – check out Outdoorsy.com
  • Beach picnic – there are lots of local companies that will set up (and then clean up) a fully catered picnic on the beach for you
  • Farm-to-table dinner experience
  • Horseback riding adventure
  • Overnight biking trip
  • Paddling adventure
  • Rock climbing lessons/passes
  • Ice fishing excursion
  • Photography course (HelloStoryteller has some great online courses…and a few with us where we pair lessons with outdoor activities for kids)
  • “Mom & Me” photo session with a local photographer
  • Garden center gift certificate
  • Foraging excursion with a local guide
  • Fly fishing casting lessons
  • Airbnb gift certificate for a unique stay (treehouse, cabin, tiny home, etc.)
  • Ski school lesson
  • Pontoon boat rental (or houseboat, ski boat, fishing boat)
  • Campground reservations (or plan a camping trip)
  • Hang gliding lesson
  • Plein air art studio session
  • Pottery making class
  • Gift card to local outdoor adventure store
  • Sailing lessons
  • Gardening class (or Master Gardener class if you’ve really got a green thumb)
  • Ice skate rink rentals
  • Safari
  • Surfing lessons
  • Organized night hike
  • Outdoor cooking class
  • Yoga retreat
  • Cross country ski rentals

awesome gifts for active and adventurous women and moms

Mix and match gift packages

Want to go above and beyond? Package a piece of gear or clothing together with an outdoor adventure for a winning combination! For example, pair the beach wagon with a weekend getaway to the beach. Combine the hammock, tent, thermos, and backpack with a campground reservation. Pair the kayak and dry bags with a paddling excursion. Or do just about anything and get it all on video with that awesome GoPro! Outdoorsy gifts are amazing, especially when paired with an adventure!

Hey moms, what’s on your holiday wishlist?

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