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Essential Outdoor Adventure Gifts for Kids

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A few years ago, our children received Outdoor Adventure themed Christmas and birthday gifts to equip them for family outdoor adventures for years to come. They received many of the essential items required for our family outdoor adventures.

Since then we have traveled the US from coast to coast and I am grateful that we always have the basics for hiking, camping, exploring, and more.

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The year that we planned an Outdoor Adventure themed Christmas, we determined that we needed a plan to make receiving the gifts, such as a sleeping bag, a fun memory.

We had a family sleepover that night in our new sleeping bags in the family room. Everyone had their new sleeping mats, flashlights, and other equipment to make the evening full of fun and adventure. We ate popcorn, enjoyed drinks in our new water bottles, and watched a family movie.

It was a great year and I have never regretted these purchases.

Here are your…

Essential Outdoor Adventure Gifts for Kids

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Water Bottles

We use our water bottles all summer long at the pool, on field trips, in the car for long drives, when we go camping, and on day hikes.


Super Sparrow Sports Water Bottle – our family’s choice. one in each color for all six of us.

O2 Mist and Sip bottles – amazing for hot days spent outdoors at amusement parks, hiking, or the pool.

Hydro Flask – If you really want to splurge, I am told that these are all the rage with teens. Grab one and a bunch of fun stickers because it is apparently “all about the stickers” you can put on them.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Hiking backpacks

We each have our own hiking daypack for camping, hiking, and even the occasional field trip.

Osprey daypack – comes in different colors for tweens, teens, and parents.

Overnight/Weekend hiking backpack – Perfect for your scout or more serious backpacking trips.

We have also had luck find great backpacks on sale at both LLBean and REI stores.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Headlamps

Our kids have enjoyed headlamps for playing outdoors at night, exploring the beach at night, reading in their beds when traveling, and even exploring the City Museum in St. Louis.

Blitzu Head Flashlight Headlamp – We have owned a ton of different headlamps. I love the designs and colors on these.

TOMOL 4 Pack LED Headlamp – We went with this option in the stockings a few years ago due to the price for all four!

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Flashlights and Lanterns

In addition to headlamps, we have lots of different flashlights and lanterns. Each type of lighting is handy for different reasons.

Ultrabright Handheld LED flashlight

Mini LED flashlights with glowing handles

Camping Lantern Flashlight

LED Camping Lantern – on my list!

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Sleeping Bags

Our family decided to purchase sleeping bags that work well for sleeping as cold as thirty degrees. I never intended to sleep in weather that cold, but it did happen one time when a cold front moved in during a camping trip. Boy, we were glad to have that extra warmth…and lots of fleecy extras.

Coleman Kids 30 degree Sleeping Bag – Youth bags are great for kids and at this price point, it doesn’t feel horrible when you have to upgrade later in life.

Coleman Green Valley 30 Degree Sleeping Bag – One for the adults and teens.

We have had luck at LLBean and REI for sleeping bags as well. They are a bit more expensive so you will want to look for sales.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Sleeping Mats

ENKEEO Inflated Sleeping Pad – I wish I had found this when I purchased mine. I would love an inflated sleeping pad and this smaller width works well when you have to fit a family in the tent!

Kamui Self Inflating Sleeping Pad – I prefer one that is 2 inches thick…at least.

Coleman Youth Sleeping Pad – One for the kids because they aren’t quite as particular.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Hammocks

Who doesn’t want to relax in the hammock? They are perfect for camping or a day relaxing by the lake.


Wise Owl Single or Double Hammock – a rope is included for hanging, but it isn’t always easy, so be sure to purchase straps.

ENO hammock – in case you want the name brand option.

ENO straps – They make it easy for the kids (and mom) to hang any hammock.

NOTE: We have learned that the ENO (or ENO style) straps make it easy for the kids to hang the hammocks on their own.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Pocketknife

Yes. Our kids love to whittle when they go camping. A pocket knife is a perfect stocking stuffer.

Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife: Spartan II – a basic option that works well.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Tripod Chair

These chairs don’t take up much space when you pack and they are easy for the kids to carry around. They are perfect for fishing, sitting around the campfire or fire pit, or relaxing in the yard.

Folding Tripod Camp Stool – Select a different color or design for each child.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Hiking Boots

You can receive a decent pair of hiking boots without breaking the bank.

Rugged Outback Girls’ Winona Hiking Boot – available in sizes 13 to 6

Rugged Outback Boys’ Mid-Top Hiker Boot – available in sizes 13 to 6

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Whistle

…because you don’t want to lose a kid…and they are fun.

Safety Whistle

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Compass

Military Sighting Compass

Coglhans Function Whistle – whistle, compass, thermometer

Outdoor Adventure Gifts: Macro Lens for a Smart Phone or iPod

This elastic band holds a macro lens and fits securely around your smartphone. Give the kids one in their stocking or as a surprise and let them have fun with their iPods or phones on the trail.

Below are a few of the photos we took on a recent camping trip:

Fun and easy nature photography with this macro lens for your mobile device.

We have also used the macro lens at home to take photos of common, everyday objects. You can’t go wrong with this gift.

Bonus Family Gift: Tent

Be sure your tent has plenty of room for you, your kiddos, and your sleeping gear.

Coleman 8 person Cabin Tent – This is the one I want!

Coleman 3 person dome tent – This is the tent we have for the boys when they camp with their scout troop.

Happy Adventuring!

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A list of Essential Outdoor Adventure Gifts for Kids


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