Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Holiday Gift Guide for Happy Campers

I'm back with another one of my annual holiday gift guides, and this year I've decided to focus on camping as my theme. I've collected a large list of Christmas gift ideas for families who enjoy tenting, RV camping, and backpacking.

As always, there are also some great giveaways. Read to the bottom to enter the contests. There is also an outdoor family link up at the end of this post so scroll down to find other gift guides and giveaways this holiday season.

Holiday Gift Guide for Happy Campers 

All links go to the product or company website. A few links go to the Amazon Canada website (If you choose to purchase anything off Amazon I might make a few pennies off the purchase, but please feel free to shop wherever works for your family.)

You'll also find many links for products off the All Out Kids Gear website, where I'm an affiliate partner. Altitude Sports has also been a huge supporter of this blog so you'll find links to their website as well. Shop from either company where you can order quality outdoor gear and clothing online across Canada.



Holiday Gift Ideas for Happy Campers



1. Leatherman Multi-tools and Knives (with giveaway)


Learning to use a pocket knife is a valuable skill for older children, and whittling by the campfire can be a fun source of entertainment. For us parents, a good multi-tool is one of the most basic "must have" items in a day pack or on a backpacking trip.

Enter to WIN a Leatherman Signal Multi-Tool
The Leatherman Squirt is a small keychain-size multi-tool. Tools include pliers, scissors, a screwdriver, knife, bottle opener, and a file. This small multi-tool is perfect for snipping fishing line, and is nice and light for backpacking.

Alternately, the Leatherman Micra is perfect for a stocking stuffer gift. With a small knife, tweezers, a nail file, scissors, and a bottle opener, this is an item that should be in any mom's purse or day pack.

Finally, for the full meal deal, check out the Leatherman Signala full-size multi-tool which includes a firestarter, hammer, one-handed blade and an emergency whistle. Alternately, take a look at the Leatherman Free, P4, "the most advanced multipurpose tool ever made." This multi-tool comes with 21 tools and yet weighs in at only 8.6 ounces (making it ideal for backpacking.)

*** Proceed to the bottom of this gift guide to ENTER TO WIN a Leatherman Signal full size multi-tool.

Leatherman Multi-Tools make great Christmas gifts for your camping adventures (winter or summer!)

2. New Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Pads, or a New Tent (with giveaway) 


With technologies always improving, it's safe to say most of us could appreciate a new sleeping bag that's either warmer, more lightweight for backpacking, easier to compress, or just more comfortable. The same can be said for sleeping pads! I upgraded a few years ago and I sleep so much better on my much thicker (yet somehow lighter in weight) sleeping pad.

You'll find a great collection of sleeping bags and sleeping pads for the whole family from All Out Kids Gear (follow the links above) with free shipping included.

And I'd especially like to highlight one of the coolest things I've seen for parents who want to co-sleep with younger children. The Big Agnes Dream Island double wide sleeping bag is a nice roomy bag with an  integrated pad coupler that can accept a double-wide sleeping pad.

Finally, you'll find a great collection of tents for all family-sizes from the All Out Kids Gear website.

*** Proceed to the bottom of this gift guide to ENTER TO WIN a $60 gift card to use online from All Out Kids Gear.

Invest in a new tent or upgrade your sleeping bags and pads this Christmas 

3. New Backpacks or Hydration Packs 


My son got his first overnight backpack from his grandpa a few years ago and it was a fabulous Christmas present. Last year I was asking for a new day pack for mountain biking, and my husband recently updated his overnight pack as well.

Regardless of who you're shopping for in your family, there's almost always a need for a new backpack of some kind or size. 

You'll find no shortage of great packs on the All Out Kids Gear website so take a look around and see if there's something you're missing. Maybe the kids just need a bigger pack. 

I also recommend hydration packs for the kids for day hikes. My son doesn't carry a huge pack when we're out for the day, but he does need to carry his own water, a few basic items, and most importantly, his own candy!


Backpacks are a great Christmas gift for anybody!

4. Hydro Flask Products for Camping and Backpacking  (with giveaway) 


We LOVE our Hydro Flask products and have used several different items from this company while both car camping and backpacking.

Some of my favourite items are below (with links to the Altitude Sports website where Canadians can easily order Hydro Flask products.)

25 Ounce Wine Bottle - Fits a full bottle of wine and keeps it perfectly chilled. Great for overnight paddle trips when you won't notice the extra weight. I've also used this bottle for cold brew coffee and taken it with me to the beach while camping.

10 Ounce Wine Tumblers - Each tumbler comes with an insulated lid and these cups are worth their weight in gold! I use these tumblers for car camping and my wine is always the perfect temperature (even sitting out in the sun.)

64 Ounce Beer Growler - One of our favourite things to do on camping trips is to stop at local micro breweries along the road. Having a growler in the trailer allows us to fill up at each brewery (even if they don't sell bottles to go.) The growler also allows you to take beer on overnight paddling trips without having to worry about keeping cans cold. The Hydro Flask growler keeps beer at an ideal temperature for a few days.

Stop at micro breweries on the road and fill your Hydro Flask Growler for cold bevies at camp

16 Ounce Pint Cups - Enjoy a cold beverage in these double wall insulated cups. Perfect for folks like me who take a while to nurse their beer and don't want it getting warm in the sun.

12 Ounce Coffee Mugs - Enjoy your morning coffee in one of these insulated mugs with a lid to prevent spills. I can't think of a better coffee mug for camping!

12 Ounce Food Flasks - I have a child who will not eat sandwiches while camping, hiking, or when on the go. Having a food flask in the trailer saves our butt on every trip. They also come in an 18 ounce model. 

18 Ounce Standard Water Bottles - While these bottles are a little heavy for hiking, they're perfect for hydrating around the campsite and for always having a cold drink handy. We spend a lot of time driving between new campsites and sightseeing on our road trips as well, where having a good water bottle in the vehicle for each person is imperative. These water bottles also come in 21 or 24 ounce models.

Cooler Cups - "The new Cooler Cup is two great things in one: it’s a can or bottle cooler, and, with one quick switch, it’s a 12 oz beverage cup. As a Cooler Cup, it’s brilliantly versatile with a silicone sleeve that lets you slide in a narrow bottle or a can—all with the same snug fit. Pop off the sleeve and you have a 12 oz cup made to keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. The ultimate win-win." - and while I haven't tried this product yet, I'm definitely intrigued!

*** Proceed to the bottom of this gift guide to ENTER TO WIN a 12 ounce Hydro Flask Coffee Mug. 

Hydro Flask Wine bottle and Wine Tumbler for a camping win 

5. New Sun Hats or Knit Toques for Cold Weather Camping (with giveaway)


I recently discovered Sunday Afternoons when I was given an Aurora Beanie to keep my head warm this winter. Let me tell you, I am in love with this hat and if you've seen me in the past month, I was probably wearing it.

Sunday Afternoons has a giant collection of hats for all weather, seasons, activities, and temperatures. Fortunately you'll get a chance to take a good look through their website thanks to a generous giveaway for one winner to pick any one hat of their choice from their website.

Hats of note I suggest you take a look at:

- The Kids Fish and Fire Beanie

- The Kids Hearts and Owls Beanie

- Kids Play Hat (in a variety of different color themes)

- Kids Trucker Hats (in a variety of themes with beautiful animals and nature scenes on each hat)


*** Proceed to the bottom of this gift guide to ENTER TO WIN a coupon code for one free hat from Sunday Afternoons.


I've already placed a second Aurora Beanie from Sunday Afternoons on my Christmas list this year 

6. New Hiking Shoes 


Hiking is one of our favourite things to do when we go camping in the summer, and a good pair of boots will be invaluable on a backpacking trip.

We're big KEEN fans in this family and my son gets a new pair of Targhee Hiking Shoes every year. Myself, I live in my Terradora boots and I like the Explore shoes for mountain biking or walks around the city.

I also live in my KEEN slipper shoes around the campsite when it's cool outside and they're easy to put on for night time trips to the bathroom. 

Finally, another recommendation for happy camping ladies, you NEED a good pair of flip flops for the campsite. Something sturdy, built to last, and strong enough to even bike around camp. 

And my tip of the day: If you aren't 100% sure what kind of shoes or boots your partner or child would like, but you know they need new footwear, start with a "sample pair" in their size and wrap it up. Keep the receipt and they can always exchange the shoes after the holidays. At least they have something to open under the Christmas tree though. 

Kids grow! You can't go wrong with new hiking shoes as a Christmas present

7. Camping-Themed Books and Guidebooks (with giveaways)


I love receiving new guidebooks for Christmas because then I can spend the afternoon reading through each book, highlighting trails I want to hike, and dreaming about the upcoming summer.

For families planning to camp in the Canadian Rockies, I recommend both of the books below, written by local authors from Calgary:

Family Walks and Hikes in the Canadian Rockies - Volume 1: Bragg Creek - Kananaskis - Bow Valley - Banff National Park  - written by Andrew Nugara and published in 2019

This guidebook is filled with colorful photos of local families hiking around Calgary, and my son spent hours reading through it last summer. It's been a great tool for creating interest in hiking with my son and he's added several hikes to our list after reading about them in this book.

Andrew will also be publishing his second edition to this book with a publication date scheduled for June 2020. The next book will carry on with more hikes, areas to explore, and trails not described in the first book.

*** Proceed to the bottom of this guide to ENTER TO WIN an autographed copy of Andrew Nugara's family hiking guidebook, volume 1. A copy will either be hand-delivered to your house in Calgary by Andrew, or mailed to you if you live outside the city.

The Ink Pots in Banff National Park, one of the hikes we read about in Andrew Nugara's book 

Canadian Rocky Mountains Hiking Guide for Families - Hikes for Families, from toddlers to grandparents, near Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis, Bragg Creek, and Calgary written by Annika Mang and scheduled for publishing in June 2020.

Author, Annika Mang is the mother of two adventurous little girls and the creator of the Born to be Adventurous blog. Annika has been working for several years to launch her first guide book to the Rockies, and is working to publish it with a current Kickstarter campaign. As of now, the book is fully funded and will be published next spring.

Each hike featured in the book will have a good map, directions to the trailhead, a difficulty rating, a description of what to expect on the hike, nearby attractions, and insider tips from one outdoor family to another.

Best of all, every hike in this book has been researched and walked by Annika and her young children, so you can trust what you're reading.

*** Proceed to the bottom of this guide to ENTER TO WIN an autographed copy of Annika Mang's new hiking guidebook when it is published next June. A copy will be mailed to your house.


Other recommended books for Happy Campers 

 - A camping logbook and travel diary 

- Goodnight, Campsite - A children's picture book on camping

And by searching for this book on Amazon you'll receive suggestions for many other great camping-themed picture books to start a fabulous collection for your family.

- A Hiking Journal for Kids (we have this one and it's a beautiful way to record the hikes your child completes.)

This hiking journal was a great gift for a happy camper and outdoor child

8. Lightweight Gear for Backpacking or Tent Camping 


Christmas is a great time to update or upgrade backpacking gear. There's always something out there that's lighter, better, more comfortable, or easier to use.

Check out the All Out Kids Gear website for ideas

And a few of my personal suggestions:
  • Headlamps

  • LED Lights and lanterns

  • Backcountry chargers (we just found an affordable one at Costco that looks great.)

  • Inflatable pillows

  • Backpacking chairs

  • A new stove or cook set

  • Satellite communicators and locators 

  • A Gravity water filter (We LOVE ours and never sit beside a stream filtering water anymore.)

  • Down blankets (We always use our down blankets for hostels and backcountry cabins)

  • MEC hut booties 

  • An Icebreaker Camping Skirt - Change out of your hiking clothes when you get to camp and relax in this comfortable lightweight skirt that I fell in love with while camping this past summer. (It's also great for road trips, RV camping, and overnight paddle trips.)
Upgrade this Christmas with great gear for tenting and backpacking 

9. Camp Toys for both Kids and Parents


Admit it, camping is more fun when you bring the toys. Be it a great hammock that you spend hours chilling in with a good book or something as simple as a fishing rod.

Below are a few suggestions for gifts you can wrap and put under the tree:

Water Toys:

- Inflatable floaties and water toys (order the same Punk Duck that we have, pictured below)

- Inflatable stand up paddleboards (check out the affordable SUPs from Airhead Watersports.)

- Kids sit on top kayaks 

- Fishing rods and a starter tackle kit (We've loved this Ugli Stik rod for kids.)

Hours of entertainment at camp with inflatable SUPs and floaties 


Toys for the Campsite:

- A slackline from Slackline Industries 

- A great hammock (and consider getting a freestanding frame for sites without good trees)

- New games to play at camp (Exploding Kittens is my son's new fav. game and we also love Mexican Domino Train)

- Inline skates for campsites that have paved loops - and you want the adjustable rollerblade brand for awesome quality. It's what your child would have used if Alien Inline visited their school. (You'll want to buy a set of pads to go with them too!)

- Walkie talkies for the kids to use around camp


These skates were my son's fav. camping toy this past summer!


10. More Awesome Gear to take Car Camping to the next level! 


Some of these items could be hard to find this time of year, but you could always wrap a photo of what you intend to buy your partner once Costco brings their camping gear out for the new season. A Costco gift card would also work in this situation with a voucher for one "big round comfy Costco chair."

Below are just a sampling of suggestions other Happy Campers have said they'd like for Christmas this year:


Wrap up some awesome gifts to take car camping and RV life to the next level!

The Giveaways


Terms and Conditions for all Giveaways:

All contests finish on Tuesday, November 19th at midnight. A winner will be chosen randomly for each draw on the morning of the 20th.

Each winner has until noon on November 22nd to respond to the email I will send out. If you do not respond, a new winner will be chosen.

All times and deadlines follow Mountain Standard Time.

All contests are open to Canadian Residents 18 years of age or older.

The Leatherman winner will receive a product of their choice of color pending availability of stock

The "Canadian Rocky Mountains Hiking Guide for Families" by Annika Mang will  be shipped when the book is published in June, 2020.

The Hydro Flask winner is not guaranteed to receive a coffee mug of their preferred color. Color availability will depend on stock at the time of shipping.

Shipping is included for all items.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out these other Family Holiday Gift Guides and Giveaways 


Gifts for Skiers and Skiing Families - The Brave Ski Mom

2019 Outdoor Holiday Gift Guide - Outdoor Families Magazine

25+ Gifts for Active Adventurous Kids: Awesome Non-Toy Gifts - Bring the Kids

Gift Guides for Outdoor Families - Tales of a Mountain Mama





Big Thanks to all sponsors of this year's holiday gift guide!

- All Out Kids Gear

- Hydro Flask

- Sunday Afternoons

- Leatherman Canada

- Annika Mang, Calgary Author

- Andrew Nugara, Calgary Author

- HT Designs


ShareThis