While JR and I try not to have too much ‘stuff,’ it’s hard to resist outdoor gear. At least I can argue that most of it are essential for either safety or comfort while out in the wilderness. Here’s a collection of fairly low-cost gift ideas for all other outdoor lovers out there – mostly practical, some fun and all very useful! Although I’ve included links to Amazon.ca, keep in mind that most items can probably be found at your local (hopefully family owned) outdoor store!


LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

It’s been written about before on this blog and it will be again, but we love the Lifestraw for quick and easy water purification. Our favourite use is on paddling trips – we know we won’t have any issue finding water so just need something to hand to be able to safely drink whatever is around us. Under $30 for a potentially life-saving filter? A bargain by any means.

Lifestraw filtration camping canoeing (2)

camp kitchen

Gsi Outdoors Glacier Stainless Kung Foon Utensil

I’ve been eyeing up GSI’s Kung Foons for quite a while, they really are one of my favourite camping ‘gadgets.’ Basically, it’s a fancy spork with chopsticks in a pretty nifty metal case. Especially useful for reaching the last remaining crumbs of a meal from a dehydrated food packet, they are also great for stirring pots. The chopsticks are well made, so much so that JR wants to use them to eat at home too!

Best Camping Gifts Under $30-gsi kung foon

Etekcity Ultralight Portable Stove

There are a lot of sub-$50 backpacking stoves on Amazon, but I’ve narrowed them down to one. This Etekcity stove uses a PIEZO ignition (convenient and easy to use) and comes with a carrying case for easy storage. We use a Snow Peak GigaPower Stove for backpacking trips. It packs up smaller but did not come with any kind of container, so I’m a little jealous of that!

Best Camping Gifts Under $30-campfire christina lake camping kootenays canoe

trail life

Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp

Hands-free light while camping….so simple, yet so very useful. Black Diamond are North America’s best seller of headlamps by far and there’s a reason why. Decently priced, durable and well, they work. This isn’t the most technical or brightest headlamp on the market (90 lumens), but it’ll do the job for car camping. Want an upgrade? Double the price and get awesome 300-lumen headlamp, the Spot.

Best Camping Gifts Under $30-Camping at the top of Rake Mountain Tombstone

Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Backpack

For base camping (day hiking from a base), these lightweight little backpacks are super practical. When we were hiking in Cathedral Provincial Park last August, it would have been nice not to have needed to unpack my ‘main’ bag (40l, not big by any means) every time we went on a little trip to another lake nearby. Some fishing gear, a hammock and some snacks were all we needed.

Best Camping Gifts Under $30-smokey the bear view cathedral

Gsi- Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip

OK, so with the delivery charge this item is technically over the $30 limit but I let it slide since it’s such a cool product. Quite simply it means good coffee is possible anywhere, whether the user is car camping or backpacking. Simple, practical, almost weightless and very useful for caffeine addicts everywhere.

Best Camping Gifts Under $30-Cape Scott Provincial Park hike Nels Bight camping

Icebreaker Women’s Hike+ Lite Crew

Icebreaker socks make the best gifts for any hikers or general outdoor adventurers. I am in the midst of swapping my whole sock collection over to Icebreaker. Made of merino wool, Icebreaker socks don’t get too hot, they wick away sweat well and they don’t stink. For at least a longer time anyway! With an anatomical design (so a left and right sock) and a seamless toe, they are SUPER comfortable. Last but definitely not least, Icebreaker socks have a lifetime warranty (yes, really!) And trust me, they live up to that guarantee.

Best Camping Gifts Under $30


One half of a Canadian/British couple currently based in New Brunswick, Canada. Gemma is happiest with a kayak/canoe paddle in her hand, on the trail or planning the next big adventure.

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