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Kat Dierickx | 11.09.2015

It's the time of year when everyone is making their holiday wish lists and brands are sharing holiday gift guides for adventurous families, the lumberjack in your life, outdoor gals, four-legged friends, bikers, skiers, campers, glampers, and everything in between. We all love gear, no doubt about it. But what do you give the adventurer whose gear closet already overfloweth? 

This year, why not change things up and give the gift of adventure? Give your friends and family something that actually makes them get outdoors. Here are 10 ideas for the outdoor adventurer in your life who has more gear than they know what to do with or for those who simply don't need anything new. Go for the experience.

1. Annual National Park Pass

This could include an annual pass for any park system really; national park pass, state park pass, forest pass, discovery pass, adventure pass...whatever it is in your area. One-time entrance fees can add up and be a deterrent for some visitors, having a pass encourages people to visit more often and explore more of a park or multiple parks.

2. Adventure Class or Lesson

Photo by Taylor Reilly.

Is there a particular skill your giftee is hoping to improve? What about a new adventure type they have been interested in trying? Intro to mountaineering, intro to ice climbing, intermediate rock climbing, fly fishing lesson, ski lesson, workshops on gear repair, etc., are all great ideas and will give your friend or family member to get outdoors and try something new. Gift certificates can be tricky as many end up going unused, be sure to encourage them to schedule their adventure. 

3. Wilderness Survival Course

Photo by Andrew Stohner

Survival skills are a vital for any person adventuring. Whether you're headed out for a 2-mile loop or a 3-month trek on the PCT, you should know basic wilderness survival and first aid. Courses are often 2-3 days and will teach you to build shelters, locate and purify water, create fire from friction, make your own tools, ways of obtaining wild foods, and basic first aid. If you're a winter adventurer, we highly recommend an AIARE Avalanche Course

4. A Night Under the Stars

Photo by Kat Dierickx.

If you have access to the schedule of the person you're gift hunting for, book a night somewhere unique like a fire lookout, a ski hut, a yurt, a old covered wagon, or even a lighthouse. You could pair the night out coupon with a thermos, warm blanket, and down booties if you wanted to add a little something extra.

5. DIY Guide for Adventure

You are currently on Outdoor Project...we have free downloadable Field Guides + Maps...the world is your oyster. Explore adventures in your area or adventures you'd like to take your giftee on and make a custom guide book for the following year. You could do this for a particular area you've been talking about visiting, i.e. a national park, and pair it with a pass or overnight stay at a lodge to round out the package. 

6. Road Trip Itinerary

Photo by Aron Bosworth.

Following the same format as the DIY Guide for Adventure, plan a road trip using Outdoor Project and print out a desired route, highlight key places to stop and adventures to do along the way. For an added twist, book a camper van and throw in a gas card.

7. Mountain Passes 

Photo by Anthony Kasner.

We're talking lift tickets and ski trips: individual lift tickets, sno-park parking pass, season pass, cat ski trip, heli-ski trip. If your giftee already gets a season pass, get a lift ticket for another nearby resort to change things up or plan a ski trip to another destination. Switch up the seasons and get a lift ticket or season pass for mountain biking down the mountain.

8. Gym Membership

Photo provided by Thunderbolt Sportswear

Guys, I'm not trying to get you punched in the face here... think rock gym, yoga studio, altitude training center, indoor biking arena or mountain bike park. Help keep adventure rolling in the winter months with a punch card or monthly membership to a nearby outdoor-themed gym.

9. Historic Lodge Stay

Photo by Denis LeBlanc.

If you're looking for something on the fancier side, book a stay at a historic lodge. It can be fun to play tourist in our own town by heading to the resort nearest you and spoiling yourself. You can easily turn this into a ski, bike, hike, fish, whatever weekend by picking a place near the activities you like. If historic lodges aren't your thing, a rustic cabin rental will do the trick.

10. Adventure Trip

Photo by Jesse Weber.

Book, or get a certificate, for a full on adventure. Options are endless and include overnight guided backcountry ski trips, 4-day rafting trips, weekend kayak camping adventures, surf camps, yoga retreats, trekking trips in foreign countries, extended photography workshops, cycle touring get the idea.

Have other experience-based gift ideas, we'd love to hear them! Feel free to leave them in the comments below.



For more great gift ideas, make sure to check out the Outdoor Project Store.

Free shipping on all orders of $30 or more - and through the end of December 2018, 20% of sales proceeds will be donated to Big City Mountaineers, a nonprofit that provides under-resourced youth with the opportunity to have transformative experiences in the outdoors. 


I love the idea this presents to people, and how it gets them outdoors. I will say, I would pass up some presents on Christmas for a night under the stars, there is no way you can get such a view as the ones in Sawtooth compared to Boise!
Very reasonable! Thanks
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