Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Posted by Whole Earth | 11.16.2022

Hikers pause by the side of a high mountain tarn.



Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast 


The best gifts to receive are ones that show that the giver has thought carefully about the recipient and what they like most. In the case of someone who loves being outdoors, there are many possibilities. A gift of gear can make outdoor experiences even more enjoyable or add new dimensions to an already fun occasion. Quality clothing and shoes make excellent gifts, adding comfort, warmth, and stability to outdoor adventures. Some gifts have a life beyond the campsite or on the trail. Camp chairs can be used in a variety of settings including festivals, sidelines, and the backyard, to name only a few. The outdoor enthusiast may also enjoy receiving inspiration for new adventures as well as journals to chronicle past hikes and camping trips. Read on for more suggestions!




Zeal Optics Snapshot Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a very important part of any outdoor enthusiast's kit. They're the number one tool for protecting eyes from ultraviolet rays. At Whole Earth, all our sunglasses block 100% of UV. Remember, the color and darkness of sunglass lenses are not related to the ability to block UV. Rather, colored lenses are useful for different light conditions. Gray, blue, and green lenses maintain true color and are considered best for bright sunlight. On cloudy days, UV rays are not blocked by the clouds. That's the time for rose, orange or yellow lenses for low light conditions.  


Have an eco-conscious outdoor enthusiast on your list? Consider a pair of sunglasses from Zeal optics. What sets these sunglasses apart from the crowd is their use of plant-based materials for both lenses and frames.  The Castor Bean is the star of the show. Z-Resin is derived from castor oil and replaces traditional plastics in their sunglass frames and lenses. With Z-Resin, Zeal uses significantly less energy in the manufacturing process, reducing its carbon dioxide emissions. Learn more about Zeal here. 




NOCS Standard Issues Binoculars 8x25

Binoculars are an excellent gift for hikers, wildlife watchers, and folks who like keeping an eye on the birds in the backyard or watching Whooping Cranes at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. A good pair of binoculars lets everyone take a closer look. At Whole Earth we offer a range of binoculars from a child's first to high-quality pairs to please an avid birder. The two numbers that describe a pair of binoculars, such as 8x25, refer to first, the magnification factor (8) and the diameter of the main lenses in millimeters (25). Generally speaking, a lower magnification factor provides a wider field of view and will allow the user to track motion like birds moving from tree to tree, while a higher magnification will provide more detail. Other considerations include weight. How much is comfortable around the neck or in a pack?


New at Whole Earth are Nocs Provisions binoculars. Already a staff favorite, their eye-catching colors and quality durable construction come with a lifetime warranty. The 8x is good for tracking motion when birding, watching sporting events, or watching wildlife. The 10x is for detailed viewing while sightseeing or taking in vast landscapes. If you're looking for the first pair of binoculars for an outdoor enthusiast or a budding birder of any age, take a closer look at Nocs. 




Patagonia Men's Better Sweater Vest

A piece of quality outerwear is another good gift idea for your outdoor enthusiast. A jacket, rain jacket, pullover or zippered fleece, or a vest may be a welcome addition to their outerwear collection. Layering is the key to being comfortable outdoors in cooler weather. A base layer, often a long-sleeved tee or for colder weather Merino wool or a technical fabric long-sleeved tee that holds warmth close to the body while wicking moisture away from the skin, is the foundation. The next layer is often a fleece, a sweater, or a vest. This layer insulates the body and helps to keep it warm. The top layer can be a rain jacket or a jacket that protects from wind and weather. Together these layers will keep your enthusiast warm while out in cold or wet weather. And as the day warms up or activity levels turn up the inner thermostat, layers can be shed to maintain comfort.


A vest can be a particularly versatile piece of clothing. Zipped it holds warmth close to the core while offering freedom of movement for the arms. You'll find them made of a variety of materials. Most of our vests are made of polyester woven into different types of fabric. Some are made with added insulation. Others are sweater-like on the face and fleeced on the inside or fleeced both on the inside and outside. All are toasty warm for outdoor fun and for chilly home or office wear. 



Multipurpose Shoes

Oboz Women's Sypes Low Leather Waterproof Hiking Shoes

What, you might ask, is a multipurpose shoe? At Whole Earth it's a shoe you might use for trail running, hiking, and even everyday wear. There are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors, and having a pair of shoes that offers support, stability, and grip on a variety of surfaces and under different weather conditions can add to your outdoor enthusiast's comfort and performance. Trail running shoes run the gamut from "barefoot" extra lightweight shoes to shoes that offer thicker soles that cushion and protect the feet from sharp rocks and rugged terrain. Hiking shoes are also popular for hiking as well as walking the dog in the neighborhood, running errands, and in some cases, even work!


Low hiking shoes can also be counted among versatile multipurpose shoes. These shoes can often combine elements of sneakers and hiking shoes. Take for example the Oboz Women's Sypes Low Leather Waterproof Hiking Shoes. This surprisingly stylish shoe combines a low profile, is lightweight, and has Oboz' signature cupping heel and a wide toe box for a comfortable fit. It's waterproof and has grippy soles for a grounded feeling from trail to town. 



Kids love the outdoors too!

GSI Outdoors Outside Inside Backpack Explorer's Essentials Kit

Have a kid on your holiday list who's an outdoor enthusiast? At Whole Earth you'll find outdoor clothing and gear for kids as well as for men and women. Clothing may not rank as high on a kids' wish list, but their first pair of hiking boots, a kid-sized hydration pack for summer trips, or their first pair of real binoculars may be gifts they'll treasure and remember with pleasure for years to come. Other possibilities include field guides for birds and insects, headlamps, a multitool, or some fun hiking socks like the Ty-Ranger-Saurus Micro Crew to go with those hiking boots.


If your child is just starting out on their outdoor adventures, the GSI Outdoors Outside Inside Backpack Explorer's Essentials Kit might be a good option. It contains a small pair of 8x binoculars, a baseplate compass with a magnifier for map reading and orienteering, a flashlight, and a whistle that also includes a thermometer, compass, and magnifier. All these items fit into a small pouch with a velcro closure, a divided interior pocket, and a belt loop for easy carrying. 



Comfy Camping Chairs

Nemo Moonlight Reclining Chair

Part of the joy of being outdoors is relaxing surrounded by the beauty of nature's soundscape. On the trail, a camping hammock can provide an opportunity for the enthusiast to put their feet up along the way or at the destination. Back at camp, a camping hammock is an invitation to kick back and relax. So is a comfy camp chair! Whether sitting creekside, around a campfire, on a dock, or on the beach, a chair keeps your outdoor enthusiast dry and off the ground. Many chairs have cupholders, and pockets to stash items they'll want close at hand. Some have rockers while others recline. And these chairs are not just for camping. Take them to tailgate parties, to the sidelines for kids' soccer games, and for relaxing in the yard at home.


The Nemo Moonlight Reclining Chair is an ultra-lightweight camp chair that can be used by backpackers. It's that lightweight! The chair is low-slung for stability, and the seat material is a cool, asymmetrical seamless mesh that stretches on the bias to accommodate different body types. The reclining system uses custom buckles to adjust the angle to a favored position - from upright for eating and conversation to reclined for meteor showers. 




Epic Hikes of the Americas by Lonely Planet

You can give the gift of inspiration to your outdoor enthusiast with a selection from our book department. There are beautiful photography books that can sweep them away to far-flung destinations around the planet. Closer to home, there are guides to hiking and camping in and around our Texas cities as well guides to national parks and other exciting destinations. Winter is a wonderful time to begin planning for spring and summer and adventures, so a holiday gift of inspiration is perfectly timed for the quieter months of January and February.


Lonely Planet has been publishing travel guides since 1973. Their popular Epic series focuses on hikes, road trips, bike rides, and surf rides both continental and worldwide. We suggest Epic Hikes of the Americas and Epic Hikes of the World. The trails include one-day walks up to multi-day treks. The hikes are graded easy, harder, and epic, and include first-person accounts from writers who have completed the trails. There are inspirational photos, maps, and practical information such as the best time of year to hike, getting there, any special equipment that might be required, where to stay and eat, and recommended tours. 




Camping Logbook

Your outdoor enthusiast might enjoy keeping a record of their favorite hikes or camping trips. Not only will the journal or logbook keep track of the basic who, what, when, and where of each trip, but it can also serve as a reminder of lessons learned, points to remember for future forays, and with the addition of photos and favorite moments, it can serve as a prompt for remembering those special days and trips in the years to come.


The Camping Logbook is a customer favorite. While it’s fun to have a phone full of photos from adventures, the Camping Logbook provides a place to keep records of their various trips. They can note who was with them, what they did, when the trip took place, where they went and how they fared. There’s space for special moments, reminders of things to bring next time, and lessons learned. After adding the best photos, they will have created a memory book of their adventures. The same is true of The Hiker's Journal. It captures the date, location, start and finish times, weather, type of trail, distance, elevation gain or loss, their own personal rating of the trail's difficulty plus, terrain notes, facilities, highlights, and their overall rating of the experience. There are also sections for a personal bucket list, essential gear, mountains they've climbed, and wildlife encounters. Blank pages are also included for sketches or observations. 


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