2019 Holiday Gift Guide

By Shelby Cranshaw

Nov 29, 2019

Whether you're shopping for your favorite sustainability nerd or a backcountry fashionista, here are some great gift ideas for anyone on your list.

For the New Backcountry Adventurer

wilderness medicine student practices taping an ankle of a mock patient sitting on a log
Photo by Jared Steinman

Give the gift of preparedness with a Wilderness First Aid course. Or, if they've already taken a course, gift them a NOLS Wilderness Medicine Pocket Guide—lightweight and waterproof, this handy little guide is a great reference in the field.

For the One Who's Always Playing Games

cover of NOLS games book smiling students playing game in the mountains
Photo by Helen Wilson

Give the gift of fun with our latest publication, NOLS Games! Learn to play 83 of our favorite games, guaranteed to entertain people of all ages—whether it's in camp, at home, or in the classroom.

For the One in Training

People training in a gym
Photo by Brad Christensen

Do you know someone who can’t get outside as much as they’d like in the winter, but is trying to stay in shape for an upcoming trip? Give the gift of fitness with a new class to try or a climbing gym membership.

For the New Backcountry Cook

backcountry fruit pie and 7th edition of the NOLS Cookery placed in the snow
Photo by Jordan Cranch

Write down your favorite backcountry recipe and gift it with the ingredients all ready to go! Or, go all in and gift them the beloved NOLS Cookery, now in its 7th edition.

For the Backcountry Fashionista

Person with beard wearing NOLS Wilderness Medicine hat
Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

A hat is in style every season. Gift a sun hat, trucker hat, or winter hat...you really can’t go wrong (and Paul Petzoldt would approve).

For the One Who's All About Maps

person holds NOLS Wilderness Navigation book
Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

NOLS Wilderness Navigation is a great addition to any adventurer's library—and it's suitable for both novices and seasoned outdoorspeople. It starts with the basics, like finding quality maps and charts, and move on to more advanced topics such as using compasses and GPS receivers.

For the One with Cold Feet

feet in yellow shoes with neon laces and green and white socks with snowflake pattern
Photo by Åsmund Arup Seip

Happy feet make outdoor adventures all the more enjoyable. Gift a pair of cozy wool socks—or down or synthetic booties—for toasty feet.

For your favorite coffee lover

hand holding coffee in metal cup with tents between the trees in the background
Photo by Matthew Baugh

Know someone who’s tired of cowboy coffee? Give them some high quality instant coffee. This stuff should pass any coffee snob’s test (brush up on your backcountry coffee-making skills).

For Your Beloved Backcountry Chef

bags of bulk food, including spices and pasta
Photo by Pixabay

Gift them new spices for a spice kit or a bottle of hot sauce. Try something different like curry, za’atar, ginger, or a masala blend. A perfect stocking stuffer!

For the Sustainability Nerd

four backpackers hiking past pines and rocky peaks under cloudy sky
Photo by Matt Hage

Who says a repair can’t be stylish? Encourage friends or family to patch instead of purchase by gifting some fun repair patches.

For the One Who Needs to Get Outside More

Two people skiing and pulling sleds on snow and smiling
Photo by Jared Steinman

Plan a day trip. Take your loved ones hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, or any other outdoor activity that you love. Give the gift of fresh air and quality time in the outdoors. Who knows? It could be a gift that keeps on giving!

For the Book Lover

NOLS History Book with snowy mountaineering picture on the cover
Photo by NAME

Curl up and read about NOLS' history from 1965 to today.

Happy holidays from all of us at NOLS!

Start your holiday shopping now: check out apparel, equipment, books, and more at the NOLS Store.

[Editor's note: Blog post updated 11/29/2019]

Written By

Shelby Cranshaw

Shelby is currently taking a gap year-and-a-half. After completing her Fall Semester in Patagonia, she caught the NOLS bug and became the 2016 Fall PR and Marketing intern at our world headquarters in Lander, Wyoming (she's a Wilderness First Aid grad, too!).

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Holding up a metal cup of hot coffee in a campsite

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Hot coffee
Photo by Matthew Baugh.

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