Want to give a gift without adding more stuff to the gear closet, wardrobe, or world? Experiential gifts are sure to please any outdoors person, and create memories that will last. From lookout tower stays to skills classes and creative workshops, these outdoor experience gift ideas embrace time spent outside and together.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out our GIFTS tag for more of our guides.
Passes to National Parks or your regional State Parks can bring days upon days of joy throughout the coming year. Do a quick web search to see what state or regional park passes exist where your gift recipient is located, or for wider US interagency passes, check out:
To brush up on skills, learn a new sport, or meet with a group for an expedition, classes can be such an incredible outdoor experience. Local outfitters or outdoor shops might have unique offerings, and REI and NOLS both have wide offerings that vary by locale.
Vanlife is trendy right now, but for good reason. Compact campers are super easy to drive, park, and with more rental options available now, it’s really just a great way to plan a camping road trip in a ready-to-go van. A couple of campervan rental suggestions:
Has your loved one always wanted to try scuba diving? Equip them with the skills and knowledge to dive into this sport safely, by giving a gift certificate towards certification, or an e-course for PADI Open Water, Advanced, or Rescue Diving.
If your nature-lover is based in an urban center or particularly loves plants or gardening, an annual membership for a local botanical garden typically includes unlimited visits, discounts, and free-year-round parking.
A back-to-nature stay or remote getaway feels like a nice big gift, and they’re often pretty affordable if you’re looking at more rustic accommodation. The one thing to keep in mind when booking a stay in a national forest, reserve, or park, is that these locations often books out months in advance—which isn’t a bad thing when you’re looking ahead from fall/winter for a spring or summer stay!
Give a gift that’s a combination of creativity and the outdoors—either painting nature-inspired details and scenes, or on a hiking trip where the paints come too. A few classes offered by artists from our ‘spotlight’ section:
Keep it simple. Pick a trail and plan a day to spend out there together, savoring the movement and conversation and hopefully a nice view from the top. Take a photo when you get there.
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