Finding the perfect outdoor gift for a keen walker, wildlife lover, gardener or adventurer can be a challenge. So, to make your shopping experience easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best options, many of which celebrate sustainability and conservation too.
Our list includes products from small businesses and well-known brands alike, and there should be something for everyone. So, get comfy, grab a cuppa and browse our pick of the best eco-friendly and nature-inspired outdoor gifts for 2021.
Best outdoor gifts and present ideas in 2021
Personalised Hiking Boot Bag
Anyone who loves walking will know the struggle: you get back to the car after an outing, take off your boots… and spread mud all over your clean upholstery. A boot bag isn’t something we’d necessarily think to buy ourselves, so it can be a useful and much-appreciated outdoor gift.
This one from Big Stitch comes with free personalisation; you can add your recipient’s initials or name in your choice of font and colour.
Britain’s Birds book
If you have a committed twitcher in your social circle, this book of Britain’s birds could make a thoughtful gift. It’s not your average encyclopedia; it’s the only one to cover every bird in every plumage ever recorded in the UK and Ireland.
Plus, there are over 3,200 photos showing the birds as you would see them in real life.
- Buy now from WHSmith (£20)
Short Walks in Beautiful Places: 100 Great British Routes
Sometimes the shortest walks can be the best, as this inspiring book from the National Trust demonstrates.
It’s easy to navigate, as the 100 excursions are grouped by location and difficulty, from easygoing strolls across parkland to more demanding hikes. They range from two to eight miles in length and cover some of Britain’s most iconic landscapes, including Giant’s Causeway and Lake Windermere.
Hydro Flask Lightweight Wide Mouth bottle
A lightweight, insulated bottle is always a handy companion, whether you’re on a countryside ramble or not. This leak-proof one from Hydro Flask has a flexible, perforated strap and should keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12. It also comes in a range of natural tones.
Red Sixty Seven book
As referenced by its fairly cryptic-sounding title, this important book focuses on the 67 most endangered birds on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. It brings them to life with ‘love letters’ and beautiful illustrations from 67 authors and 67 artists, with contributions from the likes of Chris Packham and Samuel West.
The best bit? All the book’s sale profits go to the RSPB and The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
- Buy now from Waterstones (£19.99)
Rite In The Rain Pocket Notebook
Designed for the serious adventurer, this pocket notebook will let you make notes in the worst of weather conditions. It’s made from 100% recyclable wood-based paper, yet is resistant to water and dirt. You don’t even need special equipment to write in it – any pencil will do.
This pad has 50 sheets of lined paper and comes with handy measurement conversions inside.
Ghillie Kettle Explorer and Cook Kit
Ideal for any camping trip, this cook kit comes with a frying pan, saucepan, grill pot gripper and base stand. It’s small enough to pack away into the handy carry bag when you’re done, but large enough to make around three and a half mugs of water in one go.
Millican Smith The Roll Pack 18L backpack
This cheerful backpack can function just as well in everyday life as on long hikes. It has padded, adjustable shoulder straps and removable waist and sternum straps. And it’s made from ‘bionic canvas’, a mixture of recycled polyester, high tenacity polyester and cotton.
Plus, it has a capacity of 18L and a foldaway reflective strip for better visibility in poor conditions.
Netherton Foundry outdoor cooking pot
Netherton Foundry is a family-run business based in Shropshire and it makes a selection of durable and attractive cooking implements. This rustic pot is constructed with hand-spun black iron and has a detachable oak handle.
Angela Harding calendar
If it’s coming up to the end of the year, why not treat a loved one to a beautifully illustrated wall or advent calendar? Angela Harding is a Rutland-based artist who takes inspiration from British wildlife, and her calendars make lovely gifts.
Ruby Cubes Foraging Basket
A foraging basket would make a charming outdoor gift for anyone interested in the natural world. This one is handmade by artist Jessica Geach in her Dartmoor studio using unbleached, organic cotton. Her baskets are each slightly different, but they’re all ideal for holding long-stemmed plants and flowers.
- Buy now from Etsy (£50)
Woodside Wooden Insect & Bee House
Attract bees, butterflies and ladybirds to your garden with this weather-resistant bug house. Natural wood, bamboo and pine cones provide a range of different habitats for curious creatures.
This would make a lovely gift for children, keen gardeners and wildlife lovers alike.
RSPB Lady Avocet Jacket
This comfortable outdoor jacket has a detachable hood and enormous pockets with enough space to fit a pair of binoculars inside. It’s made from a hard-wearing yet soft microfibre fabric, which is waterproof and windproof. You can also add an internal fleece, thanks to the hidden zip.
For reference, we’ve found the size ‘small’ roughly matches a size 12.
Viking Merlin ED Binoculars, 8X42
These binoculars provide a very clear image even in low-light conditions, thanks in part to the objective lenses, which contain ED glass for sharper focus and reduced chromatic aberration.
The binoculars are fairly heavy at 720g, and come with rubber casing for added protection.
Sitpack ZEN portable chair
A nifty bit of kit for anyone who often finds themselves in remote places without a comfortable bench nearby, this collapsible chair is easy to take on the road. It weighs just 555g and has a single, telescopic leg, which packs down to fit inside your pocket.
As an added benefit, it’s designed to improve your posture too.
Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 camera
Ever wondered what animals get up to when you’re not around? This clever kit can tell you. With its infrared motion sensor and 16-megapixel camera, it captures images and videos of wildlife in action. You’ll get full colour photos during the day and black and white shots at night.
Epiq Hooded Down Jacket, Kathmandu
This warm and lightweight jacket is great for walking and watching wildlife when the temperature drops. The outer fabric is made from 100% recycled polyester and it’s water repellent, so it’ll keep you dry during a light shower.
The coat also comes with its own stuff sack, which you can squeeze it into before popping it in your bag.
British Nature Washi Tape Set
This pretty washi tape set could double up as both a gift and a gift-wrapping accessory. The tapes are decorated with watercolours of British birds, butterflies and wildflowers painted by the Devon-based artist Sarah Frances. Use them for craft projects, photo albums or even wall displays – the possibilities are endless!
Raw Steel Fire Pit from All Things Brighton Beautiful
Perfect for keeping the chill at bay during alfresco gatherings, this stylish fire pit would make a great gift for anyone who enjoys getting the most from their outdoor space. It’s crafted from heavy gauge raw steel with four legs for stability and two carry handles for easy transportation.
It’s available in three sizes, and the untreated metal will age over time to develop a natural, rusty finish.
Scottish Heather and Juniper Hamper from The Travelling Bee Company
A gift hamper rarely disappoints, so why not try this one from The Travelling Bee Company? It comes stocked with a jar of Scottish Heather Honey, harvested from the wild moors above the shores of the Kyles of Bute in Argyll, Scotland.
Plus, you’ll get a jar of wildflower honey, a heather and juniper soap bar made with essential oils and dried flowers, and a handmade organic juniper lip balm.
Angela Harding Marsh Owl 1,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Know someone who loves a jigsaw? This one features an intricate print by artist Angela Harding, who was inspired after seeing a barn owl hunting over the golden reed beds at Snape on the Suffolk coast. It has 1,000 pieces, so it’s not for a novice!
Unisex snood from Suzie Lee Knitwear
Designed in Suzie Lee’s garden studio in Kent, the unique ‘seed to tree’ pattern of this snood celebrates the forms of nature. The scarf is made from 100% British spun lambswool and comes in a range of vibrant colours to bring warmth and comfort to any outdoor trip.
National Trust Zero Waste Starter Kit
A sustainable gift is always a winner, and this zero waste starter kit from the National Trust is perfect for anyone who hasn’t yet collected their own stash of eco-friendly alternatives. Inside, you get a bamboo cutlery set, a toothbrush, a shampoo bar and a cotton shopping bag.
Mittens from Suzie Lee Knitwear
We’ve already featured one of Suzie Lee’s snoods in our list, but her charming mittens also make great outdoor gifts. They’re priced at £29 and come in a wide variety of cheery colours and patterns.
Check our Suzie Lee’s Etsy page for more high-quality knitted goods, from cosy wraps to cushions and hot water bottle covers.
The Great British Outdoors Map
This fun map is a great way to remember the places you’ve been and get inspiration for your next adventure. So, it’s a thoughtful gift idea for anyone who is always out and about, or who needs a little encouragement.
The map highlights the UK’s best walks, nature reserves and National Parks – and you can scratch them off as you go.
Isle of Harris Gin
If you know a gin drinker, you can’t go wrong with this Isle of Harris bottle. It’s developed on the Scottish island itself, and the makers infuse it with eight botanicals, including hand-harvested sugar kelp.
Scottish Made Pheasant Cheese Board and Knife Set
When you buy this cheese board and knife set, you’re doing your bit to support conservation. It’s crafted from sustainably sourced Scottish oak, harvested by a Fife-based not-for-profit organisation committed to protecting local woodland.
The 30cm x 20cm board has an attractive engraved design and comes with a stainless steel and copper cheese knife, all stored in a grey gift box.
Beautiful Joe’s Tin of ethically made ox-liver dog treats
Gifts shouldn’t be reserved just for humans – our canine friends would love this pack of Beautiful Joe’s ethically made dog treats. The dried snacks contain liver from British, free-range oxen, with no added nasties.
And for every pack sold, Beautiful Joe’s donates another to a dog rescue home.
Grow your own herbs gardening set from Kenneth & Kenneth
The perfect outdoor gift for anyone who loves gardening or good food, this set makes it easy to grow thyme, rosemary and sage in three tin planters. Depending on the kit you buy, you’ll get a range of useful tools and accessories, like jute twine, metal gardening scissors and wooden plant markers.
Simon King Brushwood Robin Nester
Robins are famous for nesting in unlikely places, such as in boots and hanging baskets, and under car bonnets. But this open-fronted nester has been designed by naturalist Simon King just for the resourceful birds.
Hide it in any foliage where the robin will feel safe, and you may be lucky enough to see a clutch of 4-6 eggs in the spring.
National Trust Burgon & Ball Hand Fork and Hand Trowel
The National Trust partners with Burgon & Ball to create some of the most durable and attractive gardening tools around. Their hand fork and trowel both have an antique bronze finish, solid brass ferrules and dark wood handles made from FSC-certified ash. They also come with a leather hanging cord for easy storage.
Buy one on its own or invest in the matching set.
Collins Gem Mushrooms field guide
At just 11.7cm x 8.2cm, this Collins Gem field guide is easy to stash away in your pocket or backpack. Despite its small size, it has 256 pages filled with information, photos and illustrations of more than 240 of the most common mushroom species in Britain and northern Europe.
Buy this outdoor gift for any budding botanist or foraging enthusiast.
Chute Vacuum Insulated Bottle
Ideal for days out, this vacuum insulated bottle keeps drinks cold for 48 hours or hot for six. The steel double wall stops condensation building up on the outside of the bottle, while the cap snaps back into the handle for easy drinking. Plus, it’s lightweight and BPA-free.
Choose your favourite colour from eight options, including ‘brick’, pictured.
FSC Field Guide To Foraging: The Top 25 Edible Plants
The Field Studies Council (FSC) has created hundreds of handy guides to the natural world, covering everything from Sphagnum mosses to sawflies to the night sky. They’re foldable, splash-proof and brilliant for expanding your knowledge while you’re out and about.
This one covers the top 25 edible plants, but there are many others available online, so you can choose the topics to suit your recipient.
Animal adoption package
Finally, if you’re still stuck for outdoor gift ideas, why not put your money towards something that’ll really make a difference?
Many organisations offer the chance to adopt an endangered animal, which you can do on behalf of a loved one, either as a one-off gift or an ongoing payment. Most provide ‘thank you’ packs with certificates and toys for you to pass along.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Born Free work with some of the world’s most endangered species, including elephants, jaguars and pangolins. Operating more locally, The Wildlife Trusts focus solely on UK-based conservation, providing adoption packages with animals like otters, hedgehogs and red squirrels.