Every year we're left scrambling to find the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for person. The outdoorsy person that always seems to be on the go and enjoying their time in the wilderness deserves something they'll get great use out of. While finding the perfect gift is hard, it's easier to address the things that you should absolutely avoid when searching. Let's face it, some items are useless and a total waste of money. There are some products out there marketed for the outdoors-type, but it will most likely get tossed it in the closet never to be seen again. If you are shopping for a gift, making a list for someone, or figuring out how to spend your gift cards, take our advice and don't be fooled by these items.
Tips on Avoiding Unneeded Gifts
One of the most important things that you can do when considering outdoor type gifts is a bit of research. Not only should you study up on the products, but consider the person you are buying them for, too. Do as much information digging as you can. Ask the opinions of their friends and family to get a better sense of what direction to go with your purchase. Think about if they broke any gear this season, because an upgraded replacement is always a great gift. Take your interactions with the person into consideration as well. You can tell a lot about a person by their everyday tendencies. For example, if they are simple about the way they conduct their life and aren't very active with technology and social media, but are the outdoorsy type of person, a technology- or electronic-based outdoors gift is probably not right for them.
Also research the product or gift idea that you are considering. If it seems too good to be true, or like it would tend to be out of place in the outdoors, it's probably best to avoid that gift. There are a lot of products out there that are listed for outdoors but actually have no place being on a camping, hiking, or hunting trip. Try to be as practical as possible, and consider what type of gifts to actually stay away from for most outdoor types of people.
A quick search on the internet for multi-tools will often bring up a wide range of weird, awkward looking items that ultimately should have been blown up on the design process. Somehow, they made it to production. When given as a gift, they will make it into the bottom of a junk drawer quickly, likely never to see the light of day again. While a multi-tool has a lot of little, practical tools on it like pliers, a knife blade, and screwdriver tips, it becomes burdensome if the rest of the gadgets are impractical. Most people don't need a bottle opener, cuticle scissors, or a nail file when they are outdoors. Those actually have a function, but aren't exactly necessary if you're in the wilderness. Most of your outdoors-type people already carry some type of multi-tool or knife as a basic piece of EDC equipment, so avoid these fantastical looking tools that serve very little purpose other than taking up space.
Anything With '-in-1' on the Package
There are tons of products out there that seem like they would be practical, but in the end they tend to be more of a pain. These products usually state that they can perform multiple tasks for the user, all in one single tool or product. The reality is that it usually doesn't perform any of those acts particularly well, and is likely more overkill than helpful. Things like survival kits, camping kits, multi-function chairs, tents, and whatever else you might find out there should be avoided. With these types of kits, there is often wasteful elements that no outdoors-type person would ever take with them in the wilderness. Most outdoorsmen and women like to create their own kits with their own equipment that they find essential for them. Every person is going to be a little bit different, which is why these '-in-1' items don't fit the universal bill for everyone.
Technology or Battery Based Gifts
When people venture out into the outdoors, it is usually to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life which include phones, televisions, computers and so much other technology that might revolve around our lives. So when it comes to anything that is technology based or needs batteries outside of a flashlight or headlamp, it's best to avoid these types of outdoor gifts. Let the person that is going out into the wilderness or likes to go camping decide what types of technology and battery based items that they want to take out with them. There are many out there that want to rough it or come as close as possible without technology aiding them. One of the most peaceful parts of the outdoors is getting away from all the screens and batteries.
Unless you are going for a gag gift for your outdoor friend, stay away from any toilet or bathroom accessories that supposedly make using the facilities in the outdoors easier. You might get a good laugh about it, but in the end, they will never get used. There are a lot of these gimmicks and contraptions out of there. If you can't see yourself using it, don't buy it for someone else! This includes the Bumper Dumper, the Krapp Strap, and any other hilariously named toilet accessory out there. Most outdoorsy people have the call of nature already accounted for and have a plan. Let them keep it that way!
Hopefully we helped eliminate a big chunk of possibilities that you should avoid when considering outdoor gifts for lovers of the wilderness. Worst case scenario, if you can't find something that you think would be useful to your outdoorsy friend or family member, get them a gift card with the intent for them to buy their own useful outdoor gifts. That is a much safer option than anything else listed above this!
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