Gifts for Your Favourite Camper

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picture of a man paddling a canoe toward trees while the sun is setting in the backcountry of Ontario Provincial Parks
Thomas paddling in the backcountry

The following is the transcript from our podcast episode on gift ideas for people who love camping.

Pamela: 00:00

Hello, and good day, eh? Welcome to the Super Good Camping Podcast. My name is Pamela.


And I’m Tim


We are from We’re here because we are on a mission to inspire other families to enjoy camping adventures, such as we have with our kids.

Because we’re leading up to the holiday season, and Black Friday is coming too, we wanted to offer up some Christmas Gift Ideas or holiday gift ideas for those who enjoy camping. I will start with the front country things since I’m a bit more of the front country girl.

Gifts for Car Camping or Front Country Camping

  1. Hammock. A hammock is one of the things on our list and something I got for my birthday last year, which we haven’t had a chance to use yet. It has to be strung up between two trees at the proper distance, and so on. We haven’t used it, but it would be a great gift for someone into front-country camping. You don’t want to lug too much extra stuff backcountry camping, but when you’re car camping, it’s okay.
  2. A fire starter kit is worthwhile, especially for those of us who are trying to make Ontario Parks firewood go.
  3. LED light strings. Make your campsite pretty and festive.
  4. A collapsible dish tub for compactness of space.
  5. A travel chess, checkers, and backgammon board. We also picked up a travel or backpacking cribbage board this year. I kicked Tim’s butt at cribbage several times in Algonquin


Never again.


  1. Binoculars which is something that you could take both front and backcountry depending on how big, heavy and clunky they are. Binoculars are lovely, especially if you are in the parks around migration season. It would be awesome to spot some birds migrating in and out. And if there’s wildlife off in the bush that you’re trying to get a bead on.
  2. And then, a new mess kit goes for both front and backcountry things. That’s something that we’ve done a review on our YouTube channel. We have our favourite one, which is called a GSI Bugaboo. It’s everything you need: plates, cups and bowls, pots and pans and lids. So anyway, it’s fantastic and compact. Everything packs together into one thing, and it’s not too heavy if you take it backcountry camping. But you can check out the review on our YouTube channel.
  3. A thermal mosquito repellent device, like a Thermacell, for those particularly susceptible to bug bites. It is appreciated when we’re fending them off.
  4. Solar charger. We use that often because we take things with rechargeable batteries backcountry or front country camping. The goal is to charge those batteries up without running the car or having wasteful batteries that we throw in the garbage.

Tim: 02:56

We don’t throw them in the garbage. We make sure that we dispose of them properly.

Pamela: 02:59

10. A new headlamp, which is also something that was a gift idea from a couple of years ago. You can upgrade many things somebody might already have regarding their existing gear. You might think, “Oh, he’s the person who has everything, he doesn’t need anything.” And maybe he doesn’t need anything, but maybe he would like to have something that works better than his previous one or is lighter or more compact than his previous one. So there’s always an upgrade. That’s the thing. The beauty of camping gear is you can always buy more, right, Tim?

Tim: 03:36

Yeah! We had a family member weirdly ask a very short period of time ago. And that was one of the things that occurred to me was, you know what? You don’t always buy the right stuff. Or you’re trying to be a little budget-friendly. So you don’t buy the one that you wanted. There’s always the possibility of upgrading, right? If somebody is newer and just starting out, you can give them your older stuff. And it’s awesome for them, and then you have something new.

Pamela: 04:14

It’s all good. The manufacturers evolve their products too. So something that you bought five years ago might be somewhat out of date as far as how it functions. Now there’s something spanking new that works better.

Tim: 04:27

Yeah. Or, like me, from back in the days of being in Scouts, I had a Swiss Army knife. It did everything I needed it to do, but it didn’t do anything but act like a knife. It wasn’t good pliers, all that sort of jazz. So upgrading to something like a Leatherman Wave would be a great idea. I will tackle some of the backcountry things, and this is essentially the list that the family member got when the inquiry came in.

Gifts for Backcountry Camping

  1. If they’re taking their phone in the backcountry or camera, rechargeable lights, etc., a good power bank is something to have. Something in the 20,000 milliamperes range. Depending on how long they’re gonna spend in the backcountry, you can get them a solar charger so that they can bump it back up, so they can charge their phone again.
  2. Satellite communication device. We did an episode on this, I couldn’t tell you when, maybe a year or year and a half ago, something like that, but they are highly recommended. I resisted for a long time, and it’s been great since I got it. There may have been some nagging involved.
  3. Dehydrated meals. We have our own dehydrator. Thomas and I make our own meals for the backcountry, but many people get them from Mountain Equipment and REI in the States. OTG meals are quite good. I personally haven’t tried them. We buy freeze-dried egg crystals, and I think that’s it for our backup. Oh, and I guess we get that precooked bacon stuff. Shout out to Chris Prowse for that idea. I spent years with no idea that it existed. So now I don’t have to take crappy dehydrated bacon because I can tell you that dehydrated bacon is terrible. It also doesn’t last very long. What else?
  4. Tenacious Tape. It’s a great repair tool. It’s like duct tape, but it’s on steroids. It’s excellent if you get a leak in your tent or your tarp. I’ve seen guys that have used it to repair a crack in a canoe. It’s fantastic stuff. Getting it off later’s a bit of a deal, but if your canoe doesn’t sink between now and then, that’s a good thing.
  5. I would also suggest binoculars because they work well in the backcountry. You will be looking for lighter, probably slightly more delicate ones. I have a big pair, and they’re poopy to lug around, but I’m cheap and don’t want to buy two pairs.
  6. Magazine subscriptions. Things like Explore Mag, National Geographic, Canadian Geographic or Backpacker. They’re fantastic for when you can’t be out camping. You get to learn things. They have many guest writers and good outdoor enthusiast writers on staff. You can learn tonnes.
  7. Books. My three favourite authors are Kevin Callan, Adam Shoalts and Hap Wilson. Adam Shoalts is a brilliant storyteller. If you’re not paying attention, you won’t catch his wit, but if you are paying attention, he’s pretty sharp with the pointed sort of funniness. Kevin Callan – he’s awesome. Much of his stuff is flexible, for lack of a better term. It doesn’t just pertain to, although he does do a lot of canoe routes here in Ontario, a lot of the stuff he writes about is applicable anywhere. And Hap. Hap is a huge advocate for protecting, in particular, the Temagami region here in Ontario, but he’s about the Eco culture. That’s sort of his thing. He’s a great read. He’s also steeped in history. He’s got all the things. They’re very different authors, but I highly recommend all three.
  8. And then you’re upgrading things. The Swiss Army knife into a Leatherman Wave. Here’s a perfect story. I had a good, fairly expensive headlamp. It was a rock climbing headlamp, which is kind of what everybody used. Pamela bought me one, I assume, from Amazon, and it had two lights built into it. One was like a floodlight. One was a spotlight. They came in varying intensities. I tried that puppy the first time, and I went: “Oh, my goodness, that is awesome.” Awesome headlamp. So sometimes you don’t spot the one you want. And somebody else does spot it. There you go.

Pamela: 08:54

The Fenix headlamp for anybody who’s wondering.


I love it. It’s great.


That’s it for us for today. Thank you so much for listening. We appreciate you. Always. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Our email address is We are on all the social media. We would love to hear from you. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and have a YouTube channel. And we’d love to add to our subscribers there. So please do subscribe and or reach out to us. We’ll talk again soon. Bye



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