15 Outdoor Gifts for Exploring Our Amazing Planet

GoPro Hero (and attachments)

GoPro Hero

(Image credit: GoPro)

The GoPro Hero provides a way for adrenaline junkies to immortalize their escapades, from hiking up to the mouth of a bubbling pit of lava to scuba diving into the deepest underwater sinkhole or adventure-biking along the rocky cliffs of the Isle of Skye. The GoPro Hero captures high-definition video and works in water up to depths of 131 feet (40 meters). The starter kit includes a head mount and extra disc drive. Those who want to share photos or videos via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth can opt for the pricier GoPro Hero+.

Even those who already have a GoPro can use additional accessories. Selfie sticks make you the star of your own adventure, and extra battery life is a must for those hoping to capture every moment of their all-day escapes.

Patagonia R1 Hoody

Patagonia R1 Hoody

(Image credit: Patagonia)

The Patagonia R1 Hoody has a cult following amongst avid outdoorsmen. That's because it's the "Goldilocks" layer for outdoor adventures: a solid midlayer that's not too hot and not too cold. The unique engineered fiber is breathable and stretchable, and packs down to almost nothing. It has a front zipper for venting when it gets too hot, thumbholes in the sleeves for when it gets chilly and a slim zipper-pocket for holding essentials. At just 12.85 ounces (364 grams), the shirt is lightweight. The hoody is available for men and women in a variety of colors.

Smartwool outdoor Light Pattern midcrew socks

SmartWool Outdoor Light Pattern Socks

(Image credit: SmartWool)

Keeping your toes toasty can go a long way toward making you feel comfortable when snowshoeing, skijoring or downhill skiing. These smart wool socks are ultrawarm, just like ordinary wool, but unlike the scratchy wool socks that grandma wore, these are not itchy at all. Plus, they're lightweight and machine-washable. They also have specialized ventilation zones that wick moisture away and regulate temperature in just the right spots. For the fashion-conscious, the socks come in multiple colors.

Hot Hands hand warmers

Hot Hands Hand Warmers

(Image credit: Hot Hands)

Hand warmers are perfect for those who want to actually feel their fingers while skiing, snowshoeing or camping in the mountains. These hand warmers release heat via a chemical reaction as soon as you open the package and expose them to air. They'll keep hands or toes toasty for up to 10 hours. They're also environmentally safe, meaning you can toss them in the trash when they're all used up. And their low price makes them a simple stocking stuffer for the adventure-seekers in your life.P

Amphipod Xinglet vest

Amphipod Xinglet Vest

(Image credit: Amphipod)

For those who fancy a quick jog or bike in pitch darkness, this reflective running or biking vest will make someone visible for oncoming drivers from all angles. The vest is brighter than other reflective clothing, and snaps on and off easily. It's also lightweight, meaning it won't make people any sweatier than their ultramarathon training otherwise would.

Osprey Poco Plus child carrier

Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier

(Image credit: Osprey)

Getting outdoors can be challenging with little ones in tow, but the Osprey Poco Plus child carrier keeps both parent and tot comfortable on long hikes. The backpack provides adjustable harnesses that make it a good fit for both tall and short people, a hydration sleeve for water and a built-in sunshade so little ones can nap. The backpack has 0.875 square feet (23 L) of storage space for essential gear. The backpack also comes with a spot for quickly attaching a separate day pack, which older tots can carry when they decide to walk. The carrier can lug kids who weigh up to 48.5 lbs. (22 kg), so even 5-year-olds can take breaks in the carrier if they're feeling tired. (Though you will really, really want a kid that heavy to walk!)

Tia Ghose
Managing Editor

Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.