We absolutely love the great outdoors and there’s a pretty good chance that someone on your gift-giving list does, too. The problem with excellent outdoor gear, however, is that it can get very expensive very quick. That being said, there’s still plenty of options for you if you’re buying on a budget.
And that’s exactly where this list comes into play. The following 15 items are some of the most superb outdoor gear options you can get for less than or equal to $50. So whether you know somebody that needs a campground lightning solution, a means by which to haul all their gear, or even just a guide on how to survive out in the wild – you’ll find it right here in this carefully curated collection.
Esbit Folding Titanium Utensils
Normal silverware is bulky and hard to transport, but the plastic stuff is bad for the environment – so really, neither are a good option for camping. These folding titanium utensils, however, are lightweight, corrosion resistant, pack into a tiny stackable format, and won’t crowd the landfill.
Expedition Pocket Notebook
Literally designed to survive an arctic adventure, these USA-made pocket notebooks are as tough as they come. In fact, they’re water, weather, and temperature resistant – which means they’ll pair up perfectly with your all-weather EDC pen of choice. They’re great for keeping notes, no matter the conditions.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
This little packable straw can filter out over 99.999% of all bacteria and protozoa from any water source. And that’s a handy thing to have in an outdoor or survival situation. And it’s not just a one-use item, either. It can be used for up to 1,000 liters of water filtration.
SAS Survival Handbook
If you ever wanted to learn how to stay alive when stranded in the worst and harshest environments in the world, then this is the guide for you. Within its pages you’ll find everything you need to know, from basic survival skills, to how to build a survival shelter, to food gathering, to first aid, and more.
Soto Pocket Torch
When paired with your average disposable lighter, the Soto pocket torch is the best friend of anyone trying to light a campfire. Not only can it make that plastic disposable lighter last up to 60% longer, but it can reach temperatures of up to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit – and it’ll do so with a windproof flame.
Exotac Waterproof Match Case
The ability to start a fire can sometimes mean the difference between survival and certain doom. Don’t take unnecessary risks – instead, stash this little waterproof and impact-resistant container in your backpack or attach it to your carabiner and make sure you always have dry matches handy. It can hold up to 20 and even comes with striker pads.
Matador Pocket Blanket
Blankets are a handy addition to any set of camping gear – whether you use them to stay warm around the fire or layer them on top of your sleeping bag. But most are way too bulky and take up too much space. The Matador Pocket Blanket can keep you plenty warm – but it also folds down into a tiny pocket-sized format for easy storage.
Olight H05S Active Headlamp
Out in the great outdoors, once the sun goes down – that’s it – no more natural light for you. And that’s troublesome if you need to see what you’re doing but you don’t have a free hand. Luckily, there’s the Olight H055 Active Headlamp. This 200-lumen LED flashlight can be worn on your cranium, keeping your hands free to do whatever task that needs completing.
Yeti makes some truly exceptional adventure coolers – and that expertise was pared-down perfectly into their Sidekick gear pouch. This little zippered pack is made from the same puncture-resistant material as their hopper and is also water-resistant. It’s an excellent small gear stash for adventuring.
Opinel No. 8 Outdoor Survival Knife
With a blade crafted from Sandvik steel and a handle that’s temperature, humidity, and shock resistant – this is one of the best outdoor folding knives available. And it gets even better, thanks to serrations on the blade, a built-in shackle key, and a 110 decibel emergency whistle. As far as survival knives go, this one is certainly one of the best.
Snow Peak Giga Power Stove
Whether hunting and foraging for food in the wild or bringing your own burgers to the campsite, having a means by which to cook your food can make your camp cooking experience so much better. But, since you likely don’t want to lug around an unwieldy stove or BBQ, you’re much better off with something like the Snow Peak Giga Power Stove. It’s collapsible and easy to pack, but still gives you a sturdy base on which to cook your food.
Nordic Pocket Saw
It’s easy to chop up smaller pieces of wood with an axe or hatchet, but felling a tree or cutting up larger chunks of wood is much more easily done with a saw. Saws, however, tend not to be very portable. The Nordic Pocket Saw, however, comes in a format that could easily be stashed in your pack. And it’s made from superb materials, including carbon forged steel and heavy-duty nylon.
Estwing Sportsman’s Axe
Building a campfire or a survival structure is made 100 times easier with a wood-cutting hatchet. And this one from Estwing is a superb old-school styled version. It features an American forged steel construction and a durable, handsome, and long-lasting leather-wrapped handle. And it’s made here in the USA.
BioLite PowerLight Mini
This little camp lighting solution can burn with soft white light for up to 52 hours per charge. Better than that, it can also be mounted to a bike, stands on its own, and even has power ports to charge some of your other tech – all while in operation. It also has several different lighting modes – including red night vision.
Matador Daylite16 Packable Backpack
Built from a sturdy waterproof Cordura nylon, this 16-liter backpack has more than enough room to stash everything you need for a day hike – no matter the weather. It’s also puncture resistant, lockable, and ultralight. Best of all, however, is that it folds down small enough to stash in your pocket.
20 Best Camping Gadgets
If you like your outdoor gear on the more high-tech side of the spectrum, then you’re going to want to check out our list of the 20 best camping gadgets.