The Best Gifts for People who’d Rather Be Camping Right Now

Even when the temperatures dip below freezing, camping enthusiasts love any excuse to stock up on new gear

For those whose loved ones need a more minimalist, clutter-free holiday (RVers or not) finding thoughtful gifts that require minimal space can be problematic. When shopping for gifts for RVers, remember the number one criterion, be conscious of space. When you live in an RV you focus on traveling with functional items that don’t take up much room.

Christmas in an RV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The perfect gift for the RVers should pass the following test:

  • Makes good use of limited storage space
  • Light in weight
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable for an outdoor on-the-move lifestyle
  • BONUS points if it’s multi-functional

With those points in mind, below is a gift guide of 14 practical gifts for RVers that they didn’t know they needed.

Christmas in an RV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Gifts for RVers that take up little or no space

Many gizmos and gadgets are useful to RVing, and gift cards are always a good stand-by, but I have compiled some ideas to help stoke your creative gifting fires.

1. Yummy food items

If you’re sure of any food restrictions, giving a gift of homemade goodies is always a lovely way to celebrate the holidays. Include a recipe in your gift so your friends can enjoy your gift again in the future.

Poinsettia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Events or experiences

Tickets to a concert/game/exhibit, a walking tour in a city they will be traveling to, a flight-seeing tour over a scenic area, a hot air balloon ride, cosmic bowling, and a horseback ride. The possibilities are limitless!

3. Service subscriptions

Many online streaming services like Hulu Plus, Rdio, and Netflixcan provide a year’s worth of enjoyment without clutter. Other ideas could be an RV detailing service or AAA membership.

Christmas in an RV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Lessons or workshops

If your loved one is looking to expand their experiences, they may be interested in a series of lessons to learn to play a musical instrument, speak a new language, polish their photography skills, or learn to make pottery.

5. Reciprocal museum membership

Since RVers aren’t typically in one place for long periods, many of them like having museum memberships that offer reciprocal benefits at other similar museums.

Poinsettia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Below are some of the reciprocal programs available:

  • North American Reciprocal Museum Association
  • The Association of Science and Technology Centers
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums
  • Association of Children’s Museums
  • American Horticultural Society
  • Time Travelers (reciprocal membership network for historical museums, sites, and societies throughout the US)
Christmas in an RV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Journals and photo memory books

Most people who enjoy traveling also enjoy journaling about their adventures and showing off photos of the places they have explored. Give a gift of a high-end journal or photo book and a nice pen to record their memories.

7. Handcrafted nomadic gifts

Give your beloved RVer a gift made by another RVer and help support other nomads who are making a living while on the road.

Christmas on Jekyll Island, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Camp chairs

There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting around a campfire in the middle of nowhere but it’s a little hard to do that if you don’t have anything to sit on. Folding camp chairs make great gifts for RVers. They’re compact, comfortable, and can be taken anywhere. 

Christmas at Blue Bell Creameries, Brenham, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Hammock

Hammocks would make a fun gift idea for an RVer to bring some comfiness to their outdoor space when they stop to camp. They can just keep the hammock in the RV and when they get that epic campsite they can set up a cozy reading or napping nook in the trees.

10. National parks pass

A National Parks pass would be awesome for RVerss. The annual pass costs $80 and gives access to all sites managed by the National Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation for an entire year.

Christmas crafts at Kentucky Artisan Center, Berea, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

11. First aid kit

No one should leave home without a first aid kit especially when they’re going on an extended adventure. This is why first aid kits are a necessity in every RV. First aid kits include the essentials such as bandaids, antiseptic wipes, gloves, swabs, scissors, iodine pads, and an emergency blanket. Some first aid kits come with a first aid guide.

12. Insulated wine glasses

Enjoy chilled beverages in insulated stainless steel wine tumblers. The double-wall vacuum-insulated thermal design is perfect for keeping drinks warm or cold longer so they aren’t just for wine. Use them for hot drinks in winter and cold drinks in summer.

Christmas display Boyds Bears, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

13. Reversible mat

Much of the RV experience is spent relaxing outside the rig, perhaps under an awning but certainly on the ground alongside the RV. A mat that can be used to provide some underfoot protection goes a long way toward making the experience that much more comfortable.

13. Folding step stool

Whether you’re 5 feet 2 inches or 6 feet 2 inches, a step stool is handy accessory to have on an RV. They help you reach higher storage areas and can provide an extra step up into your rig.

Christmas at Log House Craft Gallery, Berea, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

14. Multi-tool

Give a gift of fixing power with a multi-tool including pull-out knives, screwdrivers, scissors, bottle opener, and pliers from top brands like Leatherman, Victorinox, Gerber, and Outbound. Multi-tools come in handy in all situations so it’s never a bad idea for RVers to have one—even just to open a bottle of wine in a pinch.

Worth Pondering…

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!

―Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas