Finding the best outdoor gifts for teens can be complicated. One the one hand, teenagers are more discriminating (not just any shiny new toy will do). But on the other hand, they are honing in on their interests and passions, giving you a better sense of direction for your gift-choosing compass.
And if they’re outdoorsy? All the better! Because not only will their gifts be generally more useful, they’ll also be designed to get them outside. Isn’t that a win-win for all involved?
I currently have a tween and a teen (both boys!) and have put together a list of what I know they like (and already own) and what I think they would appreciate receiving. It’s a balance between wanting them to have things that are useful and finding things they’ll actually find worthy!
(If you find some of these items too boy-oriented, I apologize… The world of teen boys in my current paradigm.)
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best outdoor gifts for teens
GEAR for the outdoorsy teen
headlamps: Headlamps come in handy more than you’d expect! My sons use them for night walks, for scootering to their grandmother’s house after dark, for fixing bikes, for after-dark play. There are so many to choose from, including budget-friendly (Energizer), rechargeable (Foxelli), good quality (Black Diamond).
flashlight: This pocket-sized flashlight has a slide focus lens (from wide-angle flood to bulls-eye spot) and is ready for any adventure your teen has in mind.
lantern: This isn’t your old Coleman gas lantern! This lantern is not only inflatable (easy to pack) and solar (lightweight), it also charges your cell phone!
speaker: A portable waterproof outdoor speaker may be a controversial gift to some (no speakers in the woods, please!), but it could well be a good option for your teen. For music, podcasts and audiobooks in the backyard — instead of holed up in their rooms!
active ear buds: Beats Fit Pro are at the top of many lists for the best sports earbuds, which no doubt is reflected in the price. For a more budget-friendly pair at less than half the price, consider Raycon (which my son loves). They’re not specifically suited for sports, but are a solid pair of earbuds. (They do have a “fitness” version for about $40 more.)
mini projector: Your teen can host an outdoor movie night with this mini projector. Of course we want their outdoor time to be active and/or connected to nature, but it’s also helpful to encourage non-traditional outdoor activities.
hammock: Encourage your teen to have a little “me” time outside in a hammock — with a book, with music, or just staring at the stars.
slackline: Encourage your teen to get outside whenever they have a few minutes. Bonus, they can practice their balance on a slackline — easy to install and fun for all ages.
skimboard: If your teen is past building sandcastles and prefers to stay active a the beach, consider a skim board!
body board: Another great option for staying beach active is boogie boarding! Body boards aren’t too expensive but can provide endless fun.
spinning balance board: Whether you have a skateboarder, snowboarder, or surfer, practicing balance and agility is always good training. This balance board will help keep their skills sharp during the offseason or anytime.
SUP: For a bigger splurge, consider an inflatable stand-up