Sure, you might have friends who live to camp under the stars or hike for miles in the wilderness. But what about the ones who simply appreciate nature? Maybe that means walking in the woods or just watching birds from the window. Whatever their way of celebrating friluftsliv — the Nordic concept of “open air life” — we’ve got some gift ideas to celebrate their outdoors-y spirit.
Cozy blanket — Whether you’re sleeping under the stars or just curled up on the screened-in porch, a soft blanket can make the outdoors so much more inviting. A plush Sherpa fleece blanket is a nubby and snuggly option. You can find lots of affordable Sherpa choices at most stores, including this Amazon bestseller for $26, or look for a festive plaid flannel. If you have a little more to spend, Cotopaxi’s colorful $90 Kusa blanket is made of llama-poly insulation and is covered with ripstop nylon for durability. Plus a percentage of all Cotopaxi products goes to fight poverty.
A great read — Maybe your giftee would appreciate a deep dive into forest bathing (“Shinrin-yoku”) or perhaps a better understanding of why nature is the best prescription. Whatever their passion, there’s sure to be a gorgeous coffee table book or scientific tome that covers the depths of their interests.
Bird accommodations or feeder — For friends who love to watch winged creatures flit around the yard, give them a new place to watch their avian friends nosh or nest. Look for a handcrafted design on Etsy or in a gift shop. Audubon sells field-tested feeders, houses and accessories at many retailers. For an avian home that’s practical yet also a work of art, consider a pottery birdhouse ($28) from Uncommon Goods. Made of stoneware, the swirly blue and green orb is hand-painted and ready to welcome birds to the backyard.
Butterfly puddler — Butterflies congregate around puddles to get the minerals they need. A hand-painted butterfly puddling stone like this one from Gardener’s Supply Company ($25) is one way to assure that butterflies have a place to gather (and then we can watch them). Fill it with sand, salt and water and put it in a sunny spot and then sit back and wait.
Warm socks — It’s hard to enjoy even a slightly chilly day if your feet are cold. Merino wool socks are the magic answer: They’ll keep feet warm (or cool) and dry in any temperature. Opt for the classic and highly recommended Darn Tough micro-crew cushion socks (no seams, thick knit, starting at $20). If you want a snazzier selection, Smartwool has an array of wool options ($12 and up) in all sorts of colors and designs.
Clothes with a message — Help your friends and family members wear their love for a favorite national park or species right on their chest … or hat or feet. The Parks Project has tees, hoodies and hats from everything from Denali and Death Valley to Yosemite and Yellowstone. You can find the famed panda logo on World Wildlife Fund gear, or choose polar bear boxers, penguin socks or an elephant infinity scarf.
Tumbler or water bottle — Yes, everyone should have a couple of these by now, but do you always know where yours is? There might be one rolling under the backseat and another lost in the bottom of a backpack. The popular Yeti Rambler lidded tumbler ($30 at REI) keeps beverages hot and cold for hours. Similarly, the double-walled Hydro Flask standard mouth bottle ($33) is a versatile, colorful choice. It has a mouth wide enough for ice and it keeps liquids cold for up to 24 hours.
Wool slippers — After a long day of hiking (or for lounging by the backyard firepit), nature lovers want to get out of those serious trekking shoes and slip into something more comfortable. There are lots of nifty wool options for people who want something cozy but care about the planet. From Glerups to Allbirds, many hip wool shoe brands have slip-on styles perfect for lounging outdoors.
Folding A-frame cabin — This may be a little on the extravagant end, but for that one very special someone, there’s a spectacular cabin. The prefabricated M.A.DI. is a movable tiny house you can take on the go. At $32,000, it may not be for everyone on your shopping list, but imagine the surprise on someone’s face when they open up a massive IKEA-like box with this cool fantasy home on the instruction sheet.
9 thoughtful gifts for nature lovers
These gift ideas are perfect for the people in your life who love nature and the great outdoors.