Best gift ideas for mom: Cool camping gifts for outdoorsy moms

From ambient tent lights to fun marshmallow roasters to a trusty GPS, these are the best gift ideas for moms who love to camp.

Camping may be one of the simplest activities out there—after all, you’re just finding a beautiful spot in nature and sleeping there—but you still need quality gear to have a good experience. A warm sleeping bag, for example, or a weatherproof tent, represent the difference between a shivery, soggy night of misery and a cozy adventure. This is great news for anyone who’s looking for gift ideas for mom: If the mom in your life is a camping aficionada, then there’s no end of outdoor gear and accessories to make her outings all the more enjoyable. A mom who’s new to camping (or who hasn’t updated her gear in decades) would love the essentials, such as a quality tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, camp stove, or outdoor apparel. And a mom who already has her basics covered can appreciate upgrades and accessories, such as a camping cookware, luxe camping pillow, warm slippers, or useful technology. Whether you’re looking for the best camping tent, stove, hammock—you name it—you’ll find the best Mother’s Day gifts for her here. We’ve broken down the best gifts for women who love camping by price point, so you can find something thoughtful no matter what your mom needs most and how much you’re hoping to spend.

Two essential gifts for campers

If she’d rather sleep under the stars than under high-thread-count sheets, then the best gift ideas for mom are the ones that will get her that camping fix. Maybe she’s the type who likes to roll into a luxurious basecamp with friends and family, all the ingredients for a gourmet al fresco feast, and a cushy night’s sleep in tow. Or maybe she prefers to rough it in the wilderness, carrying only what she can fit in her backpack. Or hey, why not both? These gifts for campers make cool gifts for mom this Mother’s Day, no matter what her preferred style of roughing it.

Best gift for campers, splurge: Yeti Rambler Half Gallon Jug

Supercharged Liquid Insulation

This stainless steel jug keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours and holds enough for the whole family. YETI

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Yeti products are the Cadillacs of drinkware: Made of durable stainless steel and featuring double-wall vacuum insulation, this Yeti rambler can handle a few knocks while keeping drinks at the proper temperature for hours. It’s simple to clean, OK for the dishwasher, and big enough to quench everyone’s thirst at the campsite.

Best gift for campers, bargain: NEMO Forte Ultralight Synthetic Sleeping Bag

For a Good Night’s Sleep

Warm and impressively compressible, this synthetic-stuffed sleeping bag gets the job done for less. NEMO

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Synthetic sleeping bags cost less than down bags, but they’re often heavier and bulkier. Not so with the Forte Ultralight Sleeping Bag, which weighs less than 3 pounds and packs down smaller than the average synthetic. It comes in 20-degree and 35-degree temperature ratings for three-season use, and unique “gills” vent extra heat on warmer nights—making it one of the best sleeping bags and gift ideas for Mom.

Outdoor gift ideas for moms with young kids

Contrary to what the naysayers may have told you, mom’s camping days are not on pause just because the kiddos are small. Sure, it may take (a lot) more planning and preparation, but camping with even the littlest little ones can be a blast. And not only does mom get to keep up one of her favorite activities, she’ll also be encouraging a lifelong love of nature in her kids. If the mom in your life is adventurous enough to venture into a campsite with the young’uns, she’d appreciate these amazing outdoor gift ideas for Mother’s Day.

Outdoor gift idea for moms with young kids, splurge: REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent

Camping Palace

This six-person tent is spacious and stable enough for the whole family (and the dog, too). REI Co-op

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Camping families need plenty of space to sleep, store gear, tell stories, and play card games. This REI camping tent delivers with 84 square feet of floor space and a peak height of 6 feet, 2 inches. You also get a roomy vestibule for storing boots and wet gear, two doors, and color coding for easy pitching.

Outdoor gift idea for moms with young kids, bargain: Zulay Long 32 Inch Marshmallow Roasting Sticks

Campfire Fun

Colorful, extendable roasting sticks like these make cooking dinner—and dessert—simple and mess free. Zulay Kitchen

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Ask any kid what the best part of camping is, and they’ll most likely tell you roasting marshmallows is high on their list. These stainless steel forks telescope out so kids don’t have to get too close to the fire, and they’re great for roasting hot dogs and other camp classics, too. The best part: These sticks are dishwasher safe, so they’re also easy to clean.

Unique gifts for the mom who has everything

Don’t think of a picky mom as difficult to shop for—think of her as discerning. After all, that mindset turns a chore into the opportunity to be creative: Can you find unique gifts for mom that will surprise and please her? (Yes, you can, with out gift ideas for mom.) There are plenty of camping gifts out there to bring a smile to the face of even the most particular mother. Think about Mother’s Day gifts that will help her relax, or perhaps a gift to help her focus on the nature all around her when she’s out on a camping trip.

Unique Mother’s Day gifts, splurge: Nikon 10-22×50 Aculon A211 Zoom Weather Resistant Porro Prism Binocular

Crisp Optics

These binoculars strike the balance between durable and lightweight (and are still a pretty good deal for binocs). Adorama Camera

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Is that a red-tailed hawk soaring overhead? Could that be a mountain goat on the hill over there? Let your mom find out for sure with these easy-to-use, all-purpose binoculars. The multicoated lenses deliver sharp images in variable light, and a rubber coating protects them from accidental drops.

Unique Mother’s Day gifts, bargain: Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Lightweight Camping Hammock

Instant Chill

Sling up this two-person hammock in camp or in the backyard for a relaxing swing. ENO

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When it comes to the best camping hammock/Mother’s Day gift, there’s only one option in our minds. The DoubleNest accommodates two people, but it’s light enough (just over a pound) to pack along for camping, backpacking, and day hiking adventures. Durable nylon taffeta supports up to 400 pounds, and it comes with carabiners and rope for simple setup. Your mom can grab a book and a drink, climb in, and say “Ahhhh.”

Mother’s Day gifts that will remind her of you every time she brings them out

Practical gifts don’t get the respect they deserve. Too often dismissed as “boring,” useful gifts for mom to use again and again bring so much more enjoyment than a Mother’s Day brunch or flowers ever could. The key is to make sure the gift is something mom will actually, well, use. But if you choose camping gifts, you’ll know an outdoorsy mama won’t be able to wait to see her gift in action. Our Mother’s Day gift ideas will help mom whip up amazing outdoor meals for the whole family and navigate trails with confidence for years to come.

Useful gift for mom, splurge: Garmin eTrex 22x

Handheld Mapping Technology

This durable GPS unit comes preloaded with maps so mom won’t ever go astray on her adventures. Garmin

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A GPS unit like this one will help mom get from point A to point B with confidence, thanks to its mapping power and 8GB of internal memory for downloading custom maps. The screen is easy to read even in direct sunlight, and it’ll last up to 25 hours with two AA batteries. It’s durable too, so mom won’t have to baby it when she’s outside (she can save that for her actual kids).

Useful gift for mom, bargain: Camp Chef Everest 2-Burner Propane Cook Stove

Portable Cooking Power

Culinary moms can prepare home-quality meals in camp with this streamlined two-burner stove. Camp Chef

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Every camp foodie needs an easy-to-use portable propane stove like this one. One of the best camping stoves on the market, the burners ignite without needing a match and provide even heat, and a three-sided wind screen protects the flame from windy weather. The stove locks up and features a handle for toting it between home and the campground (or park, or yard)—a perfect gift for Mom!

Thoughtful gifts for mom to make her camping trip special

All moms will tell you it’s the thought that counts—and they really mean it! Any gift that reflects careful consideration of what she really needs and wants is sure to be a hit. Thoughtful gift ideas for mom this Mother’s Day? Start by listening: What problems does she have when she’s out camping, and how might you solve them for her? One of our selections is practical and aimed at making camping feel cozy and comfortable. The other is a simple luxury item that will bring a welcoming, home-like ambience to any campsite (and provide needed light to boot).

Thoughtful gift for mom, splurge: Baffin Base Camp Slipper

Cozy Toes

These insulated booties will keep mom’s feet toasty and come in a bunch of fun colors, too. Baffin

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Make sure mom stays comfortable on camping trips with these warm, synthetic-stuffed booties. Two bungees let mom adjust them for the perfect fit, and the sole is slip- and water-resistant so she can wear them around the campsite.

Thoughtful gift for mom, bargain: Big Agnes mtnGLO LED Tent & Camping Lights

Instant Mood-Setter

Clip these battery-powered LED lights to the tent’s interior for a soft, warm glow. Big Agnes

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Camp lanterns and headlamps are all fine and good, but this tube of LED lights is a serious campsite upgrade. Mom can use the included clips to hang the lights around her tent for a brighter glow, or pack them in their pyramid-shaped bag to use as a lantern. The lights have full light and flicker modes, and they’re lightweight, portable, and packable, too.

Bonus thoughtful Mother’s Day gifts, bargain: Outdoor Life Women’s Go Play Outside Tee

Cozy Cotton

A soft T-shirt is always an essential on and off the campsite. 540Brands

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This 100% cotton crewneck comes in five attractive, muted colors including our personal favorite, a dusty pink, and a warm mustard. Size up for a loose, comfy fit she can lounge around in by the campfire.

Final thoughts on the best gift ideas for mom

When you’re shopping for gifts for Mother’s Day for a camping mama, make sure to take an inventory of what she already has and what she needs most. If you don’t live with her, check in with someone who does for a peek into her gear closet, or subtly ask her about her recent camping trips and what she’s packed. She’ll probably open right up to talk about one of her favorite subjects, and you might find the best gift ideas for mom will come straight from mom herself (if not from this list!).


PopSci wants to help you find the most useful and expert shopping recommendations for the best gift ideas. Searching for more unique gifts? Check out more gift guides here: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, Great Mother’s Day Gifts, and more Camping Gifts.