Do you like to pair your hazy IPA or crisp riesling with a dose of fresh air? I get it – and I know I’m not alone. There’s something extra indulgent about enjoying your favourite bevvie outside, whether you’re sitting around a crackling campfire, cheers-ing after a full day on bikes, or towelling off after a surf session.
If you know someone who savours pale ale, pilsner, merlot or chardonnay surrounded by trees or clouds, here are our top gift picks for sipping outdoors. (And if this sounds like you, make sure to add these to your own wish list):
1. A fun way to open things
No screw-top or twist-off? No problem. The Kikkerland Dog Bottle Opener is ready to help (and is adorable enough that you won’t want to misplace it, either).
2. A space-age koozie
Tough stainless steel. Double-wall insulation. A locking gasket. This Yeti Rambler Colster doesn’t mess around when it comes to keeping things at just the right temp for a long time. It’s an awesome present for the friend who gets distracted and forgets about their drink as they get pulled into conversations.
3. An unbreakable wine glass
Yeti Rambler 10 Wine Tumblers are made of vacuum-insulated stainless steel, so there’s zero risk of breakage if they get bumped off the picnic table. They keep wine at the perfect temperature for hours.
4. Cards to keep conversation flowing
Yep, you can use them as a standard deck of cards. But you can also use Basecamp Cards to kick off conversations, since each card has a fun, thought-provoking question on it. I brought these camping, and we only made it through about three cards, since each question sent us on half-hour tangents about skydiving, living in Nice, and the power of 100 horse-sized ducks.
“Received these as a gift and absolutely love them! The questions have started some really incredible stories and even some new friendships! Would definitely recommend for a stocking stuffer, as I bring them on all my trips.” – review from freetosolo at mec.ca
5. Easy to carry growler
Have you ever had a glass growler smash to bits when you accidentally drop it? Speaking from experience, I can assure you that picking up glass shards soaked in imperial pumpkin ale is less than ideal. Give a United By Blue Stainless Steel Growler to keep their cargo secure – it has a paracord handle, won’t leak and keeps bevvies cold for up to 4 hours.
6. A can’t-miss-it wrap
A layer of insulation keeps drinks cooler, and a bright LED strip makes it easy to find after sunset. The Nite Ize SlapLit LED Drink Wrap comes in different colours to prevent you having to ask “is this one mine or yours?” every time you pick it up.
7. Travel-friendly wine transport
Cut out the issue of corkscrews, glass, resealing bottles or excess weight in the backcountry. Wine-drinkers have options: the Hydro Flask Wine Bottle is unbreakable and insulated, while the Platypreserve Wine Preservation System is lightweight, packs down small when it’s empty, and is a member fave based on the stellar reviews.
8. Carabiner bottle opener
The Nite Ize S-Biner Ahhh Aluminum Bottle Opener holds your keys, attaches things to other things, and pops off bottlecaps. I gave one to a friend years ago and they’re still using it as their keychain.
9. Nesting wine glasses
Celebrate summiting in style. Nesting wine glasses make a classy-meets-practical camping gift, especially when you pair them with a bottle of your friend’s go-to wine. Have a special occasion to celebrate? There’s even a champagne flute set.
10. An awesome cooler
If you know someone who’s counting down the days until campsite reservations open for May long weekend, this Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler is the gift for them. It keeps brie and bevvies chilled, is strong enough to stand on, and has literally thousands of positive reviews.
11. A backpack cooler
Looking for something more portable for a friend who’s always on the move? The Mountainsmith Frostbite Cooler Pack has an insulated lower compartment to keep things chilled, and room for beach games, blankets or warm layers up top. There’s also a bottle opener built into the shoulder strap.
12. An outdoor blanket
Rumpl Puffy Blankets are warm, lightweight and machine washable (just in case someone spills something). When the conversation is flowing, this comfy layer keeps people cozy after the sun dips below the horizon. I have one with an outdoor-themed print and I curl up with it both outside and inside, since it brings a little nature into my living room.
“How did I live without this thing? … Take it with me to the park, on weekend trips, sleep with it on my bed, friend used it when they slept over… Gave one to my brother and he loves it.” – review of the Rumpl Faded Puffy Throw from scott on mec.ca
13. Dehydrated cocktails
Bring happy hour with you, wherever you go. Just add water and a measure of your favourite spirit, mix, and toast to a successful hiking trip. Choose from Moscow mule, old fashioned, coconut-lime margarita or pickled caesar.
Wherever you are, make sure you enjoy all your beverages responsibly, and dispose of any containers in a Leave No Trace friendly way. Cheers!
A cooler full of appreciation to MEC staffer Cheena for showing off the Yeti gear and United by Blue growler in our photos. Thanks!