Person relaxing in a Fatboy inflatable chair

Gift ideas for people who love outdoor parties

We all know someone who’s the summertime social quarterback. Whatever they dream up – beach BBQs, group camping trips, organized bike rides or family picnics in the park – you’d better believe that a) you’re going to be invited and b) you’re so happy you didn’t have to figure out the logistics yourself.

This year, say a big thank you to them with a gift that’ll have them counting down the days until May long.

To take us through these gift ideas for outdoor party people, we looped in with MEC staffer Kirk. As the inaugural champ of our head office ping pong tournament (the coveted Golden Paddle), this is someone that knows games and good times.

Person with Fatboy Lazmac

1. A tough little ukulele

The Waterman Ukulele is small enough to bring along in a backpack and comes with a manual so they can learn some tunes in time for summer.

2. Picnic table ping pong

This backpack table tennis set clips onto a picnic table to get a solid rally going before dinner. “Being able to play outdoors away from the usual basement or garage setting would be fantastic,” says Kirk.

3. Inflatable lounge chair

You’ve likely seen a Fatboy Lamzac Hangout Chair at the park with a very relaxed human lounging on top. “Definitely one of my favourite fun outdoor items,” says Kirk. “It’s super cozy and can fit two people, which is good because everyone will envy how comfortable you look and will want to sit in it.” It also packs down into a stuff sack for carrying.

Person with Fatboy Lamzac chair

4. Games for after dark

Light up flying discs

Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the games need to wrap up. Give your favourite party person the gift of playing until midnight with a light-up flying disc.

5. Party lights

Sure, it looks like a regular lantern. But what makes the Moji Color Lantern unique is the fact that it changes colours for a disco party vibe.

6. A solar-powered speaker

Eton Rugged Rukus Solar Powered Speaker

“A Bluetooth speaker to set the mood and to cater to music requests is great for outdoor celebrations,” says Kirk. Give them DJ power with the Eton Rugged Rukus solar speaker for backyard parties, cabin weekends or anywhere the sun is shining and people want to dance barefoot.

7. Headlamp for packing up

UCO hundred headlamp

At some point, even the best gathering needs to come to an end. That’s when your giftee will appreciate a UCO Hundred Headlamp to pack up their bag, games and extra snacks in the dark before they head home.

8. Slackline

Looking for a gift for a family or a few friends? This wide slackline comes with everything needed to string it between a couple of trees and start balancing.

9. Camp Together blanket

“Camp together” is written on the patch in the corner, but this cozy outdoor blanket is equally good for people that like to festival together or eat-food-truck-tacos-outside together. (Synthetic filling makes it easy to wash off stray salsa.)

10. Portable power

Goal Zero Flip 10 recharger

An ideal gift for the person on your list who chews through their phone battery with Instagram stories about just how much fun they’re having. The bonus of this Goal Zero recharger set is that it comes with 2 rechargers… just in case.

11. Cool growler

Stanley Vacuum Insulated Growler

For your friend who appreciates a fine IPA, stout or pilsner. This growler is durable stainless steel – excellent for outdoor events, since broken glass and flip flops don’t mix. Plus the insulated growler keeps beer cold for 16 hours.

12. Snacks that aren’t boring

Alpineaire Monkey Mix

All-dressed chips might be a party staple (right?). But if you stuff their stockings with Moon Cheese or Monkey Mix, you’re guaranteed to up their snack game.

13. Ultimate party cooler

Yeti makes legendary coolers, and the Hopper Flip 12 cooler is the only one any outdoor party fan will ever need. It’s small enough to carry, and employs the same tech as HazMat protective gear in its shell and zipper. “This would be an amazing gift for camping,” says Kirk.

14. Honcho Poncho

Therm-a-rest Honcho Poncho

Its official name is the Honcho Poncho, but it’s a Party Poncho at heart. Insulated, packable and warm enough to keep things going for an extra hour around the campfire.

15. A way to get to know your friends better

Basecamp card deck

Playing cards with a twist. They can use them as regular cards, or as conversation starters to find out what friend is up for the challenge of 100 duck-sized horses.

Have fun! Once the gift list is sorted, it’s time to start coordinating social calendars to block off time to make all the outdoor stuff on your list happen.

Karen Benson

Editor, trail runner, nature nerd. Lauded for leading cheer squads everywhere, she’s also an outspoken advocate for eating burritos daily.