Stocking stuffers for the outdoorsy Mainer

When it’s down to the wire for Christmas shopping (and it is), I usually still have quite a few stocking stuffers to buy. And to find those small gifts, I like to visit local sporting goods stores. 1: Sporting goods stores may have more customers than usual, but typically they aren’t teeming with last-minute shoppers quite like big box stores. And 2: A lot of outdoor items are the perfect size for stocking stuffers.

I don’t have any children of my own, but I currently stuff Christmas stockings for two adults who are dear to my heart, and fortunately, both of them enjoy spending time in the outdoors. And honestly, even if they didn’t like the outdoors, I would ever-so-subtly encourage them to embrace the wilderness with some outdoorsy stocking stuffers.

Since there’s only one week left until Christmas, I thought I’d help you out (if you celebrate the merry holiday). I’m going to share a bit of my shopping knowledge.

Here are a few outdoorsy stocking stuffers for children and adults, that you an find at local sporting goods stores:

  • Coghlans waterproof matches – about $3
  • Burt’s Bees 100 % natural replenishing lip balm – $3
  • Light My Fire spork – $2
  • Mountain House neapolitan freeze-dried ice cream – $2.50
  • Freeze-dried pasta or other meals (for backpackers)- $3-10
  • Wool or synthetic socks – price varies
  • Carabiner – price varies
  • Guyot Designs splash guard for water bottles – $3
  • Guyot Design Squishy Pet Bowl – $15
  • Buff headwear – original style, $20
  • GSI Nesting Wineglass (plastic and collapsable) – $7.50
  • Croakies, neck straps for sunglasses/eyeglasses – $5-10
  • Winter hat (fleece-lined is good) – $15-25?
  • Survival whistle & compass – $5
  • Chalk ball (for climbers) – $4.50
  • Chalk bag (for climbers) – $20
  • Trail mix – $4
  • GU energy shots (for bikers/runners) – $1
  • Swiss Army knife – $10 and up
  • Fishing flies – self made? price varies
  • Insect repellant (probably on sale now)
  • Key chain tick removal device – $4
  • Dr. Bronner’s biodegradable soap – $5
  • “AMC Maine Mountain Guide” by Carey Kish (if you have a big stocking) – $24
  • “Hiking Mount Desert Island: Pocket Guide” by Earl D. Brechlin – $8
  • Energy bars – price varies
  • Moleskin (for blisters) – $3-10
  • Travel size first aid kit – $10 and up
  • Accessory cord – price varies
  • Compass – price varies
  • LED headlamp – $20 and up
  • Glove or mitten liners – price varies

I could go on, but I can’t sit here all day. I need to actually finish my own holiday shopping. I’ll leave you with one last trick, to be used only when it’s really getting down to the wire: The bigger the item, the more space it takes up in the stocking. That’s right. Get those bulky socks. Fluff them up a little bit.

Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at