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10 Best Birthday Presents for your Camper Friend - That won't break your budget.

Rockpool Taran - MSR Tent - Florida Keys

Buying the best birthday present for your camper friend can be a little tricky. It must not be too expensive, it has to be small enough to be carried, and must be something that they will use. Some gear can pricey, however, there are a few gifts that every camper will appreciate and won't break your budget. The list compiled here is based on what I as a camper have used would love to get as a Christmas or birthday present.

Before we get on with the list, I'd like to note that you should not buy the following items for your kayaker friend:

1. Tents - A tent is a big purchase, and the chance of getting it wrong is very high. You don't know if your friend likes a one person tent, or prefers a more spacious two person model. If you get it wrong, it will become a cumbersome return item. Avoid it.

2. Sleeping Bags/ Mattresses/Pillows - Again, this can be a big purchase, and you run the risk of getting the wrong size or preference from your camper friend. I would avoid this.

3. Backpacks - Again a very personal item. Everyone's back is different and some people like big packs with lots of space, while others go by the philosophy that you should never get the biggest backpack you can, because you always find a way to fill it up. Let your camper friend get his own backpack...

Here are the 15 Best Birthday Presents For Your Camper Friend

1. Luci Solar Lamp

Yes, at some point you'll find yourself in the dark, so you're going to need a lamp. These Luci Solar Lamps don't take up much space. You can attach them to your backpack with the solar panel facing up, and over the course of the day, they will charge up enough to last a few hours. I'll normally carry about 3 of these with me.

Luci Light

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2. Wide Brim Sun Hat You can get some very bad sunburns in a bright day. For that reason you need a wide brim sun hat that will keep your face in the shade. Most wide brim sun hats have a 4-inch rim, but the AMK Helios (yes it's my creation, and it's me in the photo!) has 6-inches! Don't think that an extra 2-inches makes a difference? You will know it when you wear one!

Wide Brim Sun Hat

3. Beach Chair

One of the best things to have in a camping expedition is a comfortable place to sit when you're at the campsite, eating your food, and enjoying the scenery. The "sort of flat" boulder, the oddly shaped log, and maybe even that random toilet seat cover you found at the beach just can't compare to a good folding chair that you can even take a nap in the shade (yes, it's me in the photo again!). Your friends in the trip who don't have one, will be jealous of you.

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4. Honey Stinger Waffles

If you've ever been offered a stinger waffle on a hike you know you've wished you had a few more with you after you ate the first one. I find them delicious and would happily survive on nothing but waffles for a week, though I would like to have a variety pack with me.

Stinger Waffles

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5. Jelly Belly Sports Beans

If I'm your camper friend, I would love to get a box with 25 packs of these. They are tasty, and there's plenty of variety to chose from. My favorite is caffeinated version. They give you a hell of a kick when you need fast energy to get you through a rough hike up a big mountain. I call them the He-Man jelly beans...

Jelly Belly Beans

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6. Hemorrhoidal Suppositories

Some important talk now. As a middle aged man with episodic intestinal issues I have to watch out what I eat, (especially black pepper) or I will get seriously punished on the other end. Now, I don't recommend you buy these as a present for your camper friend, BUT, if you know your friend sometimes has number 2 issues during camping trips, you can have a set of these little rockets with you in the medical kit, and I guarantee you, you will become someone's new best friend! Heck, you'll be my best friend!

Hemorrhoidal Suppositories

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7. Chamois Butter Anti Chaffe Cream

If your camper friend is a hardcore hiker who goes on long expeditions and doesn't shower for weeks on end, then he (and let's be honest, it's definitely a guy, not a girl), is going to need something to ease the chaffing on those body areas that are constantly rubbing against each other, so they don't turn into nasty raw sores. I put a generous amount under my armpits, around the nipples, and those other important private body parts you definitely don't want chaffing on... It's a life saver! It turns a multi week hike expedition into an experience, as opposed to a slog. Your camper friend will appreciate having a tube of lube with him.

Chamois Butter

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8. Ultralight Titanium Spork

Having a bunch of cutlery is a hassle. It's stuff you have to wash, and carry around. The less the better. That's why I prefer an all in one Swiss-army-knife-like tool; fork and knife for that delicious canned tuna on one end, and the spoon for the Nutella pot on the other.

Titanium Spork

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9. Mosquito Repellent

Of all the predators you might encounter in an expedition; bears, mountain lions, and wolfs, none is more common and ferocious than the mosquito. They will bite you through the tent fabric if you lean against it. They will sting you in the butt when you're doing you're business. And they will buzz in your ear all night long when you're sleeping. That's why you need a powerful mosquito repellent like the Therma-cell. It slowly releases a chemical repellent into the air, creating a little bubble of protection which keeps all the bugs away. It's like magic when you see it work. One minute the bugs are eating you alive, and then suddenly, they're all gone! If I was in the arctic and I had to chose between the Therma-cell for the mosquitos and a shotgun for polar bears, I'll take my chances with the bear without the shotgun...

Mosquito repellent

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10. Amazon Gift Card

If you still can't think of anything to give your camper friend, then I suppose you can give them an Amazon Gift Card. They might, however, think you're trying to be their dad...

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