Gift ideas for Daytonians who love the great outdoors

Hiking, biking, paddling – local outdoor enthusiasts can do it all right here in the “Outdoor Capital of the Midwest.”

With a 300-plus mile paved recreation trail network to explore and six high-quality waterways, offering 400 miles of paddling opportunities, the Dayton area has countless outdoor recreation opportunities for enthusiasts of all ages. Not to mention, numerous local and state parks and portions of the 1,400-mile Buckeye Trail all within a short walk or ride.

The outdoor recreation industry is a significant force in the overall U.S. economy, with consumers spending $887 billion annually on outdoor recreation according to Outdoor Industry Association. Cycling, hiking and water sports as well as camping, fishing, hunting, off-roading and wildlife viewing support more than 7.6 million jobs.

But if someone you love, loves the great outdoors, Christmas shopping might be a bit more challenging than a quick trip to the mall. But if the saying is true that “it’s the thought that counts,” then one of the most thoughtful gifts would be one that encourages their passion. Even better – you can share the adventure with them.

“The best gift we can give is quality time with family and friends – like spending the day together in your favorite MetroPark,” said Angie Sheldon, MetroParks recreation coordinator.

Local experts from Five Rivers MetroParks compiled some gift ideas for the adventure lovers on your holiday shopping list.

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Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiasts on Santa’s “Nice” List


• Quality pocket knife

• Insulated bottle that keeps beverages warm in the winter and cool in the summer

• Outdoor throw blanket for a picnic or an extra layer for sleeping

• Durable, waterproof watch

• Waterproof notebook

• Gift cards to a local outdoor retailer, bike shop or the MetroParks Ice Rink


• Kayak and/or paddles

• Lifejacket

• Bilge pump

• Whitewater helmet

• River rescue knife

• Throw rope


• Light-weight bike pump

• Stainless water bottle cage

• First aid kit

• Digital tire gauge


• Trail guide for the person who wants to travel

• Water filter

• Sleeping pad

• Trekking poles

• Hammock

• Solar camping light

• Toiletries bag

• Dry bag

• Camping French press

• Solar panel that can be affixed to your pack to charge devices

• Folding table for camping

>> Give the gift that gives all year long


• Seeds – many seed companies offer end-of-year digital promotions for seeds, in addition to gift certificates.

• Kneeling tools

• Gardening gloves

• Tool belts and buckets

• Clay pots

• Expandable hoses

• Shovels, trowels, garden knives and pruners

• Gift certificate to local gardening center or professional landscaping services, mulch, top soil or spring clean-up.

• Gardening classes – Five Rivers MetroParks hosts a variety of gardening classes

• Small greenhouse

• Cold frames

• Raised beds

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• Durable wallet and belt

• Wool socks

• Fitness gadgets or pedometers

• Identification bracelet

• Nose plugs, for paddling

• Whistle

• Battery recharger for your phone

• Head lamps for the entire family


• Take a winter hike on the trails in Englewood MetroPark to view the frozen waterfalls

• Snow day sledding in Germantown, Englewood or Taylorsville MetroParks

• Family skating day at the MetroParks Ice Rink

• A family outing to a gardening conservatory for some garden inspiration

>> The place you’ll find gifts for everyone on your list

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