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Great Outdoor Gear That Costs Less Than $50

Illustration for article titled Great Outdoor Gear That Costs Less Than $50
Photo: Lionello DelPiccolo (Unsplash)

There are three universal truths: we have to pay taxes, Facebook will never die, and outdoor gear is perpetually pricey.

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I’m not entirely sure how to fix the first and second ones, but I think I’ve got a solution that will help with the third! Contrary to popular belief, there is plenty of high-quality gear out there that doesn’t drain the piggy bank. Below, I’ve listed my favorite items that cost less than $50. Three cheers for good stuff at even better prices!

Decathlon Arpenaz Camping Tent: $40

Decathlon Arpenaz Camping Tent: $40
Decathlon Arpenaz Camping Tent: $40
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez
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I’m willing to bet you didn’t think this list would begin with *a tent* but here we are. Admittedly, the Arpenaz isn’t the lightest or most technical tent out there, so if you are a diehard ultralighter, look elsewhere. But if you simply want to log a few nights in Mother Nature with your family, it’s a solid three-person equipped with plenty of space and a blackout fly.

Yeti Rambler Mug: $25

Yeti Rambler Mug: $25
Yeti Rambler Mug: $25
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

This is the last mug you’ll ever purchase. The Rambler is 14 ounces of self-proclaimed “over-engineered” goodness that will keep your drinks hot or cold for hours on end. The wide mouth is easy to drink from and the included lid helps trap heat inside. I bought one for my dad last year, and it’s been on a daily rotation ever since.

America’s National Parks Poster: $25

America’s National Parks Poster: $25
America’s National Parks Poster: $25
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez
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This beautiful book includes 240 pages of stunning color photos and text, highlighting the best of our national parks. If you or your favorite outdoorist has a wishlist a mile long, this book will help both of you get to those places faster.

REI Co-Op Flash 18 Pack: $40

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Regardless of whether you want to hit the trail for a short hike, head to the grocery store, or stash it away in a larger pack for a morning summit bid, the Flash Pack has you covered. This minimalist day pack is ultralight (9 ounces) and collapses to act as a sit pad around camp.

Bee’s Wrap Set of 3: $18

Bee’s Wrap Set of 3: $18
Bee’s Wrap Set of 3: $18
Photo: Bee’s Wrap
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As outdoor enthusiasts, it can be heartbreaking to pack a trail snack and realize you’ve used more plastic in a morning that you’d prefer to use in a year. Instead, reach for this Bee’s Wrap, a type of reusable food covering that is made from cotton, beeswax, and jojoba oil. It is also washable, reusable, and fully biodegradable, so you’ll feel good about doing Mother Nature a solid.

FERAL Basecamp Journal: $19

FERAL Basecamp Journal: $19
FERAL Basecamp Journal: $19
Photo: FERAL
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For the outdoor lover who loves his memories, consider the Basecamp Journal. This paperback includes a National Parks checklist, multiple packing lists, and a dot grid pattern than makes it easy to write or draw. Recording memories and inspiration has never been easier.

Cordillera Tent Booties: $38

Cordillera Tent Booties: $38
Cordillera Tent Booties: $38
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez
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Speaking of luxury items, let’s talk booties. It doesn’t matter whether I’m car camping or thru hiking; I want my booties. These Cordilleras use PrimaLoft insulation to keep your feet warm, and a soft fleece interior to slide against your skin. Rubber soles also provide durability so you don’t have to stress about tearing the bottoms.

Darn Tough Kelso Micro Crew Light Socks: $21

Darn Tough Kelso Micro Crew Light Socks: $21
Darn Tough Kelso Micro Crew Light Socks: $21
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez
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Good socks feel like a luxury but I consider them a necessity. These socks are soft against your skin but have enough cushion to go the extra mile. Plus, they feature Merino wool so they don’t stick and they dry quickly. Darn Tough has a lifetime guarantee on all their products, so what do you have to lose?

Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats: $13

Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats: $13
Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats: $13
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez
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It’s helpful to stay on your feet, but sometimes it feels like an impossible feat when weather turns icy and snowy. The Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats are easy to use: simply pull them over your existing footwear and cinch the removable Velcro strap on top. A coil system covers your outsole, biting into slick terrain so that you don’t....well, bite it.


Heather Balogh Rochfort is an outdoor expert and full-time freelance writer and author in the outdoor industry.

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