Fear not gift givers, I have a solution; I will amass a list for you to peruse and select the perfect gift that that type of person. The monetary range varies so you will be able to find just what you are looking for.
Let's start with some gear: I suggest a pair of snowshoes if you live in a snowy clime. They are a great way to get out and see things that most other people don't get to. Trails are difficult to walk in when the powder is up to your knee, strap some of these on and that will be no problem. One of the best things about snowshoes is that there is little to no learning curve: open the present, strap them on and start exploring. Great gift to keep families active during the winter. This is the pair that I have, and I really enjoy them:
A good jacket: You cannot go wrong when you get someone a jacket. I prefer versatility and function, that is why I that buying a combo jacket is the best way to go. I am talking about a shell and some sort of fleece/ vest that zips inside. This one is a good place to start looking:
Jackets like this are great because they offer the perfect solution to whatever mother nature decides to throw at you.
Base layer, base layer, base layer: There are many brands that make an equal amount of claims about the superiority of their base layering. However, I prefer a base layer that has a bit of a compression factor to it. I feel that the compression feature makes me feel like I am performing better. It rarely bunches up and feels like it wicks moisture very well.
The first set that I got were Under Armour, and I still use them. Great produce and fairly easy to find in the run-of-the-mill sports shop:
Gloves/ Mittens: Let's lump these together because you are looking for the same qualities in either. Gloves are a great gift because, like socks, everyone could always use another pair.
You want gloves that are waterproof and well insulated without inhibiting the mobility of the hands. (I am picturing the younger brother from Christmas Story)
This is a nice pair of heavy-duty gloves:
Waterproof and insulated without being too bulky.
Good pair of waterproof softshells: more dexterity, less insulation.
Here we have a great pair of mittens, nothing fancy to look at, but they will definitely keep your fingers warm:
Hats: I personally prefer a headband, it helps to keep your body temp from getting too high while doing things. For activities that don't require a lot of movement something like this is just perfect:
Great concept, nice protection around the ears and a thin layer to keep the top of the head protected from the elements.
Goggles: The type of activities that your gift receiver does will have a great bearing on what kind of goggles they will like.
For the avid skier/ snowboarder a nice high-end pair with wide panoramic lenses are the best.
For the snowshoer/ cross-country skier/ hiker:
Daybag: Everyone on your shopping list could use a daybag. Photographers, hikers, students, bikers, anyone. When looking for a daybag, I suggest a capacity of 35 liters or less, stretchy, mesh side pockets to carry drinks, wide array of compartments and pockets, a chest strap and a bright color for visibility.
A few suitable pics:
Stove: A light, backpacking style stove is a nice addition to any collection. They are great to make a nice cup of coffee or tea when you need a break, or to heat up some ramen.
Cup: A stove will not do you too much good without something to heat the water in. A simple aluminum cup will do the trick. If you can find one with a looped handle that is best as you can hang it off your pack to cool when you are done.
Well, this should get you started thinking about the kinds of things to buy the outdoorsy type. Of course, if they are into something specific like biking, climbing, kayaking or some other sport where components are hard to gauge and choose, it may be just at nice to get them a gift card or cash to pick out their own stuff.
Have a happy holiday season!