Gift Ideas for Hikers, Backpackers, and Outdoor Enthusiasts (that they’ll actually use)

PC Fabrice Florin CC-SA BY 2.0

I love it when I can give someone a Christmas gift that fits their personality or (better yet!) their passion or hobby.  The good news is that most hikers enjoy new gear almost as much as hiking, so you’ll be a favorite just by wrapping up something new for the hiker in your life.  Easy gifts, but they’re sure to be appreciated.

Christmas at Corbett's Glen, New York
Christmas at Corbett’s Glen, New York

I’ve divided up the hiking gift ideas by price, but the prices may vary – sales are frequent, and different models may be different prices.  Note: There are affiliate links in this post.  You will not be charged extra, but I may make a small commission off of sales after you click a link.

Hiking Gifts for Under $10

Does your hiker have trekking poles?  Hiking pole tips wear out frequently, so this is a great stocking stuffer or small gift.

Pro Gift: Not only does this package contain tips, but it also has several cool “baskets” for trekking poles.

A waterproof phone case can save a phone if you happen to drop it in the water, or if hiking conditions are just too wet to safely carry a phone.  I like this model.

Everyone knows that you should have waterproof matches in your survival kit in the wilderness.  But how about a waterproof lighter?  It’s sure to work better than trying to scrape off the waterproof coating on the matches! (Note: it does not come filled with fluid.)

Carabiners are one of the currencies of hiking, rock climbing, and more.  This two-pack is strong enough to be used for any number of activities.

A balaclava is another great stocking-stuffer or small gift – it will keep your face warm as well as your head.  This specific balaclava can also be used as a neck warmer.

With 17 colors to choose from, this hat will keep you warm and light your way home – plus, it’s rechargeable, so you don’t have to worry about getting new batteries to give with the gift!

Hiking Gifts for $10-$20

Staying hydrated on the trail is literally a life-saver.  So help the hiker in your life stay hydration-ready with this water reservoir with a convenient straw so they can drink on the go.

Almost any hiker can use another water bottle.  These Nalgene bottles are my favorite – in either wide mouth or narrow mouth options.  Choose a color that fits the personality of your favorite hiker.

I first read about these cooling towels in a travel book about Utah.  If the hiker in your life works out or visits trail in the heat, it’s sure to be a welcome gift.  Or, since there are four in this purchase, each in their own package, you can give them as stocking stuffers to four people you love!

Packing an emergency headlamp will save you from experiences like I had last summer – seven of us stumbling down a trail in the dark using one cell phone flashlight.  They’re also great for camping or just taking the dog out after the sun goes down.

A good, wide-brimmed hiking hat is a must!  I love this style from Camptrace that includes an optional neck flap (to keep the sun off of your neck and ears).  Being so fair, this hat has saved me from a few sunburns.

If the hiker in your life loves to backpack, a LifeStraw is a must.  Find a clear stream and suck through the straw – or keep it in your backpack for emergencies if you run out of water.

When the trail gets icy, traction cleats are an excellent way to stay on your feet.  Or, for the more adventurous winter hiker, crampons are an ideal gift.

Hiking Gifts for $20-$30

I love these socks from innotree!  Cushy and conforming to whatever shoe you put them into, they’re so soft that I want to wear them around the house.  But since they’re a bit girlish (the better for your female hiker friend!), I’ll include an option for guys, too.

Someone got this VenturePal daypack for one of my hiking companions – and I have to say, it’s one of the best daypacks I’ve used.  Lightweight, roomy, comfortable, and with multiple pockets and a chest strap, it even comes in multiple colors.

A solar charger is especially suited to those who backpack or spend a good deal of time away from civilization.  It’s meant for charging phones, but I know I’d use it to charge an older hiking companion’s hearing aids… among other things.

Can’t decide what to get for the hiker in your life?  You might try one of these snack variety packs.  Granola bars are a great source of energy… and some of these are even food-allergy ready!

MadeGood Healthy Snacks Variety Pack, 40 Ct
Ultimate Healthy Care Package ( 30 Count )
Ultimate Healthy Fitness Box
Junkless JUNKLESS Chewy Granola Bar Variety Pack, 24 Count

Hiking Gifts for Over $30

I love my trekking poles!  They save my knees and hips on the way down and help me climb on the way up.  These are the ones I purchased, and I’m so happy I did – the cork handles are comfortable (even with sweaty hands), the wrist pads are cushy, and the locking mechanism is one of the best I’ve ever seen on a hiking pole.

Hammocks are all the rage right now for hikers, and I can see why.  All you need is a couple of well-spaced trees, and you’ve got yourself a setup for sleeping or just hanging out.  Do it close to a clearing, and you might even see a great view or rare wildlife.

The famous MSR PocketRocket is on sale!  (If you’re not familiar, it’s a backpacking/camping stove that quickly and efficiently heats water or other food.)  It’s a perfect gift for your outdoor-loving, hiking friends or family members.  Or, for a truly memorable gift, purchase the PocketRocket with a cook kit: A mini stove kit 1 or a larger mini stove kit 2

For a truly useful gift for a wide-traveling hiker, give them the gift of access – to all of America’s national parks & federal lands!  For only $80 (plus a $5 handling fee), you can purchase an America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands Pass.  Note: The website may say that it’s the 2021 pass – however, the pass is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, not just in 2021.

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