37 Of The Best Gifts for Hikers
Ahh, what are the best gifts for hikers you wonder? It’s an open ended and limitless list of ideas in my opinion. You could get someone who loves hiking all kinds of different gifts, and sometimes you just could get them something BETTER than what they have. When we start out hiking, backpacking, climbing, oftentimes we don’t have money for all of the gear we would REALLY like to buy. So we compromise. We buy a nice down jacket, but skimp on the backpack. Or we buy the good pair of hiking boots, and skimp on the hiking poles. And don’t get me started on the list of things we SHOULD have, but are definitely out of our price range when we get started.
So let me help you out. If you’ve got a friend, relative, or partner who really loves hiking and you are feeling stumped on what to get them, I’m going to break out my hiking gift ideas into a 5 different sections:
Gifts for hikers under $25 (for those of you on a budget)
Best gifts for hikers to keep them safe
Best hiking essential gifts
Best food gifts for hikers
Best books for hikers
Best “Just for Fun” Hiking gifts
In the end, don’t stress out too much. If your hiking friend or family member is anything like me, we are easily pleased. We enjoy the simple things in life. We only want this kind of stuff to help our journey be a little more comfortable, and in the end we just want to spend more time outside. Heck, buy us a six pack of beer or a box a cliff bars. We will still love you. Better yet, get outdoors with us. Let’s go on an adventure together…
That would be MY ultimate gift. :)
gifts for hikers under $25
Please note: The below post contains affiliate links.
This stuff is the bomb, and such a simple, easy gift idea that is sure to please any outdoor enthusiast, AND it’s super affordable. Sometimes it's hard to let go of that perfect down jacket or hardshell that you love, but rips are inevitable in the outdoor world. I love this tape for patching up my favorite gear so that I can keep on wearing it. Also, I think it's great if people continue to try re-using their gear instead of automatically buying something new. This tape works great, and comes in some fun shapes too. I've patched up my mountaineering hardshell pants in several areas with this tape when I've gotten rips from my crampons, and fixed up my beloved down jacket when I accidentally burnt a small hole in it from my camping stove.
Nobody likes to talk about it, but to be a responsible outdoorsman/woman you need to bury your human waste. The Deuce of Spades Trowel is a fantastic lightweight option, and inevitably a great gift idea for any responsible hiker. When I went backpacking with my friends in Tuolumne a couple of months ago, all of my friend's trowel handles broke except for mine!
I originally bought these glasses last year when I got into trail running. I couldn't find a pair of glasses that were comfortable and would stay on my face when I was running. These finally did the trick, and now I love wearing them hiking too! They come in a bunch of great color options and the best part... they are only $25!
There’s nothing quite like hiking with a warm cup of coffee or tea… or maybe even a hot chocolate to enjoy on the top of your favorite summit. Any hiker will be happy to have this thermos to bring with them on their hikes, particularly in the mornings or in the wintertime. This is a great "ultra-light" thermos that holds heat for up to 8 hours! And if they are looking for some delicious drink ideas to make on their hike, print off some of the recipes from my 3 Warm Boozy Winter Drinks to Make On Your Next Outdoor Adventure blog post to go with this gift idea.
Ever hiker needs lip balm, and I love this stuff. This makes a great stocking stuffer or add on to any hiking gift. The Joshua Tree Lip Balm is organic with SPF 15.
If you really can’t determine what gift ideas for hikers might best, it’s always safe to get them an REI Gift Card as backup. You can choose the amount and can even go as low as $10. It’s a great option if you really don’t know what to get them, or they are the kind of person that seems like they “already own everything”. Trust me, I’ve never heard of any hiker being sad about getting a gift card too REI. You can’t go wrong.
best gifts for hikers to keep them safe
I’m putting this in there for the mom or dad out there who wants to feel like their kid is safe when they get outdoors. It’s a pricey item, I JUST bought one myself, but not because I didn’t need one earlier (I was just too cheap to invest in one). This in my opinion would be the ULTIMATE gift for any hiker (or backpacker or rock climber for that matter). I’ve loved having this thing with me when I hit the trails. In an emergency you can trigger an SOS for 24/7 search and rescue, if something horribly wrong happens while you are on the trail, but what is even cooler about this tiny device is that you can also have 2-way communication with the ones you love and send and receive messages while you are in the “dead" zone for cell service. The Garmin inReach mini also has the ability to send a constant tracking signal while you are on the trail, so you could actually have your family members check up on you while you are hiking. Pretty rad.
Ok, most people don’t think to pack a water filtration system when they go hiking, but I typically always do. I don’t take my more robust filtration system like the pump filter Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter (that’s more for backpacking), but it’s worth packing a lightweight water filtration option like the SteriPen (a little pricier) or the Life Straw (more affordable). Both are lightweight and quick to filter water with, and could end up saving your life if you got lost or something bad happened. Help your hiker be safer on the trails, and get them one of these to throw into their day packs.
You might be thinking, “Why do would they need a headlamp for a day hike”? Well hopefully they won’t need it… but what if you get lost? What if something happens? I always pack my headlamp AND extra set of batteries. I pretty much don’t go anywhere without a headlamp. I have a Petzl headlamp, and it has been going strong for over 3 years now. I was recently backpacking near Half Dome, and I ran into some hikers who looked lost. It was getting close to sunset, so I asked them if they needed any help. They told me they had just gotten down the cables from Half Dome and weren’t sure which way to head back to the trailhead. They didn’t have anything with them. No water filter, no jackets, and no headlamp. All they had was their phone flashlight, which definitely wouldn’t last them on the way back down. Don’t be this person, and don’t let your friends be them either. Make sure they have essentials like light!
This is up there with another one of the “Ultimate” gifts for hikers. I mean, it’s pricey (again), but it’s so freaking cool! AND if your hiker starts doing more complex trails or starts backpacking, this gift is crucial in my opinion. I consider a GPS an essential piece of gear and there are many great options. My favorite GPS is the Garmin GPS 64st. It has definitely come in handy to help me navigate when I wasn't sure where I was. The first solo hike I did, it helped me navigate through a big tallus field back to the main trail when I got off route. I've even built my own GPX file on google earth and downloaded it to this GPS so my friend and I could follow a less traveled route. Another great option is looking for an “all-in-one” option that has both the GPS tracking capabilities and the Satellite SOS capabilities, like the Garmin inReach Explorer+. You’ll be any hikers favorite gift giver for a very long time!
When I first started mountaineering, I was told to buy a light my fire fire starter, because if our jet boils stopped working, or we needed an emergency fire, this was the best tool out there because you don't have to worry about it getting wet, it can be used for up to 12,000 strikes, and it is super light weight. Its just another one of those small items I always bring with me.
Another great and lightweight emergency item that could make a great stocking stuffer for any hiker is this emergency tent and sleeping bag. It folds up super small and is really light weight.
Best Hiking Essentials Gifts
13. DARN TOUGH SOCKS
Socks may not be the sexiest gift out there, but man are they practical! Why are socks important? Having dry feet is one of the key ways to prevent getting blisters on a hike. So I guarantee you any hiker will appreciate a good set of wool socks! I am a big fan of the Darn Tough Wool Socks, but you could also go for Smart Wool Socks. I like them both.
Patagonia is one of the best companies out there for outdoor gear. So if you are looking for good gifts for hikers then this jacket is one that any friend or family member will be stoked to get! The nano puff jacket is the perfect “mid-layer” jacket, something every hiker should have in their arsenal. I highlighted this as one of my “favorite” items as a hiker. I’ve had my purple nano-puff jacket for over 8 years now, and its still one of my favorite pieces of outdoor clothing! I talk about layering and why it’s super important in my Outdoor Badass Starter Kit, which you can find below!
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The Houdini jacket is a relatively new favorite of mine, and in particular the Alpine Houdini jacket, because it is super lightweight, wind and rain resistant. I bought one of the men alpine houdini jackets because I liked the colors better and it fits me just fine. This is typically the only rain jacket I bring with me here in California on long hikes or even backpacking trips (as long as the weather looks fairly decent), it has been an awesome addition to my hiking clothing arsenal. I love taking it climbing as well because it can be stuffed into its own pocket and clipped to my harness.
I love the black diamond trail pro shock trekking poles. Michael and I both have these. They have a set for women (blue) and men (red). I've owned a pair of cheaper trekking poles in the past and they break fairly easily. These are almost indestructible. I've been using the same pair for almost 5 years now, and still going strong. These would make an awesome gift!
If you are looking for one of those perfect gifts for day hikers, then you should consider helping them upgrade their hiking backpack. Backpacks get so much wear and tear since they are thrown around and stuffed with all of our gear, so getting a new backpack is always a welcome surprise. We love the Thule Stir backpack and it makes for a great day hiking bag too. For day hiking, I usually like to make sure the bag is about 20-30 liters, has space for a Camelbak water bladder, has hip straps and chest straps.
Looking for a unique gift? This Piranha knife is super cool! In hiking and backpacking (and pretty much all outdoor sports) weight matters! Having lighter gear is better than heavier gear. The Trango Piranha Knife weighs almost nothing, but can cut through just about anything. It’s an awesome knife for adventures. It’s the only one I bring with me, and its strong enough to cut through rope.
I have a whole post that goes over essential day hiking gear. You can find it here if you want too get even more ideas.
Best Food Gifts for Hikers
The complete cookie is an awesome plant-based, high-protein, hiking snack. It’s been one of my favorite snacks for backpacking and hiking trips, and it’s nice to know I’m getting the added protein from a delicious cookie. A box of cookies would be the way to my heart for sure.
I loveeeee these dals. They make for a really awesome hiking snack and backpacking snack. I wrote a whole post detailing what makes them great, and you can read more about that here.
This makes a GREAT stocking stuffer item. Electrolytes are key for hiking and backpacking, and Nuun makes some delicious flavors!
Another great hiking trail food are Larabars, and I think this variety box would make a great gift with a lot of nice variety of flavors!
23. PATAGONIA SALMON (OR OTHER PATAGONIA PROVISIONS)
You guys already know by now that I’m a big fan of Patagonia, and I love everything over there at Patagonia Provisions too. These packable salmon packets are really delicious, and one of my new favorite items. They make several different flavors, and they now even have mussels. Best part though is they don’t need refrigeration (as long as you haven’t opened the package). They can be eaten as is or cooked. These are a bit more on the expensive side so I bet this would make a really unique gift for a hiker because it’s not something they may typically splurge on (as long as they like fish that is!). Patagonia provisions also has some other items as well such as jerky and soups, but I haven’t tried those yet!
Best Books for Hikers
Unless I am backpacking for a long time, I like to make a lot of our own food to pack on trips. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with easy and portable meals to make, but this book has some great options! Definitely recommend for any athlete.
This book is a beast load of information if you are looking to up your training game. If you really want to understand how training your body works for outdoor climbing, hiking, and mountaineering, this is by far one of the most extensive books I've read. It comes with training plans and everything. You can even buy an additional log book to go with it.
Cherly Strayed is an incredible writer. I had no idea until I read her book Wild this year. She takes you on her incredible story and journey on the Pacific Coast Trail and what lead her there. I definitely recommend the read.
This book goes into the ins and outs of outdoor wilderness skills and techniques for women who love to adventure. Camping, hiking, backpacking… this book has it all! This makes one of those great “hiking gifts for her” ideas.
28. THE LAST SEASON
This was a fan favorite in my Dream of the Alpine book club. The story talks about the life of National Park Service’s park ranger, Randy Morgenson, who ended up disappearing in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range during his service as a ranger. A must read for any adventurer! It’s a really great story!
29. DEAD MOUNTAIN
Dead Mountain is another one of those books you’ll have a hard time putting down. It dives in deep into the mysterious death of 9 young Russian mountaineers. The story is eerie and will keep you wondering what might have happened until the end of the book. A great read, and an interesting education about unexpected mountain dangers!
Best “Just for Fun” Gifts for Hikers
I love Nikki Frumkin's watercolors! I follow her on Instagram (@drawntohighplaces) and have fallen in love with her style of painting. It's gotten me interested in learning how to watercolor myself. I bought a few supplies earlier this year.. still working on my skills though (ha!). Her stickers would make a great gift for any hiker to put on their water bottles or other gear.
I love the Stanley products. We use our flask a lot when we want to relax outdoors after a long day. I even wrote a post on 3 Warm Winter Boozy Drinks that you can make on your next outdoor adventure, which would make an awesome little print off with this gift to someone.
Hammocks are “the new tents” these days, and a lot of adventurers enjoy having a good hammock in their hiking arsenal. We like to keep one in the van in case we want to hook it up on some trees when we are car camping for some nice reading vibes, but I also have a lot of friends who like to bring them for hiking and backpacking.
We are using our phones more and more as hikers these days. We use them to take photos and sometimes as a GPS, so it’s pretty wise to always carry around a good portable phone charger. This would make a nice gift for any hiker, and it really is useful outside of hiking as well (travel, camping, climbing, you name it.)
I mentioned this above, but iPhones are becoming more and more popular on the trail for taking photos. This would make a fun gift or stocking stuffer for any hiker who wants to up there iPhone photography game just a little bit more.
I use this little iPhone tripod all the time, and it’s great for hiking and backpacking. It has moldable legs so it can adapt to a variety of surfaces or even wrap around a tree or hiking pole. It’s been really handy for me, so I’m guessing your hiking friends might love it too!
Um. Wine reserve? Yes Please! For those romantic hikes where you want to take a special someone to the top of a beautiful summit and just enjoy a glass of wine and watch the sunset. I can’t say I do this all the time, but when we have a more chill hiking day and just want to do a bit of enjoying the moment and the beauty in life, we like to do it with wine or beer with epic views.
Last but definitely not least, a US National Parks Pass would be a REALLY AWESOME gift. The passes cost about $80, but they give you access to all sites managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation for a whole year. It’s worth the price if you or the hiker you’re shopping for does a lot of outdoor hiking and exploring in these areas. Otherwise entrance fees run about $20 per visit. After 4 visits, the pass has paid for itself. We buy one every year.
I hope this gift guide has sparked some ideas for your hiking friends and family members (or maybe yourself)! If you have any questions or want any other suggestions, reach out to me in the comments below, and be sure to check out some of our other gear resources!
Other Gear Guide Resources:
Allison- She Dreams of Alpine
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