Tis’ the season…to look for some amazing gifts for the hikers in your life! It’s no secret that we love hiking, so we wanted to compile a list of our favorite hiking gifts to help you determine a great gift for that someone special.
All of these gifts are hand-chosen to get anyone excited for outdoor adventure! These hiking gifts are great for anyone that loves hiking, backpacking, camping, or the outdoors. Every single one of these outdoor items have been personally tested and frequently used by us!
All these gifts vary in price point in size. So whether you want to spend under $25 or over $300 there’s something on this hiking list for everyone.
Essential Gifts for Hikers
Hiking Backpack with Rain Cover
A great gift for hikers is a hiking backpack. Hiking backpacks aren’t the cheapest gift around, but if your special hiker doesn’t have one yet it’s the perfect starter gift.
A proper hiking backpack supports the weight of a load and should hold everything needed for the great outdoors. A good hiking backpack should be comfortable, have a nice design, proper material, and be the correct volume and weight for your trip. We break down all the best hiking backpacks here.
Our new favorite hiking backpack is made by Gregory. The Gregory Baltoro Gregory backpack is a workhorse designed to be used and abused. The Baltoro/Deva is designed to carry a heavy load without breaking your back on the trail. It has a superior suspension system with plush padding and a great organization.
A good daypack is essential to hikers. My daypack usually consists of a shell jacket, down jacket, hiking poles, bear spray, snacks, water, gloves, chapstick, a buff, first aid kit, navigation, and an emergency blanket.
I love Camelbak daypacks. They are sturdy and fit well on my back with a proper suspension system. This is the Women’s Sequoia 22 (in the photo). Which has a stretch overflow pocket, trekking pole attachments, and air support back panel, dual-wing belt, and is built for smaller torsos (I am short.) Their packs are lightweight and sit on the back so well. Cameron has the Fourteener, which is equally amazing.
MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
Want to give the gift of shelter? Anyone will need a tent when camping in the backcountry. Our go to is our MSR Hubba Hubba 2 backpacking person ten.
The Hubba Hubba is a top seller for MSR. It’s ultralight and has a super-fast setup system. This tent is waterproof and ultra-durable for any mountain adventure. It’s a great size for two people and there is even extra space to move around.
NeoAir Uber Lite
Multi-day hikers need a sleeping pad for when they sleep. Not only is it more comfortable, but it provides insolation that hikers need to stay warm. The ground gets very cold in the wilderness, even if it’s summer. Without a sleeping pad under you, the body will take in all that cold.
We travel with the new NeoAir Uber Lite. It’s good for backpacking since it only weighs 8oz and you can blow it up in under two minutes.
A pillow is a backpacking essential for a good night’s sleep in the mountains. Therm-A-Rest makes durable pillows from upcycled foam. These pillows are soft and expand large enough for a comfortable rest.
Vesper Therm-A-Rest Down Quilt
No one should go on a multi-day hike without a sleeping bag. Even in the summer, it gets cold at night and you’ll need a proper sleeping bag to provide you with the warmth you need. We personally have the new Vesper 20F/-6C Quilt. This is an awesome comfortable sleeping bag featuring 900-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down. It’s ultra-light and good for overnight backpacking trips.
While I like having a water bottle on my hikes I like having a water bladder even more. A bladder keeps me drinking regularly since I never have to stop hiking and take out my bottle. It’s always readily available when you need it. A bladder is always always always on my hiking gear list and is a good gift for those that don’t have one already.
It’s not always safe to drink water from rivers and streams. We previously used the Lifestraw Go for all those times during our travels when the water is questionable.
However, over time we became annoyed with the water bottle as the filter aged and clogged. Plus the Lifestraw leaks when it is on its side. We now switched to the Grayl Ultralight Purifier. It’s a simple design that is effective and does not leak making it a hiking essential.
Most importantly it is a purifier, not a filter. The Grayl water bottle system purifies water vs. filters which removes viruses and virtually removes all threat of waterborne illnesses. The only drawback is it costs double the Lifestraw Go.
Stocking Stuffer Gifts for Hikers
A towel should be on everyone’s backpacking checklist who plans to spend the night outside. Not only are they good for rinsing off at night, but also for those times you want take a dip in an alpine lake! It’s a fun stocking stuffer for hikers!
Gaiters are a great hiking gift for those that are venturing out in the mountains outside of the summertime. Gaiters protect your legs from getting snow in them. There is definitely snow year-round in some parts of the world too. Make sure to do your research to determine if they’ll be snow where you’re at.
We both have gaiters from Outdoor Research and love them. OR makes all sorts of great backpacking gear.
Another great hiking stocking stuffer is the Z seat. It’s a good idea to bring a small mat to sit on during breaks if you’re in the mountains. The stone and ground can often be much colder than the air so it conducts heat and will make you cold.
A pad can serve a lot of purposes to like back rest, pillow, cooking surface, or a place to change your clothes. We bring the Z Seat on many of our backpacking trips and appreciate the comfort when we want to just relax and enjoy the view. They are light though so make sure they don’t blow away. It’s best to keep them inside your pack, instead of the outside on a windy day.
Any hiker should have a headlamp in their pack. They are helpful if you are hiking before sunrise or after sunset, and for strolling around camp.
Traditional outdoor headlamps have used disposable batteries such as AAs or AAAs. Batteries require a lot of minerals and resources. A great sustainable gift for hikers is a headlamp that is rechargeable via USB, such as the BioLite.
If you combine this with the solar panel above a backpacker could be off the grid for ages without need for extra batteries and everyone likes a lighter pack!
If there are plans to take part in a long day or multi-day hike a pair of hiking poles are a great way to save your knees and prevent injuries. When out for a full day of hiking in the mountains you’ll gain and descend a lot of elevation. So, it’s easy for legs to get tired and a pair of hiking poles will pay off. Although I don’t always need hiking poles, they are always in my pack. I almost ALWAYS end up using at least one while I’m descending a mountain.
Black Diamond is a company dedicated to mountain sports and has worked hard to craft wonderful products. I personally use the Black Diamond FLZ Hiking Poles, but there are some other great poles out there produced by companies like REI and MSR. “Z” poles are fantastic as they’re lightweight and can be stashed inside a backpack should you not need them.
Unless I am hiking in leggings I need a belt to secure my pants. The newest one I just got is a Jelt Belt. Jelt is a women-owned social enterprise that produces belts made from 100% recycled plastic bottles with an innovative patented flat buckle that won’t show a bump under tops or tees.
Both Cameron and I have a few of these bad boys and they are SO much better than regularly clunky belts. They are a perfect stocking stuffer for your hiker!
I have a pair of Outdoor Research gloves in my hiking pack at all times. They are great for when you are scrambling and I always end up using them at some point on my hike or any backpacking trip. I never want to come back with bloody hands and they protect against that.
I always have a baseball cap in my bag in case the sun gets too intense. I’ve been out too many times without one and my forehead gets too toasty for my liking – even with sunscreen. A baseball cap protects against that and I highly recommend having one in your bag. This should be on any backpacking packing list.
It can get cold at night when hiking. A warm hat can make or break your comfort. No one likes a cold head and ears so stick one in your backpack just in case. They are light and backpacking must-have.
Smith Lowdown 2.0
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun since you’ll likely spend a lot of time hiking in the sun at elevation. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes. Sunglasses are particularly important if you plan to visit any glaciers or high alpine passes as sun reflection from the snow is damaging to your eyes.
My favorite optics brand is Smith. they have a variety of glasses that can easily take you from the trails to city life. I love the Lowdowns for this as they are sporty and functional enough to take on a hike, but also practical and stylish enough to wear while going to brunch or around town.
I bring a Buff on every trip in case my ears get cold or I want to have one to cover my face, which happens more often than you may think. We have a collection of buff headwear and bring them everywhere. They’re great for a multitude of reasons such as sun/wind protection, a scarf, headband, or an ear warmer.
We always have one in our suitcase or hiking backpack no matter the destination and consider it one top travel and hiking accessories.
Inflatable Solar Lantern
Packable lanterns are great to have at night inside your tent. They pack up light and are a great addition to any hiking gift. The ones that are solar powered are ideal.
I know hiking food probably isn’t the most exciting gift (kinda like socks), BUT hiking food is expensive and is surely appreciated as a gift.
Mountain House makes high-quality, freeze-dried meals that actually taste good. You just add water and you’ll have a quick hot mail for the trail.
They also come in great in a backpacking emergency situation. A few bags of this could save a life!
Camping Kitchen Supply Gifts
MSR PocketRocket Deluxe
This is the latest burner from MSR who has been designing these burners for ages, and the Deluxe is their best one yet. It’s not the lightest burner on the market, but at only three ounces, it’s pretty close. It’s a significant update to the old RocketPocket 2 with new recessed burner holes, regulator, a piezoelectric lighter, and pot supports. The result is a burner that is easier to light, burns consistently, and handles wind very well that feels nothing like its predecessor.
In use the burner is exceptional, and it’s easy to deliver a consistent temperature whether boiling water or simmering to cook food on a pan. Most impressive is the sheer amount of heat the burner throws our boiling water faster than any other cooker we’ve used. It also comes with a small stuff sack that fits well inside your cook kit.
Other than the typical drawbacks to canister burners, the PocketRocket Deluxe didn’t always light on the first ignition click (nit-picking here) and could stand to be a little more fuel-efficient. Altogether, it’s likely the best backpacking stove, and I love it to use it when we’re hiking in the mountains as it handles wind surprisingly well.
Utensils, Plates, and Cups
The idea of going a day without coffee is sacrilege. There are a number of options for making coffee while backpacking so it’s tough to choose the best one. Our personal favorite is a small drip coffee maker from GSI, called the Ultralight. It’s easy to clean, makes the perfect coffee, and doesn’t even weigh a full ounce. A lot of people rave about the Aeropress, but we’re not fans of all the parts and the fact it’s a lot heavier than drip coffee options — we’d say it’s better for car camping as we do love the coffee maker.
To abide by Leave No Trace principles any hiker should always wash and do the dishes with biodegradable soap at least 200 feet away from a water source. Then pour wastewater into a cat hole 6 to 8 inches deep. A few drops of this goas a long way. If you’re giving your special hiker a kitchen hiking gift you may as well wrap one of these up with it too.
Clothing Gifts for Hikers
Both Cameron and I have Fjallraven’s well known Keb pants and they are ideal for backpacking and hiking. If I got these as a hiking gift I would be downright ecstatic. Fjallraven’s Keb pants are a mountaineering staple, but they are heavyweight and not excellent for quick dry properties yet extremely durable in the backcountry. I’ve been asked numerous times on Instagram and in person what brand my pants are, and I feel confident recommending them to anyone. They are seriously SO GOOD and a great hiking gift for men and women.
They keep me warm throughout most of my hikes and are windproof. When I am too hot at the base of the mountain, I am able to unzip the sides for airflow. These are, without a doubt, my favorite women’s pants to hike within the mountains.
If the person you are giving a hiking gift too lives in a warmer climate a pair of hiking shorts are definitely appreciated.
I have the Fjallraven High Coast Trail Shorts and they are just as comfortable as the Kebs! They are an essential backpacking clothing item to have.
I have six Outdoor Research Echo shirts and rotate them on all my hikes. They are lightweight and moisture-wicking. Seriously, you don’t want to be stuck with a cotton shirt while hiking. Cotton traps all your sweat and then when you get cold it becomes a problem.
Outdoor Research shirts provide full coverage with their long sleeve collections, but you won’t get hot under the sun. These shirts are built with UPF sun protection, AirVent™ moisture management, and ActiveFresh™ odor control technology.
I don’t travel without a rain jacket and I don’t hike without a rain jacket. They are so easy and light to pack up there is no reason to not have one in your day bag. You should always be prepared for a chance of rain when you are hiking. Getting wet and rained on while on a mountain sucks, and it can also be extremely dangerous in cold temperatures. Seriously, a rain jacket should be on every hiking packing list and they make great gifts.
My hiking rain jacket has come in handy so many times. Many places where it wasn’t supposed to rain and completely unexpected. The Arc’teryx is waterproof, windproof, and breathable and made with Goretex Pro. It’s not just good for traveling and rainstorms but is a protective shell against all levels of weather. I can even wear it in the winter as a waterproof shell over my down jacket. A rainjacket should be on everyone’s backpacking checklist.
A mid layer is essential on any hiking trip. A mid layer serves as the layer between a base layer and shell jacket. It’s there if you need it in cool temperatures, but can easily be removed when you get hot.
I prefer a mid layer with a hood, but it’s not completely necessary. My main mid layer in the summer is from Outdoor Research. The refuge Hybrid Jacket is extremely comfortable, Water-Resistant, Wind-Resistant, Lightweight, quick-drying, and breathable.
In the winter I usually hike with my Patagonia down fleece mid layer as it’s a bit warmer.
I ALWAYS have a down jacket with me on every single hike I go on. They are essential to backpacking and wilderness travel. It’s a just in case jacket that I usually end up wearing when I reach the summit, and it gets cold and windy.
Down jackets pack up light and small so there is no reason NOT to have one in your bag. Seriously it could save your life in a bad situation. We wrote a whole post on our favorites. They make great gifts for hikers are will no doubt be appreciated.
We’ve tried a few different brands, but recently settled on Kora as our favorite pair of thermals. It may be best for us as we need something technical when we snowboard or climb mountains to wick away moisture from our bodies.
Kora makes high-performance technical clothing out of quality Yak Wool from the Himalayas — warning they are high priced. However, their technical abilities have far outpassed traditional wool or synthetic materials we’ve used.
Socks…not the most exhilarating hiking gift on this list, but one that is extra important when outside. We’ve learned to love our feet with a good pair of merino wool hiking socks. Wool socks stay fresh for several days as they have natural antimicrobial properties.
We travel with a couple pairs of the Darn Tough Merino socks and our feet have never felt cold or wet. As a bonus, they’re produced in Vermont!
Smartwool also makes hiking specific socks that are perfect for long days in the mountains. Consider good socks a backpacing must have.
Hiking leggings make a great gift for the female hiker in your life. When I don’t feel like wearing heavy-duty hiking pants I will wear hiking leggings. Leggings are great for any backpacking packing list as they are lightweight and pack up super small. They are comfortable to hike in as they are stretchy and breathable.
Like socks, giving the gift of underwear may be a little strange, but trust me on this underwear. Smartwool makes high performance, quick-drying underwear that is antimicrobial and breathable. We don’t just use this for hiking, but also for traveling in general since I don’t always have access to a washer. Good hiking underwear is one of those backpacking supplies you should consider purchasing.
Gifts for Hikers: Shoes
If you know the correct size you’ll need for this gift, hiking boots can be a great item to put under the tree. Boots are important backpacking essentials. For lightweight hiking shoes see this post!
Additional Gifts for Hikers
This is where preparation for spending a night out in the wilderness comes into effect. If you’re on a short loop around town it’s probably not necessary, but any significant hike in a national park or wilderness area presents the risk of spending the night outside.
When temperatures drop at night it presents the very dangerous threat of hypothermia or frostbite. An emergency backpacking blanket is a light and small item to keep in your pack.
We spend a lot of time in the backcountry which means we are disconnected and far from a cell phone signal. This brings a lot of risk in case of an emergency. The Garmin Inreach allows for us to have a GPS for navigation which keeps us safely on the trail.
Then should the worst ever happen we have an emergency button through Inreach that notifies search and rescue should we ping the satellite. It’s a lifesaving device, that also does nifty features like send short messages and even allow for friends and family to track your whereabouts when you’re on the trail.
A knife or multi tool is really helpful for just about anything, and could really get you someone out of a bad situation. It’s a great hiking gift addition!
We can’t hike into the mountains with a box of tools, but a Leatherman makes for a good substitute. Ever since I developed the habit of carrying one in the film industry it has stuck. I’ve tried out a few brands, but always come back the Leatherman brand name.
After using about a half dozen different versions of the Leatherman I still love one of their cheapest models. The Wingman has all of the basic necessities and spring-loaded pliers that feel great in the hand.
The Fun Gifts for Hikers
GoPro Hero 8
We have a GoPro with us at all times in the wilderness. They are great for grabbing that quick photo or video clip in the mountains. The new GoPro Hero 8 has a stabilizer and we use it all the time on the peaks to grab stable footage. I love that it’s light and the battery lasts for a few days!
If you really want to give a big gift then consider a camera. It’s the most expensive present on this list, so it should be reserved for someone you love A LOT. 😉
We have the Fuji X-T3 and love it! This beautiful and reasonably priced camera is both weather-resistant and mirrorless. It is easily the best ASP-C camera on the market and gives a serious run at many of the full-frame cameras. After all, is a full-frame camera really a necessity? In my opinion, not at all! We love photography, posting to Instagram, and posting on this website so we always have a camera on us on any hike.
Peak Designs Clip
You can see this clip on the photo to the left. It hooks onto your hiking backpack and provides instant access to your camera. This is has been one of our favorite additions to our camera equipment and hiking outfit. The Peak Design capture clip allows for a camera to be clipped on to your backpack strap or belt. It has to be one of the best accessories we’ve ever used for carrying our camera.
The clip feels secure and robust with a straight forward design that makes switching straps easy. We’ve brought it on several hikes around the Canadian Rockies now and it has changed the way in which we photograph hikes. The access it provides to your camera is so much better than a camera strap that allows a camera to swing and banging into everything.
It’s super handy and a must for anyone who wants to carry their camera on hikes, but not have to fumble around in their bag every time they want to take a photo.
Bushnell makes great budget binoculars and has long been making great binoculars and for all price ranges. The Bushnell 10×42 H20 Waterproof Binoculars have amazing HD clarity and quality optics for less than $100. Like all Bushnell products they are durable and have an O ring that is sealed for fog-free viewing.
The nonslip rubber provides a firm grip and the center focus knob is large enough to give you easy and seamless adjustments. It’s the perfect pair of binoculars for those who are unsure if they want to invest in a pricier pair of binoculars. We break down the best compact binoculars here.
Get Cairn is a hiking subscription service I just found out about. Like subscription makeup boxes, or monthly dog presents Get Cairn delivers hiking goods right to your door monthly! It’s a great gift for outdoor lovers who want to be surprised with new outdoor goodies every month.
Last month we got a rechargeable flashlight and delicious hiking snacks, I’m eagerly awaiting our next box!