Are you searching for the perfect gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast in your life? Look no further! Our comprehensive list of 15 best gifts for hikers and backpackers in 2023 will guide you to find unique and thoughtful gifts that your loved ones will treasure on their adventures.
- Essential outdoor gear gifts for hikers & backpackers from top brands like LifeStraw, Salomon, Black Diamond, and more.
- Technology & gadgets to stay safe and capture memories on outdoor adventures from Garmin, GoPro & DJI.
- Stocking stuffers like Hydro Flask water bottles, Leatherman multi-tools, and Adventure Medical Kits first aid kits for budget-friendly gifts!
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Essential Gear Gifts for Hikers and Backpackers
Regarding adventures, having the right gear can make all the difference. Gift ideas like water filters, hiking shoes, and trekking poles are essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. Brands like LifeStraw, Sawyer Squeeze, Salomon, Merrell, Black Diamond, and Leki have a reputation for producing high-quality, reliable, lightweight gear that hikers and backpackers love.
Remember that a good warranty policy is essential when shopping for gear gifts. It ensures that your loved one can have their gear replaced or repaired, making your gift even more valuable and long-lasting.
Water Filters: LifeStraw and Sawyer Squeeze
Staying hydrated is crucial for any outdoor adventure, and having clean water is a must. That’s where LifeStraw and Sawyer Squeeze come in. These lightweight water filters are a great gift for hikers and backpackers, providing clean drinking water on the go.
The LifeStraw Peak Water Filter Straw is a lightweight option for day hikes and emergencies. It’s easy to use and packs away effortlessly. On the other hand, the Sawyer Squeeze is a minimalist water filter weighing just over two ounces. It’s super compact and can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water, making it an excellent gift for avid hikers.
Both the LifeStraw Peak Water Filter Straw and the Sawyer Squeeze are fantastic choices for filtering water on the go. Their lightweight and packable design makes them essential gear for any hiker or backpacker.
Hiking Shoes: Salomon and Merrell
A good pair of hiking shoes can make or break a hiking trip. Salomon and Merrell are known for their high-quality, comfortable, and durable hiking shoes, perfect for hikers and backpackers. For example, the Salomon X Ultra 4 is popular for its lightweight, breathable design, and excellent traction and stability.
Consider the recipient’s hiking preferences when selecting hiking shoes as a gift, as they may prefer hiking boots. Are they into long backpacking trips or short day hikes? Do they hike in various terrains and weather conditions, or do winter hiking? Knowing their needs will help you choose the perfect pair to make their adventures even more enjoyable.
Salomon and Merrell hiking shoes are an excellent gift for hikers and backpackers who value comfort, durability, and performance on their outdoor excursions. A good pair of hiking shoes can truly elevate their hiking experience and make for a memorable gift.
Trekking Poles: Black Diamond and Leki
Trekking poles are essential for maintaining balance, taking the weight off the legs and feet, and preventing injuries during hiking and backpacking trips. Black Diamond and Leki are top choices for trekking poles, known for their lightweight and adjustable designs, ergonomic handles, and added features like anti-shock systems for extra stability.
Black Diamond trekking poles provide excellent support during lengthy hikes, while Leki trekking poles are known for their anti-shock systems, ensuring a comfortable and stable experience on various terrains. Both brands offer a range of models suited to different preferences and needs.
Black Diamond and Leki trekking poles are essential gear for hikers and backpackers, offering comfort, stability, and injury prevention during their adventures. These high-quality trekking poles are an excellent gift for any outdoor adventurer. Check out Black Diamond’s carbon fiber options if your loved one is into ultralight backpacking.
Clothing and Accessories for Hikers
Clothing and accessories play a significant role in making a hiker’s experience enjoyable and comfortable. High-quality merino wool socks, moisture-wicking shirts, and versatile headwear are some of the must-haves for any hiker or backpacker. Brands like Darn Tough, Smartwool, Patagonia, Columbia, Buff, and KUIU are renowned for their quality products designed specifically for adventures.
Whether it’s a long backpacking trip or a short day hike, having the right clothing and accessories can make a world of difference. Let’s dive into some of the best options available to make your gift selection easier.
Merino Wool Socks: Darn Tough and Smartwool
A comfortable pair of socks can make all the difference during a hike, and Merino wool socks are a popular choice for their warmth, moisture-wicking properties, and odor resistance. Darn Tough Socks and Smartwool are top brands offering high-quality merino wool socks, perfect for hikers and backpackers.
Smartwool offers a range of Merino wool socks like the Classic Hike Full Cushion Crew Socks for camping overnight, providing extra warmth and comfort. For a casual hike or run-in trail runners, Smartwool ankle socks are an excellent choice. Darn. Tough also offers great options like the Merino Wool Hiker Boot Sock Cushion, perfect for hiking in high ankle boots.
In summary, Darn Tough and Smartwool Merino wool socks are ideal for hikers and backpackers, providing comfort, warmth, and durability during their adventures. Your favorite hiker will undoubtedly appreciate a thoughtful gift of high-quality socks. So if you’re looking for a perfect stocking stuffer, here’s your goto gift.
Moisture-Wicking Shirts: Patagonia and Columbia
Moisture-wicking shirts are essential for any hiker’s wardrobe, helping them stay dry and comfortable during their outdoor activities. Patagonia and Columbia are well-known brands offering high-quality, moisture-wicking shirts that cater to the needs of any outdoor person.
For example, Patagonia’s Capilene Cool Trail Shirt is perfect for wicking away sweat, while Columbia’s Silver Ridge Lite Long Sleeve Shirt offers additional sun protection. Both shirts are designed for breathability, quick drying, and comfort during hikes.
Patagonia and Columbia moisture-wicking shirts are must-haves for hikers, ensuring they stay dry and comfortable during their adventures. These high-quality shirts make a practical and thoughtful gift for any hiking enthusiast.
Versatile Headwear: Blackstrap and KUIU
When it comes to headwear, versatility is key. Blackstrap and KUIU offer a range of headwear options that can be worn in multiple ways, providing protection from the sun, wind, and cold while on the trail. BlackStrap Daily Tube is popular for its lightweight, breathable fabric that can be worn as a headband, neck gaiter, or even a balaclava.
KUIU Ultra Merino 145 is another excellent option, offering similar versatility and additional benefits like odor resistance and temperature regulation.
In summary, Blackstrap and KUIU versatile headwear options provide essential protection and adaptability for hikers and backpackers. A high-quality, multifunctional headwear piece makes a practical and thoughtful gift that will be appreciated during any outdoor adventure.
Technology and Gadgets for Outdoor Adventurers
Technology and gadgets can greatly enhance the outdoor experience for hikers and backpackers. From GPS watches and solar chargers to action cameras, these cutting-edge devices can make a world of difference in safety, navigation, and capturing memories during adventures. Top brands like Garmin, Suunto, Goal Zero, BioLite, GoPro, and DJI offer a range of products tailored to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts.
With so many options available, let’s explore some of the best technology and gadgets that make perfect gifts for hikers and backpackers.
GPS Watches: Garmin and Suunto
GPS watches are invaluable tools for hikers, providing location tracking, navigation information, and additional features like altimeters, barometers, and heart rate monitors. Garmin and Suunto are two leading brands offering high-quality GPS watches designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar and the Garmin Fenix 7 are top choices for hikers, offering a range of features, impressive battery life, and durability. Suunto also has a variety of GPS watches, like the Suunto 9 Baro and Suunto 5, both featuring altimeters, barometers and compasses to assist in navigation and tracking.
In conclusion, Garmin and Suunto GPS watches are essential tools for hikers and backpackers, ensuring safety, navigation, and additional features to enhance their outdoor experience. A GPS watch is a thoughtful and practical gift for any outdoor lover.
Solar Chargers: Goal Zero and BioLite
Keeping devices charged during adventures can be challenging, but solar chargers offer a practical solution for hikers and backpackers. Goal Zero and BioLite are two top brands offering high-quality solar chargers designed to keep devices charged and ready for use on the trail.
Goal Zero solar chargers provide efficient charging and come in various sizes and capacities, while BioLite solar chargers are known for their compact and lightweight designs. Both brands offer solar chargers with built-in batteries and protection features like short circuit prevention.
Goal Zero and BioLite solar chargers are invaluable tools for hikers and backpackers, ensuring their devices remain charged and functional during adventures. A solar charger makes a practical and eco-friendly gift that any outdoor fanatic will appreciate.
If you don’t want to carry around a solar panel charging system, then check out Goal Zero’s Flip 36 Power Bank to charge your gear when needed.
Action Cameras: GoPro and DJI
Capturing memories of adventures is essential for many hikers and backpackers, and action cameras are the perfect tools for the job. GoPro and DJI are two leading brands offering high-quality action cameras designed to withstand extreme conditions and capture stunning footage.
GoPro cameras, like the HERO11 Black, are known for their rugged, waterproof design and wide range of accessories, while DJI cameras, like the Osmo Action, offer exceptional image stabilization, slow-motion features, and wide-angle lenses.
GoPro and DJI action cameras are fantastic tools for hikers and backpackers to capture their adventures. These cameras offer impressive features and durability, making them a perfect gift for outdoor enthusiasts who love documenting their experiences.
Camping and Cooking Gear for Hikers
Camping and cooking gear are essential for hikers and backpackers, making their adventures more comfortable and enjoyable. Lightweight tents, portable stoves, and cookware are some of the must-have items for any outdoor fan. Top brands like MSR, Big Agnes, Jetboil, and Sea to Summit offer a wide range of products tailored to the needs of hikers and backpackers.
Let’s delve into some of the best camping and cooking gear options that make perfect gifts for outdoor enthusiasts.
Lightweight Tents: MSR and Big Agnes
A lightweight and durable tent is essential for hikers and backpackers, providing shelter and protection during their adventures. MSR and Big Agnes are renowned for their high-quality, lightweight tents designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is a popular choice for its lightweight, waterproof, and breathable design, while the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 offers similar features with a slightly larger interior space. Both tents are designed for three-season use, making them perfect for a wide range of adventures.
MSR and Big Agnes lightweight tents provide essential shelter and protection for hikers and backpackers during their adventures. A high-quality, lightweight tent makes a practical and thoughtful gift that will be cherished on any camping trip.
Portable Stoves: Jetboil and MSR PocketRocket
A portable camping stove is a must-have for hikers and backpackers, allowing them to cook and enjoy warm meals during their adventures. Jetboil and MSR PocketRocket are popular and highly-rated portable stoves catering to outdoor enthusiasts’ needs.
The MSR PocketRocket Deluxe is a top choice for its lightweight, compact design and adjustable flame control, while the Jetboil Flash offers faster boil times, an integrated pot and burner, and a fuel canister stabilizer. Both stoves are compatible with various fuel canisters, making them versatile and convenient for hikers.
In conclusion, Jetboil and MSR PocketRocket portable stoves are essential for hikers and backpackers to cook and enjoy warm meals during their adventures. A portable stove is a practical and thoughtful gift for any outdoor aficionado.
Cookware: Sea to Summit and GSI Outdoors
Cookware is another essential item for hikers and backpackers, enabling them to prepare and enjoy meals during their adventures. Sea to Summit and GSI Outdoors are top brands offering lightweight, durable cookware designed for hikers and backpackers.
Both brands offer a range of sizes and shapes, making it easy for hikers to find the perfect cookware set for their needs. In conclusion, Sea to Summit and GSI Outdoors cookware provides essential tools for hikers and backpackers to prepare and enjoy meals during their adventures. High-quality cookware makes a practical and thoughtful gift that any outdoor lover will appreciate.
Stocking Stuffers and Budget-Friendly Gifts for Hikers
Stocking stuffers and budget-friendly gifts are perfect for hikers, thru-hikers, and travelers who appreciate small but mighty items. These gifts are usually more affordable than larger items, making them ideal for those on a budget. Reusable water bottles, multi-tools, and compact first aid kits are just a few examples of stocking stuffers and budget-friendly gifts that hikers and backpackers will love.
Let’s explore some of the best stocking stuffers and budget-friendly gifts that will delight any outdoor fan.
Reusable Water Bottles: Hydro Flask and Nalgene
Staying hydrated during hikes and adventures is essential, and reusable water bottles are a practical and eco-friendly solution. Hydro Flask and Nalgene are popular brands offering high-quality, durable water bottles designed for outdoor enthusiasts.
Both brands offer a variety of sizes and colors, making it easy for hikers to find the perfect water bottle to suit their needs.
Hydro Flask and Nalgene reusable water bottles are essential for hikers and backpackers to stay hydrated during their adventures. A high-quality, reusable water bottle makes a practical and eco-friendly gift that any outdoor person will appreciate.
Multi-Tools: Leatherman and Victorinox
Multi-tools are invaluable for hikers and backpackers and a great stocking stuffer, providing a range of tools in a compact, pocket-sized package. Leatherman and Victorinox are top brands offering high-quality multi-tools that cater to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts. The Leatherman Wave+ and Squirt PS4 are popular options, featuring a range of tools like pliers, screwdrivers, and knives.
The Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD is a tiny keychain-sized multi-tool with seven essential tools, making it perfect for everyday carry or hiking trips. In conclusion, Leatherman and Victorinox multi-tools are essential for hikers and backpackers, offering practical and versatile tools in a compact package. A high-quality multi-tool makes a practical and thoughtful gift for any outdoor person.
Compact First Aid Kits: My Medic Kits and VSSL
Safety is a top priority for hikers and backpackers, and compact first aid kits are essential for addressing minor injuries and emergencies during adventures. My Medic MyFak Kits and VSSL are top brands offering high-quality, compact first-aid kits designed for outdoor enthusiasts.
The My Medic MyFak Kits are Ultralight, highly durable first aid kits containing essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and a CPR shield. The VSSL First Aid Mini is a small, light first aid kit with similar contents, making it perfect for day hikes and short trips.
My Medic Kits and VSSL compact first aid kits provide essential safety and emergency supplies for hikers and backpackers during their adventures. A high-quality, compact first aid kit is a practical and thoughtful gift for any outdoor person.
In this comprehensive hiking gift guide, we’ve explored a wide range of hiking and backpacking gift ideas, from essential gear and clothing to technology and gadgets, as well as stocking stuffers and budget-friendly options.
Whether you’re shopping for an avid hiker or a casual outdoor fan, these unique and thoughtful gifts will undoubtedly enhance their adventures and create lasting memories. Grab an REI gift card or a national parks pass if you’re still unsure about what to get your hiking or backpacking enthusiast. Happy gifting!
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a backpacker want?
A backpacker seeks adventure and to make lasting memories, often traveling through different countries for extended periods of time. Backpackers are often looking for a unique cultural experience, seeking out off-the-beaten-track locations and activities that will make their journey stand out from the rest.
They want to explore the world on their own terms and create stories they can share with their friends and family for years.
What would a hiker have in a backpack?
Hiking trips require careful preparation, and a hiker’s backpack is usually filled with a wide range of essential hiking gear to keep them safe and comfortable during their journey.
Items typically include first-aid essentials, navigation tools, water, food & nutrition, cookset and eating utensils, fire-starting supplies, a tent, a sleeping bag, a blanket, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, bear spray, sunscreen, and much more. For a more in-depth look, check out our post on the 10 essential items for any hiker or backpacker.
All this is designed to ensure that your hike is as pleasant and successful as possible!