Hiking is one of the best ways to escape your daily routine and spend some time in nature. Having good equipment is absolutely key for every hiking enthusiast to make sure they can be prepared for any situation.
Finding the best gifts for hikers doesn’t need to be complicated. Questions like “how long does the hike go? In which terrain will the hike take place? Will it be cold or warm? Is the hike overnight?” will help you select the best suitable choice from this list of gifts for hikers. There are plenty of important items that every hiker needs in his backpack that might not come to mind straight away.
Below you will find a list of the best gifts for hikers, so keep reading if you’re still looking for a present for that special someone. To help you find the best gift, this post will be separated into different sections, such as generally useful items, winter equipment as well as items for overnight hikes.
How To Select A Gift For Someone Who Loves To Hike
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner who would love to get into it, there are always objects that can make your experience a lot more comfortable and fun. If you’re looking to treat a friend or loved one to a new piece of hiking equipment, you should make sure you know their experience level before you go shopping.
Do they go on multi-day hikes and camp along the way? Or do they like to take it easy and are more interested in exploring nature? Let yourself be inspired by this list of gifts for hikers, which includes both useful and fun things to give to someone who loves the great outdoors.
Useful Gifts For Hikers
Gifts should be exciting and thoughtful at the same time. They might even feature some of the best quotes about California if the hiker loves this state. However, the items on this list might not be the most unusual, but they are actually extremely useful and are guaranteed to become staples for your friend who loves hiking.
1. Filtered water bottle
One of the most important things to take on a hike is water. A good water bottle doesn’t need to be expensive, but you should take care when choosing the right one.
There are several things you should look for when selecting a bottle. A small carabiner helps you to attach the bottle to your backpack and will come in handy in case you run out of space. Furthermore, your water bottle should have a water filter, especially if you plan to fill it up during your hikes. High-quality filters will even allow you to drink stream or spring water. The filter will remove 99% of bacteria, odor, chlorine, or other harmful ingredients.
For most people, it is recommended to drink at least two liters of water every day, which can be a lot to carry on longer hikes. That is why the right size needs to be considered when buying a water bottle as a gift. Generally speaking, a bottle between 1 and 1.5 liters should be sufficient for shorter hikes, and for longer ones, it might be more practical to take several bottles instead of one large one.
When hiking in mountains or forest regions, you will most likely see lots of wildlife. Therefore, some lightweight binoculars are an absolute must-have for every wildlife enthusiast and make for a fantastic gift. You will find a large selection of binoculars online, however, they tend to differ significantly in weight, magnification, and size.
Prices can vary from just under $20 to well over $100 for high-quality options. Decent binoculars should be available for around $40, although nature enthusiasts may want to upgrade to a more versatile pair of binoculars at some point. Weight is always an important factor for hikers, so make sure to select a light and compact pair as a gift.
3. First aid kit
When hiking with the whole family, there is an additional focus on safety and the well-being of all family members. However, every hiker should be prepared for possible accidents, mishaps, or even just a blister which can quickly turn a fun hike into a strenuous experience. For that reason, a hiking survival or first aid kit is a great gift for hikers, and although it might not be the most exciting thing to unwrap, it is most likely the most important item on this list.
All first aid kits should contain tweezers, disinfectants, bandaids, and small bandages. Things like an emergency blanket, a tourniquet, safety pins, and some saline solution can also be helpful to have with you when you’re hiking. There are first aid kits available in several different sizes, and they make for a great stocking stuffer or a thoughtful gift for a hiker friend.
4. Sturdy shoes
It doesn’t matter whether you are hiking for just three hours or going on a trip for several days, sturdy and comfortable shoes are always necessary. Hiking trails often lead through uneven terrain with many opportunities to trip or slip. No hiker should be wearing regular sneakers on extended trips, which can lead to painful blisters or twisted ankles. That is why good-quality hiking shoes with a deep tread are absolutely essential.
It’s not easy to shop for shoes for someone else, especially when it comes to hiking boots that might be comfortable for one person but not a good fit for someone else. Make sure to keep a gift receipt for any shoes you buy as a gift or treat your hiker friend to a shopping trip to the nearest outdoor store specialized in hiking gear. The best shoes should go over the ankle to protect against the possibility of twisting without restricting movement while walking.
5. Trekking poles
Trekking poles are perfect for giving a little extra grip in rough terrain and taking the load off your legs as you hike. They are adjustable in height, have a comfortable grip in the hand, and also come with several attachments for different surfaces.
When folded, they can also be stored quickly and easily and, thanks to their aluminum material, do not add too much weight to your backpack. Not all hikers like trekking poles, though, and it’s worth finding out whether your loved one would even use them should they be given some as a gift.
6. Emergency Radio or GPS
Hiking can be a dangerous sport, especially when done in remote areas like national parks or mountain ranges. It’s easy to get lost or disoriented, and with no cell phone reception, this can quickly become a life or death situation. An emergency radio or GPS is a real lifesaver and should be a staple companion for every hiker, even on short or seemingly safe trips.
These small devices will help you find your way or send an emergency signal even without reception and can help first responders find your location should you be injured. Give a hiker the gift of safety by investing in a small radio or GPS. It might not be as exciting as a hammock or new backpack, but it’s incredibly useful.
7. Lightweight backpack
Beginner hikers might be happy with a basic backpack that they might also use to travel or in daily life. However, a professional hiking backpack will be a significant upgrade and can take the experience of walking for long distances to the next level. When choosing a backpack, consider how much space they might need as well as their gender and body size which might influence how much they can comfortably carry.
A good backpack should be cushioned with several adjustable straps across the chest and waist. A lot of compartments can be helpful for storing small items, and external straps can be used to fix a water bottle or sleeping pad to the outside of the backpack.
Just be sure to pair this backpack with any of these amazing waterproof hiking backpacks or dry bags for hiking and you’ll have the perfect gift, especially if you’re looking for the best backpacks for digital nomads too.
Overnight Equipment Every Hiker Needs
There are two different types of hikers; those who enjoy day hikes through nature, carrying only the absolute necessities, and those who camp for several days or even weeks. Overnight trips will require far more equipment, providing plenty of opportunity for a thoughtful gift.
6. Multifunctional tool
Instead of carrying different tools like scissors, a fire starter, tweezers, or a knife with you, why not save some weight and space and combine everything into one? A high-quality multifunctional tool makes for the perfect gift for hikers and is guaranteed to be a trusting companion on any future trips.
There are different tools to choose from but it’s definitely worth it to invest a bit more money instead of going for the cheapest option. Some of the larger multi-tools can also be quite heavy, which is something to keep in mind. A smaller knife with some attachments might be a better choice for those who are just getting started with hiking.
7. Camping Hammock
This ultra-light hammock not only provides the perfect spot to sleep at night but also gives you a great spot to get some rest and enjoy the views after a long day of hiking. You will only need two trees or large boulders to set up the hammock, and the process is very easy, making this one of the best gadgets for camping.
There are also different sizes available which are suitable for one or two people. The sophisticated straps combined with the two carabiners will allow you to set up the hammock in just a few minutes, and a mosquito net will keep pesky flies and mosquitos out.
Packed in a small bag, the light nylon material does not take up much space in your backpack, and it dries very quickly in the sun should it ever get wet. Giving a lightweight hammock as a gift is guaranteed to be a hit among your hiker friends and will maybe even make you want one for yourself.
8. Microfiber towel
A microfiber towel is a lightweight towel that will dry in minutes and doesn’t take up much space. These towels are available in different sizes, colors, and even materials. They are very soft, just like a regular towel but tend to be much more water-absorbent. The integrated loop with a button or clip will allow you to hang the towel everywhere you like and speed up the drying process.
These towels can even be clipped to your backpack and will dry while you’re hiking, which makes them a convenient item to carry with you when exploring nature. This is one of the best gifts for hikers who are just getting started and might not know which equipment to get to help them enjoy their new hobby.
9. Portable stove
This portable stove is one of the best gifts for hikers who love to spend several days on the road and might need to cook a hot meal along the way. After all, at some point during a hike, everybody gets hungry, and you need to fuel your body to keep going. There are different portable stoves like this foldable and compact set which includes not only two pots and one set of cutlery but also a foldable camping stove.
It could be your coffee in the morning or lunch during the day; this portable stove is set up in just under a minute and ready to go. With its weight of just under 500 grams, this comprehensive set does not add much weight to your backpack and will elevate the quality of life considerably.
When hiking through nature, you most likely won’t find much infrastructure. As soon as the sun sets, you will be in the dark, and your phone flashlight should not be your primary source of light. A small headlamp won’t cost much and can be a real lifesaver for any hiking enthusiast, so put it on your list of possible gifts. Most lamps will have an elastic strap that can be adjusted to any head size, and they tend to work on AAA batteries which are available in every supermarket.
You can adjust the tilt if needed, which will help you when preparing food or setting up camp in the evenings. Headlamps are usually equipped with different modes which vary in intensity and scope. Some can even be used as flashing lights to give an SOS signal which can be vital in case of emergency.
Gifts For Hikers Who Love The Cold
Whether it’s a trek to the summit of a remote mountain or a winter excursion, hikes can take place in any type of weather. Hikers who love the cold will be absolutely delighted by these gifts.
11. Sleeping bag
A good sleeping bag will make all the difference when it comes to cold-weather camping trips. Even hikers who prefer sunny days might find themselves feeling chilly at night, especially when camping or staying in remote cabins. Sleeping bags are usually labeled with a suitable temperature range, giving you a good idea of whether they could be a good gift for a friend who loves to hike.
Extremely cold weather will call for a very thick sleeping bag which can be expensive, so keep that in mind when selecting this gift for hikers. As is the case with most items on this list, it’s important to consider the weight and size of a sleeping bag before purchasing. Carrying as little equipment as possible is essential when hiking in nature, and an amateur sleeping bag might take up too much room.
12. Warm gloves
The hands are some of the most exposed parts of the body, and keeping them warm is extremely important when hiking in snow or cold weather. You’ll need your fingers to be comfortably warm without sweating or being too restricted. A pair of warm, waterproof gloves will come in handy when hiking in winter and make for an excellent present for that person in your life that just can’t get enough of the cold.
Like many items on this list, warm gloves are very versatile and can be used in everyday life, even when you’re not hiking. Your hiking friend is guaranteed to get a lot of use out of a good pair of gloves.
13. Lightweight sleeping pad
When sleeping in a tent in cold weather, the majority of body heat is lost to the cold ground. In summer, it might be possible to rely on only a sleeping bag for comfort and warmth, but in winter some sort of pad or cushioning is essential to keep warm.
Sleeping pads unfortunately take up a lot of space so giving a lightweight one as a gift will absolutely delight a hiking enthusiast. Especially pads that have blow-up elements and can be inflated easily are a fantastic choice for camping in winter. They don’t take up as much space but are far more comfortable than thin pads that only rely on foam to cushion the body when sleeping. A winter sleeping pad will be expensive though, so consider carefully whether your budget will allow for this gift.