I think it is sooo easy to buy gifts for hikers and backpackers. I guess if you are not a hiker yourself, you may not agree! You can choose from practical hiking gear, gadgets, or fun. unique gifts for hikers and backpackers. The options and price ranges are endless, plus many gifts are small since they fit in a backpack, making them great stocking stuffers too.
If you don’t have a clue what to buy the hiker or backpacker in your life, I’ve got you covered with this article. I’ve divided these hiker gift ideas into sections by price, cuz let’s be honest – price does matter. Most people shop with a price in mind. Don’t worry, I’ve included gifts for hikers and backpackers for every budget!
Keep in mind, hikers and backpackers are usually willing to spend more money to buy lighter weight gear – or at least that is their ultimate goal.
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Gifts for Hikers and Backpackers Over $100.00
It’s no secret that some hiking and backpacker gear can be expensive. (Or maybe you had no idea your significant other was spending so much money outfitting their hobby!)
If you don’t plan on spending some big bucks on your hiker gifts, feel free to just skip this section. But if you want to help your hiker get decked out with some major essentials, here ya go!
1. Garmin InReach Mini
The Garmin InReach Mini is peace of mind that fits in the palm of your hand. It is a satellite communicator that lets you send and receive text messages off grid, track and share your hike, and send a SOS alert in an emergency.
The InReach Explorer is a satellite communicator with Topo maps and GPS navigation. Brace yourself – these little life saving devices are expensive!
If you are a worried parent or spouse, go ahead and get one of these for your hiker.
2. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer
The popular Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer packs down into its own pocket and is super light, weighing less than 8 ounces. It is water resistant, durable and comes in a relaxed fit perfect for layering. Be sure to check the prices in the 11 different colors, as prices vary. It is available for men too.
Check out a more affordable puffy option below.
3. A Backpack
A new backpack is an obvious gift for hikers and backpackers. A backpacker will need a larger backpack than a day hiker as they need enough storage space for their gear like tents and sleeping bags.
Backpacks are not a one size fits all gift. They come in different torso sizes, weights, and storage capacities. Perhaps the backpacker you are shopping for has mentioned a favorite backpack they have their eye on.
I love the REI Flash – many agree that it fits good and is very comfortable.
Osprey is another favorite brand with many backpackers. Comfort, function, and their awesome guarantee can’t be beat.
If you purchase a backpack from REI or Amazon, it can easily be returned.
4. Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket
Super light weight and packs small, the Outdoor Research Helium II rain jacket is one of the best in its class. Weighing only about 6 ounces, it is perfect for backpackers going ultralight. It is available for men and women. Tip: Check the colors and sizes for a range of prices.
Keep reading for my favorite budget rain jacket option!
Gifts for Hikers and Backpackers Between $50.00 – $100.00
There are several gifts for hikers and backpackers in this mid price range. Look for my buying tips – you can save $$$$ and find many of these items under $50.00.
5. America the Beautiful Pass
The America the Beautiful Pass is a great gift for the hiker that will be visiting national parks, national forests, BLM areas, and Army Corp of Engineers sites. It’s literally a ticket to over 2000 recreation sites! Perfect for people planning a National Park road trip or someone that lives near a national park that they visit often.
With most national park entry fees being $20.00, the annual pass pays for itself in four visits. A lifetime Senior pass is available for the same cost as the regular annual pass – a perfect gift for adventure loving grandparents!
6. Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad
This super affordable. ultra light sleeping pad will keep your backpacker comfy on those overnight trips. Tip: Their popular older model is often available for under $50.00!
7. A Day Pack
These smaller backpacks are perfect for the hiker heading out on a day hike that doesn’t need the room to stash larger pieces of gear like a tent and sleeping bag for an overnight backpacking trip.
The best selling Osprey DayLite Plus is a good choice. Tip: Check the prices of the different colors available – prices can differ by $15.00 – $20.00 making some under the $50.00 price point!
8. REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket
Here’s the more affordable puffy I promised you earlier. This down jacket comes in at just under $100.00. It is available for both men and women and comes in plus sizes for women and tall sizes for men too. Be sure to check it out – you can sometimes snag it for under $70.00 in certain colors, and I’ve seen some options as cheap as $30.00!
Gifts for Hikers and Backpackers Between $25.00 – $50.00
This price range is a great option for alot of gift buyers. You can still find some cool items your hiker needs or wants that they may not spend the money on themselves.
9. Trekology YIZI GO Portable Chair
These little chairs are game changers! It sure beats sitting on the ground in camp after a long hike. It only weighs about 2 pounds, but has a 300 pound weight limit. It is comparable to similar chairs that are double the cost!
10. Solar Power Bank Portable Charger
With many hikers and backpackers using their phones for map storage/GPS and as cameras, a portable charger comes in handy on longer backpacking trips where there is no access to electricity to charge their device. Charge this power bank before heading out, then harness the sun to keep it charged while on the trail.
11. Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter
This water filtration system is my favorite and a popular choice with many hikers. At this price, it is worth it to have safe, clean drinking water in the backcountry!
12. Trailbuddy Trekking Poles
These trekking poles are perfect for the beginner hiker. They are sturdy, and I like the adjustable, lever locks. You can choose from 8 different colors – I have the yellow ones. Check out the over six thousand 5 star positive reviews! You can find lighter poles, but they are much more expensive.
13. Wise Owl Hammock
The Wise Owl hammock packs small and only weighs 16 ounces and includes straps. It is super affordable and comes in several colors. Check out the video below.
Gifts for Hikers and Backpackers Under $25.00
This is such a fun price range for hiker gifts! Sometimes it is inexpensive gifts that mean the most when it is something that is specifically for a hobby you love. Just because these are budget friendly hiker gifts doesn’t mean they aren’t great!
14. Darn Tough Socks
Trust me, these are the socks hikers want to receive! I love their hiker 1/4 cushion sock, but they have tons of styles and designs to choose from. They also have a lifetime replacement guarantee!
15. Luci Inflatable Light
These lights are super neat. They are inflatable so they pack down small and are solar powdered, making them perfect for backpackers.
16. First Aid Kit
Well, if you are not going spring for the Garmin InReach, at least get the hiker you love a first aid kit! Or get the InReach and a first aid kit so they will be prepared while they wait for help.
17. Emergency Sleeping Bag
What if your hiker went out on a day hike, but ended up stranded on the trail? Day hikers don’t usually carry a regular sleeping bag, but something sure would be good to have in an emergency situation. This emergency sleeping bag only weighs 4.4 ounces and doesn’t take up much room.
18. Ultralight Backpacking Stove
Yep, this little stove isn’t a popular name brand like MSR or Jetboil (nor does it cost what those name brand stoves do) but it gets the job done. It is great for backpackers on a budget. Add some pots , and they will be good to go.
19. Backpacking Meals and Snacks
The great thing about backpacking meals is they last a long time if your hiker isn’t planning a trip right away. Give them several and toss in some snacks like jerky, trail mix, or moon cheese.
20. Toaks Long Handled Spoon
So why does a backpacker need a special spoon? The Toaks spoon is sturdy and light weight, and is long enough to get every morsel from backpacking meal bags.
21. Vinyl Stickers
This big bundle of stickers makes a statement about your hiker’s love for the outdoors. They can be slapped on water bottles, bear canisters, kayaks, and more. They are a great price and there are enough to share.
22. Microfiber Towel
I keep one of these towels in my backpack. They are great for backpacking, campground showers, or to have on hand in case your hiker gets caught in the rain. The two pack is a great deal!
23. Nuun Electrolyte Tablets
Nuun tablets are perfect for replenishing electrolytes on those hot hikes. There are available in several different flavors, and they are easy to tuck into a backpack and stocking.
Buffs are multipurpose neck gaitors, headbands, do rags, face shields…you get the idea. With over 12 ways to wear them, they serve a purpose for every season. They are available in moisture wicking fabrics, light merino wool, and fleece lined for cold weather.
25. Lip Balm
Chapped lips are a common nuisance on hiking trips. I don’t know if it is the wind, sunshine, or dry mouth and lip licking from labored breathing as I trudge along the trail! Get your hiker some lip balm to prevent the painful burning and peeling of chapped lips.
If you are shopping for the female hiker in your life – she needs one of these! It is so much easier than squatting.
27. Backpacker Magazine
Give the gift that inspires adventure every month with a subscription to Backpacker magazine It is full of helpful hiking and backpacking tips, gear ideas, and trail guides.
Head over to DiscountMags and search for Backpacker magazine for awesome pricing and deals. I subscribe to several favorite magazines through DiscountMags.
28. Hiking and Adventure Books
If your hiker is an avid reader, you can’t go wrong with a good adventure story, trail guide, or inspirational book. I can’t wait to read Reaching the Summit: Reflections for the Journey and Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Healing on the Appalachian Trail.
29. Gift Cards
If you really just can’t make a decision or don’t want to purchase the wrong piece of gear, buy a gift card! Amazon has gifts cards that even come in a cute little gift box or you can get E gift cards. Or get a REI gift card. I don’t know of any hiker that wouldn’t love one.
30. Frogg Toggs
Frogg Toggs are my budget solution for a rain jacket. There are several ones to choose from – the Xtreme Lite pictured above and the Ultra Lite 2 rain suit to name a couple. We have several Frogg Togg products and they have performed and held up surprisingly well.
Bonus: Unique Gifts for Hikers and Backpackers
I saved these two fun gift ideas for last.
31. A Backpacking Trip
I think giving an experience or memory can be so special and well, memorable. Why not give your hiker a plane ticket, car rental money etc .so they can go on a adventure vacation? Plane tickets can be surprisingly affordable and an adventure vacation is cheaper if backpacking and camping.
32. Gifts for Hikers with Dogs
More people are hiking and backpacking with their furry friends. If you are shopping for a hiker that takes (or wants to take) their dog hiking with them, consider buying a gift that will make that an even better experience. A doggie backpack and collapsible bowl are two items that can get them started.
Final Thoughts on Hiker and Backpacker Gifts
I believe almost every hiker or backpacker would be happy with any of these gifts. If you are buying for a Christmas present, you can stuff a stocking with several of these gifts. Instead of wrapping your present in a box or using a gift bag, purchase a new backpack and fill it with a few of my hiker gift ideas and put a big bow on it. Happy gift giving!
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