Do you have a hiker in your life? Are you at a total loss for what to get them for an upcoming holiday or birthday? Well worry no more, I’m here to share the best hiking gifts with you.
We all want to give gifts that people will love. I know I feel happiest when I totally nail a perfect gift. You want to give your loved ones something they want… and need!
But here’s the thing: every hiker is different. Some hikers are gear junkies. Some hikers prefer sunset hikes with fancy wine. Some hikers are on a mission to check every national park off their bucket list.
Okay, I’ll stop before this turns into a Dr. Seuss poem… you get the point. Finding the perfect gift is all about knowing who you are shopping for.
This list of 40 epic gifts for hikers is organized by personality to help you nail that perfect gift. I’ve even included a few suggestions for the hiker that seemingly has it all (hint hint, mom and dad!).
So let’s dive in and find the perfect gift for that special hiker in your life!
Table of Contents
Beginner Hiker Gifts
The number one investment for new hikers should be a quality backpack built for hiking. Most beginner hikers use old backpacks built for textbooks instead of a true hiking bag. True hiking backpacks have frames, hip belts, and chest straps that lighten the load on your back and shoulders.
There’s no better player in the hiking pack market than Osprey. I have both an Osprey day hiking backpack and an overnight backpacking pack. Getting the Osprey Tempest 20 was the best decision I’ve made when it comes to hiking and I can’t recommend it enough.
Very few new hikers have trekking poles. It just doesn’t seem like a necessity when you’re first starting out. But let me tell you, trekking poles are the key to taking on more strenuous hikes. The best trekking poles are made from carbon fiber – an incredibly lightweight and durable material.
REI makes great quality gear (you’ll find lots of REI brand picks on this list) and their trekking poles are no different. The REI Flash Carbon Trekking Poles are cheaper than other brands, like Black Diamond, but are just as reliable.
I’ll be the first to admit… I used to be skeptical of headlamps. How much better could they actually be than a phone or a flashlight? Well… a lot better it turns out. If a beginner hiker wants to get amazing sunrise or sunset hikes in, they absolutely need a headlamp.
Black Diamond makes some of the best headlamps on the market. You may have seen them used by climbers in movies like Free Solo, where good quality, directional lighting is life or death. While a beginner hiker isn’t in quite as dire a situation, the quality at this price point can’t be beaten.
Gifts Ideas for Hikers Who Want to Stay Safe
Nothing is more crucial to a hiker’s safety than a first aid kit. From minor scratches to serious head injuries, a first aid kit could save their life. It may not be the most flashy gift, but a fully built out first aid kit is a great gift, particularly for those newer to hiking.
The first aid kits from Adventure Medical Kits are perfectly tailored to hikers and include a book on how to perform field first aid. Plus, this kit is super lightweight and fits perfectly in the bottom of a hiking backpack.
If you worry about your loved one getting lost or stranded on a hike, this is the perfect gift (because it’s also a gift for you). The Garmin Inreach series are satellite communicators that help hikers stay connected.
The Garmin Inreach Mini allows hikers to send and receive messages and navigate using detailed trail maps. Family and friends can even follow the exact GPS location. In an emergency, the Inreach Mini can send an SOS message with GPS location to search and rescue teams.
And all of this comes in a tiny device that fits in your palm. This is perfect for lightweight hikers or backpackers who like to venture away from crowds and off-the-beaten-path. Or just that super accident-prone hiker in your life.
The Garmin Inreach Explorer+ is the next level up from the Garmin Inreach Mini. It’s the perfect gift for the hiker who does a lot of backpacking. Maybe that’s someone who likes to solo backpack or is planning on hiking the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trail.
While the Inreach Mini requires you to use your cell phone to access trail maps, the Inreach Explorer+ has that capability built-in. This device lets you plan your route and helps you stay on the trail with a live GPS location.
The Garmin Inreach devices are expensive but are long-lasting and potentially life-saving. If you’re looking for the “ultimate hiking gift”, the Garmin Inreach Explorer+ is it.
Every hiker should carry the 10 essentials with them. These are extra pieces of gear, like a knife, firestarter, and extra water, that could keep a hiker safe if they had to spend a night in the wilderness.
One of those wilderness survival essentials is a bivvy, a sleeping bag substitute that fits in the palm of your hand.
The SOL Emergency Bivvy reflects 90% of a hiker’s body heat and is smaller than a can of soda (and much much lighter). This tiny and super cheap hiking gift is the best bang for your buck when it comes to hiking safety gear.
Hiking Gifts for Her
A quality hiking backpack is the most important gift for a new hiker, but solid hiking boots are a close second. Hiking boots need to be comfortable, sturdy and keep your feet dry in all conditions.
But all that functionality doesn’t have to come at a crazy high sticker price. The Columbia Newton Ridge Boots are the #1 rated women’s hiking boot on Amazon. And for good reason! The quality you get with these boots is amazing… and they are only $80!
I first bought my pair of the Columbia Newton Ridge Boots back in 2017. After 3 years of heavy hiking, I replaced them with the exact same pair! I will continue to buy these boots until they stop making them.
When it comes to warmth, there’s nothing better than a down jacket. A quality down jacket packs up small and is ultra-lightweight, great for hikers in colder environments.
The Arc’teryx Cerium LT Down Jacket is the perfect down jacket for women. It’s roomy without being boxy and snug without being too fitted. When I bought my Arc’teryx Cerium LT, I sized up to allow for plenty of layering.
Fleece pullovers are the perfect layer for hiking in the morning and evening. Fleece is one of the essential hiking materials, like merino wool or down, that insulates while still being breathable.
There’s no better fleece than the Patagonia Better Sweater. It’s durable enough for hiking and nice enough for everyday wear.
Patagonia is one of the best brands for durable, long-lasting outdoor apparel. And the Better Sweater is no different. Their women’s pullover fits snug to provide unmatched warmth.
Hiking Gifts for Him
A durable, waterproof rain jacket is one of the best investments a hiker can make. Many cheaper rain jackets aren’t truly waterproof and won’t stay dry in heavy rains. That’s why every hiker should invest in a rain jacket with Gore-Tex, weatherproof technology that seals out water.
But a high-quality rain jacket doesn’t have to come at a high price. REI makes excellent store-brand rain jackets. At the price point, there’s no better pick than the REI XeroDry Rain Jacket.
The REI XeroDry Rain Jacket comes with core ventilation and is totally rainproof and affordable.
Down is one of the “holy grail” hiking materials and should be in every hiker’s closet.
Arc’teryx’s Cerium LT Down Jacket is one of the best on the market and is highly recommended among both men and women. It packs down small and is lightweight enough to carry on any hike.
The Arc’teryx Cerium LT Down Jacket is perfect for exploration in Fall or Spring or mild Winter destinations. I recommended picking a size up to make sure they have room for plenty of layers.
Another pick that makes it onto both the best gifts for her and him lists is the Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece. Fleece is one of the most versatile hiking layers, doubling as a perfect jacket when hiking or for a night out.
The Patagonia Better Sweater pullover fits loose, but not boxy and pairs perfectly with jeans or hiking pants. It packs easily into hiking backpacks and fits well over lightweight base layers.
Patagonia is a durable, sustainable brand that makes some of the best outer layers for hikers. The Better Sweater is one of their most versatile pieces and is perfect for men who want a minimalist wardrobe.
Gifts for Hikers Who Love National Parks
Giving the gift of visiting the national parks is one of the best things you can do for a national park lover. While some national parks are free, many charge fees to enter. But the National Park Service has the answer: a national park pass.
The America the Beautiful pass grants access to all 62 national parks and hundreds more national monuments. And the best part? It’s only $80!
Frankly, $80 for unlimited access to every single national park seems like the deal of the century. As a national park lover myself, I buy a park pass every year and would love to receive one as a gift!
A national park passport is a perfect way for hikers to document their national park journey. I bought my first national park passport at the Zion National Park visitor center many years ago. It’s basic and just has room for stamps.
This national park passport and journal from Letterfolk takes it to the next level. Not only does it have a whole page for national park stamps, but it also has spots to record hikes, memories, and doodles for each park!
It comes as no surprise that tons of planning goes into a national park trip. I spend hours and hours reading blogs and guide books when planning my trips. After years of planning national park trips, I can confidently say there’s no better guidebook than this one!
Your Guide to the National Parks by Michael Joseph Oswald is my go-to resource when planning my own trips. It’s ultra-detailed, has beautiful maps, and provides a variety of activities in each park. I also love that this book goes beyond the extra mile to provide the history and cultural background of each park.
Best Gifts for Hikers Who Love Photography
17. GoPro HERO9
GoPro has made a name for itself in the photography world as the go-to for adventurers. The newly released GoPro HERO9 is totally redesigned.
It takes video in 5K and 20MP photos. For reference, that’s about the same as a fancy DSLR camera.
The GoPro HERO9 added a front-facing camera, perfect for vlogging or solo photographers who want to be in the frame! This is the perfect gift for hikers who love to document their journeys but don’t want to carry around a heavy camera.
Cameras are expensive. Heck, the lenses alone are often worth thousands of dollars. So shouldn’t every hiker make sure they are protecting their camera the best they can on hiking?
Peak Design makes one of the only DSLR camera clips on the market. It simply clips onto a backpack strap and locks the camera in place. This is the perfect gift for any hiker that carries a camera on their hikes.
Every hiker carries their smartphone. More and more, smartphones are being used to document trips for friends, family, and social media! But smartphones can only go so far when it comes to next-level photography.
That’s where a smartphone tripod comes in! A tripod can allow hikers to take solo shots and capture a stunning sunset timelapse! The smartphone tripod from UBeesize is lightweight, affordable, and even has attachments to be compatible with a GoPro!
Hiking Gift Ideas for Those Who Love to Read
Do you know a hiker that’s always searching for a new hike? Give them the gift of inspiration! The 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles series publishes hiking inspiration for metropolitan areas across the US!
This book is super detailed (as with anything I recommend) – you’ll find maps, trail descriptions, and even directions!
I’m a big fan of coffee table books, they are the perfect conversation starter that doubles as a research tool. I stumbled across this book in the small bookstore in San Francisco while waiting for a brunch table (cringingly millennial, I know).
After reading through the book, every single one of these hikes is on my lifetime bucket list. With hikes from Patagonia to Mount Kilimanjaro, Epic Hikes of the World from Lonely Planet is the best book for hikers with big aspirations.
Books are heavy. It just doesn’t make sense to carry them on the trail. If I want to read on the trail, I always take my Kindle Paperwhite.
The Kindle Paperwhite is the perfect way to relax at the summit with an unlimited number of books. Unlike other Kindle devices, the Paperwhite is waterproof and anti-glare, making it optimal for outdoor use. Plus, it’s super lightweight at only 6 ounces!
This is the perfect gift for the hiker that loves to relax at the top of a beautiful vantage point or camp on the weekends!
What pairs great with a long hike and a good book? A hammock to relax in at a stunning viewpoint!
ENO is by far the most well-known brand in the hammock industry. The ENO DoubleNest is perfect for two people (or one person who likes to spread out) and easily packs into a hiking backpack.
Why not add this comfy gift to the books above for that bookworm hiker in your life?
Gifts for Hikers Who Enjoy the Finer Things in Life
Do you know what pairs perfectly with a sunset hike? Some summit wine! The Platypus PlatyPreserve portable wine bottle is the perfect gift for the (21+) hiker who enjoys the finer things.
The PlatyPreserve holds an entire bottle of wine and keeps it fresh for days! It’s lightweight and outdoor-friendly (bringing glass on the trail or in your backpack is never a good idea!).
It’s also the perfect gift for backpackers who want to enjoy some wine by the campfire in the evening without adding tons of extra weight to their pack.
There are few things in life that are peaceful as coffee with a view. As the significant other of a coffee snob, I can say that my AeroPress Go coffee passes the taste test (and my simplicity test too!).
The AeroPress Go is the lightweight cousin of the best-selling original AeroPress. It packs up small to fit in a day hiking backpack. It even comes with hundreds of its tiny filters. All you need is water and coffee grounds!
26. YETI Rambler Mug
Continuing on the coffee theme, every hiker needs a well-insulated mug, whether it’s for trail coffee or that caffeine boost on the way to a trailhead.
YETI makes the best tumblers, mugs, and coolers out there. My YETI mug keeps coffee hot for at least 4-6 hours. The stainless steel interior makes it easy to clean with a quick water rinse, perfect for hikers!
The YETI Rambler Mug can also double as a way to drink wine at the top of the trail 😉
Gifts for Hiking With Dogs
Every dog parent wants their baby safe on the trail. But so many dog owners don’t bring the right supplies to help their pup if something did happen.
The same company that makes my first aid kit, Adventure Medical Kits, also makes a first aid kit for dogs! This kit includes bandages made for furry pups and splinter, thorn, and tick removers. Plus, the kit comes with a guide on field first aid for pets.
Help your favorite trail dog stay safe on the trail with a custom-tailored first aid kit!
Any hiker that brings the pup along knows how much room water, treats, and toys can take up in an already tight hiking backpack. Let the pup carry their own gear!
Perfectly made for dogs of all sizes, Ruffwear’s Approach Dog Pack fits like a harness and has plenty of room for all the hiking gear dogs will need (including water, leashes, and trail toys!).
This is the perfect gift for a dog that is also a gift for the hiker!
Best Gifts for Hikers Under $25
A lightweight water bottle is an essential item for hikers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen hikers carrying either a Dasani water bottle or a heavy Hydroflask bottle. Instead, hikers should go with lightweight, reusable plastic options like a Nalgene.
The Nalgene Wide Mouth Water Bottle is the perfect lightweight water bottle for hikers. I use mine every single day, even just around the house!
Secret Nalgene hack: pair the Nalgene water bottle with a Nalgene spillguard.
Every hiker should carry the 10 essentials (life-saving emergency gear) in their backpack. One of the 10 essentials is a water filtration system. A water filtration device allows hikers to filter water to make it drinkable in the wilderness.
One of the most compact water filtration systems is the LifeStraw Water Filter. All you have to do is stick the straw in a water source and drink – it does all the hard work of filtering out particles and bacteria for you!
For only $20, this is a great gift for any hiker that could potentially save their life on a hike!
Heading out into nature doesn’t mean leaving the electronics at home. When I hike, I always have my phone and Apple Watch to track my hike. But the battery can drain quickly!
A compact phone charger is a perfect gift for the tech-savvy hiker.
The most reliable portable battery I’ve ever owned is from Anker. The Anker PowerCore 1000 is compact and can charge phones from 0 to 100 twice! A power bank like this one is perfect for hikers or long-term travelers alike.
Okay, so socks aren’t the most exciting gift, but merino wool socks are an absolute essential for hikers. Every single hiker should own merino wool socks – they keep feet dry and blister-free on the trail!
The REI Merino Wool Midweight Hiking Socks offer all the benefits of expensive merino wool socks, at a lower price!
For less than $20 you can get a pair of high-quality, long-lasting merino wool socks. By comparison, other brands can be more than $30 for a similar pair. I’ve had REI socks for years and will never buy another brand!
Best Stocking Stuffers for Hikers
The HydraPak Bottle Bright Cleaning Tablets are essential for any hiker with a water reservoir. Water reservoirs (sometimes called bladders) can grow mold and bacteria if not properly cleaned and aired out after a hike.
Drop one of these super-simple cleaning tablets in the reservoir with some water to thoroughly clean before storage. This is an essential gift for any hikers with any brand of water reservoir, like Camelbak or Osprey.
Gear rips and tears, it happens regardless of the quality! That’s where Gear Aid Tenacious Repair Tape comes in. It works like duct tape but is made solely for outdoor gear.
A small piece of this will patch rips and tears, like a hole in a down jacket or tear in a tent! I like to keep a small roll of this in my hiking backpack so I’m able to repair my gear on the go.
Tenacious Repair Tape comes in many colors to best match the gear you’re repairing!
Hunger is a byproduct of hiking. My absolute favorite trail snacks are CLIF Bars. They are filling, lightweight, and come in tons of different flavors. Plus they have around 10 grams of protein!
I like to keep a few extras down in my bag on every hike (carrying extra food is part of the 10 essentials guidelines!).
This CLIF Bar variety pack has some of my favorite flavors like Peanut Butter Banana and Chocolate Chip. This is the perfect gift for any hiker and makes for a perfect stocking stuffer.
We’ve all used Ziploc plastic bags. They are perfect for storing sandwiches and snacks on the trail. But they aren’t eco-friendly at all!
Stasher reusable storage bags are the perfect gift for hikers who care about the environment (which should be all of us!). They are reusable, dishwasher-safe silicone bags.
The best part? These are super diverse – they can be used for hiking, cooking, freezing, or even storing cords and cables! They come in different sizes or can be purchased as a set.
Electrolytes are one of the biggest keys to a speedy recovery after a long hike. So many hikers choose to drink Gatorade, but it is filled with sugar!
One of the best alternatives to Gatorade is Nuun’s electrolyte tablets. Each tablet is sweetened with Stevia and only has 1 gram of sugar!
For under $20, you can get your favorite hiker enough electrolytes for 40 hikes! That’s way cheaper than 40 Gatorades…
Another one of the 10 essentials is a pocket knife or multi-tool. A multi-tool can help a hiker repair gear, perform first aid, or start a fire if stuck in the wilderness.
Swiss Army knives are a classic. The Swiss Army Huntsman Knife is the perfect compact multi-tool for hikers. With several blades, a bottle opener, corkscrew, tweezers, and wood saw, this 4-ounce multi-tool has everything one would need on the trail.
Gifts for the Hiker That Has It All
39. REI Gift Card
In the words of Ariel from The Little Mermaid, “Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?…. But who cares? No big deal. I want more!”
Basically, hikers are Ariel and there’s always something we have our eye on. A trip to REI for a hiker is like Target for the millennial woman. We want everything!
If you can’t find the perfect gift for the hiker in your life, just go with an REI gift card instead! REI sells both physical cards and digital cards, perfect for this pandemic era we are in.
40. A trip with them
At the end of the day, we hikers just want to spend time with our loved ones! The best gift you could give us is the gift of time. Take a hike with us or explore one of America’s beautiful national parks on your next vacation!
My favorite gifts to receive are experiences, and there’s no better experience than spending time with those you love outdoors!