Last Updated on December 21, 2020
Hiking enthusiasts need a combination of both lightweight and multi-purpose items while on the trail. Knowing this means you’re prepared to find the best gifts for hikers, no matter which trail they choose. Have a look at our suggested gift ideas and pick something they’re guaranteed to have room for in the backpack!
We’ve been on plenty of frozen forest trails in Maine, loads of mountain paths in New Mexico, self-guided hikes to the highest point in Central America and plenty of backcountry ramblings through Guatemala – we know what’s needed and what isn’t. Use our gift ideas and choose something they’ll want to keep using.
For ease of use you’ll find these gifts for hikers categorized; use the table of contents below to jump directly to a particular section. Hopefully these ideas put you on the right path to finding a thoughtful present for any occasion. Send them out into the wilderness prepared for almost anything!
Not All Gifts for Hikers Are Created Equal…
Of course, some hikers simply have different needs than others; this article has enough ideas to suit anyone on your list. From backcountry wilderness types to casual hikers, get ready to find useful presents based on their individual hiking style.
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Gifts for Hikers in Any Climate
When they go hiking (and where!) determines which gear they’ll need to carry. Warmer climates mean plenty of other people on the trail, and plenty of extreme conditions. Of course, cold and even freezing temperatures can suddenly materialize anytime while on the trail; consider the following gift ideas for hikers that’ll cover all of these scenarios throughout any season.
Getting them a multi-use gift like this protective neck gaiter is always a good idea. Protection from the sun on the head and back of the neck is very important and this gift covers it all. This model also works as a wristband, headband and even a scarf. These make good hiking gifts for those who go outdoors in a variety of climates and conditions. Neck gaiters also work great in combination with a cooling neck bandana (below).
The neck is one of the body’s major thermal points; keeping it cool helps provides immense comfort in all types of hot climates. Soaking this bandana in water to activate the cooling gel means they’ll stay refreshed on the trail for hours. Are you really on the search for some cool gifts for hikers? Well, this is it!
Staying dry while hiking is a cinch with a proper rain poncho; look for one like this which covers the hiker and their backpack. Drippy days on the trail happen and nothing makes a hiker more miserable than getting soaked in the woods. Make sure that never happens to them with this simple gift.
Even if they don’t enjoy time on the trail during winter, serious hikers know that snow and ice may be present at certain elevations during other seasons. When that happens, a good pair of crampons like these will prevent nasty slips and falls. These simply slip on over hiking boots and even come with a protective carrying pouch for stowing away in a backpack.
One of the best gifts for hikers is free access to to over 2,000 U.S. Federal recreational areas, including national parks. They’ll also get free access to day-use areas. Note: This pass doesn’t provide free camping on federal lands but in many cases those fees are reduced for passholders – see here for more details. This is one of the most thoughtful hiking gifts you can get them.
We’ve found Tiger Balm to be a good mosquito repellant while hiking – it smells quite good, too. This also represents a less-chemically alternative to DEET, which is also very effective (see below). A little Tiger Balm goes a long way in keeping biting insects at bay and soothing sore muscles and makes a very useful hiking gift for just about anyone.
Let’s face it, nothing works better and longer at repelling mosquitoes and ticks while on the hiking trail than DEET. We’ve tried many natural alternatives like Tiger Balm – some work as long as you reapply them often. DEET works all day with just a single application before hitting the trails.
Hikers encounter certain things which call for a good pair of leg gaiters: tall grasses (and ticks), thorns, sharp twigs and branches. Of course, gaiters also prevent mud, snow and water from getting down into boots and ruining the day. There’s simply no reason for hikers to be without something as useful as these – they may even protect agains snake bites.
This spray is effective for treating fabrics against all kinds of insects. A topical repellant isn’t always enough; mosquitos and ticks still make life difficult for hikers by getting on their clothes. Ticks especially can hang on to fabrics (socks, shorts, pants, backpacks) and hitch a ride unless that material has been treated with permethrin.
Many hikers know that wet weather can roll in quickly and soak you to the bone. Before that happens it’s good knowing that delicate gear is protected in its own waterproof bag. Cameras, binoculars (see below), phones and other sensitive things need to be protected from the elements and a waterproof bag makes a great gift for anyone on the hiking trail.
Hiking Gift Ideas That’ll Keep Them Safe and Sound
Being on a trail all alone or very deep in the wilderness means special safety considerations must be made. The following gift ideas for hikers cover some simple things that’ll help keep them safe and secure if and when trouble arises. These gifts are certain to be appreciated and you’ll feel better knowing they’re well prepared for a walk in the woods.
Compact and useful things like this first aid kit are like gold to hikers. In a perfect world they won’t need to use it, but having the basics while on the trail makes complete sense. Whether you’re in search of gifts for casual hikers or serious ones, a lightweight first aid kit is a must-have item for them.
Being well prepared on the trail involves having a reliable way of communicating with a hiking partner if you become separated. Get them some two-way radios and they’ll be able to stay connected out in the wilderness where cell phone coverage may not exist. These make great gifts for hikers who prefer backcountry trails.
Serious backcountry hikers face different challenges than casual hikers. Venturing deep into the wilderness means a personal locator beacon is a good item to have. This model works worldwide and sends a signal to relevant national agencies, then to local rescue crews based on the location of the distress signal.
One of the best defenses against bears while hiking is simply letting them know you’re in the area. How? With a bear bell. Surprising a bear on the trail – which is easy to do – can trigger an instinct for it to attack. A bear bell allows hikers to be heard before being seen; the noise of the bell triggers another instinct with bears: retreat to safety.
Backcountry hikers need to find potable water in emergency situations and that often means filtering it for safe consumption. The Sawyer Mini filtration system works in a matter of moments and turns any water supply into something safe for drinking. This hiking gift is just as affordable, lightweight and compact as it is essential.
Keeping warm and dry is crucial to survival if stranded in the wilderness, even in summer months. This compact lightweight sleeping bag is a simple present for hikers that will save their lives in an emergency situation. Pair this with another of our great hiking gift ideas (below).
Hiking Gifts for Her
Find something for that lady on your gift list with the following ideas. Send her out there fully prepared and she’ll be ready to tackle any trail. Get inspired by the following hiking gifts for her and choose something thoughtful.
Designed to fit a woman’s torso, the Osprey Tempest comes with plenty of features she’ll love. Osprey backpacks are quality-made and and they easily stand up to daily use. This 20L bag is perfect as a daypack for traveling too, meaning it’s useful both on and off the trail.
Fiona loves prAna gear for its style, quality and comfort. This sustainably-made clothing comes in assorted styles of pants, tops and thermal outerwear made for women who love the outdoors. Looking for gift ideas for hikers that give back? prAna, through their partnership with the Fair Labor Association, is committed to providing safe, humane working conditions in the manufacture of their products.
What is this anyway? Simply put, this is a female urination device (FUD) designed to assist with peeing while standing. Why? Well, there are plenty of reasons why women might not want to squat in the woods, like a patch of poison ivy or an unbeknown ground nest filled with angry hornets (it could happen). This hiking gift must-have for women also works well in filthy public restrooms and outhouses, too.
Considering the FUD, (see above) it certainly seems natural to get her biodegradable wipes as well. I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t plain old toilet paper biodegradable? It is, but these moist wipes can also be used to for wiping away sweat from the face and general trail grime from hands – try doing that with just toilet paper!
Looking for a stylish hiking gift for a lady on your list? Brookelynn Roese creates great hair bands, head scarves, hair wraps and accessories that every woman will love – and they’re reversible! Give her the gift of no more bad hair days while on the hiking trail!
Socks aren’t generally considered to be a thoughtful gift… unless of course they’re Smartwool socks! These socks make great gifts for hikers; foot comfort is crucial on the trail and Smartwool simply can’t be beat on the feet. This particular style is made for hiking and evokes the great outdoors with a pattern consisting of mountains and trees.
This cornstarch-based powder effectively combats chafing on the trail caused by excess sweat and humidity. This powder by Monkey Butt even features calamine for soothing the delicate areas because staying comfortable on the trail is absolutely essential. Don’t let a bit of friction come between a good hike or a bad one and get her some Monkey Butt today.
Hiking Gifts for Him
Let’s face it, guys like to go hiking with all sorts of gadgets, gear and tactical contraptions – I’m no exception to this! Having said that, finding some cool hiking gifts for men is really easy when you take my ideas into consideration.
The importance of multi-use items while hiking cannot be overstated; these great binoculars feature a special adaptor for taking magnified photos and videos! Simply use these like normal binoculars or to boost the camera function on almost any smartphone. Guys will love using these quality binoculars for general viewing and taking great photos and videos.
I’ve owned a Leatherman Supertool for over 25 years and it’ll certainly last my entire life. This quality multi-use tool has been almost everywhere with me and I still use it pretty much daily. I guarantee this gift is something he’ll take with him on every hike and it’ll last him forever as well.
Allow that hiker in your life to simultaneously charge two devices at once with this portable power pack. A powerful one like this can be used for four charge cycles before needing to be charged itself. It’s no bigger than a smartphone, meaning he’ll carry it around everywhere – that includes out in the middle of nowhere on a hiking trail!
Too many survival kits include a lot of bulky gear mostly suited for an intense walkabout in the outback of Australia. Instead, this simple compact kit has just what any guy needs to provide for the basics, like staying warm and hydrated. Chances are it won’t be needed but he’ll feel good having a survival kit and you’ll feel good getting him one as a gift.
Ah yes, a tender subject indeed! This is no laughing matter – sweating and chafing down there certainly ruins a good day on the hiking trail. Let him know you’re not going to let that happen and get him some anti-chafe powder and cream to help sort it all out. Go on, get him the works for his undercarriage!
Perhaps he needs some wearable gear while hiking? If so, prAna has a range of active styles suited for all sorts of outdoor activities. prAna also features plenty of clothes perfect for travel as well as flannels, jackets and outerwear. Have a look at their impressive range of styles and get a few hiking gifts for him.
Hiking Gift Ideas for Staying Fed and Hydrated on the Trail
Staying fed and hydrated on the trail is important – so is having the right stuff to do it. Some of the best gifts for hiking lovers involve food, drink and the ability to schlepp it all around. From snacks and hot meals to cold water or a glass of Merlot, check out the following gift ideas and let them know you’ve thought of everything.
Piping hot food usually doesn’t spring to mind when it comes to hiking….until now! Get them this insulated food container and they’ll be able to pack along warming soups, stews, casseroles or anything else they want. Food stays warm for hours; they’ll have a nice meal waiting for them at the end of the hiking trail and they’ll have you to thank for it!
A what? Bento boxes are containers which keep foods neatly separated, perfect for hikers wishing to pack along a picnic. With a bit of proper planning beforehand they’ll tote a variety of their favorite snacks in one compact kit. This airtight bento box even stows-away its own cutlery, too.
Sure, hikers can use this for any liquid but why wouldn’t they want to fill it with vino instead? Indeed, many folks on the trail celebrate their ascents with an alcoholic drinkie – there’s absolutely no better way of taking in those stunning views from a mountaintop! This gift allows them to leave the heavy bottle behind and just fill a lightweight bag instead.
You don’t expect them to guzzle wine straight from a bag (see above), do you? Of course not! Get ’em these stainless steel wine goblets and they’ll be adding a bit of panache to the trail as they quaff their Cabernet. These unbreakable, stylish containers are certain to come along on many, many hikes.
Some hikers prefer hands-free hydration packs while on the trail. We only use these when hiking in cold temperatures; a hydration pack on the back underneath a coat or jacket prevents liquids from freezing while hiking in freezing conditions. Consider one of these for serious hikers who don’t allow winter weather to slow them down.
…and by proper I mean a double-walled, insulated water bottle. Forget Nalgene bottles which sweat and don’t even keep liquids cold while hiking – a proper water bottle like this keeps water ice-cold for up to 12 hours, even in direct sunlight. What’s more, these don’t perspire like regular bottles filled with cold liquid. Don’t let their supply of precious water turn into a big hot mess and get them the right type of bottle.
I don’t mean hip as in cool or trendy. Instead, this handy flask fits directly into the hip pocket. This could be hip and trendy but one thing is for certain: there’s no better way for a hiker to spirit-away their favorite spirits while in the great outdoors. Who says they can’t bring a fine whisky or a splash of their favorite rum while hiking? Not me.