The best gifts for hikers

The holiday season has arrived; Hopefully this year with more in-person celebrations and giveaway gatherings. If you have an outdoor hiking enthusiast on your list and you don’t know what to get them, this hiking guide is for you.

There are freebies ranging from $ 10 to $ 700, low-tech and high-tech options, some clothing (although I think clothing, especially hiking clothing, can be hard to buy for another person) , some useful material, and (hopefully) some things you haven’t thought of yet.

Teva Re Ember Outdoor Slippers

Re Ember Women’s Loafers Teva

Suits you

amazon.com

$ 74.95


If you’re looking for a gift for your hiking and camping enthusiast who seemingly already has everything, these Teva slip-on moccasins (or, as I like to call them, outdoor slippers) might be a great choice.

Made from recycled materials, they’re eco-friendly and comfortable – the perfect thing to slip on after a long hike or wear around the campsite, or even in town for supplies. (They’re also at the top of my personal wishlist.)

REI Co-op Flash Carbon Compact Trekking Poles

REI Co-op Flash Carbon Compact Trekking Poles - Pair

REI Co-op Flash Carbon Compact Trekking Poles – Pair

REI Cooperative

rei.com

$ 97.29


As someone with a small meniscus tear in my left knee, I would never hike without a pair of hiking poles. These from REI are super light and fold up into an easy, compact size that locks into your bag when not in use.

Trekking poles are especially useful for climbing and descending mountains, crossing rivers, and traversing muddy trails. One of the most important treks I have done with mine was the Cross Borneo Trek, which includes traversing a 130 million year old rainforest and climbing the Muller Mountains.

Hydrapak Flux – Foldable hiking water bottle

Hydrapak Flux - Foldable hiking water bottle

Hydrapak Flux – Foldable hiking water bottle

Hydrapak

amazon.com

$ 25.00


No matter what the activity, hydration is always the key. I love this durable, collapsible water bottle because when empty it compresses to approximately the size of a deck of cards. It also has a splash-proof water valve and connects to most threaded water filters.

Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Jacket

Patagonia Insulated Nano Puff Jacket - Women's

Patagonia Insulated Nano Puff Jacket – Women’s

Patagonia

backcountry.com

$ 199.00


I received my Patagonia Nano Puff jacket as a gift from the Starz show, “Power”. Wrapping giveaways tend to be pretty useless items that someone in production got a good deal on, so this one was particularly amazing (and unexpected). It stows away in its own pocket when not in use, making it the perfect thing to throw in your bag in case the weather turns cold or you find yourself hanging out longer than expected.

Emergency thermal blanket

Swiss Safe Emergency thermal mylar blankets

Swiss Safe Emergency thermal mylar blankets

Swiss safe

amazon.com

$ 14.99


Speaking of staying outside longer than you expect, an emergency thermal blanket is one of those rather boring but incredibly useful gifts. It’s those silver mylar blankets that marathon runners are wrapped in after a run. They retain 90% of a person’s body heat, keeping them warm (and dry) in cold and humid environments.

They are inexpensive, lightweight, and durable. They can be used for a variety of things, including a solar oven, shade blanket, emergency shelter, tourniquet, and a container for melting snow.

Biolite light diffusion storage bag

Light diffusing tote bag

Light diffusing tote bag

biolite

backcountry.com

$ 14.95


I am a fan of Biolite products in general. I have their solar panel, their stove and various lighting fixtures. This nifty little stack of stuff is made from sheer ripstop fabric that diffuses the light from any headlamp. There are elastic loops inside to secure the headlamp in the middle of the bag and a drawstring closure for hanging on a tree or tent. When not in use as a lampshade, you can store your various electronic cables inside.

PETZL Actik Core headlamp

Rechargeable headlamp PETZL ACTIK CORE

Rechargeable headlamp PETZL ACTIK CORE

PETZL

amazon.com

$ 69.95


Rechargeable and powerful, the Petzl Actik headlamp features a multi-light design, three brightness levels and a red light mode – perfect for hiking, camping, running and mountaineering.

Smartwool Hike Classic Edition Women’s Merino Wool Crew Crew Socks

Smartwool Hike Classic Edition Women's Full Cushion Crew Socks

Smartwool Hike Classic Edition Women’s Full Cushion Crew Socks

Smart wool

amazon.com

$ 21.00


Who doesn’t need more socks? Although a rather boring gift, the Smartwool hiking socks are one of those gifts that you can’t really go wrong with. This is the classic crew version with a full cushion. My favorite thing about Smartwool socks is that they don’t tend to retain odors, even when worn for days in a row.

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Women’s Leggings

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Women's Leggings

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Women’s Leggings

Amazon

$ 95.00


These merino wool leggings, available in a wide range of colors, are a perfect fitted base layer for cold weather hikes and other adventures. I wear mine every day during the winter. I love them because they are both warm and breathable.

Spork Titanium Snow Peak

Snow Peak - Titanium Spork

Snow Peak – Titanium Spork

Snow peak

amazon.com

$ 9.95


The Snow Peak titanium spork is the Mercedes of camping sporks; elegant and exceptional. As someone who’s broken a spoon or two, I love this lightweight, durable version. They are available in silver, blue, purple and green.

SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Personal Water Purifier

SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Personal Water Purifier

SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Personal Water Purifier

SteriPen

amazon.com

$ 87.96


I am one of those people who worry almost obsessively about running out of water. I have often been teased about how much water I carry on my bike or in my backpack. The SteriPen helps ease my water-related anxieties by providing a simple and effective way to purify the water in streams, rivers and lakes.

The UV light from this portable and compact water purifier destroys 99.9% of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa. This version uses CR123A lithium batteries and will purify a liter of water in about 90 seconds (which is fast compared to iodine tablets). The Steripen works best with wide mouth water bottles like the Nalgene because in order to function properly the UV tube and sensor must be submerged. I also have the USB rechargeable version.

SteriPEN

SteriPEN

SteriPen

amazon.com

$ 79.95


Samsung battery (10,000 mAh)

Samsung battery (10,000 mAh)

Samsung battery (10,000 mAh)

SAMSUNG

amazon.com


Backup power is always a good thing to have when hiking and camping. I love that this battery has two USB ports, fits all electronic devices, and charges Samsung Galaxy and Note phones quickly.

Portable GPS device

Garmin eTrex 32x Rugged Portable GPS Navigator

Garmin eTrex 32x Rugged Portable GPS Navigator

Garmin

amazon.com

$ 299.00


There are many portable GPS devices available, most of them manufactured by Garmin. GPS devices have two main functions: to help you get to where you want to go and to act as a satellite communicator when you need help. To be honest, I personally want all GPS devices (I love electronic gadgets) but if I had to choose the one I would most like to receive as a gift, I would go for the Garmin eTrex 32x.

The water resistant and durable eTrex 32 uses both GPS and GLONASS satellite systems for better connectivity and tracking capabilities anywhere in the world and is preloaded with routable TopoActive maps that include both routes and trails. The device has 8 GB of internal memory as well as a microSD card slot. There is both a compass and a barometric altimeter which makes it easy to know where you are.

If your keen hiking enthusiast embarks on multi-day adventures in remote areas, the Garmin inReach Mini might serve them better.

inReach Mini

inReach Mini

Garmin

rei.com


The inReach mini is best for backcountry communications via satellite messaging (which requires a subscription) and perfect for updating loved ones on an outing and calling for help in the event of a problem. emergency. It has a tracking mode that sends your location to your specified contacts at regular intervals. The Mini’s navigation capabilities are fairly rudimentary; sending you in a straight line to the destination you enter instead of following trails or paths.

America the Beautiful National Parks Land Pass

America the Beautiful Pass - 2021/2022

America the Beautiful Pass – 2021/2022

rei.com

$ 79.99


If you’re not sure which physical item (s) to purchase for your backpacker lover this year, a US National Parks Annual Pass is the perfect gift.


The pass, valid for park entry only, is honored at over 2,000 federal recreation sites in the United States, including all those operated by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service , the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Recreation and the Army Corps of Engineers.

On to a happy, adventurous year in the great outdoors – and hoping for more open borders in the near future.


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