Searching for the perfect gift for hiking, backpacking, camping this holiday season? All of our suggestions for the best gifts for hikers have been personally trail tested by us. Using the top gear for backpacking, camping, hiking and getting outdoors is important to us so we can cover more miles on the trail and camp in comfort. We’re positive our picks won’t leave even the most hardcore backpackers disappointed. Any of these gifts for backpackers is sure to put a smile on the outdoor lover in your life’s face and leave them daydreaming of their next trail trip.
Hiking Gift Ideas
Every outdoor enthusiast planning to hit the trail needs a good backpack, making this one of the best gifts for campers and hikers. The Osprey Atmos 65 is a great fitting pack that will make you forget it’s even back there.
Like most Osprey packs, it features a contoured back mesh panel to keep you cool and an internal hydration pocket. The dual zippered side pockets are perfect for carrying a phone or a few energy bars to snack on on the go. The Atmos 65 is the perfect backpack to hike in comfort, whether it be an overnight camping trip or week long backpacking trip.
WEIGHT: 4 lbs 9 oz
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 is the gold standard of lightweight backpacking tents. MSR has been making the Hubba Hubba for over a decade and the NX 2 is just the latest refinement in a series of great tents. With room for two people and a free standing design it can handle whatever nature can throw at it.
I spent a few nights in the Grand Canyon sharing this tent with my dad. Even with nightly temperatures below freezing and a few windy rainstorms, we managed to stay warm and dry in it.
Weighing in at under four pounds and folding down small, the MSR Hubba Hubba is definitely one of the best 2 person tents for camping.
WEIGHT: 3 lbs 13 oz
A relative newcomer to the outdoor retail market is Paria Outdoor Products. But they have made quite a splash by offering good quality, low cost hiking gear. The Thermodown 15 Degree Down Sleeping Quilt is no exception to that.
One of my biggest problems backpacking has always been sleeping comfortably. I’m a stomach sleeper and tend to toss and turn throughout the night, so a tradition mummy shaped sleeping bag never worked for me.
The Thermodown Sleeping Quilt fixed this problem for me. You get the best of both worlds: the warmth of a 700 fill down sleeping bag, but the comfort of a quilt and having room to stretch out.
WEIGHT: 2 lbs 3 oz
No matter how good your sleeping bag is, or sleeping quilt like I recommend is, you need to pair it with a quality sleeping pad. The Paria Outdoor Products Recharge UL has 2.5 inches of padding and an R-Value of 3.5. It will keep you warm and comfortable. It also packs down to the size of an Nalgene bottle at only 7 x 4 inches.
WEIGHT: 20 oz
I’ve never been fond of sleeping against a plastic feeling sleeping pad. Once I discovered how much of a difference sliding into a sleeping bag liner makes, I was shocked. The Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor is said to add up to 14 degrees in heat, but I prefer it just to make me feel like I’m at home covered with a comfortable sheet.
If its warm outside, I just slide the Thermolite Reactor over my sleeping pad so it’s almost like a fitted sheet. Give it a shot. You definitely won’t be disappointed.
WEIGHT: 8 oz
One item I never hike or backpack without is a headlamp. You never know when you’re day hike may run late or your car gets a flat at night and you need to change a tire. A headlamp makes a great stocking stuffer and is one of the gifts for hikers and climbers that you just can’t go wrong with.
I’ve had my Black Diamond Spot Headlamp for years and used it everywhere from Afghanistan to Iceland, and it keeps on going. With 300 lumens of lighting power on max mode it brightens up any trail or obstacle you face. Powered by three AAA batteries it will last up to 180 hours of use.
It’s loaded with features like a red L.E.D. for night hikes, a memory to retain your last setting on you next power up, and a safety lock feature to prevent accidental use when you bump it in your pack. The Spot really is the perfect do-all headlamp.
WEIGHT: 3 oz
The Garmin inReach Explorer+ combines the functions of both a GPS and a Emergency Satellite Messenger. One of the best gadgets for hikers out there, it enables you to use the unit as a regular GPS and load maps, and mark waypoints and tracks. But even more importantly, it can also be used to send emergency SOS messages. Before the Garmin inReach Explorer+ you would’ve need multiple devices in order to do all this.
Another great feature of the Garmin inReach Explorer+ is that you’re able to send text messages to friends and family along the way, even when you may be far removed from cell phone coverage. A feature my family enjoys is they can follow along on the status of my trip online to see exactly where I’m at. With month-to-month plans or a yearly subscription, Garmin has made peace of mind affordable.
MONTHLY PLAN: $14.95 (basic SOS)
WEIGHT: 7.5 oz
The MSR Pocket Rocket ultralight stove kit is the perfect all-in-one stove kit. It combines the simple and easy to use Pocket Rocket stove with a cook-set for two people.
My favorite feature of their new kit is that everything nestles down perfectly so you fit two bowls, two insulated mugs, sporks, and the stove itself all in one 6 inch pot. It even has a built-in strainer designed into the lid so you drain your pasta or rice.
It does weigh in at 25 ounces for the whole kit, but once I weighed all my individual items that were fulfilling these needs, I came in close to that. But all of it was not nearly as convenient and compact a package at the stove kit.
WEIGHT: 25 oz
I spent much of my time camping in the American Southwest, and finding a good water source was always an issue. In five years of heavy use the MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter never left me stranded. It’s one of the most practical gifts for camping lovers.
The best part of the Mini Works is that it is field maintainable. With just a quick unscrew and small scrub pad you can clean the ceramic cartridge and get it pumping as good as new.
This was particularly useful when backpacking in Grand Canyon National Park and filtering water daily out of the Colorado River, which is usually muddy and very sediment filled. I can’t tell you how many times I got down to the river and had friends who’s filters failed, but my MSR Mini Works kept going. The only downfall with most filters is once the temperatures get below freezing, they become nearly unusable. For this I’d consider switching to a purifier like the SteriPen.
WEIGHT: 16 oz
I used to see people hiking with trekking poles and thought I would never be one of them. Then I used them and haven’t put them down since.
I have hiked thousands of miles using trekking poles and Leki poles always have lasted the longest for me. I’m currently using the Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-tec Trekking Poles.
My favorite feature about them is that the can be quickly disassembled down to 15 inches. This lets me pack them up and strap them to my pack for climbs and break them out again for the hike back. They are also the best trekking poles for packing in my luggage, so I can still bring my favorite gear with me instead of renting some once I get to my hiking destination.
WEIGHT: 18 oz (pair)
Hiking Gift Ideas Under $25
One of the best gifts for hikes under $25 is the Light My Fire Titanium Spork is perfect solution to cutting ounces and replaces the need for a fork, knife and spoon. The polished ends leave no metallic taste and the textured middle section allows you to easily grip it.
WEIGHT: .7 oz
One of the best camping gift ideas for couples is a portable reusable foldable wine bag. The average wine bottle weighs 14 ounces itself, bringing the total weight of a bottle of wine to 2.75 pounds. These reusable wine bags are perfect for saving weight on a hike where you might want to add a little romance at the end of the day.
You can even take it places like parks that don’t allow glass. It also comes with a collapsible funnel to make pouring easy your bottle of wine in to the bag easy.
MSRP: $11 (4-pack)
WEIGHT: 3 oz
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