Best Gifts For Hikers: 32 Top Ideas

Looking for a special gift for the hiker in your life? Our guide to the best gifts for hikers has it all, from the cool and quirky right through to practical gifts that will show your hiker exactly how much you care.

Written by: | Reviewed by: Kieran James Cunningham
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Whether it is the holiday season or another birthday coming up, it’s never too early to start thinking about gifts for your outdoors-loving friends and family.

Over the years, all of us at My Open Country have been gifted all sorts of lovely and quirky but, alas, otherwise unsuitable or altogether useless presents. (But thanks for the fingerless faux-fur mitts anyway, Aunty Betty!)

To help ensure your gifts are great ones and earn you “friend/colleague/family member-of-the-year” status, rather than Aunt Betty status, we’re here to help. 

In this article, you’ll find a list of great gifts for friends who hike. From more practical items to cool hiking gadgets, our guide to holiday-season hiking gifts has it all.

Clothing: Wearable Hiking Gifts For Outdoorsy Women And Men

1. Darn Tough Merino Wool Boot Sock Full Cushion

When it comes to hiking, backpacking, and camping outdoors, comfort ranks high on the list of top priorities among all hiking enthusiasts. And the part of our anatomy that needs just a little more comfort than most other parts is our feet…

These merino wool socks by Darn Tough offer comfort in spades. They’re light, soft on the skin, breathable, and feature high-density cushioning throughout the sole. All of these attributes also make them perfect for any kind of weather and as suitable for hikers taking on the Appalachian Trail as they are for hikers who only head to the hills once in a while.

All in all, one of the safest gifts for a hiker, backpacker, or camper out there.

2. Arc’teryx Zeta SL Jacket (Men & Women)

Mountain weather is famous for refusing to play ball and honor our wishes or expectations. One minute, it’s dry, the next minute we’re wondering if a kayak might be a more suitable means of transportation than our pins. 

Given this unpredictability, a worthy, well-made rain jacket is a piece of gear every hiker should carry. 

In short, the Arc’teryx Zeta SL Jacket is one of the worthiest and well-made rain jackets we’ve ever had the pleasure of pulling over our rain-threatened shoulders. 

This jacket is made with superbly lightweight materials and uses a “bombproof” Gore-Tex membrane that’s designed to keep you dry in even the wildest weather. Even if your favorite hiker friend already has a rain jacket, this one’s almost sure to represent a substantial upgrade. Available in both men’s and women’s models.

3. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Down Jacket

Whether the hiker in your life is a cold-weather adventurer/adventuress or simply needs a little extra insulation for early starts or late afternoons on the trail, a good down jacket is an essential piece of gear. 

The perfect down jacket? While this ultimately comes down to personal choice, we’re huge fans of the MH Ghost Whisperer 2. This is the most versatile jacket we’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing and is ideal for everything from cool days at the crag to summit missions, ice climbing, and general hiking.

The Ghost Whisperer 2 is made with 800-fill, RDS-certified, fluorine-free goose down. It’s also sustainably made, using recycled face and trim fabrics, and bluesign® approved.

All in all, the perfect gift for all-year adventurers. Available in both men’s (Amazon / Campsaver) and women’s (Amazon / R.E.I. / Campsaver) models.

4. Salomon Quest 4 GTX Hiking Boots

A good pair of hiking boots is, in our opinion, the ultimate hiking gift. By giving your hiker a pair of boots you will, in a way, be with them on many happy adventures to come and, in a way, sponsoring all the experiences they enjoy while wearing them.

There are myriad good hiking boots out there, so choosing just one pair is a tricky business. The right pair for your hiker will also, of course, depend on where and when they do their hiking (for more on this see our guide to the Best Hiking Boots). 

If forced to choose one boot based on having the broadest appeal and application, however, we’d have to plump for the Salomon Quest 4 GTX. These boots are the most comfortable we’ve ever worn, waterproof, lightweight, highly supportive, and offer great traction on muddy hiking trails.

Available in both men’s and women’s models.

5. Ray-Ban Unisex-Adult New Wayfarer Sunglasses

These super-stylish, timeless sunglasses will help add a little style to your hiker’s outdoor wardrobe. 

Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses combine fashion and function in the most iconic way, making them suitable for use both on and off the trail.

They boast polarized lenses that absorb 85% of visible light and allow the wearer to see through glare. They also provide outstanding color contrast, use green lenses to enhance clarity of vision, and significantly reduce reflections and eye strain. 

In short: one of the best hiking gifts you could buy any hiking guy or gal who likes to look good on the trail.

6. Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hiking Pants 

With the feet and upper body taken care of, it’s now time to take care of those pins. 

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi are a well-rounded pair of pants that excel in every metric. They’re lightweight, highly mobile, practical, and as comfortable as they come. They’re also breathable enough for summer hiking but offer enough weather protection for shoulder season outdoor adventure and even winter hiking.

Available in both men’s (Amazon / R.E.I. / Campsaver) and women’s (Amazon / R.E.I.) models.

Gift Ideas For Hikers That Show You Care

7. Adventure Medical Kits UltraLight And Watertight

Every outdoor enthusiast knows that accidents often happen on the trail. Even if you’re car camping or planning a one-day backpacking hike in an area you know well, therefore, a good first aid kit should be the first thing that goes into your pack. 

This product from Adventure Medical is just that kinda kit! It’s incredibly lightweight, waterproof, has everything you need to treat the most common hiking injuries and ailments, and is one of the most “can’t-go-wrong” hiking gifts for her or him out there. 

The kit includes everything even the most accident-prone hikers could possibly need for trips under one week in duration, including medication, straps, bandages, gauze, dressings, and tinctures.

8. Ursack Major Bear Bag

Sharing, they say, is caring. But for most of us, we have to draw a line when it comes to the idea of sharing our hard-earned trail grub with opportunistic bears around our campsite.

Not only is a 500-pound beast breaking into your goody bag of eats sure to scare the bejeezus out of everyone within a two-mile radius who’s not Chuck Norris or Bear Grylls, it’s also going to —horror of all horrors—deprive you of your edibles.

If you’re camping in bear country, one of the best ways to ensure your breakfast (and camping partners, neighbors, and limbs) will still be there come morning is to invest in a reliable deterrent like the Ursack Major Bear Bag.

This lightweight bag is tear-and-bear resistant, waterproof, can accommodate 5 days’ worth of food for one person, and can be paired with an odor-barrier bag to double down on safety.

9. Silva Ranger 2.0 Compass

Ask any avid hiker what they consider the most must-have item in their kit and most are likely to say their compass. As such, this is one of those gifts with which it’s very hard to go wrong. 

Even if your hiker friend already has a compass or GPS device, having a spare can never hurt, and the Silva Ranger 2.0 is just about the best “backup” your money can buy. 

Like all things Silva, this lightweight compass oozes quality in every millimeter of its construction. It also boasts a few very handy, non-standard features that allow for more dialed-in and precise navigation. These include a built-in clinometer, a 1-2-3 mirror sighting system, luminous markings for nighttime navigation, and a magnifying lens for precision map work.

10. Garmin InReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator

This one is not your typical stocking stuffer, maybe, but it’s an extremely useful safety tool that could well turn out to be a lifesaver should one of your hiker friend’s outdoor adventures take a serious turn south. 

The Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator enables 2-way text messaging and can trigger an interactive SOS to search and rescue teams in the event of an emergency. 

This GPS device also gives you access to downloadable maps and aerial imagery in color. And if you buy an additional weather package, it will provide you with detailed updates while you’re out on the trail. It might be a little on the more expensive side, but this one’s worth its weight in gold for peace of mind alone! 

In short: one of the best gifts for backpackers you could possibly buy!

11. Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Hiking Poles

A good set of trekking poles has a number of benefits. They help you keep your balance. They reduce strain and impact on your knees. They help maintain a healthy posture when carrying a heavy pack on your hike. And they’re the kinda hiking gift with which it’s very hard to go wrong! 

There are enough types of hiking poles on the market to make the mind boggle. For our money, the best of the bunch for your trail-going loved one are the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork. 

The Trail Ergo do everything you need a pair of hiking poles to do, and to a very high standard at that. They’re lightweight, ergonomic, and can be adjusted from 29″ to 55″, meaning they could feasibly be squeezed inside a day-pack when not in use. 

They also use extra-secure “double-flick” (as opposed to screw-shut) locks, moisture-wicking cork grips, and a 15-degree corrective angle for better handling on testier hiking trails.

Available in both men’s (Amazon / R.E.I. / Campsaver) and women’s (Amazon / R.E.I. / Campsaver) models.

The Big Four (Essential Hiking Gear and Camping Gear)

12. Osprey Talon or Osprey Tempest

More than almost any other piece of gear, your hiking backpack determines how comfortable your time on the trails will be. 

Choose a good one, and you’ll be able to put in many happy miles without giving your pack a second thought. Choose a middling or bad one, and you’ll spend many of those miles rubbing sore shoulders and hips, fishing endlessly for gear hidden in unknown recesses, and/or cursing your decision not to spend a little more to get a more comfortable and practical pack. 

The Osprey Talon (female version is the Tempest) is neither good, middling, or bad…it is, in a few words, frickin’ awesome. Not only is this pack super comfortable to wear, even with heavier loads, but it also boasts a wealth of dialed-in features that seriously enhance practicality and convenience. 

The Talon/Tempest is available in multiple sizes, ranging from 11 liters up to 55 liters.

13. REI Co-Op Magma 30 Sleeping Bag

If your hiker likes to spend the odd night “under the canvas”, one of the most important pieces of kit in their pack will be their sleeping bag. 

The peeps at My Open Country are fans of several sleeping bags, and we each use a different model at different times of the year, but the team is fairly unanimous in its appreciation of the REI Co-op Magma 30.

The Magma 30 is the perfect 3-season bag. It’s lightweight, packable, water-resistant, and filled with ultra-cozy, high-quality, 850-fill-power goose down. Best of all, it retails at a far fairer price than other bags that offer very similar performance.

Available in both men’s and women’s models.

14. Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

A sleeping bag alone won’t keep your camper warm when spending nights in the wild. When the underside of a sleeping bag is compressed by the sleeper’s body weight, it loses almost all of its ability to insulate. The result is conductive heat loss, which means the sleeper begins losing their body heat to the cold ground below.

The Therm-A-Rest NeoAir pad has been the trusted companion of the author of this post for around four years, and has kept him warm on many an adventure in winter, fall, spring, and even at high altitude. In addition to being warm (it has an R-value of 4.2), the XLite is also comfortable enough for long-term car camping and light enough for multi-day backpacking trips. 

Available in both men’s (Amazon / R.E.I. / Campsaver) and women’s (R.E.I. / Campsaver) models.

15. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent

The most prized piece of any outdoorsperson’s outdoor gear is their tent. Last time we checked, there were around a million tents on the market, so picking the cream of the crop is no easy task. After much trial and error, and many months of separating the wheat from the chaff, however, we found the tent that would be “the one” in our outdoor happily ever after was the Big Agnes Copper Spur.

The Copper Spur ticks every box for backpacking. It’s incredibly lightweight (3 lbs. 2 oz.), waterproof, roomier than its competitors, and impressively durable given its piddly weight.

Fun And Practical Stocking-Fillers

16. YETI Rambler 20 Oz Tumbler

If your favorite hiker is the kind who can’t get out of their sleeping bag in the morning without a warm brew, the Yeti Rambler Tumbler might just be a godsend of a gift.

Thermal mugs are kinda ten-a-penny, we know, but this one’s just a little bit better than any other we’ve tried. Its vacuum insulation keeps your tipple toasty for up to an hour after brewing. The stainless steel materials are as tough as nails. The spill-proof lid ensures none of your life-restoring morning libations end up caffeinating your feet or tent floor instead of your brain. 

What more could a coffee-loving camper ask for?

17. Petzl Actik Core Headlamp

Whether you’re out on a day hike or stomping your way through the Pacific Crest Trail, a reliable headlamp is one of those must-have items no backpack should be without. 

There are hundreds of good headlamps on the market, but our pick of the bunch is the Petzl Actik Core. This tidy little illuminator is perfect for mountaineering, hiking, backpacking, cycling, and trail running alike. 

It weighs in at just 2.5 ounces, has a max burn time of 160 hours, max power of 350 lumens, and comes with a USB-rechargeable battery. All of this makes it pretty much as powerful, practical, and portable as they come.

18. The Deuce Of Spades Backcountry Potty Trowel

For a gift that’s sure to elicit a chuckle, look no further than the Deuce of Spades Backcountry Potty Trowel!

When it comes to taking care of “business” on your hike, rudimentary tools like sticks, stones, boot heels, or even our hands are, well, a little suboptimal. This lightweight (0.6 oz.), highly portable little aluminum trowel, however, allows you to inter your turds in style and with the minimum of fuss!

Ah, and it will also come in handy for other tasks, like digging holes for tent stakes, building a fire pit, and covering your fire’s embers with dirt before you hit the hay.

One of the most practical gifts for campers and hikers alike!

19. ATUMTEK Selfie Stick Tripod

If your hiking homie is a bit of a social media fan, this ATUMTEK selfie stick tripod is likely to soon become their most dearly cherished backcountry companion. 

This USB rechargeable stick can be extended from 8.5” to 51” and weighs in at just 11.6 ounces. It is compatible with most smartphones, has reinforced legs to ensure maximum stability, and can be used as a selfie stick or tripod. It even has a detachable Bluetooth remote and offers up to 10 meters of wireless connection.

All in all, a great addition to the pack of any snap-happy hiker!

20. Cairn Hiking Subscription Box

Unable to decide on the ideal gift for your hiker friend or family member? How about letting Cairn do the deciding for you?!

Cairn’s hiking subscription boxes allow the recipient to enjoy six full-sized outdoor gear products carefully chosen by Cairn themselves. The items you may receive include garments, gear, food or energy products, gadgets, and many more useful accessories and essentials from a wide variety of big-name and up-and-coming brands. 

Subscriptions can be purchased for a month, six months, a quarter, or an entire year.

21. Katadyn Steripen Ultra UV Water Purifier

Drinking from wild water sources in the backcountry is a bit like Russian Roulette. Five times out of six we walk away Scot-free with no tummy troubles of note. That one other time, however, a true (and often literal) sh**show awaits in the form of giardia, salmonella, cryptosporidium, or other party-pooping parasites. 

The only way to ensure you avoid all of the above ailments when drinking from wild water sources is to kit yourself out with a reliable purification system like the Katadyn Steripen.

This water purifier fits in the palm of your hand but can nevertheless treat up to 50 liters of water in a single charge. It effectively rids your H20 of any water-borne nasties through the use of ultraviolet light rays that safely destroy 99.99% of protozoa, bacteria, and even viruses.

Bottom line, a gift for hikers who tend to travel far and wide don’t get much greater than this!

22. 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles Book Series

The “60 Hikes within 60 Miles” is the ideal gift for hikers who live in any of the major cities around the US. As the name suggests, these guides provide trip inspiration and itineraries for a whopping 60 trails within short driving distance of major metropolitan hubs, including San Diego, Houston, San Francisco, NYC, Richmond, Portland, and many more…

Filled with trail maps, trail descriptions, pictures, and plenty of off-the-beaten-track outings you might never have heard of before, this is a gift that continues giving long after it’s been opened!

All in all, a great stocking stuffer for avid hikers!

23. REI Gift Card

Few things say “I love you” to that special hiker in your life like an REI gift card! Not only does this allow them to choose the perfect gift for themselves, but it also saves you all those hours of trawling the net for gear items they don’t have or, worse, will still be sitting on a shelf come holiday season next year!

REI gift cards can be used at REI stores nationwide, online, or over the phone. What’s more, they don’t have an expiration date, can be customized, and are available in varying amounts. You can also send the card via email or order it by mail and give it to the recipient personally.

24. National Park Pass

An amazing gift idea for those who love to explore is REI’s “America the Beautiful Pass” which grants you access to more than 2,000 recreation sites across the United States, including all national parks.

The REI national park pass is valid for an entire year from the month of purchase, covers entrance for a driver and all passengers at per-vehicle fee areas, and is also honored at all sites managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers.

As an added bonus, REI also donates 10% of sale proceeds to the National Park Foundation.

25. Hyperlite Stuff Sack Pillows

The best bits of hiking and backpacking kit are usually those that can be used in multiple ways, as is the case with the hugely versatile and practical Stuff Sack Pillows by Hyperlite.

During the day, you can use these sacks to store clothes, water bottles, food, your sleeping bag, or anything else you want to keep separate from the rest of your hiking gear. 

At night, though, is when the magic really happens. Simply pop a sweater inside and this featherweight bag instantly transforms into a pillow that’s almost every bit as comfy and cozy as the one you use at home!

These pillows weigh in at a mere 1.16 oz and use a reversible design with a super-soft Polartec 100-weight fleece lining. They’re also water-resistant, have fully taped seams, and take up no more room in your pack than a large box of matches!

26. Anker PowerCore

These days, hikers are carrying more battery-operated devices into the wilds than ever before. 

But what if those devices run out of juice? Not only would we run the risk of being unable to upload those oh-so-important Instagram updates, it could also land us in a bit of a pickle in the event of an emergency or if we haven’t backed up our digital navigation tool with a map and compass. 

All of these potential problems can be easily avoided by carrying your own power source. And when it comes to portable power sources, few brands’ offerings perform quite so well as Anker’s PowerCore II

This power bank provides 10,000 mAh of juice through lightning, micro USB, and USB type C connectors. It’s compatible with the majority of smartphones available on the market, can charge an iPhone 8 3.5 times on a single charge, weighs just 6.9 ounces, and measures a tiny 3.8 x 2.4 x 0.9 inches. Just don’t forget to charge it before you hit the road!

Best Gifts For Hikers Who Camp 

27. Kammok Roo Hammock

If you want to get someone a fun yet thoughtful gift, you could do a lot worse than introduce them to the wonderful world of hammock-camping, aka “hammocking”.

This multiple-purpose Kammock Roo hammock comes in a wide variety of colors. It also packs up to the size of a 1-liter water bottle, has a high max user capacity (500 lbs), and brings a whole new meaning to the term “hanging out” around the campsite!

The Roo’s fabric is lightweight, water-repellent, durable, and provides a perfect, cozy little nook to kick back in, unwind, and enjoy the views after your hike!

28. AeroPress Coffee And Espresso Maker

Some hikers and campers are just a little bit fussier than the rest—particularly when it comes to what passes the grade as a “good cup of coffee”. For some of us, if it’s brown, warm, and caffeinated, we’re good. For others, settling for anything less than what we’re used to back at home just isn’t an option.

If your hiker falls into the latter category, there’s no better way to ensure their morning brew meets with approval than kitting them out with an AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker.

This tidy little coffee maker weighs just 8 ounces and packs away into a tiny, tidy little bundle that can be easily stowed into a backpack pocket. Nevertheless, it has a 0.5-liter capacity and can make 1 to 3 cups of coffee in less than a minute, making it a great gift for those coffee-loving hikers who refuse to compromise on quality but also need their morning caffeine fix in a hurry!

29. Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System Kit

For treating larger quantities of water around camp, the hiker in your life’s going to need something with a little more oomph than the Steripen featured above.

Enter the Platypus GravityWorks! This system can filter around 1.5 liters per minute thanks to its use of hollow fiber filter technology. And because it’s a gravity-style filter, it requires no manual pumping or stirring. Just fill up the 2-liter reservoir, hang it up, and kick back while your dirty H20 filters through the system and comes out clean and safe on the other side!

This system is not only lightweight and super convenient, but also extremely effective. It removes bacteria, protozoa, and particles (including salmonella, giardia, and cryptosporidium) as small as 0.2 microns in size.

30. MSR PocketRocket 2 Ultralight Backpacking, Camping, And Travel Stove

Great gifts for hikers are usually those that make life a little easier, safer, and more convenient on the trail. This one does all three.

Over the years, the MSR PocketRocket has earned legions of fans the world over. It’s as reliable as they come, weighs in at a tiny 4.2 oz (2.6 without the case), and, as the name suggests, is one of the most compact camping stoves on the market. 

This gas-powered stove is very easy to set up and operate. It can also boil a liter of water in about 3.5 minutes and packs enough punch to cook up a small feast for one or two people in next to no time.

31. Nalge Travel Kit MD

This one might lack the glamor of other gifts on our list, granted. Nevertheless, the Nalgene Travel Kit is sure to be appreciated by any hiking enthusiast who prioritizes practicality and likes keeping the gear in their backpack as organized as possible. 

The Nalgene kit consists of a selection of high-quality travel bottles and storage jars. The bottles are BPA-free, made of lightweight plastics and metals, and are both leakproof and highly durable. 

If you’re hiking buddy is looking for a simple solution for carrying and storing liquids during their trips, the search can end here!

32. REI Co-Op Flexlite Air Chair

Here we have one of the most ideal gifts for hiking lovers who like to kick off their hiking boots at the end of a long day on the trails and unwind in comfort. 

The REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair weighs only one pound but has a healthy 250-pound weight capacity. It’s also easy to set up, takes up very little room, and uses an aluminum frame and foldable design that makes it light and portable enough to be lashed to the back of your pack on day-hikes. 

For post-hike decompression around the campfire, there are very few options that come close to being quite so practical and trail-appropriate.

The End Of The Trail – Decision Time!

Now it’s over to you! 

We’re well aware that choosing just one item from those featured in our best gifts for hikers list is no easy task. Rest assured, however, that whichever one you choose is sure to make a great addition to the hiker in your life’s kit. That said, if you’re really struggling, we’re also pretty sure that your hiker wouldn’t be too put out should you choose to buy them two!

So, did you enjoy our hiking gift guide? If so, please feel free to comment or share with your family, hiking buddies, or any other friends who might be looking to kit out their loved ones for their next outdoor adventure!

Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Brian has been an avid hiker and backpacker since he was a small kid, often being taken out into the wilderness on trips with his father. His dad knew everything about nature and the wilderness (or at least that's how it seemed to a ten year old Brian).

After high school, he went to university to read for both a BS and MS in Geology (primarily so he could spend his time outside rather than in a classroom). He's now hiked, camped, skied, backpacked or mapped on five continents (still need to bag Antarctica) & 30 of the US states.

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