We all know gifting someone who has it all can be incredibly difficult. But have you ever tried gifting a fellow adventurer? A certain full-time hiker that you probably see only once a year?
Maybe twice a year? (Bit of a stretch, I’m aware)
Gifting a hiker is no joke either. The normal rules don’t apply to them. They are either all about sleeping in early so that they wake up for their 5 am runs or plotting their next hike that includes the toughest trails with pseudo rock climbing routes.
There’s no in-between. They can be super hardcore and your normal everyday things of comfort will not appeal to them at all.
And that’s coming from me; A person traveling with a single backpack for 8 years!
I get it though. Gifting them can be incredibly difficult but not impossible. You just need to know what they really like. Now don’t start thinking that you can just gift them hiking gear from your nearest Walmart and be done with it. Last thing a hiker would want is some generic store-bought gear. If you know hikers, you would know that they are very obsessive about their gear. Quality matters a lot to them and they like stuff that will last them for years.
Or anything that is of good quality and can be remotely usable during their hikes should suffice.
Luckily for you, I’ve had my fair share of hikes and have made a lot of friends who are hikers. I’ve compiled together this guide to help you pick the best holiday gifts for your hiker friends. All the products mentioned have been gifted to a hiker buddy at one point and met with great reviews. Bid farewell to disappointed gift openings with this guide.
Best Gifts For Hikers 2024
1. LARQ Bottle PureVis
This travel water bottle is one of a kind. Not only have I gifted the LARQ PureVis, but I have extensively used it a lot in my travels as well. Now you may wonder why would one gift somebody a water bottle. Especially to a hiker? Well firstly, hydration and hikers go hand in hand. Hikers rely a lot on water and a good hydration setup is something every hiker appreciates. And this is not only limited to hikers but to all kinds of outdoors enthusiasts.
Secondly, this is not your average water bottle. The LARQ Bottle PureVis purifies water. Yep, a water bottle that purifies water on the go.
Hikers tend to come across many water sources that can sometimes not be safe to drink. Natural water sources like freshwater springs and lakes may seem perfectly fine to drink but contain many harmful bacteria. You can fill up the LARQ Bottle PureVis and the water will be purified with a touch of a button in less than 60 seconds.
Hospitals all over the world use UV Light to quickly sterilize operating rooms pre and post-surgery. The LARQ Bottle PureVis uses the same technology to break up the DNA of harmful bacteria. Pretty efficient, right? And this UV Light is fitted inside the bottle cap which can be activated manually by pushing the button on top of the cap. It automatically turns on every 2 hours as well to clean the bottle.
One doesn’t have to repeatedly wash this bottle at all. Due to the self-cleaning technology, the bottle never smells funky. This is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give to a fellow hiker. I’ve been using this water bottle for almost more than a year now and it has never let me down.
‘I f** love my Larq, my partner and I have one each to keep at our desks at work and got a third (uninsulated Movement bottle) for outings. I’m also very thrilled about not having to wash the smelly bottle smell out as often/at all and can confidently drink 3-day old water. Hella recommend’ – u/someleafbird (Reddit)
Apart from the purification, it is also a pretty efficient flask. You can store hot coffee or water in it and it will remain hot for up to 12 hours. You can even store cold water and it will remain cold for up to 24 hours.
If you are still not sold on the LARQ Bottle PureVis, you can read my full review here.
2. Nocs Provisions Waterproof Binoculars
This is a pretty fun gift for any hiker who loves nature. They can try birdwatching with this or have a great time enjoying the view from a cliff. The Nocs Provision binoculars can be pretty expensive but I vouch for the quality. The best part is how grippy they can be. It doesn’t sweat on your hands and is incredibly light too.
This was a birthday gift to a friend who used to hike a lot back in the day. She loves it and uses it to watch wildlife while lazing about in the mountains.
The Nocs Provision binoculars are designed to withstand exposure to moisture and are often sealed to protect against water damage. This makes them suitable for use in various weather conditions, including rain or near bodies of water.
3. Field Notes: Expedition 3-Pack Waterproof Notebook
A notebook is something almost every hiker who’s serious about the trails uses it. They usually jot down details about the trails they explore, including the trailhead location, key landmarks, interesting features, and any potential challenges or hazards. The Expedition 3-Pack Waterproof Notebook by Field Notes is a very rugged notebook meant to reflect the ruggedness of a hiker.
Why call it a ‘rugged notebook’ one may ask. Well firstly, the Expedition 3-Pack is not your average run-off-the-mill notebook. The cover of the notebook features a topographic map of Antarctica covered in some kind of a varnish effect that feels incredibly smooth and sturdy. Secondly, the whole book is printed on Yupo Synthetic paper, an amazing tearproof and waterproof paper extruded from polypropylene pellets in Chesapeake, Virginia.
The cherry on the icing? The entire notebook is waterproof.
4. Kodak PIXPRO WPZ2 Travel Photography Camera
It’s waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. What more can a hiker ask for? This absurdly rugged and durable camera by Kodak is tailor-made for the wilderness. The Kodak PIXPRO WPZ2 can stand up against the toughest hurdles mother nature throws at it. But it’s not just the sturdiness that makes it great. With a 4X Optical Zoom, 1080p HD Video compatibility, and 16 Megapixel BSI CMOS Sensor, you can never go wrong when you gift this to someone. No more risking your phone to shoot videos or click picks when you have the Kodak PIXPRO with you.
5. Peak Design Travel Tripod
This one here is a game changer. If you are not into photography, let me explain it in the simplest sense possible. Every vlogger, photographer, or anyone who loves clicking pics or shooting videos travels with a camera and a tripod. You obviously know what a camera is. A tripod is a three-legged tool (more like a stand) that holds the camera and keeps it steady. And it can be pretty frustrating to travel with it. They can be clunky and pretty heavy. It’s not really an enjoyable experience if you have to lug around your tripod all day.
And here we have Peak Design Travel Tripod. A total game-changer in the travel tripod market. No bulky confusing knobs to fiddle around with. Features an integrated phone mount so you can just mount your phone on it to shoot beautiful timelapses. But what makes it really special is that it’s super compact. It’s light and you can fold it up and put it inside your backpack without compromising on the height.
It may be a bit pricey. But if your hiker buddy is into documenting their hikes, this will be a great companion for their camera.
‘I have had the Peak Aluminum Travel Tripod ($349) since release. It’s been a light and sturdy tripod for everything I’ve thrown at it including some Astro. Love the innovation shown in the head. It goes everywhere I go.’ – u/shooterntx
6. Princeton Tec Snap Headlamp Kit
One of the most cleverly designed headlamps out there. One of my early memories of living in a hostel involves a particular incident where my roommate used his headlamp as a source of light during a power outage. The headlamp, which was magnetic, was switched on, and he affixed it to a pole. Ever since that incident, I started to grow a liking for magnetic headlamps and the Princeton Tec Snap Headlamp Kit is one of the best magnetic headlamps out there.
Its adaptability allows it to be worn as a traditional headlamp, used as a handheld flashlight, or conveniently attached to any magnetic surface, making it perfect for illuminating your surroundings or workspace.
It may not be something fancy but it is practical and very applicable. It’s even water resistant too. A hiker is bound to love this and use it for many years.
7. Peak Design Travel Backpack
The Peak Design Travel Backpack is one of my favorite backpacks. It has lasted me for years and I cannot recommend it enough. The Backpack is a bit pricey but superb in quality. It’s waterproof and I even found it useful in extreme winters as well. And the size is great too. Plenty of gear can be stuffed in a 45L version.
Speaking about the design, it’s bound to catch glances. The sleek black design often stands out and looks great in the backdrops of the city, snowy mountains, the woods, and a lot of other places.
You can even use this as a carry-on. The adaptability and versatile nature of this backpack are honestly one of the best features. There are no limits on how you can use this backpack. If I ever stop traveling, I can still rest easy knowing that I can use this backpack for my commute. A hiker would love this as a gift.
8. Theragun Prime Massage Gun
In all honesty, it took me quite a while to get aboard the massage gun hype train. I believed they were a fad and the buzz would die down soon. However, my perspective took a 180-degree turn recently. A friend insisted I try their Theragan Prime by Therabody after a tough workout, swearing it was a game-changer. Reluctantly, I gave it a shot, thinking it would be a brief, overhyped experience.
To my surprise, the massage gun worked wonders on my sore muscles. The Theragan Prime’s targeted vibrations and versatility in head attachments provided an unparalleled level of relief. It wasn’t just a temporary fix; it genuinely eased the tension in my muscles and improved my recovery.
The Theragun Prime got me thinking about its portability. Since it’s lighter and smaller in size compared to the other massage guns out there, I can carry it for my treks, camps, hikes, or even the gym too.
If you are not a fan of Theragun Prime, you can go through some of best massage guns out there that one could get their hands on.
9. Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
Salomon’s X Ultra 4 Mid Hiking Boots, an upgrade from the Quest Gore-Tex model, are designed for both men and women, offering excellent protection for toes and heels.This elite pair of hiking boots would make a great gift for a hiker. With a wider toe box, they fit various foot shapes from the start. The boots are made from breathable, waterproof materials and feature a flexible midfoot plate for ease of movement.
These are not just boots that look cool. They do a lot more than that. The X Ultra 4 Mid are a testament to the best quality of hiking boots out there. The 2024 version has been updated with a sleeker upper and a revised chassis, resulting in a perfect blend of comfort and low weight. They even feature added ankle support.
Whether your friend enjoys short day hikes or is a seasoned thru-hiker, these boots offer a winning combination of comfort, support, and traction, making them a thoughtful and practical gift for any hiking enthusiast.
Asking about their footwear size is a question for another day though.
10. Cotopaxi Teca Calido Jacket
This lightweight and compact puffer jacket is not only pleasing to look at but will also excel at not making your gut look bigger. We have all been there. No matter how fit you are, some of these puffer jackets tend to show your gut in the least unflattering way possible. You won’t have to worry about this with the Cotopaxi Teca Callido Jacket.
Available in both men’s and women’s variants, this jacket stows away in its own chest pocket, allowing you to easily store it in a daypack and use it when the hike gets a little too chilly. Made with polyester and filled with recycled synthetic insulation, the Teca Callido keeps your core warm and helps you regulate your body temperature. You can repeat the jacket multiple times with the reversible design and no one will have a clue.
11. Power Bank Solar Charger 42800mAh Portable Charger
When embarking on a hiking adventure, having your own power bank is essential. Picture yourself deep in the wilderness, and your smartphone suddenly runs out of battery. These are some of the problems hikers go through. One would usually take it for granted but a hiker would definitely appreciate a gift like this.
Maintaining connectivity becomes crucial, especially for hikers who rely on digital tools. Opting for a solar-powered power bank is an excellent choice. Unlike a regular power bank, this one stands out for several reasons. Firstly, its solar-powered feature ensures a continuous energy source. Secondly, its waterproof and dustproof design adds a layer of durability, which is essential for frequent hikers. Lastly, with a substantial capacity of 42800 mAh, this power bank proves to be a reliable companion for extended hiking trips, ensuring you stay connected and powered up throughout your journey.
12. Stasher Reusable Silicone Storage Bag
It is often pretty difficult to match the enthusiasm and love a hiker has for nature. And with this love, they tend to be environmentally conscious too. Gifting them the Stasher Reusable Silicon Storage Bag will not only speak volumes about your thoughtful intention but will also help garner your appreciation for considering their love for nature.
You can ditch single-use plastics forever with these reusable bags. They can be easily washed and the food inside is always fresh due to the pinch lock mechanism. It’s dishwasher safe too.
Hiking Gear Guide
This is one of the most important and basic essentials every hiker has. A navigation tool. It may come in the form of a topographic map, a compass, a GPS device, or an Altimeter watch. All of them serve different purposes and are pretty useful for navigation.
Compass for Navigation: SUUNTO MC-2 Compass
- Equipped with a sighting mirror which can be used to flash sunlight to a helicopter in case of an emergency.
- Designed for precise directional measurement and has been balanced for global use with Metric UTM scales and an inch ruler
- Operable in low-light conditions
GPS Device for Navigation: Garmin Etrex 22x
- Sunlight-readable color display
- Preloaded with Topo Active maps with routable roads and trails for cycling and hiking
- Support for GPS and GLONASS satellite systems
Altimeter Watch for Navigation: Suunto Core
- Versatile watch great for running, swimming, cycling, gym workouts, hiking, and other outdoor sports.
- Packed with intelligent features like a Storm Alarm, Altimeter, Barometer, and compass to keep you informed of conditions while you hike, bike, or camp
Note: A modern-day smartphone may have all these navigational features but they can be incredibly fragile. It’s wise to use these tools instead because they have been manufactured for the sole purpose of outdoor use. Hence, these tools are not only durable but can also withstand harsh weather conditions.
2. Light Source
A light source is one of the most sought-after things by hikers. Finding your way through tough terrain in the wilderness at night without a light source can be a nightmare. While you may think a torch would be pretty useful, most hikers think otherwise. Handling a torch can be difficult while traversing up a hill or a tricky path. Headlamps tend to be convenient in this regard. Once you wear them, your hands will remain free for all kinds of tasks like carrying trekking poles, photography, or cooking campsite meals.
Headlamp as a Light Source: Coast® XPH34R 2075 Lumen
- Alternate between the two beams for long and short-range viewing
- Detachable with magnetic tail allowing you to stick to a pole or any metal surface and act as a potable bulb
- Backed by the COAST lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship
Torch as a Light Source: Coast XP11R Rechargeable Dual Power LED Flashlight
- Alternate between Ultra View Flood Beam (wide) and BULLS-EYE Spot Beam (narrow)
- Rechargeable battery
- Backed by the COAST lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship
Note: The gear you choose has to be of great quality. The last thing a hiker would want is their gear breaking down right in the middle of a trail. The gear I mentioned is great for hikes. However if you wish to choose any other variant of headlamp or a flashlight, make sure that they are sturdy and dustproof/waterproof. Also when it comes to flashlight, make sure it’s not too heavy.
3. Sun Protection
A hiker knows how harsh the sun gets during daytime and always take adequate measures for sun protection. There have been times where i took the sun for granted and had some severe sun burn. Long exposure can even lead to blindness or eye pain in some cases and can even result in premature skin aging, skin cancer and cataracts in the long term.
Sunglasses for Sun Protection: KastKing Huzzah Polarized Sport Sunglasses
- Oleophobic lens coating repels saltwater, oil, and chemicals
- Polarised lens to reduce sun glare
- Anti-fingerprint surface that is impervious to dirt, dust, oils, and other particles
Sunscreen for Sun Protection: Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
- Dermatologist approved
- Limits your exposure to harmful UV Rays
- A formula that blocks both UVA and UVB rays
Note: When it comes to sunglasses, most if not all block UV rays. Same thing with sunscreen. However, the sunscreen you choose should be dermatologist approved and a minimum of 30 SPF.
4. First Aid
An efficient first aid kit is a must-have during a hike. While pre-packaged kits eliminate the need to assemble one from scratch, many individuals customize these kits to meet their specific requirements. A well-rounded kit ought to encompass remedies for blisters, assorted sizes of adhesive bandages, multiple gauze pads, adhesive tape, disinfecting ointment, over-the-counter pain medication, as well as a pen and paper.
First Aid Kit: AMK Mountain Series Explorer Medical Kit
- Includes: A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine by Eric A. Weiss, M.D.
- Supplies are organized in injury-specific pockets to eliminate guesswork
- Semi-transparent secure pocket
It’s surprising how handy a knife could be. Be it gear repair, first aid, food preparation or even cutting up twigs for a small bonfire, a knife can handle it all.
Knife: Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife
- Compact and light
- Swiss made pocket knife with 15 functions
- Large blade, small blade, can opener, screwdriver 3 mm, bottle opener, screwdriver 6 mm, wire stripper, reamer/punch and sewing awl, corkscrew, scissors, wood saw, multipurpose hook, toothpick, tweezers, key ring
Note: You can choose any kind of knife but I would recommend the Swiss Army only. Not only are they versatile but they also hold up to the highest standards of quality. Any one of their blades will come through and your friend will absolutely love this gift. You can check out my guide on the Best Swiss Army Knife.
Being able to spark a fire in the wild is one of the most fundamental skills every adventurer needs to know. To start and maintain a fire, your supplies need to be reliable. While a lighter works wonders, some prefer a matchbook. However, the matchbooks won’t be of any help if they are not waterproof. Hence you need to make sure that the stuff you buy to ignite a fire has to be good quality and reliable.
Matches for Fire: UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case
- Includes 25 windproof and waterproof matches, 3 strikers and a match case that can hold up to 40 matches
- Each match will burn up to 15 seconds and will relight after being submerged in water
- Waterproof, durable ABS plastic case floats and keeps contents dry and protected
Lighter for Fire: Zippo Windproof Lighter
- Single Torch
- Adjustable blue flame
- Heats up to 2,300°F/ 1,260°C
- Refillable with butane fuel
- Fits all Classic Zippo lighter cases
Firestarter for Fire: Zippo Tinder Shreds
- Natural shredded pine tinder
- Burns up to 8 minutes
- Water-Resistant paraffin wax coating
- Ignites with spark or flame
- Resealable package
- Emergency Shelter
It’s essential to have an emergency shelter on hand to shield yourself from wind and rain should you become stranded or injured while hiking. While a large garbage may suffice as a makeshift shift emergency shelter, I would advise against it. It’s much better if you just go for an emergency space blanket or an ultralight tarp. Its compact and barely weighs much.
Bivvy for Emergency Shelter: Reflective Escape Bivvy
- Bivvy design prevents condensation inside
- Highly durable, water-resistant fabric with zippered access and drawstring hood to keep out the elements and keep you dry
- Made from quiet, tear-resistant material that won’t shred to pieces
Emergency Blanket for Emergency Shelter: SPACE Brand Emergency Blanket
- Reflects and retains over 80% of radiated body heat, providing warmth, comfort and protection for the wearer
- Full body coverage and can be used inside a sleeping bag, over a sleeping bag, or by itself in a true emergency situation
- Folds down to 4″ x 2″ x 2″ and stows easily in an emergency kit
If you are not sure about the products I mentioned above, you can refer to this guide on picking out the best gift for a hiker. In this guide, I focus on the most basic and fundamental supplies a hiker needs on his journey. Hikers will most likely cover their bases well and are usually stocked up on these essentials. However, they will equally be more happy if you gift them extra supplies. Whether your friend is a beginner or a veteran, they are bound to love the gift you pick for them.
Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API