12 Must-Have, Budget-Friendly Gifts for Hikers in 2018
So you’ve got a hiker in on your gift list this year, but you have no clue what to get them. It’s okay, we are a picky bunch and gear is complicated. Or perhaps, you’re looking for that perfect little something to treat yourself (treat yo’slef). Either way, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. This year I’m laying out all of the best, must-have gifts for hikers on your list, regardless of your budget.
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Stocking Stuffer Gifts for Hikers for Under $25
These trinkets are great both on and off the trail. Each of these small gifts fits in a stocking, perfect for hiking gifts for both him or her.
On the list again this year is the Buff. It’s simply a brilliant invention. It’s a neck gaiter, headband, hat, pillow, sweat rag, you name it! I’ve tried other knock-off brands and they just aren’t the same, so certainly stick with the buff brand. I don’t go on any adventures, warm or cold, without my Buff. It protects against the wind, dries quick, and blocks UV rays. With so many different colors and designs, it’s a great gift that adds a personal touch of style to any hiker’s wardrobe. Cost: $15-$20
Us adventurer’s love nothing more than to curl up with a good book. Of course, we eat, sleep and breath adventure so naturally, our reads are suited to match. Lucky for you, I’ve assembled a comprehensive list of adventure reads that are perfect for any type of adventurer. Cost: $9-$20
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National Geographic Maps
Know someone who is planning the ultimate National Park trip? Give the gift of navigation this season with a map that won’t run out of batteries. I never head into the Gore Range without my National Geographic map of the region. These maps are durable and water resistant so they can take a beating on the trail. Cost: $9-$15
Natives Outdoor Technical Trucker Hat
When you recreate on public lands, you’re actually walking on sacred ground. It turns out, that we weren’t too kind to the first people of this land, and when we created national parks, we forcibly removed native peoples from their homelands. Give back by purchasing a snazzy hat from NativesOutdoors. 2% of all the proceeds go towards native non-profits that work in outdoor recreation, language, environmental issues and cultural revitalization of native peoples. The hat doesn’t just give back, but it performs well. You won’t find me outside without mine.
You read that right, socks. Hikers and backpackers may be the only group of people who get amped on socks during the holidays. For duty hiking trips, multi-day epics, and cold weather travel I swear by Smartwool’s Medium or Heavy Hiker Crews. When I’m sporting my approach shoes, I wear my Darn Tough Quarter Cushions. After wearing these socks for multiple days while trekking in the jungles of South East Asia, they didn’t stink. Cost: $16-$24
Moderately Priced Super Sweet Gift Ideas for Hikers Between $25-$100
Got a little bit of extra money to spend this holiday season? Check out these moderately priced gifts for hikers. This year, I’m including both men’s and women’s apparel.
PrAna Stretch Zion Pant for him and her
I’m sad to report that my favorite hiking pant, the PrAna Sage, is no longer available. However, if you’re looking for a pant that will perform on the trail and in the city, check out the PrAna Briann pant ($79). I practically live in mine. Dress them up for the city or hit the trail. The Stretch Zion technology allows for plenty of movement (I rock climb in them regularly) making them ideal for active lifestyles. The skinny look not your thing? Then invest in a pair of Halle pants (also comes in plus sizes). For men, the PrAna Stretch Zions can go with you anywhere.
LifeStraw Go Filter Bottle
But water bottles are cheesy gifts that you get at conferences? Think again! The LifeStraw Go Filter bottle ($44) both stores and filters your water. Perfect for the ultra-light hiker or hiker-plus-adventure-traveler. Simply fill, sip and go! This bottle will filter the nastiest of water (seriously, I demoed it in a sludge pond and was giardia free. It comes in several different colors to suit your needs and it’s 2-stage filtration takes away any funky taste. I bring mine with me when I travel or if I’m backpacking.
REI Flash 18
Thie REI Flash 18 is still a staple. This little pack does it all (don’t believe me, check out my review), from multi-pitches to a casual hike. It packs down small so you can transport it wherever the trail may take you. Starting at $38 this pack is truly a steal. The REI Flash also makes a great travel companion. Added bonus? It comes in all kinds of cool patterns and designs! Bam it up a notch with the 22L version which has some added space and a few handy bells and whistles Cost: $38 – $54.
All-Out-Spendy Hiking Gifts for $100 and up
Looking to splurge a little this holiday season? These are all gifts that I personally own and can vouch for. Although the price tag is a bit higher, they are worthy investments, which is why I only have a few.
ACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon
I don’t go on any adventure without this PLB. Its upfront cost may be a bit more than say, the SPOT, but it doesn’t require a yearly subscription. Also, unlike SPOT, it is directly hooked up to search and rescue channels instead of going through a third party. I literally call it my oh-shit button. If something goes wrong, you push the button, that simple. The NOAA registration is good for two years, then you simply re-register. It floats, it’s waterproof, and it’s tiny. If there is an emergency and you have to use it, ACR replaces it for free. Cost: $248
Osprey Aura 65L
I finally retired my old lady Jansport pack and picked up the Osprey Aura 65L. I’m obsessed. Osprey makes the most comfortable pack out there. I hauled over 40lbs in my Aura 65L on my trip up the Grand Teton. There are a lot of features on this pack, making it an ideal pack for the hiker who has a lot of extra hobbies, like winter backcountry hut trips, couloir climbing, and backpacking. Cost: Usually $260. But it’s ON SALE for $179. That’s a serious deal.
Patagonia Nano Air Hoody
We all know if there is one piece of gear I could haul around with me forever it would be my Nano Air Hoody. It is an incredible layer. She works tirelessly to regulate my body temperature on the trail. I’ll wear my Nano Air around the campfire or on top of a blustery mountain. Check out the men’s version here: Cost: $150-$300 depending on the color you want.
Danner makes ah-mazing footwear that transitions beautifully from the trail to the town. Their styles work well with urban wear, while their performance is the ideal choice for the moderate hiker. I wouldn’t recommend these as a gift to the hiker on your list if they primarily climb mountains. However, these boots can hold a snowshoe, microspikes and are well suited for snowy trails. They are durable and I’ve used them everywhere from the town to the desert. I actually own two pairs of Danners I love them so much. Since every foot is like a snowflake, I don’t recommend a single style, but with the perfect fit there should be no break-in period. Cost: $150 and up.
Now you’re all set to give the perfect gift for the hiker on your list this holiday season. With a wide variety of gear to choose from, you can’t go wrong with this ultimate gift list for hikers in 2018.
Not what you’re looking for? I’ve got more gift ideas and gear suggestions below:
- Give experiences, not things
- The ultimate list of must-have camping accessories (Nov, 2018)
- Your complete guide to backpacking gear
- Amazing climbing gear for beginners (Oct 2018)
- Hiking clothes for women on any budget