Wondering about what to get the hiker on your list this year? Fear not, as a (literal) professional hiker and gear expert, I’ve got a comprehensive lineup of the best hiking gifts of the season.
Give that outdoor lover the good stuff with these unique hiking gifts that any avid outdoorsy person would love. These are gifts that keep on giving.
As a professional gear writer, I’ve got the inside scoop on the hottest hiking gear this season. Each of these products have been rigorously tested by yours truly. The result is professional, honest advice about what to get the hiker on your list.
This year, I’m doing something a little different. I’m giving 5% of my affiliate earnings this holiday season back to outdoor organizations. Purchase a kick-ass gift, and give the gift of the outdoors to others.
Each of these programs is designed to give under-represented groups of humans the gift of getting outside with confidence. This year I’m supporting: Big City Mountaineers, Venture Out Project, and First Nations.
About this Guide to the Best Hiking Gifts
Okay so there are a ton of amazing hiking gift recommendations to share with you. I’ve decided to organize this hiking gift guide by price point to create a seamless shopping experience. Here’s what you’ll find:
- Budget-friendly hiking gifts for under $25
- Amazing hiking essentials for under $50
- The best hiking gifts for under $100
- Luxury hiking gifts for over $100
- Additional gift guides for any kind of outdoor adventurer
Amazing Budget-Friendly Hiking Gifts for Under $25
These awesome budget-friendly hiking gifts will put a smile on any outdoor adventurer’s face this season. Each of these gifts are simply perfect either on their own or as a stocking stuffer.
Buff Headbands have been around for a long time. These multi-use, durable (and nifty) headbands serve as scarves, stuff sacks, hats, headbands, even backcountry camping pillows. Oh and bonus points in 2020 for being a face covering.
I use mine for everything from casual day hikes to enduring alpine expeditions and even international travel. They come in a variety of colors and styles, so choose one that’s got a personal touch.
Sea to Summit Dry Sack
Sea to Summit makes a lot of really cool gear and their dry sacks are a must-have for any hiker that deals with wet weather. They come in a variety of sizes of varying costs, but most are under $25. What I love about these dry sacks is they are durable and lightweight. Carry your wallet, camera, and phone worry-free in the 8L or use the 13L for a little more capacity.
MSRP: $25 for the 13L
You can’t go anywhere outdoors without a headlamp. In fact, this essential piece of gear is a must-have for any adventure. the Tikkina Headlamp is cost-effective and works well in a variety of conditions. The best part? You’ll never have to buy batteries again with their hybrid battery or rechargeable tech.
After a long day on the trail, re-hydration is an absolute must. Nuun is the number one product to get it done. I always carry a Nuun hydration solution in my car after a long-mile day. The wide variety of flavors cater to every taste and some flavors even have caffeine (an added boost if you’ve got a long drive after your hike).
MSRP: $7 per tube or $24 for a variety pack
Nikwax Down Cleaner and Waterproofing
Nikwax sets the bar for cleaning your hiking gear. Their must-have lineup of Nikwax Downwash Direct washes and protects precious down items. Literally giving hiking clothes extra years, every hiker has to have the Nikwax downwash and down-proof products.
MSRP: $11 per bottle
Justin’s Nut Butter Packets
Hikers are all about quick calories. Yes, these items are literal lifesavers and we look at things such as Justin’s Nut Butter Packets as precious gifts. (Who says hikers are hard to shop for?) Pick up a pack of ten for $12 and make the hiker on your list happy.
MSRP: $10 to $12 depending on the flavor
Hiking Books They Will Love
Okay, so I have a complete list of amazing outdoor adventure books that any avid hiker would absolutely fall in love with. Almost all the books on the list are under $25. However, if you need quick suggestions, here are a few handy classics:
- Annapurna: A Woman’s Place by Arlene Blum
- Stories from the Dirt by John Long
- A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Darn Tough Socks
Remember when you were a kid and you excitedly unwrapped a gift, only to find it was socks? Well, hikers are the special kind of person who gets really excited to be gifted socks. Darn Tough sets the bar for the best hiking sock, making a few pairs of these some of the best hiking gifts money can buy.
There are a wide variety to choose from but the quarter (wears approach or hiking shoes), crew (wears boots), or over-the-calf (trail runners) are all under $25.
MSRP: Varies, but generally between $18 and $25
Hiking First Aid Kit
First aid kits are an absolute hiking essential and the Adventure Medical Kits make an excellent ultralight, water-tight medical kit for under $25. One of the most practical hiking gifts on the market, these are must-haves for any hiker.
Say hello to the plastic-free way to store your trail snacks. The Stasher Bags are the one-stop solution to zip locks. They are one of the lightest plastic-free options out there. The snack and sandwich sizes are perfect for any trailside noshing. And, since both can be purchased for under $25, they make an excellent budget-friendly hiking gift.
Pro Tip: I use my Stasher Bags for everything, including just around this house. This makes for one versatile gift.
MSRP: $10 for the snack size $12 for the sandwich
If you get your period in the outdoors, you’ll want to invest in a menstrual cup. Don’t be shy now, the Pixie Cup makes for an awesome gift for people with periods. It’s easy to use and waste-free, making it the best option for hiking with your period.
Rawlogy Cork Ball
Rawlogy makes these amazing cork massage balls that put your post-hike muscle soreness at ease. The 4″ ball is absolutely perfect for post hike bliss, while the smaller 2.5″ ball weighs literally nothing and makes for one of the best hiking gifts for the traveling hiker.
MSRP: Medium $17, Big $19 or get the set for $25
Shopping for hiking gifts is a breeze with items like Tenacious Tape. Seriously, we don’t need much, but we will literally cry if we tear even the tiniest hole in our coveted puffy. Tenacious Tape by Gear Aid keeps gear lasting longer and makes field repairs super simple. Every hiker needs some Tenacious Tape in their hiking bag.
MSRP: $3 to $10 depending on the amount and type
Squat to pee? Kula Cloth can handle the job. As one of the most unique hiking gifts for those that pop a squat, this anti-microbial technical pee cloth takes the TP out of the situation. Simply wipe and hang to dry. The fabric keeps bacteria at bay and no one has to carry around toilet paper. They also come in a variety of fun designs to choose from.
MSRP: $22 to $24
Box of Toe Warmers
If you’ve got a cold-weather hiker on your list, consider getting a box of toe warmers. Why toe warmers? Because the sticky side of them means you can stick these suckers anywhere for a quick warm-up. Yet another simple hiking gift.
Luci Light Solar Lantern
Luci Lights might just be one of the best unique gifts for hikers. These inflatable, solar-powered lights come in handy on the trail or at camp. Simply clip to your bag and charge on the go. If you’ve got an extra $10 to spare, you can even get one with a charging port.
MSRP: $25 for just the solar light, $40 for included solar charger.
Mophie Stick Portable Charger
There are a lot of gimmicks when it comes to portable battery banks. Fear not, I’ve tested tons of them. When you’re hiking you want a compact, lightweight power stick that works without fail. Behold the Mophie Boost Mini. It’ll charge your devices twice and is about the size of two lighters stuck together.
SOL Emergency Bivvy
For years I’ve ranted and raved about the SOL Emergency Bivy. It’s a literal life-saver and makes for a practical hiking gift for anyone. Simply put it in your bag and use it in case of an emergency. It’s essentially a space blanket with a zipper to keep you safe in an emergency.
The Freshette Pee Funnel
Free your pee without dropping your pants with the revolutionary Freshette pee funnel. Using a pee funnel is surprisingly easy and it’s a total game-changer for anyone who squats to pee. Confession: I actually got one of these as a hiking gift one year, and it was hands-down my favorite present of the season.
Box of Pro Bars
Us hikers love snacks and the more calories per snack, the better. Pro Bars offer up the most calories per ounce. On bar packs a hefty 400 calories, which is essentially a meal that’s smaller than a cell phone. A variety pack of 12 gives plenty of options for the avid hiker.
Hiking Gifts for Under $50
If you’re looking to spend a few extra dollars, you can find a lineup of unique hiking gifts. These are a little bit pricier than the last category but are well worth every penny spent.
PackTowel’s UltraLite Towels are an excellent addition to any hiker’s gear closet. The super-absorbant and quick-drying microfiber technology is the perfect combination for the outdoors. Want to go for a dip in a famous alpine lake in Colorado? You’re ready to swim with PackTowel. The Beach size is perfect for lounging while the Body size is a bit smaller (and lighter).
MSRP: $40 for Body size and $50 for the Beach size
The REI Flash Pack
Every year I recommend the REI Flash 22 and REI Flash 18 as the perfect hiking gift. It’s a revolutionary pack that gives a lot of bang for your buck. Seriously, it’s one of the best hiking backpacks for under $100 simply because it has all the bells and whistles you need in a light day pack.
Hydration compatable, lightweight, completely packable, and lots of places to store and hang gear are just one of the many reasons this pack is so great. The 22L version has a handy top with a zipper and side pockets, literally perfect for almost any hike.
MSRP: $28 to $40 for the 18L and $38 to $55 for the 22L pack
Hydro Flask Food Flask
For longer hikes, you want a meal, especially in the cooler months. What if you can have a delicious hot meal without packing a stove? Behold the Hydro Flask Food Flask. Two distict sizes can bring you a meal straight to the trail.
Want to know a cool little secret? These flasks are so insulating, that they can keep ice cream cold for up to 24 hours. Speaking from experience here.
MSRP: $30 to $35
Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Toilet Kit
Serious hikes demand serious gear. The Cleanwaste GO Anywhere Toilet Kit Waste Bags are something hikers actually want, especially if most of your hikes are in permitted or regulated areas.
It turns out, going number two in the desert, in the alpine, or on many of the most famous hikes in America, require the use of a human waste disposal bag. Seriously, these things are like gold in a pinch, so a pack of 12 goes a long way.
Gregory 3D Reservoir System
The Gregory 3D Hydro Reservoir is a game-changing product. Most hikers prefer to use a bladder system, simply because they don’t have to stop and grab a water bottle. The 3D Reservoir is easier to fill, clean, and hang than competing models. 2 liters is plenty to stay hydrated on a burly hike.
Ruffwearr Portable Dog Bowl
If the hiker on your list takes Fido along, then you’ve got to check out the Ruffwear Quencher Dog Bowl. First, this bowl is cute (hello unique hiking gifts!), with an awesome mountain graphic. But most importantly, it works really well. It’ll hold water (it gets soggy after about 10 hours, but never leaks), packs down to nothing, and is virtually weightless.
Small Utility Knife
You should never leave the trail without a duty knife. You don’t need every bell and whistle, but a stout, reliable blade, scissors, and nail file make the perfect multi-tool. The Leatherman Free T4 Knife is one of my favs for hiking trails.
Trigger Point Performance Foam Roller
For an active human, foam rollers make excellent hiking gifts. The Trigger Point Performance Foam Roller is built to feel like hands giving a deep tissue massage. With foam rolling you can relieve pesky pain and keep soreness at bay. Great for hikers who have bad knees, back, and shoulders.
MSRP: $35 for the small (best for travelers or arm pain) or $60 for the full size (great for butt, back, and knee pain).
Must-Have Hiking Gifts for Under $100
These badass hiking gifts certainly keep on giving. Although they are among the more spendy, they would certainly make that special hiker on your list happy.
For the winter hiking enthusiast, there is no better traction product than the Kahtoola Microspikes. Literally the only product worth purchasing for snowy trails, these long-lasting microspikes take the cake.
Many hikers take a hammock with them to relax at their final destination. Eno Hammocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, perfect for relaxing while you hike. Opt for the DoubleNest as a couples gift for hiking or give the SingleNest as a gift for one. Don’t forget the ENO straps to save the trees (comes with two).
MSRP: $50 for the SingleNest, $70 for the double, and $30 for a strap set.
Outdoor Research Echo Sun Hoody
Sun hoodies are all the rage right now, and for good reason. These ultra-light, UPF hoodies block the sun so you can layer up without getting hot or slathering on sunscreen. The Outdoor Research Echo Sun Hoody and it’s fancy cousin the Outdoor Research Optimist Hoodie is a top-notch sun hoody with a half-zip and a pocket.
MSRP: $89 for the Optimist and $65
National Parks Annual Pass
Give the gift that keeps on giving with an America the Beautiful Annual Pass. This pass gets you into all of the national parks, recreation areas, and national monuments across the country. It’s an amazing gift for hikers simply because there are endless miles of trails to explore.
Peak Designs Camera Capture Clip
Get the perfect shot for the ‘Gram with the Peak Designs Capture Clip. I’ve been religiously using one of these for years. The clip easily secures to virtually any hiking pack strap and the screw attachment fits any camera with a tripod mount. As a result, you can quickly bust out your camera for the perfect on-the-go shot.
ExOfficio Bugsaway Shirts
ExOfficio has been creating their Bugsaway line without fail for years. There are plenty of styles to choose from. Each shirt has integrated bug-repelling technology that keeps even the nastiest biters at bay. Perfect for travel or for hikers who spend a lot of time in buggy climates.
Grayl Geopress Purifier
For international hikers, there is no better gift than the GRAYL Geopress Purifier. When it comes to choosing a purifier, there are a lot of options. But the Geopress purifies water and gives you clean, incredible drinking water in just 8 seconds. It’s heavy, but it’s the perfect purifier and bottle in one for any overseas hike.
Luxurious Hiking Gifts for Over $100
For that special someone, give one of the best hiking gifts that they will cherish for years to come. This line-up of top hiking gifts really says “you’re special.”
Garmin InReach Mini
Stay found with the Garmin InReach Mini. This hand-held SOS device calls for help, tells you your positioning, gets the weather, and even has messaging capabilities. It’s the perfect hiking gift for the avid hiker, especially for longer hikes or solo adventures. Pair with your phone and use a subscription to quickly text or use as a stand-alone device.
MSRP: $350 plus a subscription
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar Watch
For a watch that’s literally a mini-computer, you get it all with the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro. It charts your movement including heart rate, calories, paces, and steps. But it doesn’t stop there. With a built-in GPS, altimeter, weather, compass, and more it truly is the adventurer’s smartwatch. The best part? It charges via solar.
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody
The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody delivers the ultimate in warmth, comfort, and weight. Favorite “puffies” are somewhat of a staple piece for any hiker and the Patagonia Nano Puff delivers. Opt for a jacket with a hood for maximum warmth.
Pro Tip: Pick up the Nikwax Down Wash to go with this amazing gift.
Black Diamond Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
There are many different kinds of trekking poles, but the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Poles are the ultimate knee savers. I’ve used and abused mine for six straight years and they are still holding up brilliantly. The ergonomic cork grips don’t give you blisters and the snap locks stand up to the test of time.
Sony A6000 Mirrorless Camera with Lens
Wanna know a secret? I shoot all of my professional photography (and most of my blog photos) using my Sony A6000 Mirrorless Camera. This compact, yet versatile camera offers up stellar picture quality with plenty of lens compatibility. I love it because it’s far more lightweight than a traditional digital camera and is fully customizable.
Outdoor Research Vigor Hoody
Okay, the Outdoor Research Vigor Hoody is a low key game changer. First, it’s part-vest, part fleece hoody, making it the ideal layer for hiking in virtually any cooler weather conditions.
The sleeves offer up a gridded fleece layer that wicks sweat and lets you breath. While the core of the jacket has just a touch of synthetic insulation to keep you a touch warmer. The outter layer of the jacket is made from wind-resistant tech that keeps you warm while you rest.
Phew! You’ve made it through the amazingly comprehensive list of this year’s best hiking gifts. There’s the perfect gift for any hiker on your list this year from pee funnels to incredible GPS watches, you’ll give the perfect present to the hiker you love.
More Outdoor Gear Guides:
Get expert buying advice from gear professionals with this lineup of gear resources:
- The Most Amazing Camping Gifts
- Adventure Gifts for Her
- Incredible Gifts for Climbers (coming soon)
- What Gear Do You REALLY Need to Hike?