Updated: Dec 15, 2022
If you know someone who loves the outdoors, chances are good they enjoy hiking. As the holidays kick into high gear, now is a better time than ever to think up some good gifts.
Benefits of Hiking
It's a Form of Exercise
Hiking is more than just taking a walk. You have to navigate varied terrain and go up and down hills. When done properly, hiking is a full-body workout with several upsides[*]:
Improved bone and muscle health
Improved sense of balance
Improved cardiovascular health
Reduced risk of some respiratory diseases
Whether your next hike is at a local park or the Appalachian Trail, your next outdoor adventure will put you on the road to better health.
It's Good for your Mental Health
According to a study from Stanford University, hiking is as good for your mind as it is for your body. It lowers stress, reduces anxiety, and lowers the risk of depression[*].
In addition to that, the stimulation itself is good for your brain. The sights, smells, and sounds of the outdoors can have a powerful calming effect of their own.
It's Good for your Relationships
Relational health – our connections with friends and family – can be just as important as mental or physical health. Hiking with friends or family can help to form stronger relationships[*].
Spending a day climbing a challenging trail can help forge a closer friendship. Or grandparents and grandchildren can bond on a less demanding path.
*This Garmin GPSMAP 66i is the perfect gift for someone who does not want to get lost on their hike.
45 Hiking Gift Ideas for This Holiday Season
Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite hiker? Here are 45 ideas that are guaranteed to please.
The Petzl Bindi Headlamp has a similar design but is smaller and shorter-lasting. Then again, it’s also more affordable, so it’s a great stocking stuffer..
Avid hikers know how important it is to have a reliable, dry pair of socks. The Darn Tough socks are non-synthetic and can last for years of use before wearing out.
3. Wuru Wool
Even with the best hiking socks, a long hike can leave you with some blisters. Wuru Wool is designed to help prevent that. It’s essentially a piece of wool, and you can tear off smaller pieces and put them under pressure points.
It’s literally a great stocking stuffer.
Finding comfortable, durable jeans that fit can be tough when you’re a woman. PrAna makes jeans in all sizes that are tough enough to stand up to the rigors of a day hike or backpacking trip. You can also wear them on a trip downtown without feeling underdressed.
This is a classic beanie. It fits comfortably under a headlight, and it’s still warm enough to wear when you’re skiing.
Gifts for hikers need to be practical, and that definitely applies here. These crampons fit right over your hiking boots and provide a secure grip on icy surfaces. The kit includes a small tote bag, which makes them easy to carry.
These crampons are a must for winter hiking.
If you’re traversing snow instead of ice, snowshoes are the tool for the job. If your loved one’s hiking trips frequently take them through deep snow, these are a great gift.
Not all hiking trips require a heavy pair of hiking boots. These outdoor sandals are every bit as good for day hikers who don’t go out in foul weather. You’ll get a solid grip, just like a pair of hiking boots, but your feet will still be able to breathe.
The Petzl headlamp has a rechargeable battery and operates with a single button. But if you run into a pinch, it can also run on AAA power.
As an added benefit, it’s water-resistant. You don’t have to worry about wearing it in the rain.
For a long-distance hiker or anyone who likes to tackle rocky terrain, these shoes are a must. They’re exceptionally flexible, with sturdy soles that can tackle Class 3 rocks. They’re also available in men’s and women’s sizes, making them great gifts for hikers of any kind.
The HydraPak is a large hydration pack with a 1.5-liter capacity. When you’re done with your water, you can crush it down and stick it in your pocket.
If you want something a little more durable, nothing beats a Nalgene bottle. Many people favor their large, 32-ounce bottles, but the 24-ounce lock-top model has its own upside: fill it with boiling water, and you can use it as a hot water bottle without it leaking!
Hydration requires more than just getting plenty of water – you also need to replenish your electrolytes. Nuun’s tablets come in four tubes of ten tabs each and are available in several delicious flavors.
The LifeStraw is a compact filter that can make almost anything drinkable. You can stick one end in a filthy, scummy pond and still drink clean, fresh water. This is one of the best gifts you can give to someone who goes on long backpacking trips.
The Leki trekking poles are a pair of sturdy aluminum hiking poles that can help you keep your balance on slippery trails. You can buy carbon fiber if you're willing to spend more to save weight, but it tends to be less durable.
These trekking poles are similar in many respects to the Leki poles. But they’re available in different lengths for men and women, which makes them easier to size.
The best gifts don’t always have to be complicated. The Goodo sunglasses are slick, fashionable, and won’t fall off your face. They’re also super-lightweight and come in a number of colors.
Lip balm is a practical gift, and Joshua Tree makes some of the best. It’s organic and comes with built-in SPF-15 protection.
Outdoor gear needs to protect you from the environment, and sometimes that can include bugs. If your favorite hiker likes to walk the trails in a buggy location, this mosquito net could be a great gift.
Ladies know how awkward and uncomfortable it can be to pee in the woods. The PStyle lets you pee standing up, which means you can go to the bathroom without removing your backpack.
Sometimes, you have to go number two in the woods. The Coghlan’s trowel is just what you need when nature calls. It’s also lightweight, which is helpful for all the times you don’t need it.
Even the best trail maps can sometimes be challenging to navigate. The Garmin inReach Mini is a compact solution to that problem. It even has a smartphone pairing function, so hikers can send a text via satellite if they don’t have phone coverage.
As hiking gifts go, this one is a winner – it may just save your loved one’s life.
The GPSMAP 66i takes all the features of the inReach Mini and combines them with detailed terrain and trail maps. This feature is incredibly powerful when hiking in national parks since you can easily identify various features.
A hiking backpack needs to be able to take a beating. It needs to be sturdy enough not to tear easily, and the backpack strap needs to be good and secure. This daypack fits the bill and is comfortable enough to wear all day long.
Hiking lovers want to share their passion with their families. This child carrier lets you start early. If your loved one is having a baby shower, this is one of the best gifts you could give.
Who says you can only share your passion with your human babies? The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is the perfect gift for the dog lover in your hiking group.
The best gifts for hikers are often practical. In this case, we’re talking about a multi-tool that can do just about anything you need in a pinch. And since you want the most reliable tool for an emergency, there’s no more reliable tool than a Leatherman.
A Leatherman is a perfect multitool, but it’s a bit bulky for day hikes. This knife is tiny and collapsible, and can still cut pretty much anything.
Sometimes, a lightweight dry bag tears or you get a hole in your tent. These gear patches can fix just about anything. You can even use them to patch up that down jacket you were thinking about throwing out.
This isn’t just a portable seat cushion. It’s also a windbreak or a pillow depending on your needs. It weighs close to nothing, and you can secure it directly to your backpack when you’re not using it.
Camp chairs make great gifts for hikers who like to relax in comfort on the trail. This one is absurdly durable, with the ability to support 265 pounds. Despite this, it tips the scales at only 1.8 ounces, and it collapses small enough to fit in a day pack.
A spork isn’t just a fun gift for someone who can't decide whether they want a fork or a spoon. It’s an essential camp tool for when you get hungry.
Even if your loved one takes some canned food on a day hike, it will come in handy. And for long-distance hikers, eating supplies are essential.
The best gift ideas are those that will be truly appreciated, and who doesn’t appreciate good food when they’re on the trail?
Good To-Go Oatmeal is vegan, gluten-free, and comes in several flavors. And since all you need to add is hot water, it’s the perfect camp food.
Who doesn’t like a tasty fruit and nut bar? The Larabar Variety Pack includes several flavors, making it the perfect gift for your favorite vegan hiker.
Like the Larabar, the Complete Cookie is entirely plant-based. It’s as delicious as anything you’d get from a bakery, but it’s also packed with protein, which makes it one of the best hiking gifts for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Who says camp food has to be bland and stale? Spice up your ramen noodles and freeze-dried vegetables with some zesty hot sauce! And with packets, you don’t have to carry around a whole bottle of sauce.
Most people who love hiking and national parks are passionate about the environment. But ordinary plastic sandwich bags create an incredible amount of waste.
These silicone bags are entirely reusable, so you don’t produce any extra trash. They’re one of the most unique hiking gifts we’ve seen.
When you get to your campsite, you’ll want to start a fire. The Ferro Rod is a simple, 2-part kit including a fire starter rod and a dense bundle of tinder. All in all, it’s enough to start thousands of fires.
Hammocks are quickly displacing tents as the essential piece of backpacking gear. You can even take one along when you’re car camping and string some up between a couple of trees.
Your loved one probably already owns a tent and a sleeping bag if they need one. But what if they get lost during a day trip and need a quick shelter? In that case, an emergency kit can be a lifesaver!
If your loved one enjoys an adult beverage over the campfire, they’ll love this kit. With four 2-ounce stainless steel shot glasses and a matching 8-ounce flask, this is the perfect way to share drinks over a fire.
If you’re thinking of an intimate evening of wine drinking, the Platypus bottle has you covered. It’s entirely flexible and easy to tuck into anything that holds a Camel Pack.
Who says a campsite has to be quiet and relaxed? If you want to create a more celebratory vibe, a Bluetooth speaker will bring your favorite music out into the national park.
Whether you’re using a smartphone, GPS, or the Bluetooth speaker you just bought, you’ll need some way to recharge them. This powerful 10,000mAh power bank can recharge the average smartphone three times. And it’s not much larger than your phone, so carrying it is no big deal.
A long day of hiking can leave you feeling worn out. This massage ball set is one of the best gifts a sore, bruised hiker could ask for. You can even use it in the car on your drive back from the trailhead.
If there’s an outdoor enthusiast in your life, one of these gifts for hikers should be perfect for their hiking adventures. Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers or something a little more substantial, you’ll be sure to bring a smile to their face.
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