Looking for the perfect gifts for hikers? We started our hiking journey ten years ago, and these are the things we love.
Hiking wasn’t always in our vocabulary. We both grew up in Atlanta in immigrant families and thought, “so you’re basically walking for fun?”
It wasn’t until we started training for the Inca Trail in 2012 that we fell in love with exploring the outdoors and realized there are so many beautiful places you can only get to on foot.
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Last Updated: October 17, 2023
25 Best Gifts for Hikers
Learn more about how we select gifts for our gift guides and our methodology here.
For Day Hiking
1. Day Pack →
A reliable and comfortable day pack helps you bring everything you need. We have a few different day packs we rotate through depending on the length of the hike or whether we need our camera equipment.
This is one of the most practical and best gifts for hikers. We buy an America the Beautiful Pass every year, which gives us access to 2,000+ federal recreation sites, including all of the National Parks. National monuments, and more. If the hiker in your life likes exploring state parks instead, you can get the annual state park pass.
Pro Tip: This covers park entrance fees, but some still require a separate reservation fee.
4. Headlamps →
Even if you don’t plan on hiking at night, sometimes we get lost, and hikes can take longer than anticipated. Headlamps are always helpful; we like to leave one in each bag just in case.
Pro Tip: If you’re buying for someone who camps or does astrophotography, get one with a red light feature.
A mid-layer is what goes between a base layer and an outer layer. You can use it as a primary layer when it’s not that cold. We use a fleece, insulated jacket, or stack both, depending on the weather.
Although you can get jackets that do it all, we’ve found that having a separate outer layer works better for us. You can have an outer layer that performs well in keeping out wind and water but not worry about sacrificing breathability when you don’t need it. We have the Arcteryx Rain Coat.
I remember the first time I brought trekking poles on a hike. It made such a huge difference, and I appreciate them more the older I get. Trekking poles help stabilize you and take some of the weight off your legs and knees.
We’ve had these REI Trekking Poles for years, and we bring them with us on longer hikes (6+ miles for us) or if we’re carrying a heavy pack.
We carry our water one of three ways.
- Insulated Water Bottle – we use Hyrdroflask bottles to keep our drinks cool/warm.
- Filtering Bottle – when we need to refill in natural sources
- Water Bladder – for backpacking and when we need to carry larger quantities
12. Gaiters →
Gaiters are great to help keep things out of your boots. You can either go with a cold weather gaiter to help with winter hiking or warm weather gaiters to keep rocks out of your shoes, which we use more in the desert.
We’ve been on multiple snow adventures like snowshoeing and were always jealous of our friends who were more prepared with gaiters and never got snow in their shoes.
When we were looking for bags for our first backpacking trip, the folks at REI taught us so much about how they should fit and how you should distribute the weight. We tried them all on and settled on Osprey bags (I use a kid’s one since I’m petite).
Pro Tip: REI has weights you can use to test the backpacks.
18. Sleeping Bag →
A lightweight but warm sleeping bag is an excellent option if you’re going for a splurge or if you’re splitting a gift with multiple people. We both have REI sleeping bags that have been amazing for the price. They are lightweight and keep us warm.
Pro Tip: If you run colder, consider getting a women’s bag, which has more insulation, or down booties.
More Gift Ideas for Hikers
- Aeropress – on-the-go coffee press
- Approach shoes – if you’re hiking mainly to get to climbs
- Bear Spray for hiking through bear country
- GPS Watch for those prone to getting lost
- Hydraulics Cleaning Kit
- Satellite Communicator
- Walkie Talkies – to connect with your friends when there’s no service
Can you think of other great gifts for hikers that we missed?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.