Finding the best gifts for hikers can be difficult, especially if you’re not a hiker yourself. Everyone hikes differently and across different terrains, but there are some items every hiker uses and would love to have.
The good news is that buying essentials for hikers doesn’t have to empty your wallet. There are great gifts for every budget. The best part is that you’ll be giving your loved one a piece of hiking gear they are sure to love and use every time they venture out onto the trail. If you have a hiker in your life, any gift from this list is a sure bet.
As an avid hiker across many continents, I know the challenges of hiking without proper gear. I always tell people to get me something I can use for hiking whenever my birthday or a holiday is coming up. Especially because buying everything you need yourself can be costly.
If you’ve ever had a tough time finding the perfect gift, look no further. Anything from this list is perfect for casual or dedicated hikers!
Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra, and I appreciate your support!
The Best Gifts for Hikers—QUICK LOOK:
- Best Hiking Gift Overall: America the Beautiful Pass
- Best Gift for Him: Smartwool Merino Wool Long Sleeve Shirt
- Best Gift for Her: Buff Scarf and Hair Tie
- Best Unisex Gift: Hydro Flask Water Bottle
- Best Best Backpack for Hiking: Osprey DayLite Plus Pack
Best Gift Ideas for Hikers
If you’re looking for a small practical gift that could really benefit your favorite hiker on their next trek, check out one of these items. They can easily be thrown into a backpack or car and are always handy to have!
1. Duct Tape
Duct tape might seem like a weird gift, right? But it’s a great thing to buy for hikers and makes a great stocking stuffer or accompanying gift. This small and lightweight option by SOL can fit easily into a pack and weighs less than 2 pounds.
The kit comes with two rolls of duct tape, which should be more than enough to keep your hiker prepared. Throwing in a roll of duct tape into a hiking pack can be used for many different uses:
- Taping up a pair of shoes falling apart
- Closing food bags to keep critters out
- Patch a piece of ripped clothing
- Twist several pieces into a rope
And many more! Duct tape is one of the most versatile gifts you can buy for hikers.
2. Neff Beanie
Neff Beanies come in many different colors and different styles for men and women. The stretchy material fits on any size head. It can also be worn straight or folded over to vary the style.
The ribbed knit texture keeps the head cool on hot days and warm on cold days so it works in all kinds of weather. It’s also perfect to throw on after several days of hiking or camping when there aren’t resources to shower.
The main selling point is the almost 50 different color options, though. The cheap price point also means you can buy a few for your loved ones, so they can change the styles to match all their hiking outfits!
3. First Aid Kit
For the most practical gift, buy a first aid kit for the hiker in your life. It’s a cheap and simple gift that can keep your favorite hiker safe while they’re out in the wilderness or camping. A basic kit will include things like antibiotic ointment, gauze, painkillers, bandages, and antiseptic towelettes.
The clear pockets on both sides make it easy to find the item they need quickly, which is perfect for emergencies. The back of the kit also lists everything that should be in the kit, which makes it super easy to replace items when they are used.
Unique Hiking Gifts for Anyone
These gifts are great for any hiker, regardless of gender or age! They are practical, durable, and from some of the best brands in the hiking business.
1. America the Beautiful Pass
If you truly want to buy the best gift possible for your friend or relative who loves to hike, get the America the Beautiful Pass. The pass is good for a year from the time of purchase and gives hikers access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites. These include national parks and national wildlife refuges.
The pass covers all the entrance fees, standard amenity fees, and day-use fees. It also gives the owner entrance to the national parks without paying vehicle fees for up to 4 adults in the same car.
This is a great choice to buy for hikers if you want to avoid buying clothing or backpacks since you might not know their style or size. And, what is a more incredible and thoughtful gift than being able to visit some of the most beautiful areas in the United States?
2. Waterproof Hiking Boots
Hiking boots are a must for any hiker, but waterproof boots are even better. This will allow your hiker to splash through puddles, pass through waterfalls, or hike in an unexpected downpour.
Waterproof hiking boots also keep the feet warm and dry, which is extremely important. It stops hikers from contracting infections while camping and hiking and keeps them dry and comfortable. Waterproof boots are sold from many different brands, but the best are Merrell, Columbia, and Salomon.
All three brands are the best in the business, so you can’t go wrong with any of the brands. Make sure whatever you choose provides ample ankle support and has good quality laces.
3. Hydro Flask Water Bottle
A water bottle might seem like a basic gift, but the Hydro Flask water bottles aren’t just your average container. There are many different choices, but the top seller is the Hydroflask with the flex-straw.
The other choices are made with the same great materials but aren’t quite as convenient to use. Some people might not like having to open the entire lid to get a sip of water. The double-wall vacuum of the bottle keeps water cold or hot for hours.
The Hydro Flask Water Bottle is made with stainless steel and is completely BPA-free. So, no worries about nasty chemicals seeping into the water. All Hydro Flasks come with a lifetime warranty.
4. Osprey DayLite Plus Pack
For a unisex daypack, get the Osprey Daylite Plus Pack. There are tons of Osprey options for day packs, but the Daylite Plus is the best value for money. It has extra space if your hiker is going on a weekend trip.
The main compartment is panel loading opening like a suitcase, which makes it much easier to pack and to access things in it. The side pockets are perfect for placing water bottles, or you can also buy a water reservoir and put it into the interior sleeve.
The front sternum strap is adjustable and comes with a safety whistle. The hip belt is completely removable for those who don’t like hip straps.
5. Black Diamond Head Lamp
Even if your loved one doesn’t hike in the dark, a headlamp is a must-have for any trail hiker. It’s perfect for hiking in the rain or darker weather and a must-have if a hike runs longer than expected and it’s getting dark. Sometimes trails can become very shaded or covered even in the daytime, so a headlamp will keep the path well lit.
Black Diamond Heads are usually the best ones to buy because they are dustproof and waterproof. They are also some of the brightest in the business. Make sure to get one that has several different light settings.
Hiking Gifts for Him
Looking for a great hiking gift for a brother, dad, friend, or husband? These gifts are sure to get him excited for his next trail day.
1. Men’s Smartwool Merino Wool Long Sleeve Shirt
If you have a man in your life who loves to hike in cool weather or during the wintertime, they need a merino wool long sleeve shirt. It’s an amazing shirt to layer, so he can wear it under a sweater or jacket. It’s also great to wear all on its own if it’s not super cold outside.
It’s lightweight and moisture-wicking, so it won’t stick to his body if he gets a little warm and sweaty. The core is nylon, making this long sleeve shirt extra durable to last him through many hiking seasons.
Another great brand for merino wool is Icebreaker. There are a lot of great options for short sleeve and long sleeve shirts that can take him through every season all year-round.
2. Garmin Instinct GPS Hiking Watch
You really can’t go wrong buying a GPS hiking watch for any avid hiker. The Instinct GPS watch by Garmin is super rugged and water-resistant, so it’s great for many different terrains. He can also connect to his smartphone if he wants to get notifications and better monitor the features on the watch.
The best part about the watch is the GPS feature. It has three different built-in systems, including GPS, Glonass, and Galileo. The latter two are said to work better than GPS alone if he is really off-trail and needs help navigating through the route.
The watch can also monitor heart rate, activity, and stress levels. When not hiking, he can use it as a simple fitness watch when at the gym or working out.
3. Merrell Men’s Hiking Shoes
One of the best brands for hiking shoes is Merrell. Hiking shoes are a great gift if you know he doesn’t like boots or would prefer to have a nice pair of shoes. Men’s Merrell Hiking Shoes are built for rugged and intense terrain. Many of the choices are also waterproof.
The Ventilator line is specially equipped to keep moisture and debris out. It helps keep feet dry even in the rain or extremely hot weather. All the Merrell hiking shoes have zonal arch support and heel support, so you can be sure his feet will be comfortable even after hours of hiking.
Women don’t have to miss out since Merrell offers a full line of hiking shoes for women, too!
4. PrAna Men’s Hiking Pants
It can be hard to find breathable and well-fitting hiking pants for men. PrAna makes some amazing hiking pants for men in many different colors and patterns. All the pants are quick-drying and have an SPF rating of 50+.
The pants can also be rolled up and snapped if he wants to climb or go across more intense terrain. The mesh pockets are also perfect for holding small items.
Hiking Gifts for Her
These hiking gifts are perfect for any special woman in your life because they are specifically tailored to women. They are also more fashionable and chic than some of the other alternatives.
1. Sunday Afternoons Wide Brimmed Hat
Staying fashionable while hiking isn’t always possible with the sweat and dirt that comes with being outside all day. With a wide-brimmed hat, though, keeping dirt and sun off the face is much easier. Sunday Afternoons is one of the chicest brands with neutral colors to match any outfit.
The sunglasses lock is also amazing for ensuring that her shades don’t slide down and distract from the stunning hiking views. The fabric is lightweight but still has SPF 50 for added protection. The wicking sweatband and ventilation material will also ensure that your head doesn’t get too warm or sweaty when hiking.
The best part is that it packs down into a tiny cube. People will love this as a gift because they can throw it in their backpack when they don’t want to wear it and it takes up next to no space.
Men don’t have to miss out on hiking hats, either, with this great selection.
2. Buff Scarf and Hair Tie
The Buff wrap can be used for many different things, which makes it a great gift for female hikers. It’s great to wear as a headband or head wrap in cold weather. The PrimaLoft yarn helps trap heat inside and keeps your head dry from sweat all at the same time.
Buff scarfs come in lots of fun colors so they make great hair ties or scarves. They are quick-dry, making them easy to wash and dry overnight.
They are one size fits all, and the fabric is extra stretchy. So, it’s a perfect gift to give someone without having to worry about getting the correct size.
3. Darn Tough Hiking Socks
Darn Tough socks give every hiker amazing support and cushion while hiking. They’re also moisture-wicking, so the wearer won’t have to worry about sweaty feet or getting infections from wearing the same socks all day.
Darn Tough socks come in some pretty amazing colors, unlike other hiking socks. You may see a lot of options for hiking socks, but, most consist of dark and dreary colors. The winter collection of Darn Tough Socks even have cute designs with bears and flowers.
Choose from many different types, including ankle socks, mid-calf length, and knee highs. They also have midweight and lightweight options. Overall, these hiking socks have a design and purpose to fit any female hiker.
And, men can enjoy Darn Tough hiking socks, too!
4. Patagonia TorrentShell Rain Jacket
You really can’t go wrong with any Patagonia Rain Jacket, but the TorrentShell one is the best. The 3-layer construction keeps you dry even in the worst conditions. Unlike other rain jackets, the TorrentShell has a fleece neck lining that keeps your neck extra dry and comfortable, no matter the weather.
The zipper of this jacket is snag-free. This is great because rain jackets are notorious for getting caught around the zipper and keeping you trapped inside. One of the best parts is that it’s Fair Trade Certified, along with many other Patagonia products.
It comes in many different colors, so you can be sure you’ll find one that matches the personality and style of the woman you want to buy it for.
Check out this great selection of men’s Patagonia TorrentShell rain jackets.
5 Things To Look For In A Good Gift for Hikers
When shopping for hiking items, make sure they have these qualities. It will ensure you’re getting your friend or relative something they can truly use with lasting quality.
- Reputable Brand. I mentioned the top brands above for gifts for hikers, but there are many out there. Buying generic or knock-off brands for many items is okay, but things like backpacks and jackets should be from a reputable brand in the hiking industry.
- Durable. Durability is a major factor when it comes to hiking gifts, especially if the person is going on week-long trips or hikes every weekend.
- Waterproof. Any shoes, clothing items, or bag bought for hiking should be waterproof. Tents and sleeping bags should also be waterproof. You never know when it might rain or snow!
- Rated for the right temperature. Sleeping bags, jackets, and socks often have a temperature rating listed on the box or tag. Make sure you’re buying the right range based on the weather your friend usually hikes in.
- Lightweight. Any items bought for hiking either have to be worn or carried. So, everything should be as lightweight as possible. This includes boots and clothing.
Also, consider where you buy from. I love REI as they will take anything back within a year of purchase, no questions asked!
The Search for Great Gifts for Hikers is Over!
Hopefully, this guide has taken away some of the burden of finding the best gifts for the special hiker in your life! You might even want to buy some of the items on the list for yourself after seeing how they can make hiking so much more fun! (Don’t worry—I won’t judge!)
No matter what you choose to buy or who you choose to buy for, these thoughtful gift items will be appreciated. And, they may even inspire hiking more often and trying some new parks and trails!
Have you recently bought a gift for a hiker that they absolutely loved? Comment what you got them below!
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