Us hikers can seem like a weird bunch. After all, what do you buy for someone who loves nothing more than the simplicity of being outside? Choosing a gift for the hiker in your life doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. It’s easier when you bear in mind our gift ideas for hikers.
9 Gift ideas for hikers are:
- Filtered water bottle
- Neck gaiter
- Adventure book
- Carbon fiber trekking poles
- Duct tape
- Waterproof socks
- Personalized hiking t-shirt
- Pocket blanket
- Bushcraft and survival course
If you are looking for quick answers, there they are. However, you’ll need to invest a little more time to succeed in choosing the perfect gift. Below, we’ll go through each item in more detail, so you can make the right purchase.
9 Gift Ideas For Hikers
1. Filtered Water Bottle
Ask any hiker their most important consideration when packing for a big trip and they are likely to say it’s keeping their base weight down. A hiking pack stuffed to the brim won’t do anyone any favors and is likely to result in back and knee pain, leg strain and blisters.
Sadly, it isn’t as easy as just chucking out anything weighing over a kilogram. Water is vital for keeping hikers hydrated and fit enough to take on the trail. However, carrying too much of the stuff is likely to weigh them down and could even force a premature end to their adventure.
If you’re considering going down the practical route when it comes to present giving, it doesn’t get much more useful than this. Give them the gift of a continuous supply of clean water.
A filtered water bottle is a must-have addition to any hiker’s armory and will enable them to safely drink from any freshwater source. This means they can carry less water throughout the day, filling up at streams, lakes and other sources as they hike.
Pick The Right One
It is important to bear in mind that not all filtered water bottles are created equal, and they don’t all do the same thing. Therefore, you’ll want to invest in an all-singing, all-dancing version that does the lot.
Opt for a water purifier over one of the cheaper alternatives, as this will filter out particles, bacteria and even viruses. The Grayl Geopress is arguably the best filtered water bottle on the market at the minute and is easy and quick to use, with a long-life filter.
- Easy to use
- Fast filtration
- Weight savings
- Fairly expensive
- A little bulky
2. Neck Gaiter
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, a neck gaiter is always an excellent choice. Outdoorsy people love these because they have so many uses and suit many different environments.
Personally, I like wearing a neck gaiter as a hairband because it helps protect me from wind headaches while I hike. They’re also great when worn as a scarf or to protect the hiker from trail dust.
Go For Multipurpose
Neck gaiters come in a variety of different materials, including merino wool, fleece or synthetic wicking. Unless you know for a fact that your hiker friend spends the majority of their time in either very hot or very cold conditions, it is best to opt for a good all-rounder.
Polyester microfiber is a good option because it has sweat-wicking properties. This will help keep the wearer cool while protecting them from the glare of the sun. Neck gaiters are also very lightweight, something which will undoubtedly be a bonus for the person you are buying for.
- They’re multifunctional
- They shield you from the elements
- There are a lot of materials to choose from which can be overwhelming
3. Adventure Book
No epic hiking journey is complete without the travel companion of a good book. After a long day on the trail, few things are better than sitting fireside with an engrossing read that inspires, captivates and pulls on the heartstrings all at the same time.
When it comes to uplifting adventure literature, there is a whole host of authors to choose from but Wild by Cheryl Strayed is sure to hit the mark.
This memoir recounts amateur hiker Strayed’s journey as she takes on the legendary Pacific Crest Trail in the US. Recovering from the loss of her mother and on a voyage of self-discovery, Strayed documents the harsh realities of life on the trail whilst still showing the experience is worth every painful step.
- It’s great to cure any boredom or relieve some anxiety in between hikes
- It’s very inspiring
- Books can add some weight
4. Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
Did you know that using trekking poles has been proven to ease the impact of heavy loads on your back, legs, knees and feet? In fact, one study suggests that by using trekking poles, you can take 25% of the strain off of your knees while you hike!
Trekking poles not only ease strain on the body but also improve endurance, posture and balance. By being kind to the body and strengthening the muscles that support the spine, hikers are able to go further for longer.
With so many different trekking poles on the market, it can be a challenge to know which ones to pick. The main factors that you want to consider when choosing poles are comfort and durability.
Choose The Right Material
Comfort mainly comes into play when considering the handle of the trekking poles. Those made of foam tend to be good because they are non-slip and moisture-wicking, ideal for sweaty days on the trail. Cork is also good because the handles can shape to your hand over time.
Although there are plenty of low-cost trekking poles available, it is definitely worth splashing a bit more cash on carbon fiber poles. Not only are they extraordinarily comfortable but they provide added support to the user as they don’t flex to the same degree as standard trekking poles.
The average weight of carbon fiber poles clocks in at just 350-500 g per pair, making them a fantastic option for weight-obsessed hikers. Although they are expensive, they are very durable when used properly and will be a cherished addition to any backpacker’s kit.
- Very lightweight
- Comfortable and can take the load off your legs
- Carbon fiber poles are quite expensive
- Rather than bend, these poles can shatter
5. Duct Tape
Although on the surface duct tape might not seem like the most exciting gift, I can guarantee that your hiker friend’s eyes will light up when they unwrap a roll of it. Duct tape aids all manner of ailments on the trail and is super versatile. In case of a huge gear failure, duct tape is a hiker’s best friend. It will patch ripped backpacks, repair torn trousers and reinforce leaking tent seams.
It is also great to use on hot spots before they evolve into puffy blisters. Even though duct tape may not have been designed for this purpose, it is a whole lot cheaper than specialist blister tape and does the same job.
- Multipurpose and cheap
- Doesn’t take up much room
- Not the most exciting gift!
6. Waterproof Socks
Trust me when I say that there is nothing worse than hiking in wet boots. It doesn’t take long for damp socks to rub uncomfortably, leading to blisters the size of Mount Everest. Before you know it, your hike is meeting a very untimely end.
But what if I told you there was a way to eliminate this problem? Waterproof socks are no longer a fanciful dream for explorers but a real-life invention. And because nobody wants cold, clammy feet when they still have miles to walk, they make for a great gift.
When looking for waterproof socks, the key is to find something breathable. Sealskinz has a great range of waterproof socks which can be categorized based on length and climate.
The ‘All Weather’ range by Sealskinz make ideal gifts as they will be suitable for most environments. They are 100% breathable and waterproof while protecting from wind, mud, cold and water. The key to a happy hike is definitely happy feet.
- Very comfortable
- Helps prevent blisters and athlete’s foot
- Some people might not like the feel
7. Personalized Hiking T-Shirt
If you’re buying for a hiker who is already gear obsessed, they may already have all the kit they need. In this instance, you might have to get a little more creative when considering their perfect gift. What do hikers love even more than hiking? Talking about hiking!
A cool custom shirt is bound to strike up conversation with like-minded individuals and there are plenty of indie labels offering hiking themed designs. Gosshawk produces awesome t-shirts which can be personalized to a specific trail and to reflect the hikers in an individual party.
Birdie is another clothing business that specializes in Scotland-themed technical t-shirts. They are passionate about all things Scotland and designs include iconic destinations, Scottish phrases and of course, your favorite hill.
Etsy is a great platform for finding quirky designs that hikers will love. Whether you’re looking for a t-shirt featuring a trail map or something to mark your hiker friend’s latest vacation, you’re bound to find it on Etsy.
- You can get them something truly unique
- There’s plenty of room for customization
- Some options won’t be made of the right material for hiking
8. Pocket Blanket
Hiking breaks are something to be cherished and should always be enjoyed in comfort. After a wet morning, the last thing any backpacker wants to do is to sit in damp grass while they munch on trail mix.
A pocket blanket is a good multipurpose item that can be used as a groundsheet, picnic blanket or even an emergency shelter in really dire situations.
As the name implies, pocket blankets are known for being compact and pack small enough to slip into a pocket. Many even come with a carabineer so that they can clip onto the outside of the hiker’s pack, freeing up space inside.
A waterproof pocket blanket is definitely the way to go and is suitable for pretty much all terrains. They protect your clothes and belongings from getting wet and are also quick to dry in the event of a downpour.
- They’re strong and robust
- Compact and lightweight
- They’re not the best at keeping you warm
9. Bushcraft And Survival Course
If you’ve got a friend that is passionate about hiking, it’s probably already clear that they are somebody who values experiences over material items. With that in mind, what gift could possibly be better than a bushcraft and survival course?
It might not turn them into Bear Grylls, but a day or two spent learning the basics of survival is a fun way to learn new skills, all in the company of like-minded people. In truth, this could be the most important gift you ever buy, as it may save someone’s life.
Bushcraft and survival courses are available the world over and while they are all different, most will cover how to source fresh water, light fires, build shelters and teach knife skills.
While this gift won’t be suitable for all kinds of hikers, anybody interested in unsupported wilderness trails is sure to learn a lot that they will use in their own adventures.
- It’s an experiential gift, rather than a material item
- It’s incredibly useful
- These programs are often exhausting
- They’re not for everyone
Buying something for the hiker in your life can be a little daunting at first, especially if you are a stranger to trails yourself. But if you learn the golden rule of giving gifts to hikers it becomes easy: Buy them something practical they’ll actually use.
Forget cute little knick-knacks and instead focus only on items that will add something to the trail experience. Whether it be a filtered water bottle, a great adventure book or a pair of waterproof socks, all of these gifts have the power to transform a good hike into a great one.