Best Hiking Gifts (30 Smart & Unique Ideas for 2020)
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Want unique gift ideas? These are 30 of the best hiking gifts that are useful and uncommon, but sure to bring a smile to your favorite hiker’s face.
CONTENTS OF BEST HIKING GIFTS
If your best pals are hiking fiends and they’ve got birthdays in the near future, you’ve come to the right place.
Maybe you’re stressing, maybe you just have no clue what keen hikers want out of a present, or maybe you’re just looking for ideas for a secret Santa work thing. Don’t you worry, though! My hiking gift guide will give you all the inspo you need, from budget ideas to some of the most unique gifts for hikers you could imagine.
The difference between backpacking and hiking
Okay, so you may be thinking, “Whatever – backpacking, hiking, same thing, right?” Wrong.
The main difference is time.
Hiking refers to literally just one thing – hiking. Walking along trails of varying difficulties, varying terrains, for varying amounts of time. You could hike for an hour or five hours. Usually, you have one place as a base and literally, take hikes from there.
Backpacking is different. The clue’s in the name: you actually carry everything on your back for an extended adventure. You can backpack to just about anywhere, including in the cities. You would stay in budget accommodation or camp, and often cook in the hostel or eat out at cheaper restaurants.
The main thing about being a backpacker is that you travel with everything in your rucksack; extra clothing, equipment, camping gear, food, utensils – all the essentials, basically.
Hiking tends to be a more casual excursion, while backpacking is definitely a more long-term way of traveling.
Are you more after some unique gift ideas for backpackers? Check out my post, Best Gifts for Backpackers (coming soon!).
Our Pick: Top 10 Hiking Gifts for 2020
Short on time and just want a super quick list of the top gifts for hikers that money can buy. These are all unique gifts hikers would love to have on their outdoorsy excursions, and you’d be a legend for gifting them.
|Phone Tripod Versatile octopus-leg tripod for amazing pics!|
|Solar Power Bank Drop-proof, waterproof, dirt-proof|
|Iron-on Patches For someone who likes to customize their stuff|
|Hiking Logbook Record the important details of every hike|
|Head Torch Comfy, waterproof, and rechargeable|
|Coffee Mugs Keeps liquid cold or hot|
|Swiss Army Knife Hiker-specific & stainless steel|
|Collapsible Water Bottle 100% food-grade silicone, 6 colors|
|Osprey Day Pack They’re iconic, comfy and built to last|
|Utensil Set Best gift for hikers and campers|
UNIQUE HIKING GIFTS
These unique gifts for hikers put a little extra thought and individuality in your gift-giving. They’re the perfect gifts for the hiker who has everything!
Cool Hiking Iron-on Patches
Hiking backpacks can get a bit samey after a while. To brighten things up, these cool iron-on patches will add a whole lot of funkiness to any hiker’s setup. It’s one of the coolest of cool hiking gift ideas, especially if you’re buying for someone who likes to customize their stuff. Also, having unique patches on your gear helps you stand out on the trail. For those who like it DIY, these patches are definitely a must; you can stick ‘em on a towel, on a backpack, on a t-shirt. Literally (almost) anything.
Get Your Groove on with Glow Sticks
Glow sticks on a hike? Why the heck not! Sure, it’s one of the more kooky gift ideas for hikers, but there’s a safety reason for this one. They’re good to have in case of emergency, for one thing. Not just raving out. Crack them, and you’ll have light whenever you need it, for around 12 hours (these particular glow sticks have a four-year shelf life). No charging necessary. They can add a party vibe to a campsite, or you can just hang them up inside a tent for extra light (or atmosphere for ghost stories?). They’re also non-toxic and non-leaking, which is great if whoever you’re buying these for hikes with kids in tow.
Chill Out on a Lounge Air Sofa
It may not be for the most serious hikers out there, but I’m all for the WEKAPO air couch. It’s seriously the ultimate way to chill out when you reach your destination, or if you just want to kick back at the beach. This air hammock, or air chair, or whatever, is one of the coolest gifts for hikers on this list. There’s no inflation needed, you just whip it through the air and it traps the air for an uber-comfy experience, staying inflated for about five hours or so. It’s the sort of thing you get, use, and then think, “Why did I not have one of these before?!”
A Personal Hiking Logbook
Record the important details of each hike you take including the date, weather, location, elevation, time, distance, latitude/longitude, conditions, difficulty level, route taken, trail features as well as a place to document information about fees, parking, and shuttles. With plenty of space for notes and additional prompts for journaling, this lightweight and small guided journal makes a fantastic hiking gift!
A Useful Book About Reading Nature’s Signs
To help one understand nature better, this book shares more than 850 tips for forecasting, tracking, weather direction, and more, gathered from the author’s time spent walking the landscape around the world. Gooley describes how to find North based on all kinds of different plants, how to understand animal and human footprints, how to read the stars, how to easily calculate the phase of the moon at any future or past date, and how to understand development patterns in a city, just to name a few. If you’re after books for hikers who consider themselves a novel Bear Grylls, this is the ultimate gift!
A Tiny Utensil Set
Not all hikes are equal, and not all hikers are gonna be the same. Some of you are going to be all about pre-made food – and I don’t blame you. But others are going to want to do some full-on cooking out in nature. If you know someone like that, this nifty set is one of the best gifts for campers and hikers who like their food. Inside this clamshell-opening compact case is a 10-piece kitchen set, including knives and forks, a cutting board, a chef knife, and spatula. (And there’s the all-important bottle opener and corkscrew).
And a Picnic Blanket to go with it
Unless you’re crazy, you’re probably not hiking around with a table. Neither is anybody you know. So a picnic blanket is one of the best hiking presents for someone who likes to take some downtime when their off the trail and at a campsite or viewpoint. And this blanket has been designed specifically for the outdoors: it’s wind-resistant, sand-resistant, water-resistant, and even wraps up into a teeny, tiny lil’ pouch that can strap to your bag. It also comes with stakes so you can leave it unattended without it blowing away.
A Travel Watercolor Set
Wild stab in the dark here but, your hiking friend loves to be outdoors, no? And mountainous watercolor images are just simply divine, would you agree? Why not encourage their inner creativity with this travel watercolor set? It’s perfect for long breaks at spectacular viewpoints and will help them to create memories from their hikes that are just that little bit more special than a simple photograph. The brush has a built-in water reservoir, meaning they can easily fill it with a drink bottle, plus it’s so small they can fit it right into their pocket. In my opinion, this is one of the most creative hiking present ideas on the list. If you decide to buy, don’t forget to add in a mini watercolor pad to complete the set.
Super Cool/Hot Coffee Mugs
Have a caffeine fiend for a friend? Then they’ll probably love these coffee cups. But these hiker gifts can be for more than just coffee. They can be for pretty much any liquid (I’m voting wine). They come with a lid to keep your drink in, they’re double-walled to keep things hot (or cold), and they come with a stainless steel straw to sip. And just so you’re not drinking alone in the woods on your hike, it’s a two-pack. They’re light and handy to have and keep drinks cold for a long time.
A Reusable Female Urinal That Allows Women to Pee Standing Up!
Let’s face it; the call of nature can happen at the worst times when toilet facilities aren’t exactly, um, forthcoming. And if you’re out hiking, you probably won’t have much of an option except for squatting in the shrubs and baring all; not only is this not fun, but there’s also a knack to it. To level the playing field, the Portable Urinal (lol) allows you to stand up and pee. Easy. Made from silicon, it’s reusable, easily washable, and folds up and slots into its own leak-proof bag. If you were wondering about the best hiking gifts for her, keep this one in mind.
BEST GADGETS FOR HIKERS
Gadgets are such good hiking gifts because all trekkers love their tech. If you’re out to impress the recipient with your savvy hiking knowledge, a hiking gadget is definitely the way to go!
A Head Torch to Light the Way
Getting stuck in the dark is not fun. And it can be dangerous. So a torch definitely makes for one of those classic best gifts for trekkers you could imagine. A head torch, specifically, is much better. Look, all I know is that when I’m holding a torch, it can be annoying. What if you need both your hands – to put up a tent, or tie your laces? This Odear head torch is super bright, allowing you to see up to 500 yards away. It’s comfy to wear, waterproof, and rechargeable (which is also very handy), but even then, the battery life is super long.
A Fun Tripod for your Phone
This tripod is the ultimate gift for hikers who love taking photos – whether that’s of themselves or jawdropping landscapes. You can also set it to be horizontal or vertical, so that means your Tiktok game can be on point. You don’t even have to set the camera on a timer because there’s a remote with a 30-foot range. The octopus legs also mean it can grip to surfaces, like a railing or a handily shaped rock. It’s basically incredible.
Charge Up with a Solar Power Bank
Okay, so it’s all well and good to have all these gadgets out with you on the trail, but what happens when you have no power? Nothing works. A power bank, therefore, is an awesome idea – but a solar power bank? Even more awesome. Stick it in your pack or on the front of your kayak, and you can literally just be going along with the sun beaming down and the power bank getting charged the whole time. This thing is also ultra-rugged – drop-proof, waterproof, dirt-proof. It’s perfect for charging everything from smartphones to torches—a very cool piece of unique hiking gear.
Some Handy Binoculars
A pair of binoculars is definitely one of those hiker gifts that you should be thinking about for your hiking nerd friends. Even so, they’re not necessarily that geeky a gift. It just means you can see cool wildlife from far away without having to squint and pretend you know what you’re looking at. These particular binos are waterproof, fit super comfortably around your eye, are fog-proof, and even come with night vision!
Or Some Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speakers
So you’re looking for gifts for a hiker who also happens to be a huge music geek. Could seem like a weird match, but actually, there’s a simple solution: this waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Connect a phone to the speaker with Bluetooth, select fav song, get the music playing. You can hang it to the outside of a bag and enjoy tunes while you hike, or even use the suction cup and play music in the shower for those non-hiking days. It’s waterproof, after all! (And the sound is actually good).
USEFUL HIKING GIFTS
These aren’t the most exciting gifts for hiking enthusiasts on this list, but they are a great choice because you KNOW the recipient will use these gifts over and over again.
A Cute Hiking Hat
When you’re out hiking, you need to keep the sun off your head. It’s fun being out in the sun and all, and I’m sorry for being a party-pooper, but hours of sunshine glaring down on you without any protection is not safe. You need a hat. And this hat is fantastic. The best gift for hikers who like trekking in the summer months, this hat has UPF sun protection, helping to protect your head, neck, and face from damaging rays. It’s super convenient, too; just roll it up and sling it in a pocket or bag. It comes in a whole range of colors, so it can suit the person you’re buying it for. And it’s cute!
A Classic Day Pack
Say what you want, Osprey pretty much makes the best backpacks for hikers. They’re comfy; they’re built to last, they’re iconic. This day pack is designed specifically for day hikes, with a comfortable back panel for ventilation, a hydration pocket, and a load of different compartments. At 20-liter capacity, it provides a nice amount of space for everything you’ll need on a hike (clothes, gadgets, food, etc.). It can also double as carry-on luggage. Whoever you’re purchasing this for will be super grateful as it’s one of the best gifts for day hikers that money can buy.
Comfy and Cool Hiking Socks
Unless you’re wearing hiking sandals, everybody’s gonna have to wear socks when they hike—no doubt about that. For one of the best gifts for people who like to hike, these hiking socks are a pretty great choice. Made from high-quality cotton, and with reinforced cushioning as well as moisture-wicking, these really make the difference from wearing just any old socks. They’re also warm and comfy for cold weather and come in a 5-pack of various chic colors.
Chill Out with a Cooling Towel
Things get sweaty when you’re out hiking. It happens. You’ll get even hotter in summer, when it’s humid, or if the hike is particularly grueling. Enter this awesome cooling towel. How does it work? Good question. Well, you just soak it with water, wring it out, give it a shake, and wear it around your neck or on your head – or wherever – to cool you down in the heat. It’s also easy to pack away as it comes with its own waterproof bag. Need additional coldness? Repeat the process.
The Classic Swiss Army Pocket Knife is Perfect for a Hiker
When it comes to cool gadgets for hikers, the Swiss Army knife is a classic. Before the age of electronics, having a zillion-in-one tool that can open tins, saw through tree branches, strip wires, and all sorts of other stuff, the Swiss Army knife was awesome. And it still is. This hiker-specific version has eight tools to use – all stainless steel – that’ll be perfect for practical situations when you’re out on a hike. It’s an icon and one that’s great for keen outdoorsy hiker friends.
Collapsible Water Bottle for Space-Saving
Everybody needs to hydrate. Ev-ery-bo-dy. It’s fine having a water bottle, but what if you’re short on space? You’ll want something more compact, right? That’s where this awesome piece of kit comes in. Made from 100% food-grade silicone, this collapsible water bottle weighs in at 0.23lbs and can be rolled down as you sip from it until it’s a super tiny couple of inches around. It comes in a choice of hip colors, too – six, to be precise – and makes for a great gift for hikers of the fashion-conscious variety.
Somewhere to Keep your Phone
Your pocket? Duh, obvious. But what if you don’t want to keep reaching into your pocket or don’t have an easily accessible pocket? Then it’s not so much of an easy solution. So this piece of cool hiking gear is where it’s at for phone storage when you’re on the go. It’s sort of like a money belt, except for your phone. It has a large pocket at the front to hold a 6-inch phone, as well as any cards or cash you may have. Even your keys. It’s convenient, it’s well made, and there’s even an earphone outlet so you can listen to music while your phone stays dry in its new water-resistant home.
Go Old School with a Compass
A phone may be pretty much everyone’s go-to directional device these days, but one of the best gifts for a hiker who likes things old-school has to be a compass. To make it extra old-school, how about this shiny copper compass? It flips open, and its face even glows in the dark so you can make out north from south at night (if necessary). It’s compact and weighs just 0.05kg, which makes it a light addition to any hiker’s kit. Also, phones can run out of battery or lose GPS signal – they’re not infallible, people!
COOL GIFTS FOR HIKERS UNDER $25
Shopping on a budget? We’ve listed all our favorite cheap gifts for hikers that will impress the recipient no matter how little you spend.
Some Very Important Hiking Snacks
If you’re thinking of gifts for casual hikers, consider the all-important snacks. No one wants to be stuck starving in the middle of a hike – hanger is never good. Also, hikers won’t want to be stung by getting low on energy out in the wilderness. So, yeah, this trail mix is pretty bomb. It’s a mix of fruits, nuts, and seeds designed to pep you up with omega from all your favs, including roasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries. Yum!
Cool and Colorful Emergency Whistles
No one wants to think about the worst that can happen, but it’s good to be prepared – you know, just in case. An emergency whistle will prep you for any eventuality. It’s loud (good to know), it’s aluminum, and it comes in an assortment of snazzy colors. Just what you need if you need help in the woods. Just don’t start using it in front of your dog because they’ll freak out. Particularly great as gifts for female hikers.
Keep Bears at Bay with a Bear Bell
Yes, it’s another good gift for hikers that makes a noise, but it’s super handy. Bears may look cute, but you definitely want to keep those mama bears away – trust me. These bells attach to your clothing and warn animals of your presence as you’re stomping along the trail. You could even attach one to your dog’s collar. It’s light and attaches with a hook-and-loop closure. Simple and effective. There’s even a magnet in the bag it comes in that stops it jingling when not in use – wild. Anyway, don’t leave home without it.
Stop Blisters in their Tracks with this Handy Tape
You may start your hike with perfect feet, feeling good, everything’s comfy… but a few miles down the line, your shoe starts to rub, and before you know it, boom – you’ve got a blister. Not fun. So, trust me when I say that this is one of the best presents for hikers, yes, even though it’s simple. What is it? KT Blister Prevention Tape is basically what it says it is – tape you stick onto blister hotspots to prevent rubbing and abrasion. An awesome addition to any hiker’s pack.
Cute and Colorful Hiking Bandana Scarf
For starters, this unisex bandana is a great hiking gift for her and the best hiking gifts for him – it’s for anybody, really! Check. And it’s actually got so many uses. Wear it around your face to protect against dust, sand, or grit (maybe even coronavirus!), use it as a headband or tie your hair back with it. Heck, you could even use it as a wristband to wipe away the sweat. One of the best things though is that it has UV protection. Very versatile. Pretty much any hiker would be into this.
A First Aid Kit (Just in Case!)
An absolute essential, which obviously makes it one of the best gifts for hikers like ever, a first aid kit is basic, level 1 hiking gear. But that doesn’t mean it’s not super handy to have. It’s great for emergencies and any sort of minor incident – from a graze to a twisted ankle. Super well designed and compact, this awesome first aid kit comes with an insane 163 items: band-aids, tweezers, an emergency blanket – you name it, they’ve got it. There’s even a torch included. Oh, and the pack itself is waterproof.
Journal Time with this Stylish Notebook
Doodle, write a diary, sketch, make collages – do whatever you feel like in this cool 160-page notebook. It’s a great way to remember your time hiking, or simply while away the time as you take in some insane view or kick back lakeside. Made by Peter Pauper Press, which started in New York in 1928, you know this notebook is going to be top quality. Coming with midweight, ivory-colored lined pages, it lies flat (pet peeve when it doesn’t) and has gold detailing on the cover. There’s also a handy pocket where you can stash tickets, little maps, a leaf, a postcard. Good gifts for hikers don’t get much more creative than giving someone a blank page to dream on, right?
If you liked any of these cool hiking gifts you can easily grab any of them from Amazon. You can expect them to arrive within days with Amazon Prime, too, making them great for isolation.
Or, consider grabbing them as early Christmas gifts for hikers so it’s one less thing you have to think about!
If you have any questions about any of the items on this list, feel free to ask them in the comments section of this post!
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