If anyone on your holiday shopping list loves spending time out on the trails, then this gift guide is for you! We are sharing our favorite hiking gifts for 2021.
As avid year-round hikers, we are very aware of just how impossible to shop for we can be. Hiking is the outdoor activity we do most frequently throughout the year, whether it be on nearby local trails or out in the backcountry. So buying a hiking-related gift would seem like a great idea, right? Yes—but with a catch…
The challenge is that hikers can have a lot of strong preferences about the gear they use. For something as simple as a walk through the woods, hiking can be a surprisingly gear-focused pastime. So unless you know the person really well, you will probably want to avoid buying them something super specific like a pair of hiking boots or a particular sleeping bag. So what then?
That’s where these hiking gift ideas come in!
Below you will find tons of broad appeal, general-purpose hiking gifts that any hiker would be thrilled to receive as a gift. We specifically selected items that didn’t require very specific sizing (like shoes) and avoided big-ticket items that might require deeper consideration (like a tent).
So if you have a person on your shopping list that loves to hike then we’re sure you will find something perfect for them below.
Don’t wait until crunch time—find something they will love and start checking off your shopping to-do list today!
In Partnership with REI
REI is our favorite place to buy gifts for outdoorsy people on our lists. In the event we get a color or a size wrong, REI makes it SO easy for the recipient to return or exchange it for the correct item. With free shipping on orders over $50, we also love that we get to skip the in-store holiday melee and shop from the comfort of our couch (be away, the last day for guaranteed shipping at REI is Dec. 17th!).
Best Gifts for Hikers (chosen by hikers!)
Products can be nice, but meaningful experiences will last a lifetime. Give the gift of an entire year of adventure with the America the Beautiful (National Parks) Pass that they will remember for years to come. Just one pass gets you into every National Park & Monument, as well as National Forests, Grasslands, and plenty of other recreation sites across the country.
A headlamp is one of the 10 Hiking Essentials that hikers should carry on every hike, and an item that you can’t have too many of! Store one in a backpack, the glove box, or with emergency gear. We both own these rechargeable headlamps from BioLite and love them. Dimmable, red light, strobe, compact design, and with a 40 hour run time on low, we know we’ll have plenty of light.
With the Katadyn BeFree Water filter bottle, nearly any natural water source can be turned into clean pure drinking water. The easy-to-use filter never needs to be backflushed and the soft side pouch takes up minimal space when not in use. This is our go-to water filter for day hikes (and backpacking trips).
Whether it’s a short walk in the park or an all-day excursion, we always bring a daypack with us. Store snacks, water, headlamps, phones, and extra layers. It’s not a terrible idea to have two different size daypacks either: a smaller one for shorter/warmer trips and a larger one for longer/colder trips.
Many larger, multi-day backpacks come with a built-in rainfly, but most smaller daypacks do not. REI makes compact rain covers for a variety of backpack sizes from daypacks to multi-day packs to ensure your pack content (electronics, extra layers, etc) stay dry during a downpour.
One of our favorite pieces of hiking apparel: Patagonia’s Nano Puff Jacket is a great mid-layer option that features synthetic Primaloft insulation. It’s not as puffy as a down jacket, so it fits better under other layers and packs away easily when you’re not wearing it. Available in both men’s and women’s.
We’ve recently gotten into casual amateur birdwatching and it turns out having a pair of compact binoculars on the trail has really enhanced our hiking experience. Being able to see wildlife from afar has made us more aware (and curious) of our surroundings. This would be a fun gift for any hiker who is interested in the natural world around them.
We love extending our hiking season by hiking during the winter, but proper traction is an absolute must! That is why we highly recommend getting a pair of MICROspikes. Ice, snow, or iced-over-snow, you have never felt so sure-footed as when you’re wearing microspikes. They easily slip on over your normal boots, making them super easier to take on and off.
Medical supplies don’t last forever, so if you’ve been carrying around an old First Aid Kit for a few years it might be time to start over with some new supplies. A compact first aid kit should be taken on every hike. This pre-built first aid kit is great because it carries all the basics that you’d need for the day.
Wool socks are the perfect gift for hikers. You want to give them, and hikers want to receive them! It’s a perfect exchange. But seriously, one of the simplest and satisfying pleasures in life is putting on a pair of brand new wool socks. We own a variety of Darn Tough socks and these Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks are perfect for nearly all types of hiking.
Has somebody recently welcomed a new member to their family? Help them stay outdoors and active with the Kid Comfort Child Carrier. This top-of-the-line child carrier can easily and quickly be adjusted to fit a wide range of torso sizes. Designed for the comfort and safety of both the child and hiker, this is a wonderful gift to get the whole family outdoors.
This is one of those bits of hiking luxury we would never buy for ourselves but would be ecstatic to use if we received it as a gift. This inflatable, foam core, puncture-resistant sit pad can turn even a cold rocky perch into a soft and comfy place to sit down and take a lunch break.
We have entered into a new age of high-quality, gourmet instant coffee. Verve Coffee is one of our favorite roasters and their new instant coffee line tastes every bit as good as their in-house coffee. Just add hot water and stir. This will be a guaranteed hit with any active coffee drinker.
This is a perfect cool-weather hiking shirt. It looks like a classic flannel button-up but has all the technical fabric performance you want while hiking. Moisture-wicking, breathable, and slightly elastic for ease of movement. Available in men’s women’s, tall, and plus sizing.
Does your water bottle have that slight “water bottle funk” smell to it, no matter how many times you wash it? It might be time to do a shock treatment with Bottle Bright. Just add hot water and a few of these dissolvable tablets and let the effervescent bubbles do all the work. We do this to all our water bottles in spring so we can start the season off right.
Whether it’s a cellphone, GPS, headlamp, or DSLR camera – there are a lot of things a hiker needs to keep charged. That’s why we always carry a portable battery bank and charger whenever we go out on a hike. This power bank gives us the confidence that we will always have enough battery to stay charged.
Do you have a loved one that enjoys hiking in the backcountry? Then this is a perfect gift for both of you! They get access to GPS navigation, route tracking, and satellite 2-way texting, and you get the peace of mind of knowing where they are! If there are any problems they will be able to communicate via message or immediately call for SOS help.
This is an absolutely PERFECT stocking stuffer! Pairing a delicious cup of Kuju pour-over coffee with Rip Van Wafels buttery, caramel-filled stroopwafels, this is a hiking gift that is sure to go to good use! Doesn’t that sound like an awesome treat to enjoy at the top of a summit?
The REI Co-op Sahara Shade Hoodie is a long-sleeved, hooded sun shirt that feels as comfy as a t-shirt but gives you UPF 50+ sun protection. The moisture-wicking and breathable fabric make this shirt a perfect option for warm-weather hiking. Available for both men and women.
One of the nicest things we started doing for our feet was applying Bodyglide Anti Blister Balm before our hikes. Michael has very blister-prone feet and this has been a total game-changer for him. This would be a great stocking stuffer for any hiker who has had a hike ruined by blisters or hotspots.
These Aftershokz Headphones are perfect for people who enjoy listening to audiobooks or podcasts while they hike. Unlike typical headphones that go inside your ears and prevent you from being able to hear what is happening around you, these headphones go on the outside of your ears. They use bone conducting technology to deliver high-fidelity audio directly through your cheekbone while allowing you to remain alert to your surroundings on the trail.
This is our go-to GPS navigation app for front-country and backcountry hikes. The app uses the GPS function that is built into your smartphone to allow you to navigate even when you have zero services. There is a yearly subscription for the service, and you can save 20% by using our link!
A guidebook to local trails would be a great gift for hikers who have recently moved to a new area, or who prefers to flip pages than browse online. We find that guidebooks are a great way to find new trails and books often include additional information that apps like AllTrails are missing such as geological features and local flora and fauna.
Still unsure what to get? You can’t go wrong with a gift card from REI. As the nation’s largest outdoor retailer with over 100 physical locations and an extensive online store, chances are if it’s a hiking-related product, REI has it. They also have an incredible return/exchange policy, which makes them our number one pick for a gift card.