50 Fun and Practical Gifts for Hikers and Trekkers
Looking for a gift for hiking lovers? This hiking gift guide will show you the best hiking themed gifts.
Friends with someone who is an avid hiker and not sure what to get them? It can be a little intimidating and confusing to say the least to pick a practical gift for hikers especially if you do not hike.
When I was preparing for my first hike, I literally had no idea what I needed for my hike. I had all these questions, like can I hike in sneakers? What do I bring besides water on my hike? What backpack do I need? Do I even NEED a backpack?
Now I have hiked more and I’ve gone on numerous hiking trips over the years, I can confidently tell you there are so many gifts out there that I would love to get to make my hiking trips easier!
So if you are looking for a practical gift for hiking and nature lover or if you are looking for a funny and cute gift for someone who loves to hike, look no more! I will show you all the best gifts to make a hiker happy.
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Essential Gears and Gifts for Someone Who Hikes
1) Hiking/ Trekking Poles
You probably have expected this one and I seriously think a good pair of hiking poles is a must for anyone who is into hiking and trekking.
As a hiker, you don’t always need hiking poles but on long hikes, especially the ones with steep ascend and descent, hiking poles are a life saver for your knees.
Hiking poles range from budget to high tier expensive ones so depending on your budget, you can choose accordingly.
2) Hiking Shoes
Besides hiking poles, the next most essential gift for any hiking lovers is a pair of comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes.
Based on personal experience, hiking shoes can make or break your entire trip. You would not want crappy shoes when you need to walk 8+ hours a day on uneven (or even rocky) terrain would you? Regular shoes also cannot protect your ankles and for some, it is extremely easy to roll their ankles when hiking.
3) Hiking Backpack
The first time I legit hiked was to Trolltunga. In case you are not familiar with Trolltunga, it’s this epic 27km (16 mile) round trip hike in Norway. I was young and I wasn’t prepared. My friend and I hiked with those JanSport backpacks, with no back support or anything!
Now thinking back, I think if I had hiking poles and a proper hiking backpack I would’ve probably felt so much better during and after the hike. Without proper support, my back was killing me the entire hike.
So, don’t let your friends be like me and get them the gift of a legit hiking backpack!
My personal favorite brand of hiking backpack is Osprey. I never understood them until I used them on a hike, and the hip belt was so essential to take the weight onto my hip rather than hanging off my shoulder (which is what happened on my Trolltunga hike).
What is a bladder you ask? Bladder is basically a big bag of water with a tube that you can carry with you when you hike. With the tube you do not need to stop and take off your backpack to get water. You can just grab the tube and drink while you hike.
Again, a hiking bladder was not something on my radar until my boyfriend at the time told me to use it for my Machu Picchu trip. Now that I have experienced the convenience of a water bladder I can no longer go back to drinking from a water bottle on a hike.
My personal favorite brand of hiking bladder is CamelBak. They are reliable, made of high quality materials and they have never leaked.
5) Bladder Cleaning Kit
As you can see, this gift guide is going in logical order, no?
All jokes aside, bladder cleaning kit is pretty essential! Unless your friend is hiking everyday, there is bound to be a period of time s/he is not using the bladder.
Bladders can get dirty and it’s necessary to clean them before use. Given the unique design with the long drinking tube, you will need special tools to clean the bladder.
6) Water Filter
Don’t think your friend will use a hydration bladder? No problem, they can still use their own bottle but with a personal water filter.
Fortunately there were many water source along the hike and having a water filter/ filter bottle was the best option for us to filter water along the way without breaking our backs.
7) Mineral Sunscreen
Don’t want to spend a lot on a gift to your hiker friend? Don’t worry there are cheaper but very practical gifts you can get for your trekking lover friend.
Sunscreen is one of those things that every hiker cannot hike without. Most likely the hikes will be exposed somewhat and you will need some sort of sun protection.
I am a big fan of physical blockers for sunscreen rather than chemical ones. Why physical blockers you ask. I did a lot of research on the best sunscreen for hikers and it just doesn’t make me feel comfortable knowing the chemicals in chemical blockers (the usual sunscreen people get in stores) easily get absorbed by your skin.
I also would not recommend getting any spray sunscreen as those have been linked to cancer in recent studies.
8) Backpack Rain Cover
Rain jackets can help you stay dry when you hike in the rain but how about your hiking backpack?
Some of the Osprey backpacks come with its own rain cover, but if you don’t have one of those hiking backpacks with a cover, you may want to consider getting one.
When we were in Peru we had to hike in the rain for 2 days since we couldn’t just stop on Inca Trail. It was extremely useful to have a backpack cover to keep all my items dry in my hiking backpack.
9) External Battery
When you go on long hikes or multi-day hikes, it is very likely that your phone will die especially if it’s cold outside. Or if your friend is like me and wants to take a lot of photos and videos during a hike, the phone batteries will die even faster.
I used to freak out when my phone was down to 25% battery when I’m half way through the hike, so I have learned to always bring with me a portable charger.
If you are trying to buy a good external phone battery, there are a few things to consider, such as capacity, charging speed, and weight (especially if you are already carrying a lot of things)!
10) First Aid Kit
When you are in the wild, anything can happen. It could be as minor as a cut or blister or as severe as an actual wound.
You don’t need to bring a large box of first aid items with you (nor is it possible to do that), but it is essential to have some first aid items with you especially on a long hike.
Headlamp is one of those things that you don’t realize you need it until you need it.
Headlamps are great when you don’t want to use your hands (since you are holding hiking poles) and you need to hike in the dark. I first used it when I was hiking Inca Trail in Peru and have been bringing it on my hikes ever since.
Headlamps are lightweight, small and cheap, therefore making it the perfect gift for someone who loves to hike before sunrise or after sunset!
12) Insect Repellent
Insect Repellent is a no brainer item that every hiker should bring with them, especially if you know you will be hiking in wooded areas.
I don’t generally like having insect repellent on me but they really are a life saver, especially for someone who is allergic to bug bites.
13) Body Wipes
Body wipes are extremely useful (and compact) for multi-day hikes.
14) Bear Mace
Bear Spray is one of those things that you wish you never need but you also need to have it with you just in case.
If you know someone that is going to hike in a place known to have bears, bear deterrent spray would be the most practical gift you can get them for them to stay safe.
15) Bear Bell
While on the topic of bear safety, in general bears tend to run away from humans when they hear human approaching them. The only reason they would attack someone is if they feel threatened (or they want to protect their cubs).
One way to scare off bears is to make a lot of noise, but unless your phone has unlimited battery or you can keep talking the entire hike, you will want something that constantly makes noises.
While we were hiking in Yoho National Park, we saw a lot of people having these bear bells on their backpack.
16) Quick Dry Towel
Unless someone is hiking on a completely flat trail in the shade, they will sweat on a hike, especially a steep and long one. And it is a very gross feeling to be hiking drenched in sweat.
I have always appreciated having a quick dry towel with me when I hike, so I can at least wipe away all the sweat when I’m taking a water break and it makes me feel better immediately.
17) Emergency Blankets
If your friend is into alpine hiking then something that would potentially be live saving is an emergency blanket.
Emergency Blankets are lightweight and inexpensive, but they are life saving as they can reflect up to 90% of someone’s body heat back to them.
When trekking in alpine conditions weather can change drastically; it could be sunny one second and snowy the next. You really do not want to be caught unprepared.
18) GPS Navigator
If you or your friend is a fan of off trail hiking, then you know the importance of having a GPS navigator.
There are many trails that are amazing but there is either no official trails set (like the ones in remote Alaska) or sometimes trail markers are so worn out it’s hard to follow.
This is when having a GPS navigator comes in handy and it is a necessity for those who want to hike in very remote areas with no well marked trail.
Best Hiking Outfit (and Weather Proof) Gift Ideas
19) Hiking Pants
If your friend is a hardcore hiker, then hiking pants is a must have for him/her.
You can technically wear trainers or other pants to hike but good hiking pants are worth it. They are comfortable, lightweight and dry quickly, all three properties that will make a hiking trip a lot more comfortable.
You want the pants to be loosely fitting and not rub against the skin or constrict your movement, that’s why you should never wear jeans to hike.
20) Smartwool Hiking Socks
Just like hiking shoes, hiking socks can make or break a hiking trip. Yes you can wear any socks when you hike, but good socks really make your feet feel better.
So what’s so special about Smartwool Socks? Is it all a hype?
Smartwool socks are soft, thermoregulating, odor-neutralizing so they can keep your feet warm, dry and provides good amount of cushion when you have to walk a lot on uneven path.
You also want to wear high top socks when you hike to protect yourself against tick and insect bites.
21) Merino Base Layer
Layering is key to stay warm and comfortable while hiking.
When you first start the hike, it’s probably gonna be chilly. But as you start the hike you will start feeling warm. If you dress in layers it will be a lot easier to take things off.
Merino base layer is key to comfortable layering while staying dry and comfortable. Merino wool is great at locking in heat and dry by wicking moisture from your body.
Yes you can get other base layers but a lot of times they are made with synthetic materials which uses a lot of chemicals in production. Merino wool, on the contrary, uses natural material and it is more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
22) Rain Jacket/ Rain Shell
It is inevitable that when you hike you will encounter some rain and wind. This is when having a waterproof rain jacket or rain shell comes in handy.
I never thought I would wear a bandana on my hikes until I went to Inca Trail and let me tell you the bandana really helped keeping hair out of my face and absorbing all my sweat.
Why didn’t I want them? Well I always thought they would be ugly but they don’t have to be! There are actually some really cute and creative bandanas out there.
24) Mosquito Net/ Mosquito Suit
You may laugh at this one and your friend probably will too, because it really is hilarious (but practical!).
Mosquito Suit is not something you see everyday or on every trail, and it is not something people normally wear when they hike.
On that trail we saw people with these ridiculous looking mosquito suits and guess what? We thought they were the smartest people ever. So… you never know when you will need something like that on a hike.
Consumable Gifts for Hikers and Nature Lovers
25) Insulated Food Jar
Most of the time when you are hiking you are consuming pre-packaged sandwiches or granola bars. But what if you want something nice and warm?
Ever since discovering insulated food jars my hiking trips have become more….tasty! I could pack cold fruits, salad and even warm food with me on my hikes without worrying about ruining the food or worse, leaking into my hiking backpack.
26) Instant Coffee
When you are doing multi-day hikes in the mountains, there is no coffee shop you can go to to get your daily dose of caffeine. We were so groggy every morning when we were in North Cascades National Park since we could not get coffee anywhere.
If you know someone who loves to hike and needs their morning coffee, they would definitely appreciate some instant coffee to bring with them on the hikes.
27) Camping Food
Sometimes it is just not possible to be able to bring a lot of food with you when you are doing multi-day hikes and have to camp.
This is when great camping food comes to the rescue. I always see these food whenever I go to REI and to be honest, they are not bad.
You just need to add boiling water to warm up the food and tada, you have a warm meal for the night.
28) Hydration Tablets
Staying hydrated is always a challenge on long hikes, at least for me. I always sweat too much and not drinking enough water and I just feel sore all the time.
But during my last hiking trip to the North Cascades, my friend actually brought this hydration powder that she was swearing by everyday so of course I had to try.
I basically just added the hydration powder to my water everyday and it actually helped. I felt that I recovered from long hikes much faster and I wasn’t sore for as long. I do think the electrolytes really helped with my recovery.
All Purpose Gifts for Hiking and National Park Lovers
29) America the Beautiful Pass
If you know your hiking lover friend is planning to hike in a US national park or a federal recreation sites, then there is nothing better than getting him/her the America the Beautiful Pass!
America the Beautiful Pass is an annual pass that allows the pass holder to visit more than 2000 federal recreation sites across the country, including all of the US National Parks.
Recreation sites include sites managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers. It covers entrance for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle or up to 4 adults at sites that charge per person.
I wish I had this pass when I visited North Cascades National Park since we ended up having to pay the National Forest fee everyday when we hiked Maple Pass Loop and Blue Lake Trail.
30) Walkie Talkies
When you are hiking or camping in the woods or some remote mountain range, most of the time you will lose cellphone reception.
In the unlikely event that you get separated from your hiking mates, it would be essential to have a walkie talkie so you can still communicate with one another even in remote areas.
Generally walkie talkies can reach 3-5 miles communication range in open areas and some even have flashlights and SOS sirens, allowing you to send out distress signals in an emergency situation.
31) AllTrails Subscription
AllTrails is something I use to research every hike that I do. But besides the reviews and photos, the most useful feature is its offline trail map.
When we were in Banff trying to find the second view point for Peyto Lake (and almost giving up), we ended up following this German couple who was using an AllTrails offline trail map (and clearly they knew where they were going).
I wish I had discovered this a lot sooner but you don’t have to be like me.
32) Child Carrier and Backpack
Know someone who has kids but loves to hike? You can be the good friend and get them a premium child carrier so they can hike with their little one!
These carriers are designed to be comfortable and safe for the child (with sun protection and harness) and provides excellent back support for the parent.
They can carry children from 16lbs up so these can be utilized for quite a long time.
33) REI or Amazon Gift Card
Can’t decide what gift to get for someone who loves to hike? You literally cannot go wrong with an REI or Amazon gift card!
I love that the REI gift cards have so many designs and of course everyone loves an Amazon gift card.
Fun Hiking Themed Gifts
34) Custom Hiking Trail signs
Does your hiking friend have a favorite trail? You can now give them a personalized wooden sign with their favorite trails.
These signs are made of New England barnwood. You can submit the name of the trail or park and select an icon like a mile marker, campfire, or hikers and even pick a color you like.
35) Mountain Necklace
Hiking gifts don’t always have to be large and practical! You can also get a pretty little jewelry gift for your friend that still says she loves the mountains.
This sterling silver nature inspired mountain necklace will remind your friend of his/her favorite place. The necklace can feature a sun or a full moon peeking out from the mountain top.
36) National Park Checklist Map
Everyone has a bucket list and your hiker friend probably has a list of hikes they want to do as well.
Now you can creatively give him/her this beautifully hand made National Park checklist map to decorate their rooms.
This map is made with wooden frame and comes with marker or pen. It will help your friend set goals for their next big hike!
37) Hikers’ Journey Glassware
If you want to showcase your love for hiking with your friends, then this Hikers’ Journey glassware set is the perfect hiking themed gift.
This glassware set captures the adventurous spirit of outdoor discovery. The shot glass set starts off with a chill easy stroll and as you progresses through each glass, the hike becomes more difficult with higher elevation.
38) Massage Cube
Hiking is no easy feat and those sore legs and muscles need some pampering after a long hike.
Now you can get these menthol-infused cubes to give yourself (or your friend) a massage. The cube is made from essential oils, butter, and other organic ingredients.
In addition, these handmade massage cubes are helping to contribute to the environment. For every cube sold, the company will plant a tree with the help of the environmental nonprofit One Tree Planted.
39) National Park Doormat
If you want a hiking themed house decoration, look no further than the National Park doormat!
These funny yet practical doormat are very easy to clean and add a touch of your adventure to your house/ apartment.
40) Grow Your Own National Park Botanicals Kit
Love national parks and the trails you hiked there? Each of these grow kits contains all you need to grow a living memento of your favorite national parks.
The options include Grand Canyon (Coleus plant), Olympic (Sitka Sprude), Yellowstone (yellow minulus flower), Yosemite (redwood seedling), and Zion National Park (Emerald Falls dichondra).
41) National Park Keycap Set
Loves hiking but also has a desk top? Now you can have the best of two worlds with this Keycap set.
This ergonomically designed keycap set comes with colorful keys as well as a National Park themed key for mechanical keyboards.
42) Hiking Bag Ornament
This ornament is made of environmentally friendly fiber woods (or Acrylic) and you can either get it made into a keychain or a shape ornament and add your personalization.
43) Dog Hiking Essentials Kit
Planning to hike with a dog? you will need this dog hiking essential kit.
This cute hiking themed gift comes with 3 biodegradable poop bags, 3 wet wipes, 2 paper towel bowls, 1 dollar light, 1 tick removal tool and 1 dog traveling guide booklet.
44) Hiking Themed Socks
You can get some funny hiking themed socks for your hiking lover friend with these cute designs. Your friend will be sure have a good laugh when they see this hiking gift.
45) Muscle Rub
I remember when I hiked Roy’s Peak, my glute and legs were sore for 3 days (and I was working out everyday for 9 months that time).
46) Cute Hiking Shirt
Want to get a cute shirt for a female hiker friend?
You can pick from over 20 colors and customize the shirt for her liking.
47) National Park Shower Curtain
The shower curtain has a standard size of 69 x 70 inch and should fit most bathtubs. It is easy to clean and machine washable, making it a funny but practical hiking themed gift for a friend (or for yourself!).
48) Personalized custom trail map gift
Do you or does your friend have a favorite trail?
You just need to tell the seller the name of the trail and location and you will receive the perfect gift with your favorite trails on it.
49) Hiking Mom Mug
Any hiking parents out there? This gift is for all the hiking moms out there.
50) Gone Hiking Candle
Don’t you just love the woody smell on a trail out in the wild?
You can now bring that beautiful smell home with you with this scented candle.
Have a hot bath after a long day of hiking with this pine smell relaxing aromatherapy candle. That sounds like the perfect way to wind down doesn’t it?
Your hiking lover friend will for sure love these practical and fun hiking gifts.
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