Best Christmas Gifts for Hikers

July 21, 2022 9 min read

It's that time of year again when everyone starts thinking about Christmas presents! If you know any hikers and are stumped as to what to get them this holiday season, be sure to check out this list of the BEST hiker gifts. These Christmas gifts for hikers are based on my personal experience with items that I find useful while hiking in Vancouver (or dog walking, because that counts, right?). They're things I use every time I hike, wish I had, or use to keep my boredom at bay when the weather isn't cooperating in the mountains.

I'm not including expensive items like down jackets and leather hiking boots on this list because they're too expensive. These hiking gifts are items that will be useful to hikers of all levels and are mostly items that they could always use more of.

So, here are the best gifts for walkers and outdoor gift ideas that they will appreciate (and love you for) There are many hiking gifts under $25, for example.

1. Reusable hand warmers

Hand warmers are an excellent gift for anyone who enjoys hiking in all weather conditions. Last year, I bought some and they made my winter hikes near Vancouver SO much more enjoyable. I like to stuff them into my gloves to keep my hands extra warm, and as someone who constantly gets cold hands, this was a godsend. They're one of my favorite hiking accessories, but many people overlook them.

They're also ideal for giving to friends on group hikes. This well-prepared hiker will become the most popular person on the trail!

2. Boot Brush

One of my best friends loves her boot brush, and to be honest, I'd never heard of one before. You just stamp your feet hard to get the mud off your boots, right? Well, it turns out I was mistaken (and have spent years getting mud everywhere). Boot brushes not only keep hikers' boots clean, but they can also extend the life of their boots, making them one of the best gifts for backpackers!

3. Woollen Socks 

Woolen socks make great gifts for hikers. Everyone gets socks for Christmas, right? If you usually give socks as gifts, consider upgrading slightly and getting some woolen hiking socks as a present for a hiker this year. Socks also make great hiking gifts for him; socks seem to go missing all the time, so they're among the best gifts for walkers.

4. A nice new water bottle

Water bottles are the type of item that is frequently left behind, whether in an office, at the airport, or while hiking. Or maybe it's just Thom, who has managed to lose three of the same bottle in the last year.

5. Water bottle/hydration pack cleaning tablets

While we're on the subject of water bottles, these cleaning tablets are sure to surprise, but they'll be a very useful gift for hikers.

I've had my hydration pack for about a year and use it almost every day. I haven't even considered how to clean it (you drink water through it, so that cleans it, right? ), but I know I need to.

I'm sure your hiker friends and family aren't great at cleaning their bottles or hydration packs either, so having these cleaning tablets would put my mind at ease that I'm not unknowingly giving myself some gross bug every time I drink water. These are excellent gift ideas for walkers, and they also make excellent stocking stuffers due to their low cost.

6. Good quality instant coffee

Most hikers enjoy coffee, and nothing beats brewing a cup at the summit of a mountain. If the promise of spectacular views wasn't enough to entice them to make the final push to the summit, the promise of spectacular coffee should be.

I like Kuji instant coffee and have heard good things about AlpineStart coffee as well. High-quality coffee sachets make ideal gifts for campers and hikers. If they're really into coffee, check out my post on the best coffee gifts.

7. Hiking snacks

When it comes to hiking snacks, I get very excited. The best hiking snack I've discovered this year is dried mango, so I'd be content with a few large packs of dried mango for Christmas.

However, if you can't guarantee that the hiker you're buying gifts for loves mangoes as much as I do, then these fun hiking snacks are sure to please.

Crunchy moon cheese sounds intriguing, and there are champagne gummy sweets or dehydrated meals available. These meals are pretty pricey to buy every time you go camping or hiking, but they're so much easier than figuring out what else to eat that I consider them a treat. There are so many different flavors to choose from that it makes great outdoor gifts for hikers.

8. Reusable silicone food bags

People who enjoy the outdoors want to protect it, and they're probably aware of how much plastic or waste they generate when they wrap up food and snacks for hikes.

These reusable food bags eliminate the need for tin foil wrapping and take up less space than Tupperware boxes, which are my usual go-to. They're great for hikes as well as everyday use, making them ideal gifts for outdoor enthusiasts!

Plus, they're not just for hiking, so if you're looking for gifts for casual hikers, these are sure to come in handy.

9. Weatherproof sketching set and a notepad

I was thinking the other day about how I want to start sketching on the tops of the mountains. Whether or not this will happen remains to be seen, but if you know someone who enjoys sketching or writing, these waterproof sketching sets and Rite in the Rain notepads are sure to please! These pens are ideal for throwing in a backpack and sketching on these weatherproof notepads; they make excellent outdoor gifts.

10. Leatherman tool

A multi-tool is one of the ten essentials you should have with you when going on outdoor adventures. They're super handy if you've brought a bottle of wine up the mountain but forgot a corkscrew, need to cut something free, like a pesky clothing label (been there), or get a pesky splinter stuck in your finger or feet (also been there), and they make cool hiker gifts.

Leatherman tools are available in a variety of sizes and styles, ranging from small keyring style multi-tools to larger ones with nearly every tool you could ever need while camping.

11. Headlamp

Headlamps are one of the ten essential pieces of hiking gear that should be packed on any hike, no matter how long or short. It's possible that the hike will take longer than expected, or that you couldn't resist watching the sunset and are now faced with a trail in the dark. Whatever it is, they are extremely useful.

This year, I purchased a Biolite headlamp and have used it in a variety of situations. I run the Vancouver seawall in the mornings, go on sunset hikes, and camp in Mongolia with it. PLUS, it's a lovely color, making it ideal for hiking gifts for her!

12. Thermarest seat cushion

This is a bit of a luxury item for hikers and is not required to go hiking, but boy o' boy does it make hikes more comfortable. It's something I wouldn't buy for myself but would adore receiving as a gift. I'm sure your hiking buddies would agree. They make excellent gifts for hikers, in my opinion.

In BC, the mountain summits tend to be pretty rocky and rocks don’t make comfortable seats, even when they’re flat. Having one of these Thermarest seat cushions would improve and enhance any hiking experience.

13. REI/MEC/Backcountry Gift Card

If you really can't decide what to get the hiker in your life, a gift card is a good option. Some may think it's a bit of a cop-out, but I enjoy receiving gift cards. That way, they can get something they want as well as those one-of-a-kind hiking gifts they've been saving for.

14. A nice lip balm

My lips are chapped as a result of either being burned in the summer or drying out in the winter. These lip balms are so pretty and fragrant that they make an excellent gift for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. It will keep their lips pain-free and make their time outside more enjoyable. To keep their lips protected, look for a lip balm with SPF.

15. Lonely Planet–Epic Hikes of the World

My father gave me the Epic Hikes of the World coffee table book for Christmas, and now that we have a coffee table (after 2.5 years of deliberation), it's proudly displayed. It's packed with hikes that will inspire any hiker you know, no matter how experienced they are. This book contains hikes that they will have heard of but also hikes that they will not have heard of, and it is the ideal gift for hikers and aspiring hikers. It's the perfect present for walkers.

If you know a hiker, they'll probably enjoy these books as well. All of these hiking and adventure books are great for rainy days when you can't get out, as well as journeys to the adventure you're doing.

16. Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles 

Black Diamond's aluminum trekking poles are the key to enjoying miles of wandering without destroying your joints. Consider a pair with a carbon fiber shaft and thus a lighter weight, such as these.

17. InReach Mini Handheld Satellite Communicator 

This gift says "stay safe out there" better than any other. It's a palm-sized satellite communicator that allows hikers to stay in touch via two-way texting—whether they just need help navigating via trail maps or sending SOS signals to search and rescue teams.

18. Men's Terrex Free Hiker Primeblue Hiking Shoe 

Water-repellent? Nothing new here. Cushioning with a springy boost? Interesting. Every step will be grounded by a grippy rubber tread. We're finally getting somewhere. Heel-to-toe coziness? Okay, I'm sold.

19. Self-Cleaning Water Bottles 

This water bottle has a UV light purification system to satisfy their inquisitive nature, which forces them to scoop a drink from one of the running streams without ingesting 99.99 percent of the bio-contaminants.

20. Brass Compass 

This tough military compass (with glow-in-the-dark capabilities) aids them in locating their way home from anywhere.

21. Knit Cuffed Beanie 

Just a little something warm to top off—literally—their hiking expedition ensemble.

22. Mini First Aid Kit

Over 40 emergency care supplies—bandages, antiseptics, medications, pads, thermometers, painkillers, tapes, and more—stored in a tube of compact cylinders will help them survive the backcountry.

23. Men's Vermont Micro Crew Sock Cushion

These breathable socks with cushion density and moisture-wicking materials provide underfoot comfort for the thousands of steps they'll take on a 34-degree or 84-degree day.

24. Great Outdoors Kit

This small tin, which contains a fire starter kit, tweezers, a six-function pocket knife, a rope, a wire saw, and safety pins, will be their daily carry, on or off the grid.

25. Waterproof Hiking Boot

Treat the mountaineer to the best hiking boots available if they enjoy conquering long rocky terrain.

26. Head Light 

For all the unpredictable natural light conditions they might encounter, the BioLite 750 will get you on a hike at dawn or dusk much better than a phone's flashlight.

27. Notebooks

If only the Donner Party had one of these journal notebooks with waterproof, tear-proof papers that could hold the dotted lines against the onslaught of Antarctica.

28. Cargo Pants

Nike's ACG line is jam-packed with gear for harsh weather and difficult terrain. Unlike hard-shell pants, its weather-ready tapered cargo gives you a relaxed look while keeping rain, snow, and thorns at bay. In the summer, zip the bottom half off to make them into shorts.

29. Portable Reusable Cutlery 

Offer them this reusable set of knives, forks, spoons, straws, and chopsticks for any backpacked meal instead of plastic utensils that will end up in a trash can on the trail—or worse, on the trail.

30. Tumbler

This tumbler will keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot until the last drop, from an energy boost of hot caffeinated drinks at the trailhead to a celebratory sip of cold beer at the top of the mountain.

31. OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal 

This is one of the coolest and most stable smartphone gadgets designed for group adventurers and their selfies, videos, vlogging, and live-streaming on the train or off the grid. It even has automatic tracking to keep the best-looking person in the frame at all times.

32. Qi Wireless Solar Power 

This portable charging bank, which can charge up to four devices at the same time, is a little orthodox with a massive power capacity of 36,800mAh for wired charging but really techy with a solar panel to harness sunlight and convert it into electricity for wireless charging. It also includes a bright LED flashlight because one can never be too safe when out in the wilderness.

33. Bluetooth Headphones

Marley's Smile House Jamaica wireless earphones are partially "wired" to prevent them from dropping, and you can listen to your favorite songs, audiobooks, or podcasts for up to nine hours without interruption. They also go on the outside of your ears, allowing you to be aware of your surroundings as you trek through the wilderness.

34. Bushcraft Necklace

A necklace with a slider and a ceramic pendant transforms into a survival kit with a firesteel and a scaper for starting a fire the old-fashioned way.

35. Insulated Food Jar 

For the hiker who brings their own fare to the trail, this insulated jar will make sure their last bite of fruit salad, oatmeal, or beef stew is as fresh as the first.

36. Gaia GPS Premium Membership 

Any seasoned, advanced hiker looking for a zero-cell-bar challenge in the backcountry will appreciate having 12 months of maps and GPS navigation at their disposal to plan their routes.

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