It’s that time of year again when everyone’s thinking about gifts! If you know some hikers and are wondering what to get them this year then be sure to check out this list of the BEST gifts for hikers. These Christmas gifts for hikers are based on my own experience of things that are useful when I’m out hiking in Vancouver (or dog walking ’cause that kinda counts too, right?). They’re things I use every time I hike, wish I had, or things that keep my restlessness at bay when the weather isn’t playing ball in the mountains. And honestly, that last point has been true a lot this year in British Columbia.
These gifts won’t break the bank, I’m not including expensive things like down jackets and leather hiking boots on here. These presents for hikers are things that are going to be useful whatever level of a hiker they are and are mostly things that they could always do with more of.
So, here are the best gifts for walkers and outdoor gift ideas that they’ll actually want (and love you for) including many gifts for hikers under $25.
Best gift ideas for hikers
These gifts for hiking lovers are going to come in super handy when they’re out on the trails! These gift ideas for outdoor lovers should have you covered.
Reuseable hand warmers
If the person you have in mind hikes rain or shine then hand warmers are going to be an awesome present. I got some last year and they made my winter hikes near Vancouver SO much more enjoyable. I like to shove them in my gloves so that my hands stay extra toasty and as someone who constantly gets cold hands this was a blessing. They’re one of my favourite hiking accessories, but one that a lot of people forget about.
They’re also great to hand out to friends on group hikes. They’ll make this prepared hiker the most popular person on the trail!
You can get disposable ones that heat up in a minute or two and last a few hours. Or, you can get these reuseable ones which look prettier and help save the environment too since you won’t be throwing them away.
One of my best friends has a boot brush that she loves and to be honest I’d never even heard of one before. If you want to get the mud off your boots you just stamp your feel hard, right? Well, turns out I was wrong (and have spent years getting mud everywhere). Boot brushes not only help hikers keep their boots nice and clean but it can actually extend the life of their boots making it one of the best gifts for backpackers!
Woollen socks make great gifts for hikers. Everyone receives some socks at Christmas right and if it’s usually you gifting socks then upgrade slightly and get some woollen hiking socks as a present for a hiker this year. Socks make great hiking gifts for him too; socks are always going missing so they always seem to need replacing so they’re among the best gifts for walkers.
A nice new water bottle
Water bottles are the type of things that tend to get left behind whether it’s in an office, at the airport or on the trail. Or maybe that’s just Thom who’s managed to lose 3 of the same bottle in the last 12 months.
I’ve recently bought into the Nalgene bottle hype and they’re great. Previously when I’ve had cheaper versions of these bottles (different brands) they’ve leaked everywhere. That hasn’t happened with my Nalgene!
I love the purple colour of mine but pretty much all of them are pretty.
Water bottle/hydration pack cleaning tablets
And while we’re on the subject of water bottles, these cleaning tablets are sure to be unexpected, but prove to be a super-useful gift for hikers.
I’ve had my hydration pack for about a year now and I use it EVERY single day. I haven’t even thought about how to clean it (I mean you drink water through it, so that cleans it….?) but I know I need to.
Having these cleaning tablets would set my mind at ease that I’m not unknowingly giving myself some gross bug every time I drink water. And I’m sure your hiker friends and family also aren’t that great at cleaning their bottles or hydration packs either. These are such good gift ideas for walkers and they’re great stocking stuffers too as they’re not too expensive.
Good quality instant coffee
Most hikers love coffee and there’s nothing better than brewing a coffee at the top of a mountain. If the promise of incredible views wasn’t enough to get them to make the final push to the top, then the promise of incredible coffee should be.
I’m a fan of Kuji instant coffee and have heard great things about AlpineStart coffee too. Some good quality coffee sachets make the perfect gifts for campers and hikers. And, if they’re really into coffee, check out my post on the best gifts for coffee lovers.
I get really excited when it comes to buying hiking snacks. The best hiking snack I’ve found this year is dried mango so actually I’d be pretty happy with a few big packs of dried mango for Christmas.
But, if you can’t guarantee the hiker you’re buying presents for loves mango as much as me, then these fun hiking snacks are sure to go down well.
Crunchy moon cheese just sounds so interesting, there are champagne gummy sweets or, get them some dehydrated meals. These meals are pretty expensive to buy every time you go camping or hiking, but they’re so much easier than planning what else to eat and I see them as a bit of a treat. You can get so many different flavours that it makes such cool outdoor gifts for hiking lovers.
Reuseable silicone food bags
These reuseable food bags solve the problem of wrapping stuff in tin foil, and take up less space than Tupperware boxes which is my usual go-to. They’re great for hikes and everyday use too – ideal gifts for outdoor enthusiasts!
Plus, they’re not only good for hiking so even if you’re looking for gifts for casual hikers, they’re sure to get a lot of use out of these.
Weatherproof sketching set and a notepad
The other day I was randomly thinking about how I want to start sketching on the top of the mountains. Whether or not this will happen is yet to be decided, but if you know someone who already likes sketching, or writing then these waterproof sketching sets and Rite in the Rain notepads are going to go down a treat! These pens are perfect for throwing in a backpack and doing some sketching with on these weatherproof notepads, they’re great outdoor gifts.
A multi-tool is one of the 10 essentials you should have with you while adventuring outdoors. They’re super useful whether someone’s carried a bottle of wine up the mountain but forgotten a corkscrew, needs to cut something free, like a pesky clothing label (been there), or gets a pesky splinter stuck in their finger or feet (also been there) and they make cool gifts for hikers.
Leatherman tools come in a variety of sizes and styles from small keyring style multi-tools to larger ones that have pretty much every tool you could ever need while out in the wild.
Headlamps are one of the 10 essential pieces of hiking gear that should be packed on every hiking trip, big or small. It might be that the hike ends up being longer than expected or you just couldn’t resist watching that sunset and now face a trail in the dark. Whatever it is, they’re SUPER useful.
I bought a Biolite headlamp this year and have used it in so many scenarios. I use it running the Vancouver seawall in the mornings, on sunset hikes, and when camping in Mongolia. PLUS, it’s a pretty colour and perfect if you’re looking for hiking gifts for her!
This is a bit of a luxury gift for hikers and totally not necessary in order to go hiking, by boy o’ boy would it make hikes more comfortable. It’s the kind of thing I wouldn’t buy for myself but would LOVE to receive as a gift. I’m sure your hiker friends would think the same. I think they make such good gifts for people who like to hike.
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 upgrade any hiking experience and make it super comfortable.
REI/MEC/Backcountry Gift Card
If you really just can’t decide what the hiker you’re buying for would like then a gift card won’t go a miss. I know some people think it’s a bit of a cop-out but I personally love receiving gift cards. That way they can get something they really want and get those unique hiking gifts they’ve been saving up for.
A nice lip balm
I CONSTANTLY have chapped lips from them either getting burnt in the summer or drying out in the winter. These lip balms are so pretty and nice smelling that they make a great present for outdoors lovers and hikers. It’ll keep their lips pain free and make things more enjoyable when they’re outside. Look for a lip balm with SPF to make sure they’re protected.
Lonely Planet – Epic Hikes of the World
My Dad got me the Epic Hikes of the World coffee table book for Christmas and now that we’ve got a coffee table (after spending 2.5 years of deciding), it’s proudly on display. It’s FULL of hikes that’ll inspire any hiker you know, no matter how well hiked they are. This book has hikes they’ll have heard of, but many they won’t, and makes the perfect gift for hikers and aspiring hikers. It’s the ideal gift for walking enthusiasts.
More inspiring books for hikers
I’ve been reading a lot recently and I love all types of adventure books. If you know a hiking enthusiast they’re sure to love these books too. All of these hiking and adventure books are great for rainy days when the weather is preventing you from getting outside and for journeys to the adventure you’re doing too. Below are some of my favourites which are great gifts for mountain lovers:
- Wild: I read this a few years ago after watching the film. I think the book is so much better and highly recommend it as a book for hikers. It’s a classic and should always be on a list of good gifts for hikers.
- Into Thin Air: This classic adventure book is one I read recently and devoured. It’s so well written and really makes you feel for those who passed away in one of the largest Everest disasters in history.
- Born to Run: Another adventure classic, this book will make even the most reluctant of runners want to get out there and run!
- Pants of Perspective & 50 Shades of the USA: Anna McNuff is such a funny writer and I love reading about her self-powered adventures around the world. Her partner, Jamie, has also written about his experience running across Canada in Adventureman which I also recommend.
- Anything by Alistair Humphreys: Alistair Humphreys was the first “adventurer” I came across a few years ago. I love his writing style and he always takes on new adventures, his most recent of which was when he busked across Spain with only the money he could make playing his violin (not very well).