105 Best Gifts for Hikers 2020: Unique Gift Ideas (Any Budget)

Last Updated on November 25, 2020

A hiker in 2020 wearing a gift blue backpack staring towards mountains in the distance

Best Gifts for Hikers 2020: Unique Gift Ideas for Any Budget

 

It’s hard to buy gifts for hikers and backpackers in 2020. I get it.

We’re a gear-hungry bunch who spends an obscene amount of time searching for products that’ll take our trail game to the next level. Finding unique gifts for us hikers can get overwhelming because we don’t just want good gear, we want the best gear.

But don’t stress out, because I’m a trail chasing, mountain climbing, ultralight backpacking gear junkie and I’m here to help.

This hiking gift guide — updated for 2020 — is split up into five easy to navigate sections, each with its own price range. Products towards the beginning of this list are more affordable and the ones towards the end, well, they’re a bit more pricy.

So stay tuned, and I’ll help you find the perfect present for that beloved hiking or backpacking fanatic in your life. If you have questions about anything on this list, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible (with my best gear nerd answers).

Super Affordable Gifts for Hikers & Backpackers

A black pair of sunglasses

Polarized Aluminum Sunglasses
Merry’s Vintage

If you know a hiker who breaks or loses their sunglasses frequently (like me), these are the shades for them. They’re sturdy and solid — made of aluminum — and feel like a high-end pair of sunglasses on your face. Their tiny price tag makes the sting of losing or breaking them bite less.

A hiking whistle/compass/mirror/thermometer combo

Compass/Whistle/Thermometer Combo
Coghlan’s Function Whistle

For such a low price, this is a no-brainer budget buy for any hiker or backpacker. Coghlan’s 4 in 1 tool acts as a compass, whistle, thermometer, and magnifying glass and weighs only an ounce. This nifty gadget can save hikers and backpackers in more ways than one.

Brown hiking sock with individual toe slots

Blister-Preventing Toe Socks
Injinji Trail Midweight Mini-Crew

At first glance, toe socks might look a little… unique, but when you consider the benefits, Injinis would make a perfect present for hikers and trail runners alike. By keeping toes separate, these socks help prevent blisters, manage moisture, and enhance breathability on the trail.

A small Swiss Army Knife

Mini Pocket Knife
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD

This micro Swiss Army Knife is a staple in the bags of many ultralight hikers and backpackers. Ultra-compact and weighing in at a ridiculous .75 ounces, this minimalist multitool sports a knife, scissors, nail file, tweezers, and a toothpick.

A jar of Nikwax down proof detergent

Waterproofing Down Detergent
Nikwax Down Proof

Hiking gear made with down — puffy jackets, sleeping bags, insulated pants, etc. — gets dirty quickly, and few of us know how to wash it properly. Nikwax will not only clean this delicate down gear, but it’ll also add waterproofing to help retain its insulation properties when wet.

A waterproof hiking journal with water droplets on the paper

Weatherproof Hiking Journal
Rite in the Rain 4 5/8″ x 7″

With 64 waterproof pages, this little notebook is perfect for jotting down thoughts and observations while hiking in wet and dirty conditions. Its pages can also get you out of a bind in the backcountry to start fires or leave S.O.S notes.

Dr. Bronner's biodegradable lavender soap

Biodegradable Liquid Soap
Dr. Bronner’s 18 in 1

Dr. Bronner’s is perfect for hikers and backpackers who aim to stay clean on the trail. It’s biodegradable and can be used safely in the backcountry (away from water sources). It’s potent and portable and will help keep hikers fresh in a world of dirt and grime.

A navy blue breathable athletic shirt for outdoor lovers

Breathable Athletic T-Shirts
32 Degrees Cool Crew (Men’s | Women’s)

At $6 a pop, these extremely affordable t-shirts are comfortable, breathable, and perform very well on and off the trail. There a no-brainer present if you’re on a budget, and will make a great addition to anyone’s hiking, backpacking, or athletic wardrobe.

A TOAKS titanium spork

Ultralight Spork
Toaks Titanium

Made from half an ounce of titanium, this spork is a staple of ultralight backpackers worldwide. It’s the only dining utensil you’ll ever need in the backcountry, and is durable enough to stand up to the harsh rigors of multi-day hikes into the wilderness.

Black lightweight hiking and backpacking hoodie

Budget Hiking Hoodie
32 Degrees Cool Long Sleeve Pullover

When you’re hiking in hot and sunny conditions where shade is minimal, a lightweight and breathable hoodie is the ideal top. This long-sleeve pullover offers full skin coverage while wicking away moisture and promoting airflow to keep you cool and dry.

A pillow case for backpackers

Stuffable Backpacking Pillow Case
Therm-a-Rest Trekker

Getting restful sleep is no easy task when camping and backpacking. This lightweight pillowcase has become an essential of my sleep setup and, when stuffed with my down jacket, is far more comfortable than any inflatable pillow I’ve ever tried.

A first-aid kit with supplies fanned out

Pocket First Aid Kit
Lifeline 30-Piece

Safety is paramount when exploring trails, so a portable first aid kit should be an essential part of any hiker or backpacker’s gear list. The minimalist med kit is stocked with bandages, antiseptic towels, and an emergency whistle, with room for personal add-ons.

Two yellow and pink earplugs

Sleep-Saving Earplugs
Howard Leight (100 Pairs)

Sleeping comfortably in the backcountry doesn’t always come easy, thanks to the countless noises that fill the night. A good set of earplugs will deafen these distracting sounds and create a quiet atmosphere that’ll allow you to rest easy throughout the night.

Black gear repair tape

Gear Repair Tape
GEAR AID Tenacious Tape

Tearing a beloved piece of gear is heartbreaking for hikers and backpackers, and that’s why Tenacious Tape exists. Made from washable waterproof fabric, this tape will cling to any synthetic material and patch up all the rips, gashes, and tears you can throw at it.

Black face and neck wear for hiking

Multifunctional Headwear
Buff Original

Once you hike with a Buff, you’ll wonder why you ever hit the trail without one. This breathable and comfortable piece of headwear has loads of uses; it works as a beanie, bandana, neck gaiter, face mask, balaclava, headband, and more.

Red MSR tent stakes

Tough & Lightweight Tent Stakes
MSR Groundhog

Life’s too short to go backpacking with flimsy tent stakes, so step up your camping game and grab a set of the MSR Groundhogs. Made from 7000-series aluminum, these stakes are both rugged and lightweight and will stay anchored in the ground no matter how hard the wind blows.

Small yellow espresso packet, a perfect gift for hikers

Delicious Instant Espresso
Cafe Bustelo Single Serve 72 Count

A 72-pack of instant espresso shots will be a welcome present for any hiker or backpacker who must start their day with a jolt of caffeine. These handy Cafe Bustelo pouches are not only incredibly affordable (16 cents each) but they’re rich, delicious, and powerful.

Black knit hiking and backpacking beanie

Warm & Lightweight Beanie
Carhartt Acrylic Knit Hat

Hikers that enjoy exploring cold climates will find this Carhartt knit beanie extremely useful. It’s 100% acrylic, which means it doesn’t soak up perspiration and holds warmth exceptionally well. It’s packable, stylish, and will keep its hikers warm into temperatures below freezing.

A small cork ball with a tree design on it

Pain-Relieving Massage Ball
Rawlogy Cork Mini 1.9″

Thru-hikers and mile-shredding backpackers put their bodies through hell and must self-manage injuries on the trail. At the end of a grueling day day, hikers can roll on this lightweight ball to massage tight muscles, soothe sore ligaments, and break up inflammation.

Lightload ultralight backpacking towels

Miniature Quick-Dry Towels
Lightload Microfiber

For thru-hikers and backpackers, towels are a luxury that usually aren’t worth their weight. That’s why many turn to the half-ounce Lightload Microfiber towels. These tiny cloths are great for a quick dry off, wiping up tent condensation, and even work as emergency fire-starters.

Blister cream for hikers

Blister Prevention Cream
HikeGoo

Blisters can make a hiker’s life painful in a hurry, so stopping them before they start is key to a comfortable experience. HikeGoo lessens friction between feet and socks and would make a perfect present for hikers and backpackers who aim to keep their feet in shape on the trail.

Black eyewear retainers

Minimalist Eyewear Retainer
Chums 3mm

Unsecured sunglasses have a habit of getting lost, damaged, and broken during hikes, which can be a real morale killer on the trail. Chums 3mm eyewear retainers will protect your beloved sunglasses, make them easy to hang around your neck, and barely cost a thing.

Moderately Priced Hiking & Backpacking Gifts

Black ultralight ditty bag with zipper

Gear Storage for Backpacking
Ultralitesacks DCF Ditty Bag

Backpackers need lightweight and convenient storage for their toiletries, electronics, and other small pieces of gear. This DCF ditty bag offers a full-length zipper, waterproof protection from the elements, and will stash away near the top of a backpack for easy access.

A variety pack of Greenbelly backpacking food

Delicious No-Cook Backpacking Meals
Greenbelly Variety Pack

Backpacking food doesn’t need to be cooked in order to taste delicious. That’s why my go-to breakfast for multi-day hikes is the Greenbelly meal bar. They are convenient, made from healthy ingredients, and are nearly 700 calories a bar, the perfect combination for backcountry nourishment.

Black outlined ornament of a couple hiking in the backcountry

Couples Hiking & Backpacking Ornament
Wulf Creek Designs

This ornament won’t come in handy on the trail, but it will make a great addition to any hiking couple’s Christmas tree. For a couple extra bucks, you can also add personalized text to the bottom of the ornament. Couples who hike together stay together, after all.

Grey, packable, and waterproof minimalist backpack

Ultralight Packable Day Pack
4Monster 24-Liter

For minimalist travelers who seek out day hikes on their adventures, the 4Monster 24-liter day pack is the perfect gift. Weighing in at around four ounces, this highly water-resistant backpack is made of durable 30D nylon and packs down to the size of a soda can.

Budget Down Jacket
32 Degrees Ultralight (Men’s | Women’s)

32 Degrees makes the best budget ultralight down jackets, hands down. Made with 650-fill responsibly sourced down and a water-repellant outer fabric, this jacket packs down small, and will keep you warm and toasty as temperatures approach freezing.

Three blue walkie talkies for hiking, hunting, and backpacking

Long-Range Walkie Talkies
Motorola T100TP Talkabout Radio

Backpackers, hunters, and guides who regularly keep distance from their hiking partners will find these long-range walkie talkies very useful. They operate on 22 separate channels and have a massive range of up to 16 miles. They’re a must for long-distance communication in the wilderness.

A sawyer squeeze water filter with a syringe and three water pouches

Minimalist Water Filter
Sawyer Squeeze

Water purification is essential in the backcountry, so the Sawyer Squeeze is a perfect present for any backpacker looking to filter water on their trip. The Squeeze weighs just over two ounces, is extremely packable, and is rated to filter over 100,000 gallons of water.

Hip belt for hikers and backpackers

Minimalist Fanny Pack
Matador Packable Hip Pack

Hikers who need quick access to certain trail essentials — think snacks, cellphones, small cameras — will love the Matador Packable Hip Pack. Made from durable, waterproof 30D Cordura nylon, this nifty little pack will keep their stuff safe, dry, and ultra-accessible.

A blue Merino wool t-shirt

Versatile Merino Wool T-Shirt
Montbell Plus Light T (Men’s | Women’s)

The Montbell Merino Wool Plus Light T is as functional as they come. Made from a Merino/polyester blend, this do-it-all t-shirt is highly odor-resistant, moisture-wicking, and fits like a dream. It can be worn comfortably in the backcountry, while traveling, or for a night out on the town.

Black foldable USB solar panel for hiking and backpacking

Lightweight 10-Watt USB Solar Panel
Renogy Portable E-Flex

Fully-charged devices keep hikers prepared to navigate the backcountry safely, for days on end. This compact solar panel will harness the sun’s natural energy and replenish the batteries of phones, headlamps, and power banks without the need for a wall-charger.

A small titanium ultralight backpacking stove

Crazy Light Backpacking Stove
BRS-3000T Titanium

In the world of backpacking stoves, the BRS-3000T is as minimalist as it gets. It weighs in at a ridiculous .9 ounces, folds up to the size of a lighter, and cranks out an impressive flame. It’d be a unique gift for hikers looking to shave significant weight off of their 2020 backpacking gear list.

Opaque food storage bag for hiking and backpacking

Lightweight Waterproof Food Storage
Ultralightsacks DCF Bear/Food Bag

On multi-day hiking trips, it’s important to keep your food safe from rodents, bears, and other animals that are attracted by its smell. I recommend the zippered Ultralitesacks bag, which can hold over a week of food and can be safely hung in tree, out of reach from curious creatures.

A red saddle bag for hiking with dogs

Hiking Vest for Dogs
Pettom Saddle Bag

Dogs who hike deserve good gear too. A well-fitted saddle bag allows dogs to comfortably carry their food and supplies during multi-day excursions on the trail. I used this exact bag when hiking with my old yellow lab on the Colorado Trail and it fit him like a dream.

A black mesh back trucker hat with the Zpacks logo

Mesh Back Hat
Zpacks Classic Trucker

Mesh back trucker hats offer great breathability and sun protection on the trail. Zpacks, known for its top-notch ultralight backpacking products, makes a particularly stylish and lightweight hat. From thru-hiking to city life, this versatile snapback can be worn on and off the trail.

Green and black lightweight hiking and backpacking towel

Lightweight Body-Sized Towel
PackTowl Ultralight Microfiber

Weighing in at 3.4 ounces, the PackTowl Ultralight body towel folds down into the palm of your hand. Because of its extreme portability, it has become a fixture in the hiking and backpacking community and would make a great present for anyone looking to stay fresh on the trail.

A blue aluminum backpacking trowel

Ultralight Backpacking Trowel
TheTentLab Deuce

Leave No Trace principles are paramount in the hiking and backpacking community, so properly burying human waste (poop, not trash) is a must in the backcountry. This durable .6 oz aluminum trowel allows hikers to dig catholes quickly and dispose of their waste the right way.

A unique minimalist hiking tripod I received as a gift

Ultra-Portable Tripod
Pedco Ultrapod

The Pedco Ultrapod is made for hikers and travelers who love photography but don’t want to lug around a bulky tripod. It helps stabilize zoomed-in photos, levels the camera on uneven terrain, can attach to objects with its velcro strap, and comes in at a super-packable 4 ounces.

A grey and black Merino wool hiking sock

The World’s Best Hiking Socks
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew

I’ve never worn socks as comfortable as my Darn Tough Hikers and I can’t imagine I ever will. Made from a durable Merino Wool/Nylon/Lycra Spandex blend, they fit perfectly, don’t bunch up, breathe well, wick away moisture, and are covered by a lifetime warranty.

A white bottle of Blue Lizard sunscreen

Heavy-Duty Sunscreen
Blue Lizard SPF 30+

Sun protection is one of the ten essentials of hiking, so a sunscreen that stands up to the rigors of the trail will be a welcome present for any hiker. Blue Lizard sunscreen lasts nearly all day, uses healthy ingredients, and is always effective (even when you’re pouring sweat).

A black minimalist headlamp

Minimalist Head Lamp
Nitecore NU25

The Nitecore NU25 headlamp is one of my very favorite items on my ultralight backpacking gear list. It weighs practically nothing, puts out incredibly strong light (360 lumens), has loads of useful settings, and is USB rechargeable. It’s an absolute model of efficiency.

A black pair of boxer briefs

Moisture-Wicking Underwear
ExOfficio Give ‘n’ Go (Men’s | Women’s)

Underwear doesn’t get much more breathable, lightweight, or comfortable than the Give ‘n’ Gos, and that’s why they’re a staple of the hiking and backpacking community. They stay fresh for days on end and wick odor and moisture away with ease.

Two mylar emergency blankets

Life-Saving Emergency Blanket
Premium Life Mylar 52″ x 84″

Emergency blankets are a worst-case-scenario type of purchase, but could be a life-saving investment if things go awry in the backcountry. Made from paper-thin mylar, these lightweight blankets will reflect body heat, block wind, and repel rain when at the mercy of the elements.

A black space pen

Waterproof Bullet Pen
Fisher Space Pen

A reliable waterproof pen is a must have piece of gear for hikers who obsessively take notes like me. Water, cold temperatures, and writing in zero-gravity conditions don’t phase the Fisher Space Pen, and it’s bound to put ink onto paper under pretty much any circumstances.

A can of bear spray for hikers and backpackers

Powerful & Effective Bear Spray
SABRE Frontiersman 9.2 oz

A canister of bear spray is a hiking gift you give with the hopes the recipient will never need to use it. That said, the best way to protect against an aggressive bear in the backcountry is to temporarily blind it with a strong burst of Capsaicinoids. This will do the trick.

A collapsible camping, hiking, and backpacking stove

Compact & Powerful Backpacking Stove
MSR PocketRocket 2

While the BRS-3000T backpacking stove I mentioned earlier weighs two ounces less, the PocketRocket 2 is more powerful and reliable. This stove is a staple in the ultralight backpacking community and would be a great tool for someone looking to step up their cooking game.

Black minimalist travel and hiking bluetooth headphones in a charging case

Bluetooth Headphones with Charging Case
TOZO T6 Earbuds

Blaring music on the trail is a big no-no on the trail, so give these Bluetooth headphones to any hikers who can’t keep their tunes to themselves. They’re waterproof, have touch controls, and can play your favorite hiking songs for over six hours on a single charge.

Phone, tablet, and computer all with topographic maps loaded on-screen

GPS Topo Maps Subscription
Gaia GPS Annual Plan

Gaia GPS offers an incredible collection of hiking trails and topo maps, and is an excellent resource for researching and navigating trails. A premium subscription — 20% off through this link — allows users to access to maps offline and explore the backcountry with ease.

A small titanium mug

Lightweight Backpacking Mug
Toaks Titanium 375ml

Hot coffee, tea, cocoa, you name it — they’re all huge morale boosters on long hiking trips. This titanium mug is a great present for anyone who needs a solid lightweight vessel for all of their pre and post hike refreshments. Looking for a larger pot? Check out the 750ml version.

A black and grey rechargeable arc lighter

USB-Rechargeable Arc Lighter
Tesla Coil

Though I bring BIC Minis on my adventures, a far more powerful and weatherproof option would be the Tesla Coil lighter. This rechargeable device creates a strong electric arc when its button is pressed, requires no fuel, and is completely windproof. Welcome to the future.

A set of trekking poles with tips and baskets next to them

Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
Cascade Mountain Tech

Trekking poles are absolute knee-savers on long journeys, and would be a helpful gift for hikers with creaky joints. This particular set is made from carbon fiber, which is extremely durable and significantly lighter than the aluminum used in traditional trekking poles.

Black waterproof gaiters for hiking shoes and boots

Water-Blocking Gaiters
Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low

Know a hiker that loves to explore wet and humid climates? Get them a set of gaiters to pair with their waterproof hiking shoes. These extremely durable 420D Nylon coverings will block moisture from seeping in the top of a hiker’s footwear, keeping their feet dry and comfortable.

Transparent high-precision compass

High-Precision Compass
SUUNTO M-3 NH

Though trail navigation in widely available on smartphones, it can fail when you least expect it. A high-precision compass, coupled with an up-t0-date topo map, will ensure that hikers and backpackers can find their way, even when their precious technology isn’t working.

Model wearing a grey and black long sleeved shirt

Ultra-Breathable Hiking Shirt
Carhartt Force Extremes

The Force Extremes was built to be a work shirt, but I find it to be an exceptional hiking top as well. It’s lightweight, breathable, wicks away moisture, and neutralizes odor. This shirt is extremely comfortable as well, and I use it as my go-to minimalist travel top when I’m off the trail.

A pair of black crampons with steel chains

Ice-Gripping Crampons
Cimkiz Ice Cleats

Hikers who plan on tackling snow packed and/or icy trails should always have a pair of crampons at the ready. Their durable stainless steel spikes dig into ice, grip and stabilize on slick hiking surfaces, and drastically reduce the risk of a dangerous fall.

A book titled "Great Hiking Trails of the World'

Awe-Inspiring Trail Photography
Great Hiking Trails of the World (Hardcover)

Karen Berger’s 336-page masterpiece takes a deep dive into 80 of the world’s most mind-blowing trails. Not only does Berger include helpful maps, stats, and stunning photos for every trail, but she delves into the nuances that make each adventure so incredible and unique.

A black power bank

Packable USB Power Bank
Anker Powercore II 10,000mAh

Wandering trails is meant to help us escape our gadgets, but there’s no denying that technology is a big part of the hiking community. A reliable, lightweight power bank will keep those precious tech items — phones, camera batteries, headlamps, beacons — powered up and ready for action.

Minimalist Sleeping Pad
Sleepingo Ultralight

Finicky tent sleepers like me know how important it is to find a the right sleeping pad. For all of my three season ultralight backpacking needs, the Sleepingo checks all the boxes. Lightweight and compact? Comfortable? Reasonably priced? Yes, yes, and yes.

Grey ultralight packing cubes, which make great gifts for hikers

Ultralight Packing Cubes
Osprey Pack UL

In hiking and backpacking, organization is key, so packing cubes would be a great gift idea for anyone looking to introduce some order to their messy setup. Osprey’s three cube set will help keep gear, food, and supplies where they should be, while only weighing a measly two ounces.

Mid-Range Gifts for Hikers & Backpackers

A dark red Montbell hoodie

The Hiker’s Dream Hoodie
Montbell Cool Hoodie (Men’s | Women’s)

Designed to be worn during exercise in the dead of the summer, the Montbell Cool Hoodie is as soft, breathable, and lightweight as it gets. Made from durable Wickron COOL Fabric, this hoodie wicks away moisture, fights odor, and blocks the sun’s harmful UV rays with ease.

A unique Nanospresso espresso maker hiking gift

Portable Espresso Maker
Wacaco Nanospresso

Behold! The biggest luxury in my backpacking arsenal. With the Nanospresso, all I need to create fresh espresso while hiking is boiling water and a Nespresso Capsule. No, you won’t see this on my ultralight backpacking gear list, but it’s fun to have for special occasions.

Black hiking and backpacking shorts with zippered pockets

The World’s Best Hiking Shorts
Patagonia Nine Trails (Men’s | Women’s)

After discovering the Nine Trails shorts, I can’t imagine hiking in anything else. Made from soft, breathable, water-resistant fabric, these shorts offer second-to-none comfort on the trail. They also sport built-in liners and fully zippered pockets for maximum convenience.

A red and black two person hammock

Lightweight Two-Person Hammock
ENO DoubleNest

Not only is a lightweight and packable hammock great for some rest and relaxation while hiking, but it’s useful for any other number of occasions. Road trips, van life, car camping, traveling, swaying aimlessly in the breeze — it’ll be a great present for anyone with a relaxed spirt.

Ultralight Hydration Vest
CamelBak Ultra Pro

For quick hikes and trail runs, a daypack can be a bit overkill. When all you need is water storage and minimal space for snacks and gear, a hydration vest carries it all comfortably and efficiently. The Ultra Pro would be perfect for minimalist hikers and trail runners.

The lower half of a model wearing khaki pants

Super-Comfortable Hiking Pants
prAna Stretch Zion (Men’s | Women’s)

Not only are the Strech Zions a staple of the hiking and backpacking community, but they’re a favorite among travelers as well. As the name suggests, these pants stretch and flex with your movement and, as a result, are about as comfortable as it gets on the trail.

Titanium flask with Zpacks logo

8 oz Ultralight Flask
Zpacks Titanium

Sometimes, you need to pack a nip of your favorite booze to keep you warm after a long day of backpacking. This stylish titanium flask — complete with mini funnel — is the lightweight backpacker’s vessel of choice and will hold a hefty 8 ounces of your favorite adult beverage.

Black and white minimalist Xero hiking shoe

Ultra-Minimalist Hiking Shoe
Xero Prio (Men’s | Women’s)

Xero makes some of the best minimalist hiking and backpacking shoes on the market, and the Prio is their most popular model. Weighing in at a scant 7.6 ounces per shoe, the Prios offer full foot protection with a minimalist barefoot feel.

An REI gift National Parks Pass for the US

All-Access National Parks Pass
America the Beautiful Pass

National Park hopping in the U.S. can get expensive quickly, costing $25 to $35 per visit. An annual parks pass will certainly ease the pain of these hefty entry fees and pays for itself after only three visits. This is a can’t-go-wrong type of gift for any hiker or outdoor lover in 2020.

Silver Zpacks brand backpacking and hiking umbrella

Ultralight Hiking Umbrella
Zpacks Lotus UL

Hiking with umbrellas has become more and more popular in recent years, and for good reason. They offer great UV protection in exposed, sunny landscapes and are great at shedding heavy precipitation when rain jackets have the tendency to wet out.

Titanium wood-burning backpacking stove

Wood-Burning Backpacking Stove
Toaks Titanium

If you know a backpacker who likes to cook, but doesn’t want to carry containers of fuel, a wood-burning backpacking stove will be a great fit. Keep in mind, this is a cooking setup for backcountry purists who are willing to ignite kindling to boil their water every night.

Black and grey binoculars

Compact & Powerful Binoculars
Nikon Trailblazer 8×25 ATB

A solid pair of binoculars is an asset to any hiker’s gear list, but would be especially useful for those who love tracking and viewing wildlife. Weighing in at less than a pound, these Nikons give hikers candid glimpses of nature without being a burden to hike with.

A light blue bear canister for backpacking

Rock-Solid Bear Canister
BearVault BV500

When hiking or backpacking in bear country, it’s important to prevent any curious visitors from nosing around your campsite. A BearVault will completely hide the smell of your food, and keep bears away so you can sleep safely and worry-free.

A black minimalist travel backpack

Minimalist 32-Liter Packable Backpack
Matador Freerain32

A perfect present for the traveling hiker, the waterproof Matador Freerain 32-liter backpack weighs in at an impressive 10.5 ounces and packs down to the size of a water bottle. I use the Freerain32 as my go-to minimalist travel and day hiking backpack. It holds everything I need with ease.

Black, grey, and blue trail running shoes

Rugged Hiking Shoes
Salomon X Ultra 3 (Men’s | Women’s)

Salomon makes a great shoe, and the X Ultra 3 exemplifies their commitment to producing well-engineered footwear for hikers worldwide. The soles are beefy but lightweight and the shoe is extremely comfortable after the break-in period. Waterproof Version: X Ultra 3 GTX.

A black aluminum alloy camera clip

Minimalist Camera Clip
Peak Design Capture V3

For hikers who love photography, cell phone cameras simply won’t cut it. The aluminum alloy Capture V3 clip allows users to hike with their cameras and snap them securely onto their backpack strap or belt. For outdoor photographers, the Capture V3 a must-have piece of gear.

Black and blue Patagonia zip neck hiking top

Warm and Lightweight Top
Patagonia Capilene Midweight (Men’s | Women’s)

Chilly hiking trips should call for a reliable baselayer, and the Capilene zip-neck will keep you warm and well-ventilated in the backcountry. This eco-friendly top is made from 100% recycled materials, offers 50+ UPF sun protection, and breathes like a dream.

Blue and black long underwear for hiking gifts

Warm and Lightweight Long Underwear
Patagonia Capilene Midweight (Men’s | Women’s)

A warm pair of long underwear is a must for cold weather trips. The Capilenes are extremely popular in the hiking and backpacking community, and would be a fitting present for anyone looking to add a silky smooth layer of warmth to their 2020 gear list.

A 14-item multitool

All-in-One Multitool
Leatherman Wingman

For some hikers, a 14-in-1 multitool is a bit overkill, for others it’s an essential part of their packing list. The Wingman is perfect for hiking bush crafters, hunters, and fishermen who need a reliable tool to stay prepared for any situation. Me? I’m good with my micro scissors.

Two black waterproof and windproof gloves

Four-Season Hiking Gloves
Sealskinz Waterproof & Windproof

Warm gloves are a must for cold-weather hikers and backpackers, and the Sealskinz offer great protection as temperatures plunge. They’re 100% waterproof and windproof, and can be worn comfortably in rain, snow, and bitter cold climates.

A pair of black minimalist hiking sandals

Minimalist Hiking Sandals
Luna OSO Flaco

While thru-hiking in these sandals may be a little extreme, they’re great for day hiking, weekend backpacking trips, and minimalist travel adventures. They are zero drop, which means they will strengthen feet, improve alignment, and help prevent future injury.

High-End Gifts for Hikers & Backpackers

A red and black backpacking backpack

Ultralight 58-Liter Backpack
Osprey Exos 58

For backpackers looking to ditch their heavy packs and enter the ultralight realm, the Exos 58 is a great place to start. Not only does it boast an impressive weight to volume ratio (42 oz to 58 liters), it’s one of the most comfortable and well-made backpacks on the market.

A black and grey hiking boot

Top-Notch Hiking Boots
Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX (Men’s | Women’s)

Do you know a four-season hiker who loves to tackle any type of terrain? Look no further than the Quest 4D 3 GTX boots. They’re burly, comfortable, durable, completely waterproof, and can tear up and down trails in any of the four seasons.

A camping stove, 2.5 liter pot, and canister of fuel

Powerful Group Cooking System
MSR Windburner Group

Those who want to cook backcountry feasts will need the right gear, and this powerhouse of a stove is up to the task. The 9,000 BTU Windburner Group Stove isn’t fazed by nasty weather or wind, and can prepare food for up to six people with a 4.5 liter pot add-on.

A blue minimalist rain jacket

Ultralight Rain Jacket
O.R. Helium II (Men’s | Women’s)

Ultralight hikers and backpackers swear by the 6.4 ounce Helium II rain jacket. Why? Because it weighs less than most competitors, packs down into the palm of your hand, breathes exceptionally well, and sheds rain with ease. Need I say more?

Black rain pants for hiking and backpacking

Ultralight Rain Pants
O.R. Helium (Men’s | Women’s)

Sometimes, a rain jacket just isn’t enough protection from the elements. These Outdoor Research Helium rain pants are reliable, lightweight, and will give hikers and backpackers full-body protection in climates where precipitation is the norm.

A black collapsible camping chair

Lightweight Camping & Backpacking Chair
Helinox Chair Zero

I’m too much of an ultralight snob to bring my Chair Zero backpacking, but I sure wouldn’t blame anyone who did. (I use mine during van life.) That said, it’s comfortable, weighs next to nothing (18 ounces), and would take any hiker’s comfort in the backcountry to the next level.

A grey inflatable sleeping pad

Ultra-Warm Sleeping Pad
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm

Do you know a hardcore backpacker who wants to camp year-round, no matter how cold it gets? With a lofty r-value of 7.2, the heavily-insulated NeoAir XTherm is built for sleeping in the bitter cold and would be a welcome present for any hiker who likes to brave all four seasons.

A black puffy REI gift hiking jacket

900-Fill Down Hooded Jacket
Arc’teryx Cerium LT (Men’s | Women’s)

Every backpacker needs a warm, lightweight puffy in their arsenal, and the Arc’terxy Cerium LT Hoody is as good as they get. Stuffed generously with 900-fill down, the Cerium LT packs down to the size of a Nalgene bottle and will keep hikers warm as temperatures dip below freezing.

A showshoe with a flexed boot inside

Pro-Quality Snow Shoes
Atlas Montane

Much of the best mountain hiking is only accessible for a fraction of the year, unless you own a trusty set of snowshoes. The V-frame, spring loaded suspension Atlas Montanes are built to get hikers out on the trail, even when there’s snow and ice as far as the eye can see.

A down insulated bootie

Extra-Warm Down Booties
Western Mountaineering Standard

For backpackers whose feet run cold, down booties can be the difference between freezing their toes off and a getting great night of sleep. They’ll make a cozy backpacking gift for finicky sleepers like me. (Note: These boots are made for sleeping, and shouldn’t be worn outside the tent.)

Four sleeping bags: black, green, red, and blue

Lightweight 0-Degree Sleeping Bag
Hyke and Byke Eolus

The Eulos 0-degree bag will keep cold-weather hikers and backpackers warm as night temperatures plunge below freezing. Intelligently filled with water-resistant 800-fill down, the Eulos are a toasty gift idea for 2020’s four-season hikers who need warm and packable gear.

A model wearing a blue windbreaker

Feather-Light Windbreaker
Zpacks Ventum Shell (Men’s | Women’s)

Joe Valesko, the owner of Zpacks, boasts that the Ventum Shell is one of the most useful pieces of clothing to have on your gear list, and I agree. Made from insanely light Ventum ripstop nylon, this 1.7 ounce shell stops chilly gusts of wind and traps your body heat in the process.

Spare No Expense Hiking & Backpacking Gifts

A dark blue ultralight sleeping quilt

Best-in-Class Ultralight Sleeping Quilt
Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20-Degree

For backpackers and thru-hikers worldwide, the Revelation quilt is the gold standard of ultralight sleeping bags. Its hoodless and zipperless design sheds unnecessary ounces and allows users to tighten or loosen their bag to have full control over the temperature inside.

A red and white tent for four-season backpacking

Weather-Proof Four-Season Tent
MSR Hubba Hubba NX

The Hubba Hubba NX is one of the sturdiest and most compact four-season tents on the market, which is why you’ll see it frequently used on backpacking trails worldwide. It would be ideal for hikers who like to stay the night in windy, cold, and unforgiving conditions.

A black GPS watch

High-Tech GPS Watch
Garmin Instinct

For stat-obsessed hikers, the Garmin Instinct smartwatch is a must-have. Not only does it display your live step count, heart rate, and elevation, but it also tracks your hike via GPS and stores it for later access. I use mine to map and display my hikes and backpacking trips on this site.

A black and red GPS/satellite beacon

Life-Saving Personal Locator Beacon
Garmin InReach Mini

Exploring the backcountry can go sideways in a hurry, which makes the InReach Mini a must-have for hikers who explore lesser-traveled trails. With it, you can send messages through its Iridium satellite network, call search and rescue, and share your GPS location with the world.

A black and silver digital camera

Lightweight & Compact Mirrorless Camera
Olympus OM-D E-M10

Smartphone photos of a jaw-dropping adventure never do the hike justice, but the OM-D E-M10 captures images that will. This is the camera I take along on my hiking and backpacking adventures to take professional quality photos for this website. My Lenses: Zoom | Portrait.

A burly REI backpacking sleeping bag gifted with -20 degree protection

Extreme -20-Degree Sleeping Bag
The North Face Inferno

Here’s a present for only the most extreme four-season hiking and backpacking junkies. The Inferno is the sleeping bag for those who crave the most cold and uninviting excursions available. Backpacking Alaska in the winter or tackling the Great Himilaya Trail? Look no further.

A large box of backpacking meals for 14 days

Two-Week Freeze Dried Food Kit
Mountain House 14-Day Emergency Supply

For avid backpackers, there’s no such thing as having too many dehydrated meals at the ready. It’s just not possible. So, help your favorite hiking junkie stock up on trail food with this huge box of Mountain House meals, which has 44 meal pouches, or 14 days worth of calories.

A black GoPro camera

Rugged Weatherproof Action Camera
GoPro Hero8 Black

If you know someone who hikes with reckless abandon and beats up their gear, the Hero8 might be perfect for them. Weighing a ridiculous 4.4 ounces, this waterproof adventure camera films in full 4K Ultra HD, takes crisp photos, and is more or less indestructible.

A light blue tend made of Dyneema Composite Fiber

Award-Winning Ultralight Backpacking Tent
Zpacks Duplex

The Duplex is among the most widely owned tents by ultralight backpackers, and wins awards for its lightweight, packable prowess. The recognition is deserved too, as I can attest to from years spent camping in my trusty Triplex, a slightly roomier version of the Duplex.

Puffy black down insulated pants

Ultra-Comfortable Down Pants
Western Mountaineering Flight

The Flight down pants were engineered for extreme conditions and would be a great gift idea for hikers who enjoy trudging through challenging climates. Stuffed with 850+ fill down and equipped with GORE Windstopper fabric, these pants were made to tackle the most bitter temperatures.

A gray and dark grey cooler backpack

Uber-Efficient Cooler Backpack
Yeti Hopper Backflip 24

Anyone hitting the trail with this cooler-pack is likely to make fellow hikers jealous. Why? Because inside awaits delicious and refreshing possibilities. The Backflip 24 will keep 20 12-ounce cans ice cold for days on end. It’s a beer-drinking, mountain crushing, day hiker’s delight.

2020’s Best Hiking Gifts

An ultralight hiking backpacking tent, given to me as a gift, in front of a stunning mountain range

Zpacks Triplex tent: Four Pass Loop in Maroon Bells Wilderness, Colorado

 

So, there you have it: my very best gift ideas for hikers and backpackers for the 2020 season and beyond. I hope my endless gear ramblings were useful and helped you find a unique present that can elevate your loved one’s hiking game.

And if you’ve looked through this gift guide and still don’t know what the hell to buy, leave a comment below and tell me a little about who you’re buying for. I’ll do my very best to point you in the right direction.

Until then, I’ll be out hiking trails, sleeping under the stars, and living out 2020 in search of a few priceless gifts of my own.

More Hiking & Backpacking Resources

What are some of your best hiking and backpacking gift ideas for 2020? What’s the most unique hiking gift you’ve ever received? Do you own anything on this list? Let me know by leaving some feedback in the comments below!

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