by Diane Spicer
This Gift Guide for hikers is brimming with options.
It's organized like this:
Mix and match, dabble and discover excellent options in this gift guide for hikers.
It's written by a long time trail veteran who loves to put solid tips into your hands!
We're using REI Co-op as our base camp for this Gift Guide For Hikers.
There are solid reasons for this choice.
REI Co-op is a reputable company with a laser focus on its members, rather than a faceless entity driven by shareholder profits.
REI Co-op is at the vanguard of the sustainability movement in outdoor gear and clothing.
And finally, Hiking For Her has been using REI's hiking equipment, camping gear, outdoor clothing and more since 1978.
Value, durability, and thoughtful designs are what you'll find in the Co-op.
Time to hit the trail called Hiking Gifts!
Does your hiker love to feel comfortable on the trail?
No, not at all.
She might struggle to keep her head and hands, maybe even her feet, warm on a stroll around the block, let alone on the trail.
Or perhaps she's just getting started as a hiker and needs some good choices for her hiking clothing layering system.
These gifts will feel like a nice, warm hug from you - just the thing to make her feel cozy.
Base layers are meant to be worn snugly against the body to trap heat.
Most hikers have basics in two different weights: lightweight for mild, cool weather, and midweight for cold temperatures.
The great things about these REI layering pieces?
For the bottom layer of warmth, REI Co-op Merino Midweight Base Layer Tights:
And for the top layer of coziness: REI Co-op Merino Midweight Half-Zip Base Layer
You can take a look at lightweight base layer gifts here.
It's amazing how chilled a hiker feels when the wind kicks up, or the raindrops begin.
A few inexpensive basics are a welcome present to protect her against cold that zaps energy.
Start at the top, trapping body heat with a well designed hat.
OR also makes great gloves for hikers, using lightweight waterproof and breathable fabrics which dry quickly.
They always include nice little touches like anti-slip silicone palm pads, pull-on loops, glove clips to keep the pair together, and tapered wrists for blocking cold breezes.
Two of many great options are included in our gift guide for hikers:
Spend a little time exploring the OR glove universe here.
Carrying a hot beverage on a cold hike makes good sense for keeping your body temperature within a stable range regardless of weather conditions.
And it feels marvelous to sit down after a few hours of hiking to enjoy a steaming cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
This 21 ounce Hydro Flask Coffee Flask is built for safe transport of hot liquids in a backpack!
And as a clever gifter, leave nothing to chance.
Tuck a box of deliciousness from a brand well known for its quality, fairly sourced chocolate into the gift box.
Theo Drinking Chocolate - yum!
Hikers know more than one secret to staying warm.
Like tucking a Zippo 12-Hour hand warmer into a midlayer vest pocket.
Why pull up a cold lumpy rock to sit on, when your hiker can use this cushion-y REI Co-op Sit Pad to trap body heat.
Put together a great personalized gift that says you care about her comfort on the trail.
And easy to do, using five things you'll find in my comfort kit on every hike:
To be even more generous, tuck everything into a re-usable, durable container or multipurpose holder. Hikers never have enough storage options!
This REI Co-op Mesh Stuff Sack is quite versatile.
Your hiker can re-purpose a small one like this for keeping important items like glasses and keys together, or to hold trail snacks.
It's available in this small 3L size, or all the way up to 12 liters if you want to go big.
The drawcord keeps everything secure inside a backpack.
Speaking of snacks, here's a choice that is unusual and very tasty:
Project 7 Sourly's
Sweet & Spicy Gummies
Note the quality ingredients, with nothing weird or artificial to slow down your hiker's digestion.
Makes a fun low cost stocking stuffer - literally - if you decide to go with the traditional hiking gift of socks (coming up soon, I promise).
Now let's look at a more serious category of hiking gifts in our gift guide for hikers.
These safety items are more expensive in terms of cash, but are priceless in terms of giving your hiker the tools she needs on a hike.
When your hiker decides to wander off the beaten path, she needs a way to stay found.
Or to summon help in an emergency situation.
This Garmin inReach Mini 2-Way Satellite Communicator allows back and forth texting, using the reliable Iridium network.
The device is lightweight enough to carry on every hike, and weatherproof to stand up to four season hiking.
Peace of mind, that's what this gift is all about.
Using the same approach as building the comfort kit above, you can pull together some inexpensive items which are invaluable on the trail.
A locking carabiner like this Trango SuperFly Screwlock Carabiner is recommended for clipping things to a backpack.
It's an inexpensive way to make your gift just a little more tailored to what a hiker really needs.
Makes you look mighty good for including such a thoughtful touch!
If your favorite person loves four season hiking, it's likely she has tried snowshoeing.
If not, what is she waiting for?
Use Hiking For Her's Snowshoeing Gear Guide to get started on selecting just the right gift to keep her safe and cozy on wintery hikers.
Hikers love the chance to hunker down in a campground for several days and tap out the trails in all directions: car camping + hiking.
They also love picnic gear waiting back at the car after a day hike, to be enjoyed once the sweaty boots come off.
These gift options have lots of appeal for campers and picnickers!
Your hiker who also car camps might already have the basics of a camp kitchen.
But does she have fun stuff like this?
A Wild + Wolf Alfresco Multi-Tool gives nearly endless options for meal prep.
GSI Outdoors Santoku Knife Set:
Every cook needs good knives.
These compact blades in protective sheaths are stainless steel for long life:
Rubber handles give a sturdy grip.
Includes a folding cutting board and a tough nylon outer case.
But maybe she doesn't have the basics yet. Why not provide them?
Here's an eleven piece kitchen set, including utensils and accessories for preparing meals.
Are there hikers who enjoy wine on your gift list?
Here are two ways to sip wine outdoors with no worries about shattering glass.
Pair your choice of glasses with this 25 fl. oz. Hydro Flask Vacuum Wine Bottle to completely eliminate glass from the equation: safer and lighter than wine bottles.
The Hydro Flask Lifetime Warranty is there if she needs it.
There are matching wine tumblers, too.
What about options for safe and convenient food storage for an after hike picnic?
Here's what I use for a short day:
When I know I'll be gone for a long hike in hot weather, or I want to bring along fresh food on a car camping trip, I use this affordable and sturdy cooler:
Is your hiker a backpacker?
She only has so much muscle to lift a backpack, and only so much space for gear and clothing within it.
Being a clever gift giver who knows all this will make your backpacker smile when you select something lightweight and durable that serves more than one purpose in her pack.
These options are your ace in the hole.
You probably were expecting hiking socks to be a boring inclusion in a gift guide for hikers.
So here they are: technical hiking socks.
Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew Socks
This is not a boring, trivial gift to a hiker.
In fact, these socks are essential pieces of gear which keep feet performing well on the trail, mile after mile.
Merino wool wicks away moisture, lets go of odors easily, and feels so soft on hard working feet.
Want to make a gift of hiking socks even more special?
Attach a gift tag with tips on how to use them for more than just mopping up sweaty feet inside hiking boots, and win points for creativity!
These Smartwool Traditional Snowflake moisture wicking Merino wool socks can be used:
Everyone makes fun of bringing along a kitchen sink, but if you use your imagination, it can solve a lot of problems for backpackers.
And then turn right around and be used in a car camping kitchen, too.
How about investing a few ounces of precious weight into producing a great cup of brewed coffee on a backpacking - or car camping - trip?
Works for loose tea as well.
Sea to Summit X-Brew Coffee Dripper
More ideas for backpacking kitchen essentials
that make great gifts here
You know what would really make a backpacker's face light up with joy?
Lots and lots of food!
Pull together some themed choices, like these:
Never enough chili in this world
Yummy vegetarian entrees
GOOD TO-GO Mexican Quinoa Bowl
Patagonia Provisions Organic Green Lentil Soup
GOOD TO-GO Herbed Mushroom Risotto
Flavorful paleo & gluten free options
Have fun mixing and matching lots more backpacking food choices here.
We've taken care of safety and comfort in our Gift Guide For Hikers.
Now it's time for some silliness.
C'mon, you know you want one!
A Sun Company WildLight Headband LED Headlamp, what a fun way to dig through a backpack inside a dark tent.
Available as a fox, too!
And here's one more playful gift:
Sometimes a luxury item on a backpacking trip seems silly, but makes life complete.
Pillows come to mind.
Inflatable pillows are great for saving space, but aren't always the most comfortable way to fall asleep.
So why not gift an inviting pillow that takes no work to deploy at the end of a long day, but compresses to about 1/5 of its size?
It uses foam for comfort and neck support, which will hold and retain body heat throughout the night.
REI Co-op Trailbreak Foam Pillow
Now that you've put in the time and effort to find just the right gift, it's a wrap!
Just in case you couldn't decide what to give your favorite hikers, there's always the REI gift card option.
Take it from me, a gift card is never considered a lame gift.
It's also a good choice if your hiker insists she "already has everything".
Again, trust me: she's too shy to ask for something she really wants, but a gift card allows her to get it.
Not everyone feels comfortable giving what might be perceived as "impersonal" gift cards.
Here's the perfect solution when you can't decide on something physical to wrap up for your hiker: an REI Co-op class or event.
It's easy to select one in your area, on topics your hiker will love:
And that's just a smattering of what's available.
What a delightful surprise for any hiker! Make it even more so by going with her to learn something new.
America The Beautiful National Park Pass
It grants her free admission to our splendid Parks and other public lands for an entire year.
Now that's a delightful gift for any hiker!
If you need more gifting hints, use the search box at the top of this page for recommendations on specific hiking gear (backpacks, sleeping bags, trekking poles) and the best outdoor clothing that any hiker would love to receive from you.
2019 Gift Guide For Hikers
About the author
Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.
She’s been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for nearly five decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.
All rights reserved.
Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer except where noted.
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