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Gift Guide For Hikers:
Best Options For Great Gifting
From A Seasoned Hiker

By Diane Spicer

Leave nothing to chance when selecting the best gifts for hikers when you use Hiking For Her's gift guide. #hikinggifts #giftsforhikers #giftguide #hikingforher

This current Gift Guide for hikers is brimming with options.

It's organized like this:

Mix and match, dabble and discover excellent options in this best gift guide for hikers.

It's written by a long time trail veteran who loves to put solid tips into your hands!

REI Co-op as gifting headquarters

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. 

  • Read more here.
  • Explore Hiking For Her's sustainable gift guide for hikers here

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.

  • Hiking For Her is also an affiliate. When you make a purchase using the links on this site, HFH receives a small percentage but it costs you nothing extra.

Time to hit the trail called Hiking Gifts!

Gift Guide For Hikers:
cozy, warm and snuggly choices
for happy trails

Does your hiker love to feel comfortable on the trail?

Trick question?

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.

Cozy basics

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?

  • Available in sizes XS - 3X, and in petite lengths, too. 
  • Lots of color choices make it fun!
  • Choose the weight that's right for your hiker.

For the bottom layer of warmth, REI Co-op Merino Midweight Base Layer Tights:

  • Ultrafine merino wool: no itchiness, nice and soft
  • Flat seams so no worries about chafing
  • Full range of movement, thanks to a crotch gusset (extra fabric)
  • Comfy waistband in a low profile elastic design
  • Easy to care for: machine washable (line dry to hold shape)

And for the top layer of coziness: REI Co-op Merino Midweight Half-Zip Base Layer 

  • Same soft, warm merino wool to match the leggings
  • Design incorporates flat seams and underarm gussets
  • Lots of fabric at neckline for full coverage
  • Chin guard on zipper keeps body heat trapped
  • Droptail hem can be tucked in or not, and provides cushioning for backpack hipbelt.
  • Same easy care, too

You can take a look at lightweight base layer gifts here.

Weatherproof warmth

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.

Outdoor Research Melody Beanie

Outdoor Research (OR) is well known by hikers for its weather beating options!

Choose polyester or down, or one of each for year round warmth.

Outdoor Research Transcendent Down Beanie

OR also makes great gloves for hikers, using lightweight waterproof and breathable fabrics which dry quickly.

They always include nice little touches like palm pads, pull on loops, glove clips and tapered wrists.

Two of the many great options are included in our gift guide for hikers:

Smartwool Liner Tech-Compatible Gloves

Both allow touchscreen interaction without exposing skin to the elements.

Outdoor Research Vigor Heavyweight Sensor Gloves

Spend a little time exploring the OR glove universe here.

Coziness from within 

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 32 ounce Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Vacuum Bottle is built for safe transport of hot liquids in a backpack!

    So much to love about this flask:
  • Double-wall vacuum insulation
  • Keeps hot beverages hot for up to 6 hours
  • Does she prefer iced coffee or tea? Enjoy it for up to 24 hours from this Hydro Flask
  • Sustainable 18/8 stainless steel, for a long life and no transfer of odors
  • No BPA worries, either
  • Powder-coated finish so the color stays put, and so does your grip - even in gloves
  • A mind blowing array of color options: pick her favorites!

And as a clever gifter, leave nothing to chance.

Tuck a few packets of deliciousness from a brand well known for its quality, fairly sourced chocolate into the gift box.

         Theo Drinking Chocolate - yum!

How about some coziness from within...
a pocket?

Hikers know more than one secret to staying warm.

Like tucking a Zippo 12-Hour hand warmer into a midlayer vest pocket.

This one is nice because it:

  • Uses Zippo Warmer Fuel or Lighter Fluid for flameless heat
  • Is a sustainable option: reusable metal construction, and no extra waste from packaging

Speaking of packaging, there is a gift wrap option!

Trap some coziness 

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.

Treat her to a soft spot for kneeling when it's time for camp chores, too.

Also a great gift for outdoor photographers who kneel or crawl around trying for that perfect shot.

Comfort kit

Put together a great personalized gift that says you care about her comfort on the trail.

So thoughtful!

And easy to do, using five things you'll find in my comfort kit on every hike:

  • Sea to Summit Pocket Hand Wash
  • Raw Elements Lip Rescue SPF 30
  • Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes

REI Co-op Multi Towel Mini

  • mini carabiner so it won't get lost in a backpack
  • lightweight
  • dries fast
  • can be used just like a bandana - versatile!

Buff CoolNet UV+ Insect Shield Multifunctional Headwear

  • Use this on your head to hide hiker hair.
  • Use this on your neck to ward off damaging UV rays and cold breezes.
  • Enjoy picking from the colors and patterns to delight your hiker.

Want to be even more generous and thoughtful as a gift giver?

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 (read more here).

Gift Guide For Hikers:
safety first choices

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.

Make your hiker reachable

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.

Navigational safeguards make great gifts

Garmin vivoactive 4S GPS Smartwatch

  • Gives your hiker access to multiple global satellite systems for seamless navigation
  • Accurate time keeping is important for pacing
  • Pressure based altimeter
  • Biometrics monitoring, too
  • Designed to hold up through tough conditions

Hydration is key 

Read why here, if you're curious.

Carrying a lightweight water filter as part of a survival kit is a good strategy, even for the most casual day hiker.

Water is life.

That's why technology for clean water is included in this gift guide for hikers.

Here's how to give the life saving ability to filter water anywhere on the trail:

LifeStraw Water Filter

Small but mighty safety items
in this gift guide for hikers

Using the same approach as building the comfort kit above, you can pull together some inexpensive items which are invaluable on the trail.

Lightweight, too.

Some suggestions:

SOL Survival Blanket 

Nite Ize SpotLit LED Carabiner Light

Whistles for LIFE Tri-Power Whistle

Hiking gift tip

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!

Gift Guide For Hikers:
for the snowshoers among us

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.

Need some gift suggestions for the hikers in your life? Hiking For Her has you covered! #gifts #giftguide #giftideasforhikers #hikinggifts #outdoorgifts #giftsforhikers #besthikergifts

Gift Guide For Hikers:
outdoor gear for 
car camping and picnics

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!

Car camping chefs

Your hiker who also car camps might already have the basics of a camp kitchen. 

But does she have fun stuff like this?

Feast your eyes on the Gerber ComplEAT Tool.

This multi-tool nests into a small footprint, and gives her all the tools she needs for meal prep: spatula, fork, spoon, and tongs.

GSI Outdoors Santoku Knife Set:

Every cook needs good knives.

These compact blades in protective sheaths are stainless steel for long life:

  • 4 inch paring knife
  • 6 inch serrated knife
  • 6 inch chef's knife

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. 

The GSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen Set stores neatly in its weatherproof case.

Everything is compact, organized and ready to roll when dinner time rolls around.


Picnic picks

Are there hikers who enjoy wine on your gift list?

Here's an attractive way to sip wine outdoors with no worries about shattering glass.

GSI Outdoors Stemless Red Wine Glasses

Pair your glasses with this 25 fl. oz. Hydro Flask Vacuum Wine Bottle to completely eliminate glass from the equation: safer and lighter than wine bottles.

  • Double walled stainless steel vacuum insulation
  • Silicone base for traction
  • Easy pour lid is easy to clean
  • Lots of color choices

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:

Hydro Flask 35L Insulated Tote

  • Fully lined inside, soft external surface with easy to grip fabric handles
  • Interior welded seams makes it easy to clean
  • Hydro Flask 5-year warranty

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:

Coleman 70 Quart Cooler

  • Several days of coolness, even in hot weather
  • Drain makes it easy to keep interior dry
  • Doubles as a table or sit spot
  • Durable, for many seasons of outdoor fun

Gift Guide For Hikers:
backpacking dual purpose options

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.

Clothing that is more than
just clothing

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:

  • to remove a hot pan from the stove
  • as a Hydro Flask coffee flask (see above) holder, keeping beverages hotter even longer inside a backpack
  • to make impromptu cold packs for alleviating muscle inflammation (snow field required)

Backpacking kitchen essentials

that pull double duty

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.

This handy 5 liter Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink makes dishwashing, water collection, personal hygiene, berry or mushroom picking, and storage of other kitchen items easy.

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

Let's include a backpacking smorgasbord
in this gift guide for hikers

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

Mountain House Chili Mac With Beef

AlpineAire Foods Black Bart Chili with Beef & Beans

Yummy vegetarian entrees

GOOD TO-GO Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Patagonia Provisions Organic Green Lentil Soup

GOOD TO-GO Herbed Mushroom Risotto

Flavorful gluten free (GF) backpacking meal options

Backpacker's Pantry Kathmandu Curry

GOOD TO-GO Thai Curry

Have fun mixing and matching lots more backpacking food choices here

Gift Guide For Hikers:
now let's have some fun!

We've taken care of safety and comfort in our Gift Guide For Hikers.

Now it's time for some silliness.

  • There is nothing solemn and sensible about the following gift suggestions.
  • But they might make you grin as you wrap them up.


C'mon, you know you want one!

Sun Company WildLight Headband LED Headlamp, what a fun way to dig through a backpack inside a dark tent.

Available as a fox, too!

If you know a hiker with a quirky sense of humor, you've just found the perfect gift.

Playin' around

Outside Inside Backpacker Bocce Set: self explanatory, no?

And another reason to buy a locking carabiner to complete your gift.

And here's one more playful gift:

Outside Inside Backpack Cribbage

Full size, three track folding board, yet weighs only 7 ounces. 

Perfect for stormy days when you're forced into Tent Time.

Livin' large!

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 1/5th of its size?

Foam neck support, so wonderful at the end of a long hiking day, also retains body heat for coziness and restful sleep.

REI Co-op Trailbreak Foam Pillow

Gift Guide For Hikers:
wrap it up!

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 a chance to purchase exactly what's needed to round out a gear checklist. A great gift, in other words!

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. And have some fun browsing!

Gift cards don't appeal?

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:

  • Gourmet Camp Cooking 
  • Deluxe Camping
  • Map Reading and Compass Navigation
  • Outdoor Emergency Basics
  • Boot Care and Maintenance
  • How to Pack a Backpack
  • Outdoor Ethics

And that's just a smattering of what's available. 

What a delightful surprise for any hiker!

One more hiking gift option that keeps giving all year long

This gift guide for hikers wouldn't be complete without including this wonderful option:

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!

  • Read more about the pass here.

Thanks for reading this
gift guide for hikers

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.

Or consider a few more Hiking For Her hiker gift guides:

Rest assured that only the best of the best make it onto this website, after lots of trail and error (no typo, just the facts).

And only my top picks are in this gift guide for hikers.

Happy Gifting!

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2022 Best Gift Guide For Hikers