by Diane Spicer
If you're faced with the task of selecting the very best gifts for hikers in your family or circle of friends, you might need a bit of advice from a seasoned hiker.
What to get a hiker for Christmas or any other holiday or special occasion can be a daunting question.
Consider me ready and willing for the task!
Let's get you finding the best gifts for hikers right now with these short cuts:
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Is selecting presents for hikers, male or female, any different than for other folks celebrating a special day or milestone?
Except that hikers have very specific needs.
And they may be a little picky about the quality and durability of their trail gear.
Not to mention color and performance of survival gear like a backpacking tent or hiking boots.
So if you're not a hiker yourself, how are you going to know which choices make the best presents for the hikers in your life?
Excellent question, and it's why you're on this page.
In today's electronic marketplace, it's easy to point and click.
Whoosh! A new pair of boots arrives within a few short days.
So before you hit the "go"
button, do a little research first.
Some gear and brand names are definitely worth a little extra money.
But the opposite is also true.
Some gear is overpriced because it has a particular brand name on it, and the company expects you to pay for that name without looking closely at the quality of the hiking gear.
You want your gift to be exactly the right balance: functional and long lasting while being fairly priced.
And if you need an inexpensive hiking gift ($25 or less) that is still trail worthy, start here.
Coming right up on this page: a list of the best gifts for hikers.
Some of these links are affiliate links. Hiking For Her will receive a small percentage of your purchase price, but you pay nothing extra.
Of course you can probably guess at certain things which appeal universally to hikers:
But selecting fun and useful gifts for women hikers can be a bit more complicated once you veer off the obvious gear list.
There are so many websites, so many outdoor stores, and a huge range of quality - where should we start?
Why not with a hand picked "Top Hiking Gifts" list?
I'm willing to bet you a sack of trail snacks that you will find at least one intriguing idea here in your quest for hiking gifts for your favorite hiker.
And if you've got "hikers-in-training" to shop for, be sure to check out this list.
Consider this: you can order a Cairn outdoor subscription box delivered to your hiker, and neither one of you will know exactly what it contains until she opens it!
This may be one of the very best gifts for hikers ever invented, because we all love to surprise, and to be surprised.
And if you don't like any of my suggestions, you can contact me for some individualized suggestions (see bottom of page).
How's that for helping you track down the best gifts for the hikers in your life?
1. Hike like a girl in a hiking skirt.
There are many, many reasons for wearing hiking skirts on the trail and on extended outdoor adventures.
Not a skort - that has built in shorts that can bunch up and chafe her skin.
I'm recommending a real skirt.
But here are a few tips about hiking skirts:
Which hiking skirt you select for her depends on which type of hiking she's doing.
Here are two "best gifts for hikers" suggestions in the clothing category, from a company that has been around a long time and understands women's outdoor clothing needs.
(I've got plenty of their stuff in my hiking clothes closet!)
a) If she likes to stick to well established beaten in trails in good weather, this skirt will keep her cool and comfortable while providing plenty of secure pockets and ventilation:
b) If she's into long trail hiking and backpacking trips, she needs simplicity along with easy wash 'n dry fabric that hangs just a bit lower in back (so it won't ride up under her pack) like this one:
2. Trail journal: This is a unique gift for a hiker, with the added bonus of being a very useful gift.
These features are what your hiking woman looks for in a journal to record her weather observations, plant identifications, animal encounters, and flashes of insight:
Read about seven ways to use a trail journal here.
What is it about the rhythm of a hiking trail that brings great ideas to mind?
I'm not sure, but I know this is one of the best gifts for hikers, and will be treasured on cold winter days when she can revisit her summer hikes.
3. Gift certificates: There are some who say that gift certificates are lame gifts for women hikers.
I'm here to tell you that I LOVE getting them.
A gift card is the perfect excuse to wander through the store (virtual or bricks & mortar), spending the money 15 different ways until I decide what I'd really like to take home.
A new trail toy that I get to pick out as a gift is such a treat.
REI is a gear store that has a generous return and exchange policy, and carries only high quality, trail tested gear.
If you go along with her on a few hikes, you'll get ideas on the best hiking gifts for hikers firsthand! Watch what she uses, what she wishes she had, and what she borrows from you.
Then you don't have to resort to a "lame" gift certificate for her birthday.
But I'm betting that once she receives one, she'll ask for more gift certificates!
4. BPA-free water bottle: I'm a fan of metal water bottles, but you don't have to "go metal" to get away from toxic plastics.
There are zillions of choices, some which come with their own waist/fanny packs.
Finding the best gifts for hikers couldn't be easier! Just pick out her favorite color and size, and wrap it up.
For my specific recommendations on hiking water bottles that work great and go the distance, go here.
And if you want to customize the colors on a hiking water bottle, HydroFlasks are the way to go!
5. Trail snack bag: This one takes a little leg work.
Fill a sack with any of these Hiking For Her recommended yummy trail snacks.
She will appreciate your thoughtfulness!
And you can tailor your selection of snacks to any food preferences or intolerances (gluten free, for example) that she has.
You don't have to tell her how much fun it was to spend time in the healthy snack section of your local store!
6. A hiking stick: If she doesn't already use hiking poles (sticks, staff, trekking poles, whatever these are called in your neck of the woods), here's a great gift.
Poles are designed to take a load off the hard working knees of a hiker, and give additional stability when navigating tricky footing (that link above gives you all of the details, and my recommendations).
Which features would appeal most to your favorite woman hiker:
As with a journal, this gift can last a lifetime and be passed down in the family if you buy high quality trekking poles.
7. Backpacking kitchen sets:
Sometimes the best gifts for hikers solve problems encountered routinely during backpacking trips.
Titanium cooking sets are incredibly lightweight and perform well under all temperature conditions in backcountry conditions.
Who wouldn't love these? And they can be used for car camping, too.
Don't forget to throw in a few sporks!
And here's a thoughtful gift: a camp kitchen solar powered lighting option.
If you want to go deeply into the art of creating a camping or backpacking kitchen, here are all the tips you need.
8. How about choosing headwear that can double as a neck gaiter?
Tip: A fun way to make a bunch of bandannas into a creative hiking gift is to wrap up trail snacks in each bandanna and tuck them all into a new pack.
9. I'm sure you were expecting to read about jewelry, given that females and baubles seem to go together.
Well, you were right.
Here's an artist who has some beautiful offerings that might be just what your favorite hiker would love to wear.
10. Trail hygiene supplies:
Being a female on the trail presents its own set of challenges, and rewards.
One of the biggest challenges is answering nature's call when there is no rock or tree to hide behind.
Here's a creative solution: pee standing up!
If you'd like to put together a complete hiking hygiene kit (what a fantastic gift!), here are some suggestions.
The best gifts, hiking or otherwise, demonstrate the thoughtfulness of you, the giver.
But what if your hiker has all of the latest, greatest gear and hiking clothing? (Unbelievable as that may be.)
Aha! Time to get creative:
1. Books about hiking abound, but you can get really creative by picking a themed selection of hiking books: one of her "bucket list" destinations, or tales by adventurous outdoor women.
For example, does she love alpine flowers?
For a long list of Hiking For Her recommendations, go here.
Want all of the best Hiking For Her tips for dayhiking collected in one spot?
For a truly memorable gift, load up an e-reader for your hiker.
2. The gift of time: OK, it's corny.
But I remember craving trail time in my 30's and 40's, trying to juggle kids, jobs, house chores.
So if you can, offer to babysit, or drive her to/from the trail head, or take over her chore list to allow her to slip away for a refreshing, soul satisfying hike.
3. Swedish massage gift certificate: Here I go with the gift certificates again.
But believe me, she will NOT think this is lame.
Be sure to request extra work on the feet and legs for your women hikers!
4. One final idea suggestion for hiking gifts:
How about paying for an exercise or strength/conditioning class for your favorite hiking woman?
Injury prevention is a very thoughtful gift, and will appeal to women who want to protect their precious assets:
Every hiker has her own little twists on hiking.
Here's one of the best hiking gifts I've ever received: a puzzle using a photo of a favorite hiking destination.
I put mine together (a thoughtful gift from my husband) every winter, to remind myself of that great hiking trip to a "secret" viewpoint of Mount Rainier.
Put together a trailhead kit, and get ready for a huge smile of delight from your hiker.
Of course, this works for coffee drinkers, too.
Or you could put together a Recovery Kit she can dip into once her boots are off after a long day on the trail:
Here's what to do:
I'll give you a few "best gifts for hikers" ideas to make her eyes light up!
After all, the best gifts for hikers keep her safe and happy on any trail, and that's what Hiking For Her is all about!
And while you're thinking of it, check out the best hiking gear for your next round of gift giving.
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