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Looking for the best gift ideas for hikers in your life? Look no further! We’ve got incredible gifts for casual hikers and day hikers alike!
Chris and I love a good day hike, and we’ve done a lot of it in the national park nearby, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We also took a couple of trips this year so we could hike up some beautiful mountains, spot waterfalls, and just enjoy being in nature. We definitely recommend hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as a Vermont road trip full of hiking!
And because we love hiking so much, we have many products that we absolutely love and know the hikers in your life will too! So from unique hiking gifts for the home to the best hiking gear, these are the best gifts for hikers!
Check out our podcast episode all about gifts for day hikers!
Table of Contents
Best Gifts Ideas for Hikers
To split up our gifts for hikers guide, we have a few sections including the gear guide, helpful tools, and books/maps for hikers! Check them out below!
Good Gifts for Hikers: Gear Guide
From hiking backpacks to what shoes to wear, these are the best gifts for a hiker when it comes to gear!
Chris and I love LifeStraw and take it on every day hike. They also have just the straw itself, but I like the option of being able to carry more water on you in case you run out. While it is super important to research and pack enough water, this guy comes in handy for emergencies. They also now have this water bottle in a more eco-friendly stainless steel container that’ll keep your water cooler for longer.
Water is always important for hiking, so it makes perfect sense that it is a great gift for hikers! This water reservoir is amazing and easy to clean. It also fits perfectly into a hydration sleeve in a backpack and great for sipping water on the go instead of stopping for water breaks. I also love that this can hold a lot of water. The larger size can hold up to 3 liters which is very helpful on hot days when hiking up steep hills!
Chris and I did a lot of research before deciding on a great hiking backpack. This one is lightweight, has a ventilated back, raincover, and a great hydration sleeve and slit at the top to feed the straw through. It holds up to a 3L water reservoir which was perfect for our Platypus water reservoir above. We’ve been using this backpack a lot ever since we got it (including several days in the Smoky Mountains) and absolutely love it! It makes for a great gift for a hiker!
Sometimes they’ll want to get an early start to the day while hiking. Whether it is to catch a stunning sunrise from the top of the mountain or they want to avoid crowds, having a headlamp is crucial to hiking in the dark. This also includes that sunset hike…they have to find a way down, right? This is where a headlamp comes in handy! We’ve used ours for years now from Chris’s ultra marathons to night hikes in the Amazon Rainforest, and love the long-lasting battery life and strong light it gives.
5. Hiking Boots
For shorter hikes, they can usually get away with sneakers. However, for longer and more challenging day hikes, it is a great idea to have hiking boots. Boots help stabilize and have more traction than normal running shoes, making it ideal for more challenging hikes or slippery areas. Chris loves Keen and I’m a big fan of Merrell Moab.
While a good pair of hiking boots will get you far, in the ice and snow, I recommend Yaktrax. These removable cleats have metal coils on the bottom to give you more traction on those icy trails. The ones I recommend here slip over hiking boots perfectly! But you can also use Yaktrax for running and walking on icy days outside too!
Sure, one could always hike with the standard map and compass. But this watch is kind of the best thing all around. It is a GPS watch which shows you where you’re going and monitors your heart rate and oxygen! We’ve been using the Garmin Fenix 5 for a while whether it is during a run or out on the trails where cell phone signals are low. It sure has come in handy when we were lost and needed to turn around and find our way back too! We always take this on the trails! While it is on the pricier side of this gift guide, it is one of the great hiking gift ideas for serious hikers!
Sunglasses are key for those hot and sunny days on the trails. Goodr, however is specifically made for athletes. These polarized glasses have a no slip grip keeping your eyes safe and the glasses on your face. Plus, it is high quality for only being around $25 a pair.
Best Gift Ideas for Hikers: Helpful Tools
We know the best hiking gift ideas as far as gear goes, but what about some helpful tools that’ll make hiking even more enjoyable? Check it out below!
9. Hiking Poles
A good pair of hiking poles can be costly but are so worth it. When I was first starting out in hiking, I thought only those with mobility issues were the ones to use poles… how silly was that? Hiking poles are actually SUPER useful, especially on very steep or technical trails. Once you’ve fallen right on your booty on a slick slope you will realize that these poles come in handy. Plus, they help redistribute effort from your legs to keep you from wearing out as fast. This is perfect for someone going on a longer day hike!
They probably don’t need binoculars on every single hike, but these binoculars do have their uses! Binoculars are great for spotting wildlife that is far away, including birds and bears. They also are fun to use to see trail markers up ahead or better views from the summit! We’ve used our binoculars in a number of ways including hiking in the Amazon as well as trying to find a black bear in the Smokies!
11. Tick Key
Okay, maybe this isn’t the only gift you want to give your hiking friend, but it certainly makes for a good stocking stuffer for hikers! Maybe this sounds rather comical, but this thing is incredibly useful! Ticks are full of diseases so the sooner you spot one and detach it, the better. This tool helps you completely remove the tick as just pulling it off can actually leave part of it under your skin (and cause infection). And you’d be surprised how many ticks you can find on the trails.
12. Fugetek Tripod
While selfies have their time and place, sometimes people just want a photo without their “selfie arm” in it. Enter this tripod. I love this thing because it is lightweight, adjustable, and has a bluetooth remote to hook up to a phone. We pack this on our hikes and it is quick and easy to set up for some killer cell phone couples photos.
After a long day on the trails, those tired feet need a break. For those sore arches, these massage balls are amazing! While you can use these on various sore muscles, I love rolling them on my feet. This is a great way to unwind at the end of the day that they’ll love!
14. Tiger Tail
For some deep tissue massaging for sore legs, back, shoulders, and arms, we LOVE this tool! Whether it is for post-workout recovery or after a gruelingly challenging hike, this massage roller does wonders on working sore muscles and preventing injury to get hikers back on the trails! This massage tool is a unique hiking gift!
Because celebrating reaching that scenic summit deserves a great beer! However, nobody likes drinking hot beer. YETI is well known for keeping drinks insulated for a long time, which means that beer will stay cold until they reach the top in time to celebrate! Cheers!
Best Gift Ideas for Hikers: Maps, Books, and Fun Gifts
Sometimes hikers just want something helpful for planning that next hiking trip or to reminisce on prior amazing hikes. That’s where these fun gifts come in handy!
AllTrails is a great resource for planning a big hike, and a lot of its features are free. But the pro version also has a lot to offer including the ability to download maps and use without service (this literally saved our butts one time when we got lost), off route notifications, the ability to keep family and friends informed, and access to several different kinds of maps. It is also super affordable for a year-long subscription and is one of the great gift ideas for hikers!
For the National Park lovers on your list, these are fantastic options! The passport is great for those who want to collect stamps along the way at various National Parks, National Monuments, etc. and remember those fun times while looking back in their book. The scratch off map is a fun way to display where they’ve been and makes for a great statement piece on a wall.
This famous Instagram account sells these delightfully hilarious national park posters. The artwork is fantastic, and they come with a 1-star National Parks review on it that is completely ridiculous. How could anyone just call the Grand Canyon “a hole” or that Yosemite has “too many gray rocks?” It’s hilarious and a great gift for National Park fans.
Moon Travel Guides are fantastic! We used the crap out of our Great Smoky Mountains National Park guide, and we also loved the Open Road guide too. But their National Park-specific guides have super useful tips from detailed hiking guides and maps to the best places to stay and eat after the hike. I have linked the USA National Parks guide, but they also have ones specific to individual parks.
Last, but not least on our best gift ideas for hikers guide is this book by Bill Bryson. This man convinced his friend to hike the Appalachian Trail with him without much preparation prior. This tells the tale of his journey and the very humorous situations that occur along the way. This is a must read for hiking enthusiasts!
It can certainly be a challenge to find the perfect gifts for a hiker. But this list has a mix of fun gifts as well as practical hiking gifts that they’ll be sure to love!
Which day hiking gift do you love most? What are some other great gift ideas for hikers?