NOTE: This Holiday Gifts for Hikers post contains references to products on my Amazon Store site. I may receive a commission when you purchase these products from my store, though at no additional cost to you. I hand-pick and recommend only the products that I am either familiar with or comfortable recommending.
With cold temperatures and snow on the horizon, the hiking season will be soon ending in many parts of the United States and abroad. However, with the holiday season fast approaching, it is a great time to start thinking about getting something nice for the special outdoor adventurers in your life to enjoy next hiking season. To help you out, I have put together a list of some of my favorite hiking gear for under $100 USD. All of the gear on my holiday gifts for hikers list has been tried and tested by me first-hand, so I can personally testify to the quality and usefulness of this hiking gear. Whether your loved ones are casual hikers or hardcore back country vagabonds, you are certain to find something on this list that will bring a big smile to their face this holiday season.
On this list of the top holiday gifts for hikers, you will find everything from basic gear that will keep your loved one comfortable on the trail to safety equipment that will keep them safe and sound should something go wrong in the back country. Each item on this list is among the gear that I have used and relied on during the thousands of miles of back country hiking that I have done in the last decade. In fact, I love some of this gear so much that I wouldn’t even think about going out on a hike without it. Before you start browsing my list of the top holiday gift ideas for the hikers in your life, I also wanted to let you know that I have an equally helpful guide out on the top holiday gifts for travelers that you can browse for the favorite world travelers in your life.
|The 2021 Top Holiday Gifts For Travelers|
Darn Tough Hiking Socks
If you have ever gone on a really long hike or snowshoe trek, then you probably know how important good socks are to outdoor adventurers. In fact, good hiking socks are one of the foundational pieces of equipment that I outline in my comprehensive Backpackers Packing Guide and Checklist. In my opinion, the best outdoor socks on the market are those made by Darn Tough. Not only are these socks incredibly warm and comfortable, but they wick moisture away from your feet to keep them warm even when wet. I love these socks so much that I will not even think about going on a long hike without them. If you want to give your special outdoor adventurer something they will cherish for years, you can’t go wrong with these Darn Tough wool blend socks.
Yatta Life Heavy Duty Trail Spikes
For those with loved ones who like to explore in the mountains and other areas large elevation changes, then you won’t find a more useful gift for them on my list of the top holiday gifts for hikers than these micro spikes from Yatta Life. Steep ascents and descents can be difficult in the best conditions, but can be extraordinarily challenging when there is snow and ice on the ground. For the true alpine climbs, full crampons may be necessary. However, for most alpine hikes that don’t involve steep, snowy summits, these micro spikes will keep your loved one safe on the trail. I have owned these micro spikes for years and can personally attest to their quality and performance. I would never go on an alpine hike without them.
REI Co-op Flexlite Chair
Out of all the items on my list of the top holiday gifts for hikers, this item is more of a luxury than a necessity. However, if your loved one likes to overnight on their hikes or take long thru hikes in the back country, having a place to rest when they stop other than the ground is indeed a fabulous luxury to have. If it weren’t for the incredible light weight of this REI Co-op Flexlite Chair (it weighs only roughly 1 pound), it would likely be considered a foolish thing to bring on a long hike. But if there is room in their bag, this chair will not add much weight to your loved one’s pack. And believe me, they will be the envy of the trail when everyone else is lounging on the ground and they are sitting in comfort.
MSR Dromedary Bag Water Reservoir
If you have read my Ten Easy Backpacking Safety Steps to Make Backcountry Hiking Safer, then you will know how critical it is to have enough water when taking any long hike. That is why I absolutely love this water bladder from Mountain Safety Research. It holds 6-liters of water, which equates to roughly a gallon and a half of water. Its flexible, yet very sturdy and durable, design allows it to be easily fit inside a backpack. I have taken my MSR Dromedary Bag Water Reservoir on many back country hikes and I have always been very thankful to have it. If you want to get a quality gift that your loved one will enjoy for years to come on their back country hikes, I can think of few better than this wonderful water bladder.
MSR DynaLock Aluminum Backcountry Poles
Few items on my list of the top holiday gifts for hikers are as valuable for keeping your loved ones safe while hiking in the back country than a good pair of hiking poles. Poles give you extra points of contact with the ground, which is invaluable for keeping your balance when doing steep inclines or declines or hiking over very uneven surfaces. I have owned this pair of MSR DynaLock Aluminum Backcountry Poles for years and I absolutely love them. Not only are they very affordable, but they also are very durable and functional. I have taken my poles over terrain that has put them thru a beating, yet they continue to function like the day I bought them. Every hiking enthusiast in your life would love to get a pair of good quality hiking poles and I can think of none better than these.
Osprey Daylite Cinch Backpack
If you ask me, the best hiking backpacks on the market are made by the company Osprey. Not only are their bags extremely functional, but they are also very durable, lightweight, and affordable. I own many Osprey bags that I have used to hike the Inca Trail, the Milford Track, climb Isthmus Peak, and go on safari in Tanzania. Out of all the Osprey bags that I own, this one is probably my favorite. It isn’t too large to use as a day hike bag, but it also has enough room to carry enough camp equipment if you plan on doing an overnight on a longer back country hike. If the hiking enthusiast in your life is looking for the perfect hiking backpack, I would recommend this Osprey Daylite Plus Cinch Backpack in a heartbeat.
Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters
If your loved on spends a lot of time hiking in either snowy or sandy terrain, then they will absolutely love the next item on my list of the top holiday gifts for hikers. One of the biggest pains when hiking in very snowy or sandy conditions is getting either snow or sand in your hiking shoes or boots. It can make a long and difficult hike even more uncomfortable. However, keeping debris out of hiking footwear doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. With these incredible Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters by Outdoor Research, keeping your feet clean from debris is simple. I have owned a pair of these for years and I always wear them when I will be hiking in the canyons of Southern Utah or Arizona, as well as when I am snowshoeing in the Great Lakes region of Wisconsin and Michigan. I could not be happier with them or give them a stronger recommendation.
Sun Company Compass and Thermometer Carabiner
If you have a loved on in your life who is an outdoor gear junkie like I am, then they will absolutely love this compass and thermometer carabiner from Sun Company. It is one of the neater items on my list of the top holiday gifts for hikers and it will bring a smile to any outdoor gear collector’s face this holiday season. Having a compass to navigate and a thermometer to gauge the temperature are both critical when you are spending a lot of time in the back country. With this cool carabiner, you can take care of both devices with one nifty piece of gear. I got mine as a stocking stuffer a number of years ago and I couldn’t be happier with it so far.
20 in 1 Survival Kit by Pathway North
Being prepared in case of an accident is one of the most important of the cardinal rules to back country hiking. Should something happen while hiking in the back country, hikers need to be able to support themselves and survive until help arrives. If you have a loved one in your life who hikes quite a bit in the back country, there is no doubt that you worry about them. Bring your loved one, and yourself, a little more piece of mind by gifting them this wonderful 20 in 1 Survival Kit by Pathway North this holiday season. I got a similar survival pack a few years back and I never go into the back country without it. With this pack from Pathway North, I especially love how small and compact it is, which will no doubt by appreciated by your back country loving special someone.
Riapow Solar Power Bank
While one of the main purposes of getting out into the country to go hiking is to get off our phones and enjoy nature, having a phone or GPS device with you when you go hiking in the back country can be an important for navigation and safety. Out of all the gift ideas on my list of the top holiday gifts for hikers, this is the most high tech gift on the list. Portable chargers are great, and I have one that I have used while traveling and hiking for years. However, their ability to charge devices is limited by how much of a charge they hold. Once those portable chargers are out of juice, you can no longer charge devices with them. That’s why I love this solar power bank by Raipow. As long as you have sun, its ability to charge your phone while in the back country is unlimited.