Looking for hiking accessories gifts for your favorite hiker? Hiking gift ideas can be hard to choose because most experienced hikers have loads of outdoor gear already.
But this list of hiking gifts is full of essential hiking gear that will make a great gift. The best hiking gifts are ones that are useful.
And whether your favorite hiker loves National Parks, backpacking trips with backpacking gear, winter hiking, car camping, or just loves a day hike, this list of hiking accessories gifts will surely have a perfect gift they will love.
This list of hiking gifts is a guest post by Catalin Geango of TravelTrained. See bio at the end. This post also contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you should you make a purchase using this link. See my disclosures. Feature photo credit: Canva
Why Hiking Accessories Gifts For Hikers
While hiking itself can be an inexpensive activity, hiking essentials aren't always inexpensive. For anyone who loves National Parks, loves day hikes, enjoys being outdoors or has a big hiking trip planned, hiking accessories gifts are a thoughtful way to give them something they will love and need.
Here are some of the best hiking accessories that make great gifts for hikers.
A perfect gift for any hiker is a hiking backpack. Does your favorite hiker prefer an ultralight day pack or something more sturdy? You can get backpacks that fit their needs without being heavier than needed.
Short hikes don’t require much gear and you can find lots of light and comfortable choices. And many have a comfortable backpack strap so it doesn't weigh the hiker down.
Are they planning on a long multi-day hiking trip? Need to carry extra gear for cold weather or winter hiking? Larger backpacks are available which let you carry more and heavier supplies.
Make sure to get the right backpack for the length of the trip and the climate they'll be walking in. No matter what type of hiker they are, a hiking backpack is one of the best hiking accessories gifts to give any hiking enthusiast.
When you are out on the trails, feet are your most important asset. Protect them with a pair of hiking boots that fit correctly. A great set of hiking boots are one of the best gifts for hikers.
The best hiking boots fit snugly everywhere, but aren’t tight anywhere, and should give your favorite hiker room to wiggle their toes. If your favorite hiker has wide feet and is having trouble finding boots that fit, look for hiking boots for wide feet.
Some people have flat feet, and nowadays it is easier than ever to find flat feet hiking shoes. You can, and should, make the extra effort to find footwear that gives you the comfort you’ll need on long hikes.
Not sure what size to get? Consider an REI gift card, which makes a great gift for any hiker!
Many popular hiking areas have special hiking maps available. This can help you and your favorite hiker find their way if they get lost on a long hike.
They may be using a GPS navigation device or relying on paper maps. Either way, make sure they have the most current maps available, and they make a great gift for a hiker heading for an upcoming trip.
Trails change over time and an out-of-date map can result in you or your hiking party getting lost. Before heading out, make sure you have the best information on the area you’re planning to explore.
One of my favorite gifts for hikers is a compass. Electronic GPS navigation devices are more popular than ever.
These are great tools that can help you plan a hike and keep you on track when out in the wilderness. But batteries die, and you need to have a backup when you’re far from civilization.
A good compass never goes out of style, and it lets you orient yourself while out on the trail. When paired with good-quality maps, a compass can be an important backup navigation aid if your electronic GPS fails. When planning your next hike, make sure to get a quality compass, and research how to use it correctly.
A compass is also one of the best hiking gifts as it is also symbolic for anyone who loves to hike.
Another perfect gift or stocking stuffer for your favorite hiker is good hiking socks. This is one of the BEST gifts for hikers!
On long hikes, make sure to choose socks that help keep their feet dry and comfortable. Merino wool socks are popular with experienced hikers (the Darn Tough hiking socks brand is a great one to try.)
Wool wicks away moisture and can help cut down on odors. Modern wool socks are made from blends of wool and synthetic materials that give them more durability and the ability to dry faster when they get wet. Choose the wool sock that offers the right amount of cushioning they need while out on the trails.
Sun Blocking Hat
Getting too much sun exposure can lead to sunburn and worse. During a long hike, hikers' heads will be exposed to the sun for many hours, so getting the best protection is critical.
Bucket hats with broad brims provide the most sun protection from the sun’s rays and they make great gifts for hikers who love outdoor adventure. Look for a hat that provides cover for the sides of the head, face, and ears. A baseball cap may not be enough protection.
If someone is getting ready for a serious hiking season, get the best gift to protect them in warm weather – a protective hat available to guard your skin’s health.
First Aid Kit
On a hike, injuries can cause serious problems. And let's be honest – outdoor adventures can be full of unexpected adventures!
Avid hikers can protect themselves by taking along a first aid kit that fits the type of hike you are planning. And, these make a great stocking stuffer!
On a short day hike, a small kit may be enough. If they are planning a longer, multi-day hike be sure and buy a larger kit with contents that match the length of time they be out on the hiking trails.
One of my favorite gifts for hikers is to customize the first aid kit with any special medications or supplies needed. Many first aid kits are well designed and have extra space for adding extra supplies that hikers may need, but you can always add a few additional things as stocking stuffers for your hiking recipient.
Staying hydrated on a hike can require more than a bottle of water. Depending on the length of the hike and climate, the ability to carry enough water can be critical. Water bottles may not carry enough fluid for longer hikes on hot and dry trails.
Collapsible water bladders can hold more water than a bottle and will pack into a smaller space when not being used. Wearable water containers can be a good choice for longer journeys where water isn’t easily available.
One of the best hiking gifts could be a hydration pack – one that is a combo of a few things someone could use on hiking trips. This hydration pack could include a collapsable water bottle, a water purifier, and an electrolyte drink mix (see below). It is the ultimate hiking gift for anyone with a lot of hiking trails in their future.
Clean water isn’t always available on the trail, and you may not be able to pack enough water for longer trips. A portable water purifier can give your hiker the ability to safely refill water containers from lakes, streams and other sources you find along the trail.
Many different types of filters are available depending on your needs. Small, portable filters are great for day hikers who need a backup for the water they pack in. Larger filters can provide enough water for bigger hiking groups and some of these can be great for purifying turbid water.
A water purifier makes a great stocking stuffer and is one of the best gifts hikers will love.
Electrolyte Drink Mix
You can really work up a sweat on a long hike, and this means you’ll need to replace electrolytes. Sports drink mixes can help hikers hydrate on the trail and keep electrolytes in balance.
Single serving drink mixes in individual packets are a popular choice. Electrolytes are also available in liquid, tablet, and pill form. Protect your favorite hiker's health while out on long hikes by giving them portable electrolytes they'll need during a long day of walking. Hiking is a sport, and planning for correct hydration is as important as the boots and hiking pants they wear!
Plus, what makes this a most exciting gift is that it's the kind of hiking gear they may not think of themselves. Electrolyte drink mixes are great stocking stuffers and are one of the best hiking accessories gifts to give!
Another perfect gift of hiking gear that makes one of the best gifts for hikers is trekking poles.
Trekking poles help someone stay stable on uneven terrain and can reduce the force on the knees while hiking. Many different types of poles are available.
Foldable, ultralight, and shock-absorbing are just some of the choices on the market. There are even trekking poles with built-in camera mounts! Be sure and choose the pole that best fits the terrain and the hiker's own special needs. Whatever kind of hiker, there are poles that can help with stability and comfort on the trail. Hiking poles are another one of the best gifts for hikers.
Rain Poncho or Packable Rain Jacket
A sudden downpour can ruin a great day on the trails. When a hike gets interrupted by rain, making sure to have a way to stay dry is important.
Rain ponchos for hikers don’t need to be heavy and bulky. Small, emergency ponchos are light and can pack into a small space.
While this lightweight rain protection won’t give you years of use, they can save a day on the trails by keeping you dry when an unexpected storm threatens to soak you and your gear.
My go to is an incredibly lightweight, packable rain jacket. These can also be good for everyday wear as well, making them great gift ideas.
If a hiker likes to hike in cold weather, a waterproof down jacket also makes one of the best gifts for hikers.
Food and Snacks
On a long trek, just taking some candy bars and a sandwich may not be enough. For longer trips or even on day hikes, hikers need to take into account how many calories they'll need while on the trail.
Individual bags can hold small snacks but they may need to think about taking along more substantial meals. Canned goods are heavy and you still need to pack out the bulky cans when you’re done eating.
Freeze-dried meals are a great choice for longer hikes and are a great gift for hikers. These lightweight meals are easy to rehydrate with water while on the go.
Many come sealed in plastic bags which are easy to pack out when the hike is over. And, they can be repurposed as a food storage bag.
If a hiker has to be out after dark or is even planning on camping, a good-quality headlamp can help them stay safe. Headlamps can help light the way while keeping their hands free.
For a hiker that may need to set up a tent after dark or have to navigate a trail when a day hike runs longer than expected, headlamps can make all the difference. A headlamp is a very thoughtful gift.
One tip to note: If the headlamp isn’t rechargeable, give them batteries as well and keep them protected in a watertight container (an unused water bottle or plastic bag would work for this). This makes a great hiking gift.
If a hiker has an emergency on the trail, a quality signaling mirror can alert searchers to their location and may save their life! Not just a shiny surface, signaling mirrors have a sighting hole that lets a hiker point the reflected light where it’s needed.
When used correctly, signaling mirrors can be seen up to 7 miles away.
This can be critical when you need to alert distant people to your location. If you give one of these mirrors, make sure your recipient knows how to use it correctly before heading out on the trail.
This makes a great hiking accessory gift most hikers will appreciate.
What do you do when a day hike turns into a night in the wild? Unexpected weather changes can delay hiking plans and force a hiker to stay out longer than planned.
An emergency shelter is a light and easy way to give the benefits of a tent when the weather changes your plans. These light shelters won’t replace a tent, but they can provide protection from the elements when needed. It's always wise to bring one along, even on day hikes, in case it takes longer than expected.
For serious hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, satellite communicators can provide an important link to the outside world when you can’t get a cell phone signal.
There are many types of devices on the market. Some are self-contained, and others need to be used with a cell phone. The Garmin inReach Mini 2 is a lightweight and handheld satellite communication device popular with hikers, and would make a great gift for hikers.
They can be critical for alerting friends to a location in case of an emergency. If a hiker has an accident far from the nearest cell tower, a satellite communicator may save your life.
All of them require subscriptions, and none are cheap, which is why this could be a great gift for any avid hiker.
Looking for a few more hiking gift ideas?
A few additional ideas that make some of the best gifts for hikers:
- A National Parks Pass (a perfect gift for any National Park enthusiast)
- A guided tour of a National Park with the National Park Service
- National Park-themed gifts by McGovern Outdoors
- Perfect Down Jacket (that's extremely lightweight and warm)
- REI Gift Card
- A Sleeping Pad or Sleeping Bag
- Tent (combine it with a sleeping pad and sleeping bags and you have an excellent gift that's just what any avid hiker would love!)
- Bear spray for a hiker headed to bear country makes a good gift (even for day hikes in somewhere like Glacier National Park where bears are plentiful).
Final Thoughts On The Best Hiking Accessories Gifts For Hikers
The best hiking gifts for hikers are ones that are practical and useful. Outdoor gear can be expensive, so a perfect gift of anything on this list, or even things like a sleeping bag or an REI gift card make great hiking gifts.
A National Park pass is also quite a thoughtful gift for anyone heading to more than one National Park. And always remember that a good reusable water bottle and trail maps are some of the best gifts and hiking accessories any hiker can ask for.
The best hiking accessories gifts don't have to be complicated – just thoughtful and useful. This list gives you several ideas that your favorite hiker will love and will be a fun gift for any outdoor enthusiast.
About The Author
Catalin Geangos is the Founder and Editor of TravelTrained and a travel blogger who mainly focuses on nightlife, hiking, day trips and tours, while traveling in Southeast Asia.