Finding the right gift is never easy, but it’s especially tough to pick out something special for someone who values time in nature over, well, stuff. If you’re flummoxed about what to pick up for the avid hiker in your life, here’s what you need to get started.
First, whatever you get, make sure that it’s functional. Hikers value products that perform, and remember—pack space is limited!
Second, quality should be your top priority. Active hikers need to know that the products they’re carrying are durable and reliable. If your budget allows for something smaller that’s really well-made, or something bigger that’s of mediocre quality, opt for the former.
Here are a few gift ideas to get your brainstorming session off the ground:
LifeStraw Water Bottle
A quality water bottle is a must for any hiker, no matter what distance they’re tackling. LifeStraw water bottles are strong, durable, and lightweight, but they also offer a neat extra feature: a built-in filter. This filter means that the hiker in your life can fill their bottle with water from a stream, river, or even a puddle. The water becomes instantly purified—almost like magic.
NEMO Nocturne Sleeping Bag
If your hiking loved one lives for overnight treks, consider spoiling them with a NEMO sleeping bag. Check out the spoon shape: this super-efficient shape lets the sleeper move naturally throughout the night without feeling like they’re in a straightjacket. It’s even wide enough so that you can sit in the bag with your knees crossed. Your hiker will love the extra features, like the waterproof/breathable footbox and the fact that it packs down super small.
A Modular Boreas Pack
Different types of hikes require different styles of packs—on a short trip, you don’t want to carry around more than you need, but for longer trips, you need a pack big enough to stash the essentials.
Instead of trying to find a one-size-fits-all pack (which usually ends up as a doesn’t-actually-fit-any-situation pack), check out Boreas’ Modular bootlegger system. The system starts with the “skeleton” suspension of the pack. Then, you can choose from a variety of pack styles—simply attach the pack to the suspension component. You can swap between packs quite easily, and it’s much more space efficient than having a collection of bulky bags.
Petzl’s Classic Headlamps
A headlamp makes the perfect stocking stuffer—it seems like no hiker can ever have too many. Petzl’s collection of classic headlamps are relatively inexpensive, but do a mighty good job. Don’t forget to toss a few extra batteries into the stocking, too.
Excalibur Food Dehydrator
If you’re looking for a gift that will make your hiker cry tears of joy, this is it. The Exaclibur is the Cadillac of food dehydrators. For hikers who like to take off on multi-day treks, the ability to dehydrate their own food is a huge win. It’s cheaper than buying the pre-packaged stuff, and it’s a whole lot healthier and tastier. It also allows a little room for culinary creativity. Trust us—if you pick this up for the hiker on your list, you just might become their favorite person.