If you’re anything like me, you wait until the last minute to buy gifts aaaaand you also have no clue what to get for the people on your list! Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or you just want to do something nice for your favorite outdoors lover, read on for hiking gift ideas for $25 or less.
Our Top 3 Favorite Hiking Gifts From This List:
- An REI Gift Card – for new(ish) hikers who need to stock up on gear or clothes
- Down Wash and Waterproofing Spray – for experienced backpackers who need to maintain their gear
- A Nalgene Water Bottle – stuffed with something else unique inside like candy, money, a gift card, handwritten inspiring quotes or personalized notes, or another small gift like the pack towel and camp soap
More Hiking Gift Ideas Under $25
1. REI membership, they’ll get a lifetime membership, 10% back on most purchases, plus access to all the best deals and coupons. If they’re already a member, a $25 REI gift card will do just fine 🙂 I always check for gear at REI first because they have the best customer service and return/exchange policy I’ve come across. They’re also making waves in the outdoor industry with their #optoutside and #forceofnature campaigns.
2. Dr. Bronners soap, and a small pack towel. You can get bar soap and cut it up into smaller chunks for camping trips, or ration out liquid soap into small, plastic travel-sized bottles for hiking and camping. The pack towel can really be used for anything, bathing, wiping condensation off a tent, drying yourself off after a storm if you get wet, wetting it in stream water to put on your neck on a hot day – the list goes on.
3. A shiny, new Nalgene water bottle, filled with candy and power bars, of course. 32 oz Nalgenes are perfect for hikers because they are super durable (supposedly indestructible) and actually hold enough water to hydrate you, not like the small 16 oz disposable water bottles you get in most stores – those aren’t really enough to keep you hydrated on an outdoor adventure. I usually take two 32 oz Nalgenes with me on full-day hikes, and also always carry water treatment like Aquamira drops in case I need to refill on the trail.
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4. The most amazing, and my favorite, the Deuce of Spades trowel and some simple, yet practical hand sanitizer to go with it. You never know when nature calls! You’ll be much more comfortable if you’re prepared to poop in the woods and don’t try to hold it in till you get back to town. Remember to always Leave No Trace and dig a six-inch cathole to poop in! You can see my full poop kit in the picture above.
5. Loksak Opsak odor-proof bags, for storing meals, snacks, and smellables overnight in the woods and a Backpacker’s Pantry meal (or a few) to go inside. The odor-proof bags help prevent attracting animals to your food and campsite, but they aren’t invincible. You should still always put the Loksak bags inside a bear canister or hang them in a stuff sack at least twelve feet off the ground, just to be safe.
6. A subscription to Backpacker Magazine. They’ll get all the latest conservation news, adventure travel inspiration, gear reviews, and outdoor education articles delivered to their door. I love their new survival story series!
7. Gear-safe bug spray and travel-sized sunscreen. Chemicals in some bug sprays, including Deet, can be harmful to synthetic outdoor gear, like sleeping bags, and clothing causing the material to break down prematurely. Be sure to use natural bug repellent or spray that is labeled ‘gear-safe’ to help your gear last longer. Sunscreen can often be forgotten but is one of the worst things not to have on a multi-day camping trip out in the sunshine.
8. Down wash and waterproofing spray, for experienced hikers who need to clean and maintain their gear. Down sleeping bags and down jackets are quite an investment but can last a long time if they are cared for properly and washed sparingly. And I always think it’s worth it to add a new layer of waterproof spray to old rain jackets and tents if you feel water starting to seep through.
9. Bear mace if they’ll be hiking in bear country. Okay, this one is just barely over budget, but I think it’s worth including in here because bear mace has been proven to be more effective at deterring bears than guns.
10. A lightweight first aid kit. Even though it might sound lame, some hikers skip buying a first aid kit either to save money, or weight in their pack, but it’s arguably the most important piece of gear they’ll carry.
11. A small pocket knife. You don’t need to go crazy here, no hiker or backpacker needs a full on hatchet or machete. A small but sturdy pocket knife will do. Most hikers report using their knife mostly for cutting cheese on the trail, but will come in handy if they need to shave off some tiny kindling for starting a fire too.
12. A camp pillow! This may be a ‘luxury item’ for some, but as someone who usually sleeps in every last bit of clothing I’ve packed, I don’t usually have extra clothes to use as a pillow. I love this lightweight pillow from Outmore.
I hope these hiking gifts under $25 gave you some great gift ideas for the special hikers in your life. Just remember to try to gift them something they’ll use and skip over the bulky, gimmicky camping gadgets if you can.
For more hiking gift ideas or resources, check out:
- Hiking Gifts For Men
- Hiking Gifts For Women
- Unique Hiking Gifts For Outdoor Dads
- Hiking Gifts Under $25
Let me know your favorite gift ideas for hikers in the comments below.