Finding the perfect – and affordable – hiking gift can be tricky. You want to avoid gimmicky hiking gifts and choose something that your hiking friend or loved one will actually appreciate and use out on the trail. In this post, we’re sharing hiking and backpacking gear that we have, love or would love to have.
Hiking Gift Ideas Under $15
A Good Pocket Knife
Luckily, you don’t need to overdo it here, a small, compact, lightweight pocket knife will work wonders on the trail for slicing up cheese and summer sausage, opening bounce boxes at the post office, and help shave off or break off tinder from larger pieces of wood. And while we don’t like to think about it, keeping a small knife accessible on the strap of your pack can also work for self-defense in a pinch.
Aquamira Water Treatment
Every hiker and backpacker should have a way to treat contaminated water in the backcountry. Even if you’re just going out for a day hike, keep a pack of Aquamira in your first aid kit or backpack just in case you end up lost or injured and wind up staying out in the woods longer than expected.
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Ultralight Coffee Maker
This is perfect for any coffee-loving outdoor friend. Give them a way to make real coffee while camping or backpacking. We like this Brew Buddy in particular because it can be used as a pour-over or could be rigged up to soak coffee grounds directly in your small backpacking pot.
A Hiking Book or Audiobook
Hiking Sticker Subscription
This hiking sticker subscription is purely just for fun and will brighten up any hiker’s day. Get new, outdoor and adventure-themed stickers, designed by me, delivered to your door each month. Get two months for just $12.
Subscription to Backpacker Magazine
Backpacker Magazine is another great way to keep the hiking and backpacking inspiration flowing all year long. Filled with practical tips, survival stories, newest gear recommendations and amazing trails to add to your bucket list, any hiker would appreciate this gift.
Synthetic Hiking Clothes: A Top or Bottom
Even if I don’t need new hiking clothes, I always appreciate a fresh new shirt or shirts to add into the mix for hiking season. Just make sure it’s synthetic, not cotton, and comes with a receipt in case they need a different size. Shop at your local outdoor gear store, sporting goods store, or even Walmart, Kohl’s, or Target in their ‘athleisure’ sections.
Ultralight Seat or Butt Pad
I always bring my butt pad with me, on day hikes and backpacking trips. It’s just too nice to have dry, relatively cushy place to sit and enjoy the view or a snack, as opposed to just sitting on the nearest, cold, hard rock.
Stuff Sack(s) To Organize Their Pack
While backpackers don’t need too many of these, since eventually they just become extra, unnecessary weight, I do usually use 2-3 different sized stuff sacks to help keep my gear and clothes and organized. For example, I use one small sack to keep my first aid supplies, compass, and spare batteries together and easy to find. Then I use a medium sack to help keep my sleeping clothes, underwear, and socks together inside my pack – you’d be surprised how easy it is to lose one sock or one pair of underwear inside a 65-liter backpack!
I love these gear ties to help keep my miscellaneous gear organized at home. They are great to keep trekking poles together, skis together, keep gaiters rolled up nice and neat, keep snowshoes attached to each other, keep chargers and headphones wrapped up, or whatever else you can think of!
Hiking Snacks or Electrolytes
Hiking snacks and electrolytes make the perfect addition to any gift, care package, or stocking. Choose some uniquely flavored or gourmet jerky, fruit and nut bars, or Nuun electrolytes. Bonus points if you stuff the hiking snacks inside a new Nalgene or stuff sack to make it extra special.
DIY Pot Cozy Kit for Backpackers
This DIY Pot Cozy Kit is great for any backpacker. Pot cozies can help hikers save fuel by simply soaking their dehydrated meals in hot water, keeping it hotter for longer without actually keeping their pot over a running flame. This cozy takes less than 20 minutes to create and fits most backpacking cook pots.
You never know when nature will call. Every day hiker and backpacker should carry a quart-sized Ziploc bag with plenty of toilet paper, small hand sanitizer, and a trowel with them in case they need to poop in the backcountry.
A Good Compass
Don’t bother with the tiny keychain compasses, they really are not that accurate or useful for navigating in the wilderness. Luckily, quality compasses don’t cost much and really could save the life of a lost hiker. Be sure to get one like this with a rotating housing and clear base that can be used over top of a topographic map.
Ultralight Camp Pillow
While some backpackers consider a pillow extra, unnecessary weight, I do appreciate an inflatable camping pillow to sleep on – especially as a side sleeper! Camping pillows don’t cost much and can weigh as little as just a few ounces, which to me, is worth it.
If they’re new to backpacking, chances are they will need a pot to heat up water and cook their meals in. If they’re an experienced backpacker, chances are their pot may be fire-stained, have rust rings or the non-stick coating may be peeling off and it’s time for a new one. Skip the large, heavy, bulk or cast iron pots or kettles and opt for an ultralight, 1-liter pot like this one instead.
This is a funny, yet surprisingly practical gift for any lady hikers in your life. Female urinary devices make peeing in the woods a little less messy, a little more sanitary (for me anyway,) and give us a few more options when trying to find the perfect spot to pee.
Hopefully you found the perfect gem of a hiking gift in this list, or it at least got your wheels turning and gave you some new gift ideas for your hiking friends. Let us know what some of your favorite hiking gifts are in the comments below – whether it’s something you have been given or something you gifted to someone else.
For even more hiking and outdoorsy gift ideas, check out these posts:
- 14 Gifts For The Outdoorsy Mom
- 10 Hiking Gifts For Dad
- Assemble Your Own Hiking Gift Basket Ideas
- Easy Gift Ideas For Hikers and Backpackers