The Best Gifts for Hikers That Are Useful

What do you get for a hiker for a gift? Because hiking is an affordable and easy way to stay fit, more people have become passionate about hiking. When hiking, I like my pack and gear to be both useful and lightweight. I also want to be prepared for anything. So while compiling this list, I decided to base this gift guide on the 10 camping essential every hiker should have.

Hiking gifts should be practical and durable. Hiking gear does not have to be expensive but should be made well and able to resist wear and tear. This guide is divided into the following sections according to the basic hiking essentials:

  • Navigation
  • Light
  • Sun and Insect Protection
  • First Aid
  • Knife or Tool
  • Shelter
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Food
  • Appropriate Clothing

Any of these items would make excellent gifts for outdoor enthusiasts of any kind. These would make great gifts for outdoorsy men or women.


It is important to be prepare when hiking or backpacking. If you get lost, you are at risk of death or permanent physical damage. There are lots of different navigation and map tools that any hiker would love.

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Somewear Labs personal locator beacon or satellite messenger


Light is important if you are hiking in the dark or have to overnight it unexpectedly. Light can be used to display an SOS or distress signal if you are lost or injured. I like to carry both a headlamp, a small flashlight, and extra batteries.

Sun and Skin Protection

Protecting your skin while hiking and backpacking, or any other outdoor activity, should be a priority. Wear a hat, face and neck covering if you can. It is important to wear sunscreen and bug spray, to prevent sunburns and insect-born diseases. I personally prefer to wear long pants, a neck gaiter and hat while I am hiking. I love gaiters because they have a wide variety of uses like a bandanna. I also like to take along a chapstick that is SPF 15 or more. My lips get really chapped especially while camping, snowboarding and off-roading. Lips should be just as protected as your skin.

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First Aid

Any hiker should be prepared in case of injuries. A basic first-aid kit should always be carried on any outdoor adventure. I have never thought of a first-aid kit being a useless item. I cannot tell you how often we use yours. Just be sure to restock it after use. Some of the basics that should be in a first-aid kit are band-aids, bandages, gauze, pain-reliever, Benadryl, and athletic tape.

Knife or Tool

A knife or multi-tool is always helpful. It can be used for emergencies, to cut branches, repair items, or cut food, to name a few. I usually just carry a pocket knife but a multi-tool, depending on the extensions, has a wider variety of uses. Knives and multi-tools are a gear item that often gets lost, unfortunately, so it is usually on my Christmas list. I set them down or they fall out of my pocket.


If you are hiking, chances are you won’t be taking a tent. But, it is good to have some time of emergency shelter in case you are caught in the rain, stranded, or lost. An emergency shelter or bivy is recommended to have in case of emergencies. I am including in this list and emergency sleeping bag as well.


Another essential hiking item should be fire. Fire can be used for light and as a signal in case of emergencies, it can keep you warm, and it can cook food or purify drinking water. You can survive several days without food or shelter, but very few days without water or heat. Without heat, you are at risk of hypothermia and exposure. A lighter, matches, and/or flint and steel or a ferro rod should always be in a part of a hiker’s gear. If a hiker does carry flint and steel or a ferro rod, they should know how to use them and practice often. I can light fires better with a ferro rod than flint and steel, but that is a personal preference. A few fire starters are also recommended.


A person can last three weeks without food, but only 3-4 days without water. Hikers should always carry sufficient water with them. A well-prepared hiker should know if there are bodies of water in the area, if they are drinkable, and how to recognize them on a map.


The best food for hiking is food that is portable, easy to eat, light-weight, and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Of course, everyone has different tastes in food. I recommend foods like nut butter, granola and protein bats, jerky, and dried fruit. Hikers should eat a good balance of protein, fats, sugar, and carbs. Be aware of allergens in any packaged food and review the ingredients.


A hiker should always have clothing that is weather appropriate and practical. Extra layers are always good to have while hiking, in case it is too hot or too cold. I personally like to choose my hiking clothing, but there are several stores I really love. Check out any of the following stores for hiking clothing or gift cards. These stores also have great gear items too.

Other Gifts for Hikers

There are other great hiking gifts that you can buy, other than hiking essentials. Here are just a few great hiking items that any hiker would love, all pracctical and useful.

Fun Gifts for Hikers

Practical and useful items are great, but sometimes hikers and backpackers like fun stuff too. I would appreciate any of these gifts. Hiking is a passion for so many, and I don’t always love getting just hiking gear.

SilentHike Review by Mama Bear Outdoors
SilentWalk or SilentHike is a meditative program for hiking and walking. You can check out my review of SilentHike here.

Is there anything else here that you would recommend for your favorite hiker or outdoor enthusiast? Be sure to comment below so we can add it to the list. If you are looking for other gift ideas, check out the reader recommended gear and gift guide, the outdoor and adventure book list, and the best gifts for outdoorsy guys. And don’t forget, be outside with no limits.


  • Karie

    3 years agoReply

    Great ideas especially at this time of year. These are great gifts for any outdoorsy person.

  • Marianne

    3 years agoReply

    Need to get me a new multipurpose knife. I had a great one, and it got left behind somewhere during one of our roadtrips! Sigh…

    • admin

      3 years agoReply

      I have lost so many knives, it’s not even funny.

  • Alexis Farmer

    3 years agoReply

    Awesome gift ideas! I have that headlamp and love it!

  • Jordan

    3 years agoReply

    These are all great ideas. I love hiking, and haven’t even thought of some of these things. I’m adding the emergency tent and saw on my wish list.

    • admin

      3 years agoReply

      My dad actually puts together a new emergency kit for us each year, and a lot of those items I use to update my hiking pack.

  • 2 years agoReply

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