A born and bred city girl, I am discovering a love for the outdoors. I blame my son who got our whole family into hiking when he joined the Boy Scouts. Next thing, my husband is an Assistant Scout Master and we are all being supporting acts in this endeavor, whether its charging up Mt Snowdon in North Wales or following the path of the D-Day troop path across Normandy. Now that the Scouts allow girls to join, my daughter will be joining the troop. Since she comes along for the events, she may as well get the credit! I draw the line at camping though – a night on the ground would totally set off my autoimmune issues – but hiking is a fun family activity. We have set off to find waterfalls in as diverse places as Brazil and Wyoming. Along the way, we have good conversations and the kids muck about being kids.
10 Practical Gifts for Hikers
These are the practical gadgets for hikers we always take when we go exploring nature. Most of these gift ideas for hikers were purchased by ourselves a long time ago with our own money and have stood the test of time.
Some of the suggested presents for hikers we received as gifts ourselves and stocking stuffers. Many of these gifts for walkers and hikers are not expensive items. They make easy gifts from grandparents and friends who want to encourage wholesome outdoorsy family activity.
We haven’t included any hiking attire in this gift guide because gift giving clothes is always a dicey idea.
My son loves his Naturehike nylon backpack for hiking. Water resistant and lightweight, it’s the perfect daypack. It’s so handy, he has even taken to using it as his airplane carry-on for personal items. Not only are these nylon backpacks great gifts for hikers but also for the child traveller in your life once they get past the Trunki stage.
We love our OneTwist water bottle. One of the best gifts for hikers, It’s a food and beverage container which is easy open and leakproof. This bottle keeps whatever is inside cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. Why have dehydrated food when you can have a warming soup?
The Eurohike Cree 3W LED head torch is cheap and useful, the best combination for a gift idea. A head torch is really useful when you find yourself in limited light and want to keep your hands free for navigating across slippery slopes, fixing meals, tying shoelaces etc.
Sure you can use the GPS on your fancy watch. We are, however, going old school and teaching our children to use a compass which we think is one of the best gift for hikers. It’s always useful to know how to do something first before relying on technology to do it for you. And, my kids think a physical compass is super fun!
Swiss Army Knife
The Victorinox Swiss Army knife is the workhorse of the outdoor world. There are many variations which make them great gifts for hikers.
The Classic SD Swiss Army Pocket version is lightweight and incredibly useful with things like scissors, knife blade, nail file and tweezers. My kids don’t use a nail file at home so not sure why they need it hiking but hey its there if they snag a toenail.
There is also several other different versions such as the Hunstman Swiss Army Pocket Knife (for skinning a deer and then using the corkscrew to open a bottle of fine vino?). A good compromise would be the Victorinox Explorer Army knife which has the useful corkscrew, bottle opener as well as a screwdriver and a magnifying glass. For kids, an upgrade to the Classic Swiss Army knife would be the Victorinox Hiker Swiss Army Knife which has a screwdriver and a wood saw (no corkscrew or bottle opener).
Camelback Water Bladder
The CamelBank leakproof crux Outdoor hydration reservoir is a great for having water at the ready for those strenuous hikes without having to hold your water bottle (or even find it!). I know some of you are thinking why the water bottle and a hydration bladder? Like lots of hikers, we usually take both. I’m amazed by how much water we use when we hike.
How to push through when the going gets tough? The tough take a break with a hip flask and hopefully a view. These flasks make great gifts for walker and hikers who appreciate a good toast to the outdoors in the outdoors.
You need a fitness tracker so that you know how active you were. Helps in creating that cozy glow of virtuousness that you will feel post-hike. We have used FitBits but have been recommended a Garmin fitness tracker by a personal trainer friend. Guess what is on our Christmas list for ourselves?
Totally unsexy but oh so useful, waterproof bags are small and lightweight enough to be thrown at the bottom of your hiking daypack. You won’t even think about them until you are grateful you have them. For example, if you get caught in the rain, you can keep your stuff dry in a waterproof bag. And, there’s a lot to be said for having a navigation map case so your map doesn’t get all soggy and unreadable.
Camera Phone & Spare Charger
A good camera phone is essential for capturing those memories. No one wants to lug around heavy camera equipment but you don’t want to miss out on bragging about all the beautiful scenery you saw either.
We love our iPhones for their great cameras. My husband was the last holdout – a Blackberry die hard until we convinced him to switch to an iPhone X and now he’s a believer too. Friends tell me that Samsung smartphones have great cameras too but frankly we’re in too deep with our Apple products to be saved.
As for the backup battery charger, you really don’t want to have been happily snapping away and/or using the GPS app etc, that you run out of battery. I know I love to video the kids and their reactions and that just eats up the battery. Bear Grylls would know what to do if you get lost on the trail but chances are you won’t.
5 Inspirational Gifts for Hikers
Why be practical when you can be inspirational? Here’s our pick of the latest book gift ideas for hikers.
Lonely Planet do the best inspirational books. We love this Epic Hikes of the World by Lonely Planet. It’s available in hardcover if you are looking at gift ideas for hikers but also free on Kindle Unlimited if you just want it for yourself.
This book Wanderlust: Hiking on Legendary Trails has all the world’s incredible hikes, such as the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage in the Kii Peninsula in Japan.
For the slightly more hardcore hiker, Trekking Beyond: Walk the World’s Epic Trails is a good choice.
Explore an entire continent with the Pacific Crest Trail which runs from Canada through the USA to Mexico. The Pacific Crest Trail: Hiking the PCT from Mexico to Canada should provide lots of encouragement for your favourite hiker.
Enouraging kids to explore nature doesn’t necessarily mean a book. We love this gofindit Outdoor Nature Treasure Hunt kit. If your kids are anything like ours, they love a good treasure hunt, even if they do get super-competitive with each other.
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