If anyone on your shopping list loves spending time out on the trails, then this gift guide is for you! We are sharing our favorite hiking gifts for 2023.
As avid year-round hikers, we’re very aware of just how impossible to shop for we can be.
Hiking is the outdoor activity we do most frequently throughout the year, whether it be on nearby local trails or out in the backcountry. So buying a hiking-related gift would seem like a great idea, right? Yes—but with a catch…
The challenge is that hikers can have a lot of strong preferences about the gear they use. For something as simple as a walk through the woods, hiking can be a surprisingly gear-focused pastime. So unless you know the person really well, you will probably want to avoid buying them something super specific like a pair of hiking boots or a particular sleeping bag. So what then?
That’s where these hiking gift ideas come in!
Below you will find tons of broad appeal, general-purpose hiking gifts that any hiker would be thrilled to receive as a gift. We selected items that didn’t require very specific sizing (like shoes) and avoided many big-ticket items that might require deeper consideration (like a tent).
So if you have a person on your list that loves to hike then we’re sure you will find something perfect for them below.
Don’t wait until crunch time—find something they will love and start checking off your shopping to-do list today!
In Partnership with REI
REI is our favorite place to buy gifts for outdoorsy people on our lists. In the event we get a color or a size wrong, REI makes it SO easy for the recipient to return or exchange it for the correct item. With the free shipping for REI members benefit, we also love that we get to skip the in-store holiday melee and shop from the comfort of our couch.
Best Gifts for Hikers (chosen by hikers!)
America the Beautiful Pass
Products can be nice, but meaningful experiences will last a lifetime. Give the gift of an entire year of adventure with the America the Beautiful (National Parks) Pass that they will remember for years to come. Just one pass gets you into every National Park and Monument, as well as National Forests, Grasslands, and plenty of other recreation sites across the country.
REI Co-Op Sahara Shade Hoody
The REI Co-op Sahara Shade Hoodie is a long-sleeved, hooded sun shirt that feels as comfy as a t-shirt but gives you UPF 50+ sun protection. The moisture-wicking and breathable fabric make this shirt a perfect option for warm-weather hiking.
Nocs Provisions Waterproof Binoculars
We’ve recently gotten into casual amateur birdwatching and it turns out that having a pair of compact binoculars on the trail has really enhanced our hiking experience. Being able to see wildlife from afar has made us more aware (and curious) of our surroundings. This would be a fun gift for any hiker who is interested in the natural world around them.
Garmin inReach Mini
Do you have a loved one that enjoys hiking in the backcountry? Then this is a perfect gift for both of you! They get access to GPS navigation, route tracking, and satellite 2-way texting, and you get the peace of mind of knowing where they are! If there are any problems they will be able to communicate via message or immediately call for SOS help.
A Comfy Hiking Backpack
Whether it’s a short walk in the park or an all-day excursion, hikers always need a daypack! Store snacks, water, headlamps, phones, and extra layers. It’s not a terrible idea to have two different-sized daypacks either: a smaller one for shorter/warmer trips and a larger one for longer/colder trips.
This lightweight and compact puffy jacket stows away in its own chest pocket, allowing you to easily store it in a daypack and deploy it whenever an extra layer of warmth is needed. Great for taking the edge off a chilly morning or when you’re cruising downhill back to the trailhead at the end of the day.
Darn Tough Hiking Socks
Wool socks are the perfect gift for hikers. You want to give them, and hikers want to receive them! It’s a perfect exchange. But seriously, one of the simplest and most satisfying pleasures in life is putting on a pair of brand-new wool socks. We own a variety of Darn Tough socks and these Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks are perfect for nearly all types of hiking.
Many larger, multi-day backpacks come with a built-in rainfly, but most smaller daypacks do not. REI makes compact rain covers for a variety of backpack sizes from daypacks to multi-day packs to ensure your packs’ contents (electronics, extra layers, etc) stay dry during a downpour.
Hiking First Aid Kid
Medical supplies don’t last forever, so if you’ve been carrying around an old First Aid Kit for a few years it might be time to start over with some new supplies. A compact first aid kit should be taken on every hike. This pre-built first aid kit is great because it carries all the basics that you’d need for the day.
Katadyn BeFree Water Filter
With the Katadyn BeFree Water filter bottle, nearly any natural water source can be turned into clean pure drinking water. The easy-to-use filter never needs to be backflushed and the soft side pouch takes up minimal space when not in use. This is our personal go-to water filter for day hikes (and backpacking trips).
We love extending our hiking season by hiking during the winter, but proper traction is an absolute must! A pair of MICROspikes would be a fun gift for hikers in colder regions who are always itching to get out on the trail no matter the temperature. Ice, snow, or iced-over-snow, you have never felt so sure-footed as when you’re wearing microspikes. They easily slip on over normal boots, making them super easy to take on and off.
REI Co-op Flash Hybrid Tights
These pants would be a great gift for hikers who prefer to hike in leggings but need fabric & construction that is a little more durable. The Flash Hybrid Legging offers 50 UPF protection along with quick-drying, abrasion-resistant fabric, and a wide, soft waistband that sits comfortably under a backpack waist belt. I personally love them for shoulder season and cooler summer morning hikes.
Buff CoolNet UV+ Insect Shield
Between the spring and fall tick seasons, and summer’s mosquitos and no-see-ums, it can seem like hikers are on a never-ending battle against annoying bugs. The multifunctional Buff CoolNet UV+ with Insect Shield not only helps keep the sun off your neck, but it can also help deter all sorts of insects, too. Buffs are super versatile and can be worn in a number of different ways: neck gaiter, headband, balaclava, hood… They even work as a hair tie/scrunchie in a pinch!
BioLite Power Bank
Whether it’s a cellphone, GPS, headlamp, or DSLR camera – there are a lot of things a hiker needs to keep charged. That’s why it can be super handy to carry a portable battery bank and charger whenever you go out on a hike. This power bank will help ensure that you will always have enough battery to stay charged.
Vouri Halo Hoodie
This hoodie is absolutely AMAZING. The buttery soft, moisture-wicking, breathable fabric is unlike any other piece of clothing I’ve ever owned. This pullover hoodie is a perfect mid-layer for shoulder-season day hikes.
BioLite HeadLamp 325
A headlamp is one of the 10 Hiking Essentials that hikers should carry on every hike, and an item that you can’t have too many of! Store one in a backpack, the glove box, or with emergency gear. We own the predecessor to this rechargeable headlamp from BioLite and love them. Dimmable, red light, strobe, compact design, and with up to 40 hours of run time, you know you’ll have plenty of light.
A perfect gift for hikers who bring their appetites on the trail! These insulated food jars from Hydro Flask allow you to pack along a warm meal with you on your next hike so you can enjoy piping hot oatmeal, soup, or stew on the summit.
Has somebody recently welcomed a new member to their family? Help them stay outdoors and active with the award-winning Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier. This top-of-the-line child carrier can easily and quickly be adjusted to fit a wide range of torso sizes (for both wearer and rider). With a sturdy kickstand base, an easy-to-deploy sun-shade canopy, and plenty of pockets, we personally own one and absolutely love it.
Outdoor Research Trail Mix Gloves
Whether you’re getting an early morning start or doing some cooler weather shoulder season hiking, it’s never a bad idea to bring along some lightweight gloves. This pair of gloves by Outdoor Research offers the perfect balance of warmth and dexterity. With smart touch finger-tip technology, you can even use your phone with them on.
Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets
A box of Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets is a super practical stocking stuffer idea. Adding these tablets to a liter of water (such as from a lake or a stream) will purify it in 4 hours, effectively removing all microorganisms that can make a hiker sick, like viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. It’s great for situations when hikers are out longer than intended and need more clean water–and they are so light you’d never notice them in your pack!
One of the nicest things we started doing for our feet was applying Body Glide Anti Blister Balm before our hikes. Michael has very blister-prone feet and this has been a total game-changer for him. This would be a great stocking stuffer for any hiker who has had a hike ruined by blisters or hotspots.
Shokz OpenRun Headphones
These Shokz OpenRun Headphones are perfect for people who enjoy listening to audiobooks or podcasts while they hike. Unlike typical headphones that go inside your ears and prevent you from being able to hear what is happening around you, these headphones go on the outside of your ears. They use bone-conducting technology to deliver high-fidelity audio directly through your cheekbone while allowing you to remain alert to your surroundings on the trail.
This is one of our go-to hiking apps for finding new hikes and helping us navigate on the trail. Buying an AllTrails Pro subscription is a great hiking gift idea because it gives you the ability to use the GPS function that is built into your smartphone to allow you to navigate even when you have zero services, AND to print paper maps based on your route.
REI Co-op Traverse Trekking Poles
Trekking poles make a great gift for hikers of all abilities. They help you be a more efficient hiker while taking pressure off the joints. These adjustable Traverse Trekking Poles are a nice option with natural cork handles, which can feel a lot nicer to hold than foam or plastic grips.
Perfect for at-home or on-trail use, these ultra-lightweight cork massage balls can really help to roll out and relax tensed-up muscle groups. We wish we had one of these things with us when we hiked the JMT!
These long-sleeved SmartWool 250 tops are a must for cool-weather hiking. The merino wool traps warmth close to the body and wicks away any moisture that develops. These are super versatile long-sleeve shirts that are great for spring, fall, and winter hiking.
We have entered into a new age of high-quality, gourmet instant coffee. Verve Coffee is one of our favorite roasters and their new instant coffee line tastes every bit as good as their in-house coffee. Just add hot water and stir. This will be a guaranteed hit with any hiker who would enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee with their views.
It’s always a good idea to have one of these compact, quick-drying towels with you on a hike. You never know when you might come across an irresistible swimming hole!
If you’re shopping for a hiker who is also a shutterbug, the Peak Design Capture Clip would be a perfect gift. The clip allows you to attach a camera to one of the straps of your backpack. This allows for the camera to be safely secured while still being readily accessible.
Does your water bottle have that slight “water bottle funk” smell to it, no matter how many times you wash it? It might be time to do a shock treatment with Bottle Bright. Just add hot water and a few of these dissolvable tablets and let the effervescent bubbles do all the work. We do this to all our water bottles in spring so we can start the season off right. This is a great stocking stuffer for any hiker or backpacker!
Heather’s Choice Packaroon
If you’re looking for a hiking gift that you know will go to good use, you can’t go wrong with these Packaroons from Heather’s Choice. They are calorie-dense, whole-food macaroons made for stashing in your pack as you explore the wild. Perfect for a trailside coffee break!
Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack
You can never have enough dry sacks! Toiletries, electronics, puffy jackets, none of these things mix well with water. These lightweight dry sacks from Osprey help you keep your gear organized and protected from water while stowed in your backpack. We never seem to have enough on hand and could also use a few more.
A guidebook to local trails would be a great gift for hikers who have recently moved to a new area, or who prefer to flip pages than browse online. We find that guidebooks are a great way to find new trails and books often include additional information that apps like AllTrails are missing such as geological features and local flora and fauna.
Sunski Treeline Sunglasses
Give the gift of 100% full-spectrum UV protection! With an iconic silhouette, the lightweight Sunski Treeline Polarized Sunglasses are ready for your brightest backcountry adventures on snow, granite, and high-glare conditions. These are my go-to sunglasses for nearly every outdoor adventure.
Cotopaxi Fleece Headband
Caps can be too hot when hiking, but how to keep your ears from getting cold? This cozy fleece headband from Cotopaxi is the answer! Great for everything from autumn hikes to snow day outings!
Still unsure what to get? You can’t go wrong with a gift card from REI. As the nation’s largest outdoor retailer with over 100 physical locations and an extensive online store, chances are if it’s a hiking-related product, REI has it. They also have an incredible return/exchange policy, which makes them our number one pick for a gift card.