One of the greatest paradoxes of life is that most of us like shopping almost as much as we detest shopping for gifts for other people. It is always a bit of gamble, isn’t it? No matter how well you think you know someone, there is always a chance that you might have read them wrong and that they will not appreciate or even like whatever gift you get them. This is particularly true when you are shopping for as highly a specific group as that of hikers.
Unless you are an avid hiker yourself, there is a good chance that you have no idea what kind of gear is needed on the trail. Whereas you could easily get advice from dedicated hiking websites or forums, how would you know what your hiker friend or family member already has or even what kind of gear they prefer? You see, finding the best gift for hikers involves getting into their mindset and looking deeply at their hiking experience. Once you know what kind of hiker they are, you will probably have a better idea as to what kind of gear they prefer.
Why not just ask your hiker friend?
Of course, you could just ask them to give you a list of what they want. This is by far one of the best strategies. But you would have to do so long before their birthday is just around the corner. Otherwise they will be onto what you are trying to do, and that is when most people start acting modestly. Statements like, ‘Oh I already have all I need for my hiking activities’ and ‘don’t worry about it, I often buy things as the need arises and there is no need currently.’ Then you are right back to where you started.
They could also give you a general idea like ‘hiking boots’ or ‘backpack.’ Then come the questions:
- Which brand?
- In what colors?
- What about the style?
While it is true that most unique hiking gear brand names are as trustworthy as they get, many of them are a bit pricier than most people would like. Although most of the best brands are worth every penny, it is also true that they are some companies that slap on a high price just because of the brand name. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is of a high enough quality to merit the price.
The point is, there is too much to consider, and hikers tend to have very specific needs and wants. So, how do you find the best gift for hikers? The specifics to that answer lie in the kind of relationship you have with the hiker in question. If you know them well enough, you would have an idea about what they need or want the most. Just ask them. But before you do that, here is a list of 10 best gifts for hikers; just so you sound like you are interested and that you know what you are talking about:
Very few things say you care about your hiking buddy than giving them something to keep them safe and healthy while they are out enjoying their trek. Most avid hikers will tell you that clean drinking water is one of the most important resources while out in the wild. Unfortunately, you simply can’t go around drinking from every freshwater stream you come across, no matter how clean the water look. The alternative often involves carrying heavy canteens of filtered water throughout the trek. Buy your friend the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter that filters up to 1000 liters of water and removes 99.9999% of all waterborne bacteria so they can safely drink from almost any fresh water supply in the wild. This award-winning water filter does not use iodine, chlorine or other chemicals throughout the filtration process. It doesn’t use batteries and has no moving parts. It is easy to carry around and will be appreciated by any hiker you know.
Now, this is where things get tricky. There is a good chance that your hiker friend already has a backpack that they use. But the Osprey Packs Talon 22 Backpack is one of a kind, and it can’t hurt to give them options. This backpack has an exterior hydration compartment that allows you to have your hands free when trekking yet still remain hydrated. One of the outstanding features of this backpack is that it has a ‘stow-on-the-go’ trekking pole attachment that is designed to stow your hiking poles when they are not in use. This backpack is not only durable, but well-designed and extremely comfortable.
Ancient hikers used to navigate by the sun, the stars and even paper maps. In modern times, we do not have to do all that; we have GPS systems that make our lives much easier. Giving a hiker the right GPS system could help them get the most out of their hiking adventures. The Garmin eTrex 30x 010-01508-10 Handheld Navigator is small, compact and quite hardy. It is perfect for outdoor excursions into the wild. It has a 3-axis electronic compass, barometric altimeter WAAS, wireless connectivity which means it can be wirelessly paired with other accessories such as heart rate monitor and foot pod. Avid hikers can easily add maps to the MicroSD card. The device has wonderful display capabilities with 240 x 320 pixels that show up in 65,000 colors.
When out hiking for several days, there are very few things that can be as demotivating as being cold, exhausted and sleep deprived. If you do not have the right sleeping gear to keep you warm, not only will you be exposed to the elements at night, but you will also risk having bugs and other creepy crawlies having a field day on your person. The Nemo Sonic Down Sleeping Bag is perfect for those who would like to stay warm and snug during the nights out under the stars. This sleeping bag is designed to keep hikers warm even if the temperatures dip to – 18 °C. The bag is light, durable, waterproof and exceptionally comfortable. It has thermo gills that allow you to regulate the temperature inside without letting in cold drafts.
Most hikers like to keep a journal of all the wonderful things they come across while out there in the wild. The problem with that is that sometimes they are out there in the rain and most notebooks can’t take that kind of beating. Luckily, the Rite in the Rain All-Weather Side-Spiral Notebook is not one of those notebooks. Built to withstand and repel water, swear, mud and even grease, this notebook would make the perfect gift for any avid hiker. The Wire-O binding is hardy enough to ensure that the notebook does not lose its shape while in your backpack.
UV Arm sleeves are ideal because they are both easy to put on and take off as needed. They can help you ward off the morning chill without necessarily having to put on a heavy jacket. Additionally, they protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays meaning they protect your forearms from sunburn. They are lightweight, stretchy and have reflective elements that allow you to see them at night. These sleeves offer you UV protection to over 98%. They have an excellent cooling effect and has fast drying capabilities which make them perfect for the outdoors.
Very few things can help boost your morale when out hiking as taking a hot cup of your favorite beverage during those chilly evenings. The problem is that most people would rather forego these little comforts to avoid having to go through the trouble of starting a fire. This will not have to be the case if they have a Jetboil Zip Cooking System with them. This stove boils water and food in a matter of minutes. It is light in weight, compact and features an all-in-one designer fully kitted with a stabilizer tripod. It offers convenience in one compact package.
This paracord bracelet from ECVILLA is by far one of the most useful bracelets you could wear when out on a hike. It is a 5-in-one survival tool that comes with an emergency whistle, a knife/scraper, a fire starter, a compass and a Military-grade 550 parachute cord. The fire starter is a wonderful addition to this ensemble. It gives you the ability to start a fire in any given condition, be it windy, rainy or cold. It also has a built-in compass that is waterproof. It can be perfect for when you need to navigate through the wilderness. It is also the perfect bracelet for anyone who is keen on having a good time hiking out in the wilderness without necessarily having to carry all these components separately.
We largely live in a 24-hour society nowadays. But throughout the different seasons, especially during fall and winter, the days become shorter and shorter with less light. Often this means that those who enjoy the outdoors have fewer hours to actually experience their favorite activities such as hiking, running, or mountaineering. But just because it is getting darker shouldn’t mean that you must head indoors. With the Petzl Tikka RXP Performance Headlamp, you can now enjoy more of the outdoors with a convenient source of light right on your forehead. With up to 215 lumens of light, this headlamp automatically adjusts its brightness to save on battery life as well as provide you with adequate illumination. It also has a Red Lighting mode for night vision, is designed to fit perfectly on your forehead and feature multiple lighting modes for your convenience.
Granted, some hikers do not use hiking poles. That, however, doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t appreciate having high-quality carbon poles in their possession just in case they decide to use them someday. The Leki Micro Vario Carbon hiking poles are folding poles that are not only lightweight but also small and ideal for climbing, running and hiking some of the most challenging trails. They feature an edgeless thermo grip that allows for comfortable gripping. The security strap is highly breathable and offers you maximum comfort with minimum weight. These particular hiking poles are collapsible which means you can easily stow them away when you are not using them. They make the perfect gift; they will ensure comfort, stability and keep your hiker friend from experiencing back pains that come with hunching over as they walk along the trail.
How to Choose the Right Gift for Hikers
As mentioned earlier, there are a few things that go into choosing the right gift for anyone, not just hikers. But since we are talking about hikers in specific, it is imperative to keep a few of the following factors in mind when shopping. The gifts you choose need to be:
- Highly useful to them on the trail: Hikers, especially those who go on a long hike, prefer to carry only the essentials. Anything that adds to the weight unnecessarily is often discarded.
- Waterproof products: For the most part, hikers will be enjoying their hobby in all kinds of weather. The gifts you get them should be oriented towards being waterproof.
- Durable: Many hikers get attached to their gear and would prefer something that is not only highly useful but is of high quality and can last them for a while without bursting open at the seams or breaking down.
- Compact and easily transported: It is all about the minimal use of space. Give gifts that are collapsible into a compact heap, and that can be transported easily through the trail.
Best of all, find them a gift that has multi-purpose capabilities. As we have already mentioned, hiker like to carry only the essentials. If you can get them a gift that is not only useful, but useful in several ways, then that would be just perfect. These 10 best gifts for hikers fit that bill.