Unique hiking gifts

The gift giving season is upon us, and while I’d normally shun too much shopping at this time of year, something has gotten into me lately that has made me want to buy things all the time – like all of these things on my list of the best gifts for hikers. Oh wait, no that’s because I just dropped everything to move from the Netherlands back to California. One of the things I find most exciting about living in California again is proximity to nature. I mean, amazing camping, hiking and skiing are all just a short drive from my hometown of Sacramento – how lucky am I?

best gifts for hikers

Living in a densely populated city made me crave the wide open spaces that California has, and really made me miss even the most basic things… like hills. Did you know that the Netherlands is so flat it hardly has any hills except for in the south of the country? The hiking opportunities were sorely lacking compared to what it is like in NorCal – no offense Netherlands, you know I love you. Now that I’m back in California and have finally settled, I have time to start engaging in the Japanese practice of forest bathing. Nothing makes me feel refreshed like spending time outdoors and exploring a new area. I mean, did I tell you about the time last summer when I went to Mammoth Lakes twice within one month because I fell in love so quickly? Seriously, California has some of the most incredible nature and I’m just starting to scratch the surface of it.

best gifts for hikers

Anyway, I digress. The point is, I’ve been needing a lot of stuff lately since I moved back, and partially this stuff I need is to fuel my love of spending time outdoors. Maybe this post will help you to select a gift for the outdoors fanatic in your life. At least for me it is partial wishlist, partial list of outdoor gear I’ve already stocked up on and can recommend to anyone else. So, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for a hiker, perfect gift for camping, or the perfect gift for someone who loves the outdoors, I’ve got you covered with this list of the best gifts for hikers.

In this post you’ll find cool camping gifts, gifts for casual hikers, and practical camping gifts. These are all must haves for the outdoor lover in your life, or anyone who wants to start getting outside more often.

The best gifts for hikers (or gifts to yourself!)

Gifts for hikers under $25

 lifestyleLifeStraw water purifier: It wasn’t until recently that I realized how important a water purifier like LifeStraw really is. When you are outdoors, running out of potable water could be a nightmare – I mean really it could be life threatening, so why not solve the problem ahead of time by purchasing a water purifier? Tools like these will allow you to filter water on the go, so you can safely stay hydrated even when you are out in nature. What kind of list on the best gifts for hikers would be complete without something that could save lives?

forest bathing

The book on Forest Bathing: A list of cool camping gifts wouldn’t be complete without some inspiration for getting outdoors more often. Qing Li’s book on forest bathing is probably the best one to inspire and awaken the nature lover within you.


camping mugA camping mug: What better way to inspire someone’s sense of outdoor wanderlust than a mug with a John Muir quote? As far as camping presents go, can someone add this mug to the list of gifts for me too 😉 ?

best gifts for hikers


waterproof lighterA waterproof lighter:  A rechargeable waterproof lighter is one of the best camping gifts you can give. It is super practical and could even help someone survive, or at the very least keep them warm!

Gifts for hikers under $50

A good day pack: It goes without saying that a day pack is one of the best camping gift ideas, because it is so useful! Who doesn’t need a good pack? My personal favorite brand is Osprey, so I’d recommend going with a bag from Osprey.


Love Osprey? Check out the best Osprey backpacks for women


wool socksWool socks: Am I seriously putting socks on my gift list? Why, yes I am! Real talk, if someone would give me a couple pairs of wool socks I would not be angry. Good hiking socks are a must if you love the outdoors – trust me, I learned my lesson when I climbed Mount Rinjani in running socks. Socks definitely have to make the list of the best gifts for hikers cause they are just so darn practical


headlampHeadlamp: Until I had a headlamp, I didn’t know what I was missing. I know, it is pretty obvious, but when you wear a headlamp your hands are free. Free! To cook dinner if you’re camping, to brush your teeth, to do anything you want to do.

camping hammockHammock: What is more chill than spending time out doors? Chilling in a hammock while you’re outdoors, of course! A hammock is one of the most fun camping gifts I can think of. And it is a perfect gift for outdoorsy couples too because they can get all snuggled up together in the hammock.

best gifts for hikers

Lightweight folding chairs: Did I ever tell you about the time I didn’t have cloth folding chairs so I brought metal ones with me camping? FYI, it was cold as f**k. Like so cold you don’t even want to sit on a metal folding chair at night. Ok, that was a slightly embarrassing story I don’t know why I told. Anyway, avoid having a cold ass and get some lightweight cloth folding chairs!

Swiss army knife: If you’re looking for gifts for an outdoorsy boyfriend, put this on your order list stat. Actually, why wouldn’t this be on the list of outdoor gifts for her, too? I know I’d love to have a Swiss army knife – they are so practical, especially if you love to camp.

goproGoPro: I put GoPros on nearly every packing list I make, and this gift giving list is no exception. GoPros are just so versatile and handy to have for all occasions, especially if you are outdoors and have even the slightest inclination that you may want a waterproof camera.

If you want to give the gift of the outdoors, consider buying your loved one an America the Beautiful Pass. This National Parks Pass will get one car in for free to all National Parks across the US. If you visit a few national parks a year this pass is definitely worth it – and hey, even if it isn’t used too much, it is still a great contribution to our national parks.

So there you have it, the best gifts for hikers. What did I miss? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking for a great place to camp all year round in California? Check out Pinnacles National Park

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