Whether you (or the hiker you’re getting this for) are hiking solo or with others, this gives you so much peace of mind because if something happens, you can activate SOS and get help! Plus the response center receives your exact coordinates so they can dispatch Search and Rescue and know exactly where you are. This is a perk that satellite phones don’t have.
You can also use it to text your family and friends so they know you’re ok. They can follow your journey and see your location as well, which is especially helpful on a thru-hike.
Plus, you also get GPS and topographic maps so if you get lost, you can navigate back and see your location in real-time. This might be expensive, but it’s worth it for a hiker at any level.
It will require a subscription to use the features, but there are different ones ranging from around $15 to $70. There are also monthly and annual plans so if you only want to keep it active during certain trips, you can choose a monthly plan and cancel at any time.
Peak Design Camera Clip
If the hiker you’re shopping for is an aspiring photographer, this is a must-get gift! The Peak Design Camera Clip ($70) allows you to attach your camera to your backpack strap. This way, it’s easily accessible if you come across something you want to shoot at the moment, and it’s not dangling across your neck. It’s also very sturdy. I’ve carried my camera this way with big lenses on multiple hikes and backpacking trips and never had issues with my camera falling or anything else.
Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
The Patagonia Down Sweater ($280) is one of my favorite down jackets. It’s lightweight yet warm, making it perfect for winter snowshoeing hikes, backpacking adventures, and more! Throw it over a fleece if the weather gets cold, or put a rain jacket over if it starts to pour. It has 800-fill down which is responsibly sourced, which is perfect for staying warm.
This YETI mug ($25) is perfect for the coffee or tea drinker. It’s well-insulated making it the perfect companion for those chilly mornings with a fresh cup of coffee, or for the evenings when you’re winding down in camp with a cup of tea. An added perk is you can use this mug at home or in the office!
Keen Whisper Sandals
I wear my Keen Whisper Sandals ($63 – $90) during water crossings so I don’t need to cross in my hiking boots or barefoot. I also like that they’re closed-toe, so you don’t risk jabbing your toe on a rock. They’re also very comfortable for hiking, I’ve hiked around Havasupai in my Whisper Sandals. They’re also great as camp shoes, water shoes for just playing in lakes, going SUP and kayaking, or even to the beach.
MPOWERD Luci Lantern
The MPOWERD Luci Lantern ($25) is a great addition to a camping or backpacking trip. I have the white one and the multi-colored one. It’s solar-powered, so charge it while you hike, and then you don’t need to run around camp with your headlamp on. Just hang one of these lanterns from a tree, for light in camp, or when you’re getting ready for bed, inside your tent, making it the perfect reading light.
As a kid, you probably hated getting socks for the holidays. But hikers can never have too many socks. My personal favorites are the Injinji Outdoor Midweight Crew NuWool ($21) toe socks. No blisters and my feet feel happy as a clam in them. Injinji also has running socks, snow socks, and more! Read through this blog post to see my review of their different types of socks.
GSI Outdoors Long Spoon
If you’re shopping for a backpacker, they need the GSI Outdoors Long Spoon ($5.50). It might seem like a random gift, but it’s seriously amazing. Most backpacking meals come in pretty long bags, which makes it hard to eat with normal-sized backpacking sporks because it gets all over your hands when you try and reach into the bag. This spoon is long, so it’s perfect for eating out of the pouch without getting your hands dirty or even for stirring meals on your backpacking stove. The nice tapered silicone edge is a nice touch that allows you to scoop and scrape with ease.
Are you even a hiker if you don’t have a Nalgene bottle?
I’m only partially kidding… Nalgene bottle ($12) is a must-have for any adventure lover. Not only do they come in fun colors and designs (yes please), but they’re made from medical grade plastic so you can pour boiling water in them without worrying about melting it. On those chilly backcountry nights, put a Nalgene with boiling water at the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep warm.
You can bring them kayaking, on planes with you and fill up water at the airport instead of purchasing water, bring them on hikes and add electrolytes to the bottle instead of to your bladder, and so much more! I also recommend getting this splashguard ($4) so you can drink without spilling all over yourself.
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