30 Gifts For Hikers That Are Way Better Than a Boring Old Pair of Socks
Hikers and backpackers can be very hard to shop for. They are generally demanding and picky about their gear (I'm talking about you UL crowd). The Alpen Fuel team has sorted through a ton of backpacking options to bring you lightweight, innovative, and unique products that even the most experienced trail junkie would be excited to receive. From stocking stuffers to more expensive items, you are sure to find something for the hiker in your life!
Gifts Under $25
Inexpensive doesn't have to mean cheap. Keep it simple, isn't that what backpacking is all about?
Backcountry Coffee Sampler - $7.99
Not sure what kind of coffee to buy for that coffee drinker in your life? Why not give them one of each of our best-selling coffee flavors! From premium instant coffee to pour-over to mocha mixes, the sampler pack has you covered.
Pyro Putty - $4.99
A proprietary, patent-pending putty that's pliable, sticky, and totally waterproof. Simply stick it to logs and create fire that will burn for up to 15 minutes with a single quarter-sized dab. The small tins are a perfect stocking stuffer for anyone that loves the outdoors!
Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Pillow - Check current price on Amazon
When you are sleeping on the ground you need every advantage possible to get a good night's rest. The Trekology Pillow folds down to 5x2 inches, inflates with 3-5 breaths, and has a strap to keep it oriented correctly on your sleeping pad. We received one of these last year for Christmas and it earned a permanent spot on our gear list on the very first trip.
Outdoor Research Swift Sun Hat - Check current price on Amazon
The Swift Sun Hat by Outdoor Research will quickly become your favorite hat. Mesh panels on the sides allow the hat to breathe and dry very quickly (much better than a cotton ball cap). We got one last winter and use it for backcountry skiing, backpacking, hunting, and everyday use. Another outstanding product by OR.
Dyneema material is 15x stronger than steel and has a very high tear resistance strength at a much lighter weight than any other material on the market. Ultralitesacks Cube Bags are perfect for staying organized and lightweight.
Anker PowerCore 10000mAh Power Bank - Check current price on Amazon
In the age of electronics, you need a reliable power bank along to make sure your phone/camera, GPS, watch, and other accessories are properly juiced up. Anker PowerCore will charge your devices quickly, and only weights 6.35oz.
Sea to Summit Alpha Light Cutlery - Check current price on Amazon
Not all backpacking utensils are created equal. Utensils made from plastic break quickly, while short handled utensils leave you with freeze dried meal shmutz all over your fingers as you dig into your packet of stroganoff. Level up with the Sea to Summit Long Handled Spoon, made from super-strong aircraft aluminum alloy - this may be the last spoon you will ever buy!
Give the gift of guaranteed delicious food. Peak Refuel Mountain Berry Granola is our absolute favorite breakfast meal. Simply tear open, add cold water, and enjoy. Weighing only 5oz, it packs a punch with 570 calories.
Tenacious Tape Repair Tape - Check current price on Amazon
Keep your gear repaired and ready for action with Tenacious Tape. Repair holes and tears to tents, tarps and more with this peel and stick repair tape; no sewing required. Ultra-strong Tenacious Tape adhesive permanently bonds to outdoor fabrics and materials including nylon, rubber and plastic and is sealed with a waterproof coating and won’t peel off during a wash or a storm.
BRS-3000T Ultra-Light Stove - Check current price on Amazon
The BRS-3000T is an inexpensive (only $16!) and ultralight stove that works well as a backup or primary cooking option. Weighing only 25g, you won't even notice it is there. Depending upon elevation, you can boil two cups of water with the BRS in under three minutes!
Another quality offering by Ultralitesacks, these convenient roll top bags are the perfect way to keep organized without adding additional ounces to your pack. This bag is sewn and seam taped to make it essentially 100% waterproof. The medium size weighs a paltry 20g.
Therm-a-Rest Z Insulated Sitting Pad - Check current price on Amazon
More often than not in the backcountry there is never a good place to sit! Change that with this light and compact sitting pad. Whether you are glassing for high country mule deer or just eating breakfast before breaking camp - keep your backside warm, dry, and comfortable with a Z insulated sitting pad.
When you need something more than a stocking stuffer...
MSR Pocket Rocket II Stove - Check current price on Amazon
The Pocket Rocket Stove has been around forever, and for good reason. We got one as a gift (the original version) about twenty years ago and it is still going strong. Ultralight (2.6oz) and compact, the Pocket Rocket II boils water in just 3.5 minutes. At around $44, everyone should have one of these in their pack, glove compartment, bug out box, computer desk drawer, crawl space - well you get the picture.
Peak Design Capture Clip - Check current price on Amazon
We have a Capture Clip on our backpack shoulder strap year-round. If you want consistent high-quality pictures in the backcountry, you will need a DSLR along for the ride. But taking your camera in and out of your pack or carrying it around your neck is a waste of time. Instead, try a Capture Clip. Super easy to attach and use, the Peak Design Capture Clip will keep your camera safe and quickly accessible for your next epic adventure shot.
JUMTOP 1200A Portable Car Jump Starter - Check current price on Amazon
A few weeks ago we were at Costco and had to jump the car. A soccer mom in an SUV pulled up and saved the day with one of these portable chargers. That little incident got us thinking. Imagine you are alone late at night at a USFS trailhead after hiking out ten miles to your truck and find that the battery is dead and nobody is around to give you a jump. If you have one of these under the seat and you will be just fine! Even if you are just in the parking lot at Costco, you can jump your own car instead of being rescued by a soccer mom!
Black Diamond Spot 325 - Check current price on Amazon
If you need a super bright, durable headlamp (325 lumens!), check out the Spot 325 from Black Diamond. It is waterproof and ideal for outdoor activities like mountaineering, running, hiking and backpacking. Burn times range from 65 hour on high to an astounding 600 hours on low!
Sleepingo Ultralight Sleeping Pad - Check current price on Amazon
Lightweight sleeping pads can be very expensive. If you want to cut weight but not fork over $100+ to do so, check out the Sleepingo pad. It's 2 inches thick, weighs only 14.5oz, and has over 4k five-star ratings. The best part is you get all of that for under $40!
With some products, you get what you pay for. Each of the trail tested items in this category will be around for the long haul.
Rab Latok Gaiter - Check current price on Amazon
If you have every used poorly designed gaiters you know how frustrating they can be. Gaiters that need adjustment every 100 yards are not fit for the backcountry. Enter the Rab Latok Gaiter. In over two years of use, we can count the number of times we had to do in-field adjustment (read pull them up) on one hand. Fully waterproof and durable with a trim fit, the Latok gaiters fit the bill for general outdoor use (hiking, snowshoeing, light/moderate mountaineering, etc.).
Prana Stretch Zion Pant - Check current price on Amazon
Are $80 hiking pants worth the money? The definitive answer is yes! We bought a pair of these pants a while ago for hiking, and now wear them every. single. day. They are exceptionally comfortable and durable. Quick-dry woven fabric, a durable water repellent (DWR) finish and UPF 50+ protection keep you cool and dry on sunny days. Seriously, if we could wear one pair of pants every day of the year, this would be the pair.
Ursack Bear Bag - $99.95
Ursack manufactures the world's only flexible bear-resistant food storage bags. Made from bullet-proof fabric, they are IBGC certified, lightweight, and convenient to use. Simply tie them to a tree at chest height. No more bear hangs!
Marmot PreCip Jacket - Check current price on Amazon
A favorite of thru-hikers, the Marmot precip jacket is big on performance and easy on your wallet. Weighing only 11oz, the PreCip has fully taped seams to prevent leaks, an attached hood that can be rolled into the collar when not in use, and PitZips for quick ventilation. We have used the PreCip for two seasons with no complaints!
Sissy Stix Trekking Poles - $129.95
Sissy Stix is a new startup company located right here in Bozeman, Montana. Designed to endure the most rugged conditions found only in the backcountry, their Backcountry Pro poles are built to be tough and durable while still maintaining an ultralight weight of only 7.5 oz per pole. The 100% 3K Carbon Fiber upper and middle sections reduce weight without sacrificing strength and the highly durable Aerospace Grade Aluminum lower sections give you the confidence needed to take on whatever terrain the backcountry can throw at you!
Gifts Over $150
Take your gift giving to the next level with one of these premium products! Or, just treat yourself. You deserve it after all.
Garmin InReach Mini - Check current price on Amazon
Satellite communication devices are a must-have for serious backcountry users. Never be out of touch with the most advanced, lightweight and compact device on the market, a Mini InReach. If you are still waffling on if/why you should buy one, check out this survival story.
The De Havilland Pant is made for serious hunting and hiking adventure. Built with an innovative and patent-pending Contour Waist™ System that allows the user to adjust the waist size of the pants (up to 3") for an exact fit and make in-field adjustments for layering. Innovation and quality, just what you expect from Stone Glacier.
The Revelation down quilt is the gold standard for backpacking quilts. Why quilts? They are lighter and more versatile than mummy sleeping bags. The standard Revelation weights in at only 19oz (30deg version)! We used a 10 degree Revelation for one Fall trip and had to return it because it was too warm! The build quality and customer service of EE is top notch. Seriously, read the reviews on this quilt. They are amazing!
Garmin Instinct Watch - Check current price on Amazon
The Garmin Instinct watch is a complete outdoor ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) watch that won't break the bank. I got one earlier this year and love it! Comfortable and small enough to not be in the way, it's perfect for trail running, backcountry skiing, and everything else you can think of to do outdoors. Multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) help to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone.
Tarptent Notch Tent - $314
We have used the Tarptent Notch one person tent now for two seasons. With a double wall, it cuts down on condensation and still weighs only 28oz! It can be set up in only a few minutes using only four stakes. A couple other reasons this tent is awesome: dual entry zippers, and the floor is durable enough you can skip bringing along a footprint! Note if you plan on using it in somewhat colder weather, buy the partial solid version which has less mesh (this is the version we own).
Gossamer Gear is one of the OGs of the UL backpacking world. Their Silverback 55 is a versatile mid-size pack with a removable internal poly carbonate frame, 4 built-in pockets, removable top lid, roll top & full side compression. Sturdier than most UL packs, the Silverback allows you to carry 35-40lbs when needed.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 - Check current price on Amazon
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is an outstanding tent. It checks all of the boxes: it's comfortable, lightweight, and packs down small. It is holds up well in windy conditions and provides full protection when the clouds roll in. At just over three pounds, it still has two side doors and roomy vestibules.
Make sure to check out our other Gear Guides!
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