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The best gifts for hikers will meet the necessities of a day on the trail, but not every trail. The beauty of hiking is that whichever corner of the world you find yourself in, be it a national park teeming with tourists or a remote stretch of Japanese coastline, that day’s experience will be different. For this reason, the best hiking gift list will cover the basics with room for a little whimsy to inspire farther flung hikes in the new year. And that’s exactly what this hiking gift guide aims to achieve.
We won’t bog you down with recommended trekking poles and a laundry list of different hiking boots, nor will you find sleeping bags or a set of snowshoes here. Though best believe we’ve got some great hiking pants in store. We’re keeping our best hiking gift ideas to a well curated head-to-toe rundown of essentials—each product is one we either have first hand experience with, or it’s from a celebrated brand we trust. Many check both boxes.
So read on for lightweight, durable pants that can pull double duty in town, rugged footwear made with the highest grade materials, and a backpack handmade by devoted craftspeople in the good old U.S. of A. Plus a whole lot more. (Pro tip: an “America the Beautiful” National Parks Pass makes the perfect stocking stuffer—or a Garmin InReach Mini if your holiday bonus came early this year.)
Hiking isn't just about going up and coming down again, it's about enjoying every part of the journey—and that extends to the things we take along with us. Read on, enjoy, and have a great holiday season!
Field Mag’s Top 12 Best Gifts for Hikers
When it comes to hiking gear KÜHL' Deceptr Pant has a bit of a cult following. Its ripstop, stretchy, and water-resistant Tufflite fabric is well suited for backpacking trips, day hikes, and daily errands around town. A trim but not slim fit paired with articulated knees and a gusseted crotch allow for freedom of movement on any outdoor adventure—approved by avid hikers and climbers alike.
Beloved by thru-hikers and often sold out, Senchi fleeces have amassed a cult following by being wildly versatile and practical (not to mention cozy). Using Polartec Alpha Direct fleece—a hyper lightweight yet super warm material developed by US Special Forces—these fleeces weigh practically nothing, fit like a base layer glove without restricting movement, and retain their insulating capabilities even when wet. It’s one the best gifts for hikers and campers, hands down.
If lightweight, high-quality, niche-cool footwear made with cutting-edge materials like bio-based Dyneema and Vibram traction in a design that'll turn heads is on someone you know's list, a pair of Norda 001s will do just the trick. This shoe is a real game-changer. It’s been our go-to shoe for short runs and longer backpacking trips for the past year and we cannot recommend them enough—so long as you can stomach the entry fee. Pair the waterproof, gaiter-compatible Norda 001 G+ Spike, complete with ice-ready microspikes, with some merino wool Darn Tough socks and you’ve got an unstoppable winter hiking footwear setup.
In hiking pants, the word "convertible" usually means legs that zip off, but the KÜHL Freeflex Roll-Up Pant takes a more tactful and stylish approach with legs that roll up—and stay up, thanks to built-in snaps. What makes these one of the best hiking pant options for women is, addition to the versatility, the moisture-wicking, quick-drying, water-resistant material. Great for short days and long hikes, in town and on the trail.
New York City might seem like an unlikely base for outdoor gear design but the folks behind Bronx-based Allmansright know what they're doing, and they've made—by hand—this 35-liter hiking backpack with all the features needed for efficient and organized hiking trips. The perfect gift for the aspiring ultralight thru-hiker on your list, the Eco Litten is designed and tested for fast and light trail use. Plus, weighing just 16 oz empty, it works well as a daypack, too. Skip the Osprey and support independent this holiday!
This newly redesigned tiny, 1.7 ounce water filter isn't much bigger than a pocket knife but can take on 99.999999% of bacteria and 99.999% of parasites while removing 99.999% of microplastics from wilderness waters. About the half the size of the original LifeStraw hydration filter, this thru-hiker approved filter can screw onto plastic water bottles or be used as a straw, like the name suggests. A great gift or stocking stuffer for any hiker—and traveler for that matter.
Every outdoor enthusiast needs a trusty pocket knife. This one happens to be a mini multi-tool, too, and comes accompanied by tweezers, a pry tool, bottle opener, and array of other implements that might come in handy a few miles up the trail. A great stocking stuffer for hikers, campers, fishers, the list goes on.
For the visual communicator, this lightweight, pocket-friendly monocular is perfect for scoping climbing routes and ski lines, spotting waves, and, sure, identifying woodpeckers and thrushes, too. The small size fits in your pocket—or a fanny pack—making it a practical gift for a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts.
No hiker or camper, should be without a reliable source of light—for sunrise starts, or those times when the view's just too good not to hang out at the top for hours. This lightweight gadget is an essential item, plain and simple.
For the hiking-obsessed loved one that wears their gear in town, too, these polarized, UV-blocking sunglasses are perfect for all outdoor activities. For winter and summer hikes where glare is a major issue, the removable side sun shields turn these into ridgeline-ready glacier glasses. Better than an REI Gift Card.
From the ashes of the recently shuttered Backpacker Magazine rose Trails, a new print-only publication dedicated to telling wilderness stories from North America. Loaded with photos, the quarterly magazine excels far above magazine rack throwaways, and is worthy of any hiker's coffee table.