A single hiker stands on the edge with mountains behind her. Then in the distance is the snow capped Mt. Adams volcano.

Gift ideas for the hiker in your life

Hiking is one of the great activities in this world, and the more people we can get into the world, the better our world becomes. To help spur your family member, loved one, or friend into our great outdoors, giving them a needed piece of gear can be vitally important to make it a more enjoyable and safer experience. Below are ten of the best gifts for hikers.

As with most gear, there are various price points, with more expensive gear likely being made of better material that will last longer. However, not everyone needs top-of-the-line equipment, especially people who may not use it as often.

A guide to the best gifts for hikers

Two hikers walk down the trail in Banff National Park. Two lakes are below with towering mountain peaks in the distance.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

A couple of things to note about the best gifts for hikers

Wide price spectrum

I tried to hit various price points to satisfy as many people’s desires as possible. Obviously, wool socks are a bit cheaper than a hiking backpack, but as adults, we can still get excited about new wool hiking socks!

Focus on Quality and Need

When buying a gift, price shouldn’t be the deciding factor on if it’s good or not. Look for established brands that have been hitting home runs for decades and are trusted in the industry. Next, see what the hiker in your life needs so they aren’t duplicating gear.

The 10 Best Gifts for Hikers

Hiking Poles:

Talking about hiking poles can elicit a strong reaction from hikers. I love them. They offer extra support and take the weight off your back and legs. To me, it’s totally one of the best gifts for hikers.

Sturdy shoes:

If you don’t have good shoes, you will be in a world of hurt. Now, you’ll have to determine what your shoes will be used for. If backpacking, you’ll want heavier shoes with more support to carry the extra weight. If you hike in a wet environment, make sure to get waterproof. But a lighter shoe, like a trail runner, may be best if you hike in dry terrain.

Lastly, you’ll want to decide if you want low, medium, or high ankle support. (General women’s shoe link to browse.)

REI gift card:

Not sure what to get them, or you know they’re picky or will want to decide on their own; get them an REI gift card! You can never go wrong with a gift card! The best gifts for hikers are ones they get to choose from!

Good jacket:

This can go multiple ways, and all are worthwhile.

First, getting a beginner hiker a solid rain jacket will allow them to enjoy hiking in all weather climates. Additionally, if cost is less of an object, you could get them a down jacket that lets them hike in colder temperatures (if they live in a warm weather area, this isn’t needed).

Lastly, you could thread the needle and get them a nice fleece jacket that keeps them warm but not too warm.

20-30L hiking backpack:

In my opinion, this is one of the best gift ideas for hikers. However, it might be a tad pricey. Gifting them a good backpack will last nearly a decade and allow them to carry everything they need to explore our great outdoors.

Maps of their local area:

Relatively inexpensive, yet will help them plan and find new areas to explore without planning a massive trip. Of course, maps aren’t for everyone, but some people enjoy them.

AllTrails Subscription:

I use AllTrails to plan my hikes and track my progress outside. I think it’s one of the must-have apps out there.

Three snowshoers walk on the snow in Mt Rainier National park.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Wool hiking socks:

If you’ve read my writing before, you know how much I love wool. It’s the best hiking material and keeps your feet warm while wicking away sweat to keep you dry. Highly recommend it as the best gifts for hikers.


Having a trusty headlamp is paramount. This allows you to start before sunrise or enjoy a stunning sunset before returning to the car.

Lightweight water filter:

Having a water filter is great as a safety asset in case you run out of water. Furthermore, it usually allows you to hike further than most without carrying tons of water on your back. This one is great for day hikes, and you can drink directly from it!

A hiker walks down a boardwalk wearing yellow in Glacier National Park. There are clouds in the sky.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Wrapping Up – Best gifts for hikers

Hopefully, this steers you in the right direction when deciding on the best gifts for hikers.

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

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Check out some recent articles: Hiking Angels LandingJoffre Lakes GuideExploring Moonscape Overlook, explore the General Sherman Tree

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Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on ExploreWithAlec.com. Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside