When shopping for gear, serious backpackers know what they want. Yet sometimes they could use a little something extra –and that’s where this guide comes in. From edibles to essentials, to even some innovations, here are 10 gifts for backpackers and adventure travelers that give these road warriors extra leverage while going easy on their load.
1. Nokero N233 Solar Light. With a rechargeable battery and portable, waterproof design, this durable solar light can run up to six hours (high) and 15 hours (low) after a day’s charge in the sun. For every light purchased, Nokero sends one to a family in need in the developing world. Price: $17.99.
2. Borah Gear – Down Pants. These ultralight down pants can be compressed in size to smaller than a water bottle – meaning way less space taken up in a backpack. There’s also a fill weight of 3 ounces of 850+ high quality water resistant down, so they’re warm while a stitch through baffles keep down from shifting. Price: $149.99.
3. Scrubba Wash Bag. This pocket-sized laundry bag contains an inner washboard of “nobiles” that do the heavy work on less than a gallon of water — no electricity required. Just add detergent and some elbow grease. The company supports charity: water and recently gave $15,000 toward providing safe drinking water to a school in Bangladesh. Price: $49.95.
4. Kahtoola – MICROspikes. For winter backpackers, these pieces of footwear traction are designed to handle treks through icy trails. Both stainless steel, its spikes are shaped for digging into frozen terrain while its flex chain is made to prevent snowballing. Moreover, the heel tab allows for easy slip on and off, plus it comes with a carrying tote. Price: $66.95.
5. Vermont Smoke & Cure – Meat Sticks. Using humanely raised meats, Vermont-made ingredients like maple syrup, and fine spices and herbs, these single-serving carnivorous treats can be slid in or out of a sack or backpack pocket with ease. The six flavors to choose from are gluten-, nut- and dairy-free and void of preservatives or sodium nitrates – just watch out for ancho chili peppers, if you’re sensitive to spice. Each flavor is sold in a 24, 1-oz. piece dispenser box. Prices: $32.95 per box or $25.95 for a sampler pack.
6. Munk Pack – Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes. As a pick-me-up, fruit squeeze packs are in, but this brand is filling theirs up with an oatmeal and fruit combo for a more fulfilling serving. Packed in BPA-free pouches, these flavors are gluten-free, vegan, whole grain and non-gmo verified. Three different assortments are sold as 6 packs and in stores or online for $14.99 each.
7. Farm to Feet – The Bend. This medium-weight sock is made to be tough to handle any hiker or backpacker’s footwork. Plus, it’s named after the hometown of the Conservation Alliance, which Farm to Feet donates a portion of its sales to. It’s got full density cushioning throughout for support and comfort and made with outer nylon plaiting for more durability. Depending on height, pricing ranges $18-$19.
8. Vigilant Personal Alarm. It might not be the first (or last) thing a backpacker would think to carry, but this small personal alarm system can startle any wild creature or aggressor — it’s activated by pulling out a pin. It weighs less than one ounce, but its siren is piercing with a 130dB that’s as loud as an ambulance siren. Price: $16.99.
9. Outdoor Herbivore LLC – Backpacking Meals. Sometimes a backpacker just wants a good hot meal. For the holidays, this Sacramento company has put together a special set featuring preselected vegetarian and vegan combos wrapped in a holiday box or reusable bag. It’s priced at $29.99 and their edible offerings include a chunky chipotle chili and quinoa vegetable soup.
10. Gobi Gear – The HOBOROLL. Gobi Gear’s compression stuff sack has five compartments to pack and organize gear plus some nifty extras. A secret double zipper pocket can store/hide essentials, a yoke closure further enhances compression as the bag’s being tightened, and items are all kept together by two guide loops. Price: $39.85.
What great gifts for backpackers did this guide leave out? Please add your suggestion in the comments below!
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