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27 Best Gifts For Hikers & Outdoor Enthusiasts [2019 Holiday Edition]

By Jessie on a Journey. Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning I make a commission if a purchase is made. I only recommend products I truly think you’ll love! In fact, some of the items below were gifted to me to test to ensure they were a good fit for this gift guide. 

Looking for the best gifts for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts?

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite hiking products to help you pick out the perfect present.

Even if you’re done shopping for the holiday season, this guide makes for a great hiking packing list, whether you’re hiking in Panama, trekking through Nepal, or hitting the paths near home.

From trail-ready subscription boxes to wearable portable coolers to apparel made with NASA-approved technology, here are some incredible gift ideas for hiking enthusiasts.

Psst, don’t forget to pin this post for later!

Best Gifts For Hikers & Outdoor Enthusiasts

oros shirt and hat for hiking

OROS gear is great for hiking and exploring your hometown when it’s cold! Photo via Jessie on a Journey.

1. OROS Explorer ¼ Zip

If you’re looking for outerwear that truly keeps you warm when exploring the outdoors, look no further than OROS’ apparel, insulated with the same technology, aerogel, used by NASA to insulate Space Shuttles. 

Hey, if it’s good enough to NASA to use in space, where it reaches -455 F, then it is more than good enough for me to use on hiking trips here on Earth. 

While they sell an array of jackets, bottoms, mid-layers, and accessories, I personally own and love their Explorer ¼ Zip.

It’s super soft and cozy without being bulky and is functional enough to wear hiking in the cold or on chilly days while exploring my home of NYC. In fact, when wearing this I was able to trade my usual bulky winter coat for a more slender fall coat and still keep warm. 

True story:

I wore it shopping with my mom and she immediately added it to the top of her Christmas list. 

Pair it with The Explorer Beanie, shown above, for the ultimate experience in warmth and style. 

icemule cooler

Photo via ICEMULE

2. ICEMULE Coolers

As a hiker and outdoor lover myself, I hate lugging around heavy hardshell coolers.

Actually, during a Governors Island day trip from NYC last summer my fiance and I almost missed the ferry because our cooler was so heavy and bulky we could barely carry it. 

This is why I’m so excited to have discovered ICEMULE Coolers, a brand creating a variety of soft coolers that keep food cold for up to 24 hours. 

These coolers are soft, light and portable, worn like a backpack or a sling bag — way more comfortable than the traditional carrying method for hard coolers. 

They’re waterproof, too. Instead of a zipper, you’ll fold the bag over and clip it closed like a dry bag system.

I also love that they float, which is helpful if you’re spending the day kayaking or canoeing. And if you’re not using it to store food and ice you can even use it to keep your gadgets protected from the elements. 

One unique feature of the coolers is the IMAirValve™ technology, which allows users to add air to enhance the insulation — as well as to remove air to make it the cooler easier to pack down and store. 

Their coolers come in a variety of sizes and styles, too. The one I have is the ICEMULE Classic™ Small, which is great for picnics and day hikes, easily storing lunch, snacks, and beverages for a hiker and their partner. 

It’s also great for the beach when you want to bring your own 12-pack of beer with ice (as long as alcohol is allowed, of course). 

mammut womens hiking shoes make for a great gift

These hiking shoes are excellent for multi-day treks. Photo via Mammut.

3. Mammut Ducan Knit High GTX 

Talk about ankle support!

Mammut’s Ducan Knit High GTX hiking shoes would have come in really handy when completing Nepal’s Mohare Danda Trek

At least I have them now, though! 

If you’re into the technical aspects of your gear, the shoes feature Flextron, MAMMUT Georganic 3D Technology, and 3D Knit technologies. 

Put simply, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will love these shoes that don’t slip and fit like a glove. They’re extremely comfortable, too, providing incredible support.

I’ve personally been wearing them in the woods — and even for leading tours around NYC. 

Especially if you’re into multi-trekking and technical hikes, these shoes are an asset. 

merino wool pants are a must for hikers

icebreaker is a leader in merino wool clothing. Photo via icebreaker.

4. icebreaker Persist Pants 

icebreaker is one of my favorite brands for moisture-wicking merino wool gear, and their Persist Pants do not disappoint. 

First of all, they’re stretchy like leggings but look smart like dark khakis. 

They’re also water-repellent and moisture-wicking, with ethically-sourced merino wool sitting on the skin to keep your body dry and temperate. 

I also love the many pockets — particularly the zippered ones in the back. 

No matter what adventure calls to you, make sure to pack these pants so you’re ready for anything. 

OOFOS footwear

Photo via OOFOS

5. OOFOS Footwear

You know when you go on a long hike and you can’t wait to take off your boots and throw on some comfortable sandals?

OOFOS are those sandals. 

Now, these aren’t your everyday slip-ons, but instead, are designed with recovery in mind. The company uses OOfoam technology, which absorbs 37% more impact than your average footwear. 

It’s also helpful that OOfoam repels moisture, so bacteria and smelly feet aren’t a problem. 

Personally, I love the higher curved arch for natural support. 

Note that OOFOS sells a variety of different footwear, not just sandals, all featuring the OOfoam. 

Love socially-conscious brands?

For every pair of shoes sold on their website, they donate 3% directly to breast cancer research. 

probar is a great gift for hiking enthusiasts

Photo via PROBAR

6. PROBAR

As an active traveler — and a tour guide in New York — I’m always searching for portable, healthy bars that are actually filling.

While many bars contain loads of chemicals, PROBAR’s ingredients are all foods you can pronounce, containing mainly nuts, seeds, and fruits. This makes them really satisfying. 

There are tons of flavors to choose from, too, like Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Superberry and Greens, and, my personal favorite, Banana Nut Bread — they even just came out with two new flavors, S’mores and Blueberry Muffin. 

Click here to order their Variety Pack to try them all

heYou! Towel is a great gift for hikers

Photo via heYou! Towel

7. heYou! Oversized Beach Towel Blanket

This strong yet soft microfiber towel is like the Swiss Army Knife of towels — with an absorbent design, two zippered pockets on each side (great for hiding valuables), a carabiner for hanging, ground steaks to hold it down when it’s windy, and a strap for easy carrying.

It can be worn as a dress from the beach, used as an airline blanket (to avoid those fees!), used as a beach towel or picnic blanket — the sky is the limit.

The towel is large enough to fit two people comfortably. No more needing to compress yourself to keep arms and legs sand-free at the beach. 

Pro tip:

It also makes for a great Instagram prop, with beautiful designs. Mine has the inspirational phrase “Wish You Were Here” written on top.

rheos floating sunglasses are great for hikers

Photo via Rheos

8. Rheos Floating Sunglasses

I spend a lot of time outdoors, both at home and on the road, and the main issues I tend to have with sunglasses are that I’m still left squinting on bright days and that they leave me with a major headache after an hour.

Luckily, Rheos Floating Sunglasses solves these problems — and more!

Their polarized lenses offer 100% UV protection and are so lightweight you can wear them all day without pain.

They also float, which is perfect when enjoying watersports, and they have an anti-scratch coating, which is helpful for people like me whose sunglasses often end up looking like a bear played with them. 

In terms of style, I have a pair of their Palmettos (Aviators) and love them, though definitely check out the many options on their website. 

Each pair comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee as well as a lifetime warranty, so it’s truly a worry-free purchase. 

By the way, I love the origin story of Rheos.

The company was started by a husband and wife team — Jake and Becca — traveling around in a 1981 Airstream trailer. They realized the most expensive part of their trip was regularly replacing their lost sunglasses and, thus, Rheos was born. 

Bonus: 

Feel good about buying, as 1% from each purchase goes to environmental nonprofits protecting the globe’s waterways. 

mistpro travel mister

MISTPRO 3 via Misty Mate

9. MISTPRO 3

The TSA-friendly MISTPRO 3 is a game-changer in personal cooling for travelers. 

First of all, the mist is super fine — enough to refresh you without drenching you. 

I also love that it’s reusable and doesn’t require a battery, which has the added benefit of eliminating battery waste for more eco-friendly travel

With a slim design and just six inches in height, it’s also portable and can easily be stored in your purse or jacket pocket for use throughout the day. 

While it’s great for hikers, it’s also perfect for travelers in general. For instance, you can use it to moisturize skin in-flight when it tends to dry out. 

Note that while the three-ounce chamber is great for carry-on-only packing, you may want to carry an extra water bottle to refill it if you’ll be using it throughout the day. 

backcountry rain shell is great for hikers

Photo via Backcountry, a website selling high-quality gear for outdoor lovers.

10. Backcountry Unita 3L Stretch Rain-Shell

After breaking my DSLR camera in a torrential rainstorm while traveling solo in Puerto Rico a few years back, I learned to never leave home without a raincoat.

But, not all raincoats are created equal, especially if you plan to travel or hike with it.

The Backcountry Unita 3L Stretch Rain-Shell, however, ticks all the important boxes:

  • Waterproof – Very important, of course.
  • Breathable – If not, your hike will be very uncomfortable. Bonus that there are armpit zippers if you need to release some heat.
  • Zipper Pockets – My last raincoat did not have pockets and it drove me nuts as I like having easy access to essentials like my phone and wallet.
  • Hood – Very necessary if you want to avoid catching a cold.
  • Folds small – I’m a carry-on only traveler, so I appreciate it when garments don’t take up a lot of space.

In short, this is the perfect rain shell for anyone who may find themselves facing the elements.

Love fun colors?

It comes in a bright Citron and Rich Mauve. 

11. High Camp Flasks

While I go camping for the nature, I’ll admit I also look forward to evenings bonding with friends under the stars.

An experience made even better with great drinks.

And while it’s common to bring beer and wine on a camping trip, High Camp Flasks will make you want to pack the whiskey next time.

That being said, you can totally keep any beverage of choice cold or hot for 24 hours in the insulated tumbler, which attaches to a vacuum-insulated flask. 

High Camp didn’t overlook a single detail when crafting these 100% stainless steel flasks, from 6-shooter barrel grooves on the tumbler for a firm grip on your glass to a drip-proof flask lid to a design that prevents condensation. 

Check the “Cocktails” section of their website to inspire your inner mixologist. 

Also, watch the short video above to get an idea of how this fun camping accessory works. 

bug bite thing is a must-have for hikers

Photo via Bug Bite Thing, a must-pack essential for hikers

12. Bug Bite Thing

If you spend any time in the outdoors, you’ve probably experienced the agony of bug bites, and how a few itchy bumps can really sour a nature experience. 

While creams and ointments are hit or miss depending on the person, Bug Bite Thing actually removes the reaction-causing saliva or venom from under the skin using a small suction device that’s about the size of your pointer finger. 

This chemical-free, reusable gadget works in a few simple steps — place the suction tool over the affected area, pull the handles up slightly until you feel the suction on your skin, hold it there for 10-20 seconds, and then push the handles down to release. 

It’s budget-friendly, too, and includes bonus features like a reversible cap with a smaller suction area to be used on fingers and toes as well as handles that double as a scraper to remove bee stingers stuck in the skin. 

Important note:

This tool is not meant to be used on your face or sensitive skin areas, as it can leave a mark. Remember that the suction device is quite powerful, but as it’s a manual tool you can experiment to determine what strength works for you.

the 311 runoffbag is great for hikers and active travelers

This waterproof 3-1-1- bag is the perfect gift for hikers & active travelers. Photo via Nite Ize.

13. Nite Ize RunOff Bag

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a gadget break due to moisture or unexpected rain?

Me too. Numerous times. 

This is where the Nite Ize RunOff Bag comes in handy. 

You never know when it’s going to rain, and this small yet powerful pouch ensures your valuables are protected from the elements. 

In fact, you can even submerge the bag up to one meter, as shown above, thanks to its featured TRU Zip technology, which also means its dust- and sand-proof. 

It’s also the perfect size to use a TSA-friendly liquids bag when flying carry-on only. 

When not in use, the pouch compresses very small, barely taking up any space at all. 

Nite Ize Radian 300 Lumens Headlamp is a must for travelers heading outdoors

Camping? Hiking at night? This headlamp is a must! Photo via Nite Ize.

14. Nite Ize Radiant 300 Rechargeable Headlamp

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone to use a headlamp, only to realize the battery was dead. 

Not anymore.

The Nite Ize Radiant 300 Rechargeable Headlamp features a waterproof and drop-proof design as well as a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 36 hours. 

Choose between three modes —light, spot, and flood — as well as up to 90 degrees of beam adjustment, so you can illuminate the landscape and not your buddy’s eyes. 

This gadget is great for camping as well as night hikes, with a beam distance of 239 feet meaning you’re never in the dark. 

hiking packing list

Photo via TomTom

  

15. TomTom Adventurer

This isn’t the cheapest gadget, but for those into health and fitness, this is a fun splurge.

While your phone can calculate your steps, the accuracy and durability are less than ideal.

Enter TomTom Adventurer, created for those who enjoy rugged outdoor activities.

You wear this water-resistant device — which has a built-in barometer, compass and dedicated sports modes for trail running, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding — like a watch.

From there it detects and measures your descent/ascent, heart rate, distance, speed, slope data and more.

Additionally, you can store and listen to up to 500 songs (perfect for when you need that extra push on the trail) and track your GPS to save routes. 

hiking packing list

Photo via CEPCompression

16. CEPCompression Socks

One thing that can quickly put a damper on a hike — literally — is cold, wet feet.

This is where CEPCompression Socks come in.

Crafted from merino wool and polyamide fibers, which reduce odors and respond to your natural body temperature, the socks can warm, cool and wick away sweat as needed.

Bonus:

Padding in the socks allows for a snug fit without rubbing and acts almost like a massage to relieve pressure. 

hiking packing list

Photo via Deuter

17. Deuter ACT Trail Pro 34 Backpack

If you prefer a pack that’s more rugged and heavy-duty — and also budget-friendly — I recommend the Deuter ACT Trail Pro 34 Backpack.

I’ve been using Deuter products since I started backpacking and have nothing but positive things to say about the brand.

This uber comfortable, anatomically-shaped pack offers numerous adjustments so the pack fits snugly to the body and holds your load comfortably, while still ventilating your back.

There are also tons of different compartments, including front pockets for the items you use more often and a two-way front zip that lets you get deep into your pack without opening the top.

A few of the many other highlights include a wet laundry pocket, compression straps, a detachable rain cover and an SOS label with emergency numbers. 

hiking packing list

Photo via Gobi Gear

18. Gobi Gear SegSac

No matter what bag you choose, Gobi Gear’s lightweight SegSac fits in any pack to help you stay extra organized and find what you need fast.

The ripstop nylon SegSac features four compartments to store your trail necessities and is easily closed shut with a drawstring.

They also offer a compression version for those who tend to overpack. 

Bonus: There is a special offer going on right now too:

hiking packing list

Photo via Motorola

19. Motorola Talkabout T600 H20

Speaking of safety, carrying two-way radios for when cell service isn’t available is a smart idea when hiking, camping, skiing and partaking in other outdoor adventure sports.

Along with being rugged, the re-chargeable radios feature signal strength up to 35 miles (in optimal conditions)a built-in flashlight (including a red LED light for night vision) and waterproof/floating capabilities. 

hidden pocket scarf

Photo via Speakeasy Travel Supply

20. Speakeasy Travel Supply Hidden-Pocket Scarves

Combining form and function, the Speakeasy Travel Supply Hidden-Pocket Scarves come in a variety of styles to fit every season. 

The best part is these scarves feature hidden pockets, great for avoiding pickpockets and for storing items you would want easy access to, like a smartphone.

Each scarf is lovingly handmade in the USA by the nomadic couple behind the travel blog Beers and Beans. 

moji massage bundle

Photo via Moji, my favorite brand for portable massagers.

21. Moji Pro Massage Bundle

Hiking and getting active in the outdoors is rewarding, though can lead to sore and tight muscles in need of loosening up. 

This is where my absolute favorite at-home massage kit, the Moji Pro Massage Bundle, comes in.

I’ve been using this budget-friendly bundle for years both at home and on the road, and it works wonders. It’s actually become part of my nightly routine. 

The bundle features three portable massagers equipped with stainless steel rollers.

These include the:

  • Moji Foot Pro Massager. This one grips into the floor so you can roll out feet while watching TV in the hotel room or hanging in the hostel lounge.
  • Moji Mini Pro Massager. Place your hand in the strap to turn your palm into a magic massager.
  • Moji Curve Pro Massager. This item has an incredible grip to really roll out your IT band, hips, and other problem areas.

You can buy them as a bundle or individually.

Looking for quick recovery? 

Put the massagers in the freezer for an ice massage — great for fast pain relief.

Feel good knowing this product is made 100% in the USA.

hiking packing list

Photo via UCO

22. Leschi Lantern & Flashlight

A product of UCO, who have been making adventure gear since 1971, the Leschi Lantern & Flashlight is a unique collapsible lantern-meets-flashlight that is perfect for night hikes and camping.

It’s lightweight at 1.6 ounces and features a shock cord that can be mounted to camping poles and trees for a hands-free, lit-up experience.

Bonus:

The gadget is water-resistant (no worries if it rains!) and despite being small in size, it can project up to 400 feet. 

23. Global Rescue Membership

For those embarking on truly adrenaline-pumping hikes, it’s worth ensuring safety beyond travel insurance — though everyone should get travel insurance, too. 

The Global Rescue Membership team works with everyone, from everyday travelers to government officials, providing field rescue, medical advisory, and evacuation — as well as security extraction services.

Members have their choice of hospital to be transported to, and on the way they’re looked after by critical care paramedics and former Special Operations personnel. 

female travel gear

24. Vigilant Personal Alarm

I recommend the Vigilant Personal Alarm in almost every guide I write, and for good reason.

It’s the smallest travel gadget I own, and I wear it as a bracelet both at home and on the road.

If danger approaches, you pull the pin easily out to sound an alarm as loud as a fire truck, scaring off bad guys, animals, and other potential attackers. 

For instance, this would be a great item to have when hiking the Lakes Trails in Sequoia National Park, which has an abundance of black bears. 

 
hiking packing list

Photo via Scrubba

25. Scrubba Portable Laundry System Wash Bag

Doing laundry, paying for laundry and wasting time in a laundromat are all things I dislike — at home and while traveling.

That’s where the Scrubba Portable Laundry System comes in.

Simply put your dirty clothes in the bag along with water and detergent, roll the bag down, and clip closed.

From there, press down and rub to clean clothes against the bag’s internal washboard, then rinse and dry.

You can use a microfiber towel to roll clothes and squeeze out excess moisture.

Bonus:

There’s an eco-twist, as the company estimates users use about 0.5-1.5 gallons of water less per load.

hiking packing list

Photo via Cairn

26. Cairn Monthly Trail Delivery

Love surprises?

Hikers will love the Cairn monthly delivery service, featuring 4-5 items for the trail relating to gear, apparel, emergency, skincare and food/energy.

Each box is valued up to $50, with options like energy bars, lip balms, insect repellents, first aid kits, beanies and more!

Some brands that have been featured in past boxes include Brunton, ExOfficio, Bearded Brothers, Grand Trunk, and Honey Stinger. 

hiking packing list

Photo via RevoMax

27. RevoMax Twist-Free Water Bottle

When you get thirsty on your hikes, you want to drink fast without spillage.

The RevoMax stainless steel twist-free water bottle means trekkers can open and close their bottles with one hand.

Moreover, the bottle boasts the ability to keep beverages hot or cold for 15 hours! 

What would you add to this list of best gifts for hikers & outdoor enthusiasts?

p.s. Still in need of gift ideas for your travel friends? Check out:

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Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

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1 Comment

  1. Jamie Nails on December 9, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Nice list. I didn’t know something like the Cairn Monthly Trail Delivery existed. I love the idea there!

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