By Michele Herrmann & Katie Foote
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 22 gifts for backpackers and adventure travelers that give these road warriors extra leverage while going easy on their load.
After reading this list, make sure to head over to my buddy Will’s site at The Broke Backpacker to see his list of adventure gift ideas, too!
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. Deuter ACT Lite Pack
This is Jessie’s pack of choice, as the bag is made with both comfort and logic in mind. A padded hip belt, climate-controlled back and numerous large pockets and straps — perfect for affixing extra gear — are just a few features that make this bag awesome. Moreover, it ends up being uber spacious without taking up much space.
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.
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.
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. Try the turkey, the beef & pork, or the beef.
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.
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.
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.
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: $42.99. You can also click here to shop more of Gobi Gear’s highly praised segmented sacs from $34.99+.
11. French Press Your Water
Every traveler needs fresh water to fuel his or her adventures. GRAYL’s Water Filtration System allows you to purify water at home and also on the go, eliminating heavy metals, chemicals and protecting against viruses. You can use each of GRAYL’s replaceable and interchangeable filters 300 times, virtually replacing 300 bottles of water, no matter where you are in the world.
The device works like a French Press to clean water in less than 30 seconds without using batteries.
Click here to purchase your Quest Water Filter. Prices start at $59.50.
12. Inspirational Travel Quote Accessories
This line of wanderlust-inducing products can be found in the Jessie on a Journey Travel Shop. Designed by Jessie, each tote bag, pillow, mug, iPhone case, laptop skin and t-shirt is meant to encourage travel through inspirational quotes and stunning travel photography. For adventure and solo travelers specifically, these accessories and home products show off your love of seeing the world.
Click here to check out the Jessie on a Journey Travel Quote Collection.
13. Fashionable & Practical Travel Underwear
To ensure comfort in sun, sand, rain and snow, start with underwear that is as ready-for-anything as you are. Give-N-Go underwear is designed for travel and active use by ExOfficio: lightweight, odor-reducing, moisture-wicking and quick to clean on-the-road.
Choose from multiple styles which are surprisingly fashionable. Women can peruse the Lacy Collection, which is “technically sexy” with bikinis, low-rise bikinis and thongs.
Men will enjoy the Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs style, with an athletic fit and highly breathable 4-way stretch mesh fabric for maximum airflow. The seams are flat-lock stitched as to not dig in while seated for long periods (perfect for the plane!).
14. Single-Use Urinary Packets For Female Adventurers
For any female who might have to go when they’re on the go, seek an alternative to sketchy or nonexistent toilets and consider the Pee Pocket.
This single use, waterproof, disposable funnel allows women to urinate while standing, providing the perfect solution for active women who enjoy biking, traveling, camping, hiking or music festivals. It’s collapsible design easily fits in a purse or a wallet and includes a hygienic tissue wipe and disposal bag. This is a must-have for women who want to stay germ-free when there are no suitable or sit-down toilets available.
Click here for more information on the Pee Pocket ($7.99 for a 3-pack).
15. Convenient & Cute Rainwear
When you’re on vacation, a rainy day can be frustrating enough without having to deal with managing an umbrella in the wind or bulky, wet rain jackets.
For a lightweight, stylish and hands-free alternatives, check out RAINRAPS. The hooded, waterproof RAINRAP weighs only 8 ounces and comes with a travel pouch that fits in your handbag, glove compartment or suitcase.
The one-size-fits-all RAINRAPS come in eight color combinations and have a double-sided button closure for reversibility. If you plan to travel somewhere chilly, check out the WINTER RAP, which is designed with one side to repel the rain, while the soft heavier, fabric on the inside keeps you warm.
Click here to purchase RAINRAPS online.
16. The Gift Of Blogging
Are you, or do you know, an adventure traveler who wants to share their stories with the world — and get paid to do so? In honor of the holidays, Jessie is offering her one-on-one Travel Blogging Consulting via Skype. Those who want to learn the ins and outs of professional blogging and how to make money exploring the world can sign up for 20%.
Just click here to email Jessie with how many hours you’d like to sign up for and available dates/times. Make sure to mention the coupon code “GiftGuide2017” for the discount.
17. Pickpocket-Proof Garments
Do you know an adventurous traveler that’s constantly traveling from place-to-place, sometimes finding themselves in rougher foreign cities? This is the gift for them. Pickpocket-proof garments eliminate the need for purses and wallets, as the shirts, underwear and pants provide hidden interior pockets, so thieves will never know you even have valuables on you. With pickpocket-proof clothing, you’ll be giving your fearless loved one the gift of safety.
Click here to check out pickpocket-proof clothing, starting at $21.90.
18. Capture The World With A GoPro
I never leave town without my GoPro. What’s great about it is it takes high-quality video on a small device that can be easily affixed to anything, from a head mount to a surf board (just make sure you also tether it to yourself in case of a wave!).
This is one of your best options for capturing your adventures from a first-person perspective to share with loved ones and followers. GoPro also has free editing software to quickly create shareable videos on your phone or laptop.
Click here to check the brand name GoPro Hero 6. It’s 20% off at Backcountry.com for a limited time!
19. Inspire Thrills Through Reading
Lonely Planet’s “Atlas of Adventure” is a must-read for anyone needing inspiration for future journeys.
It’s one of their more thought-provoking travel guides, packed with trip ideas, from mountaineering in Argentina to dogsledding in Greenland and beyond. The book showcases thrills in over 150 countries, so it’ll be relevant pretty much no matter where you’re itching to go.
Click here to get the book for yourself or a loved one this holiday for $25.22.
20. Travel By Lightweight Hammock
Any avid camper knows there’s nothing better than sleeping out under the stars or on a beach in a hammock.
Hammock Bliss makes an affordable, lightweight double hammock made from a parachute nylon fabric that holds up to 350 pounds. Along with being quick-drying, mildew-resistent and breathable, it comes with a permanently affixed pouch to store your gear.
Click here to purchase the hammock, on sale for $54.36 (originally $67.95). Backcountry offers free shipping on 2-day shipping for orders over $50.
21. Bike-Friendly Wine Rack
When exploring the outdoors by bike, nothing beats a picnic. On your next cycling trip bring a Bicycle Wine Rack, courtesy of Oopsmark. After traveling across the countryside, you will be ready to un-wine-d with this adorable and fashionable accessory. This piece is hand-crafted with fine vegetable-tanned leather and attaches to most bike frames to hold the bottle securely.
Click here to purchase the rack for $34.
22. Low-level Light & Life-Line Location Application
E/T Lights from Triage offer the latest in portable low-level illumination, which has countless uses for the adventure traveler. For example, illuminate your book during a camping trip, or get your things organized during an early wake-up at a hostel dormitory room.
These tough and compact lights provide one week of continuous illumination. Originally developed for Special Ops medics to prioritize wounded, they are combat proven. Even better, each purchase of the E/T Light comes with a f-Ready app that keeps family and friends up-to-date with your current location. It turns your screen into a visual signaling device and transmits a lifeline email to three friends/family. The email features your status, location (with a link to Google maps), and a message stating they look for the visual screen coming from your phone to zone in on you.
Click here to buy the app for $29.95.
Please note that some but not all of the above URLs may be affiliate links, which means I make a small commission on purchases. These links had no bearing on which products were included in the list, as the guide was compiled first and affiliate links added afterward if possible.