11 Gift Ideas for Hikers

Pelican Flyer  |  October 16, 2020

Do you have a special someone in your life who’s an avid hiker and are completely stumped on a gift? Pelican has you covered! Here are some of the best gift ideas for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, from gear to clothing and extra gadgets to help along the trail.

Hiking Backpack

For thru-hikers and wilderness hikers, a backpack is extremely personal. They often spend hours picking out the perfect one. So while we might discourage blindly going into it, if you pry enough or know the hiker recipient well, you can truly surprise them with a stellar gift! Take a look at Pelican’s extensive collection of backpacks and duffels. At the very least, you can give them a watertight Pelican case to keep electronic devices and hiking gear dry.

Flashlight or Headlamp

You can never go wrong giving a high-quality LED flashlight. As one of the 10 Essentials, a tactical flashlight can come in super handy out in the wilderness, and a hands-free headlamp can offer a safer way to travel at night. Plus, many flashlights and headlamps come with strobe-like settings that can alert SAR in an emergency.

Fire Starters

Hikers can always use some fire starters. There are countless options from minimalist flint fire starters to wood nuggets and non-toxic chemical-based fire starter packets. For an old-fashioned fire starter that will last a lifetime, check out the hand-crafted Überleben, which sparks even in winter camping at high altitudes.

A Nature Book

When in doubt, an outdoor-themed nature book is a great gift idea. It could be any number of books published by National Geographic, including books on their favorite trails or national parks. Also, consider reference manuals and how-to guides on wilderness techniques to better prepare them for the unexpected. Gift your hiker travel books on the local region, giving them suggestions of the best local hikes, activities and more. There are countless nature book options out there!

Hiking Socks

best gift ideas for hikers

One practical gift idea for hikers is good quality hiking socks. Since hikers go through socks like a bag of GORP, they’re always in need! The best hiking socks are usually made of durable merino wool, offering breathability and warmth all day long. Of course, there are many other types of wool, too, like buffalo wool and alpaca wool. Either way, aim for lighter wools if they are summer hikers and thicker wools if they enjoy hiking winter and snow-covered trails.

Life Straw

A LifeStraw is a handy piece of gear for hikers and might even save their life, should they ever get lost on the trail. This ultra-light water filter can be placed directly into a running stream, filtering contaminated water as you sip away. It can keep you hydrated in emergencies and transform 4,000 liters into safe drinking water. Even if you don’t expect the person to drink directly from the source, the LifeStraw brand offers several products that might better fit their hiking activities.

A Custom Engraved Flask

There are countless flasks available, from Stanley to Snow Peak, but to make it truly special, have it customized. Engrave a flask with simply their initials or, to make it more sentimental, engrave coordinates and date from a meaningful moment in their lives, like the day they completed a thru-hike trail. It makes it much more thoughtful than just a flask for carrying favorite spirits.

Solar-Powered Inflatable Lights

Compact and lightweight, solar-powered inflatable lights make a handy gift idea for hikers. Luci is one of the more notable brands, allowing you to place the lights in direct sunlight for seven or more hours, illuminating your campsite with cool white LED lights during evenings and lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge.

Trekking Poles

A decent set of trekking poles makes a really nice gift for hikers. Black Diamond is a highly reputable brand, as are Leki and Mountainsmith. Look for lightweight aluminum poles with soft grips made of natural cork or non-slip EVA foam and breathable moisture-wicking traps.

Pocket Utensil Set

Give your hiker a pocket utensil set. This could be a BPA-free plastic Light My Fire spork or a folding pocket knife with an attached spoon and fork. Of course, for serious hikers, give them a complete three-piece set of durable and lightweight Titanium, like that of the Toaks brand, which is non-corrosive and able to withstand high temperatures. Unlike the plastic spork-like utensils, you can stir hot oatmeals, soups and drinks with this impressive metal cutlery.

Waterproof Rain Jacket

Much like hiking socks, hikers could always use a waterproof rain jacket. Seek out a decent waterproof jacket with an outer shell lining made of a wicking high-density nylon. Make sure the wrists have Velcro® straps to keep water from trickling in and that there are lots of toggles your hiker can adjust.

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