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The 10 Perfect Holiday Gifts that Hikers Actually Want!

Updated: Dec 16, 2021


Hannah Unbound hiking in the snow in Colorado during the holidays

Finding the right gift for the outdoorsy person in your life can be extremely difficult, especially if they're like me and already own almost every possible piece of gear they can find. The best route to go for these kinds of hikers is to get them the kind of gift that they might not have even thought about for themselves! Something that will make their hiking experience better while also being useful in their travels.


I also share a few charities I greatly admire and ways to give back and honor your nature-loving friends and family this holiday season. So if you're ready to start looking at ways to make your hiking friends geek out this holiday, then let's dive in!


 

(Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission at zero extra cost to you. I link to these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission. Thank you!)

 

Table of Contents:


1. Osprey Hikelite Hiking Backpack

2. Smart Wool

3. First Aid Supplies

4. Rumple Outdoor Blankets

5. Repair Supplies

6. Nature Filed Guides

7. Landscape Photography

8. Gear Cleaning Supplies

9. Donate to Charity

10. Gift Cards

 

1. Osprey Hikelite Hiking Backpack


Osprey Hikelite hiking backpack 26 liter

While a hiking bag may seem like the most obvious purchase, I want to make sure you understand why I'm recommending this bag in particular. The Osprey Hikelite bag is one of the most lightweight options around and I think it's the best option for either a first-time bag or upgrading from your first bag.


Hannah Unbound hiking with an Osprey Hikelite 26 liter hiking bag

It comes in two sizes, the 18L, and 26L, so if you know someone looking to grab a slightly larger bag so they can start to carry more layers, first aid, trekking poles, or food on their hikes, this bag is a great choice.

Not to mention, this bag has an actual back suspension with their air space technology, making this bag so comfortable to the hiker without hurting their back. With this bag being crazy light for long trips, a reasonable price for its quality, and enough space to carry anything you need, I feel like this bag is a no-brainer. (I've been loving mine for the last two years if that helps).





 


 


2. Smart Wool




Smart wool leggings and a pair of blue wool socks

Especially during these colder times of the year, wool under layers are the best way to stay warm outdoors. And while there are tons of different wool companies out there there is nothing quite like Smart Wool. Being one of the first companies to start using 100% Merino wool for their products, Smart Wool makes some of the most comfortable and reliable clothes in the biz.

It's well known around the hiking community that having great socks is not a luxury but a necessity! Getting socks (or long johns) for Christmas is a hiker's dream! And if they are legitimate Smart Wool, then you will be known as the coolest gift giver ever, seriously!





 


 


3. First Aid Supplies



A water tight first aid kit full of supplies

This is something that traditionally would be a super strange gift to give, but first aid is something that often gets looked over by many hikers even though these items can save their life! While most people will already have their own first aid, what they don't know is that a lot of their products can expire, like pain killers and antihistamines. Plus, they're probably out of all of the very popular items they use all the time when hiking.


Probably the best first aid item to get a hiker is moleskin! This handy band-aid is extra thick to cover blisters on your feet allowing someone to keep on hiking even when their feet are telling them to stop.

While most first aid kits are full of all of the essentials, sometimes it's helpful to grab some extra supplies that aren't typically in these kits. Such as: clotting sponges, venom removal, splints, tick remover, hydration tablets, poison ivy wash, emergency blanket, and wilderness first-aid guide book. You can never really have too many first aid supplies.




 


 

4. Rumple Outdoor Blankets


Women holding onto a blanket outdoors

This may sound really weird but to an avid camper, a nice outdoor blanket is a dream item! I don't even own one of these fancy blankets yet because honestly, the price is a little steep for me, but I've always wanted one! I just imagine waking up from my tent to the cold morning and pulling out of my sleeping bag and wrapping up in my cozy blanket. Or even around the campfire in the 2 person blanket, sitting next to my dog all cozied up.

Rumple is the top-of-the-line supplier for outdoor blankets. Their original synthetic and Nanoloft blankets are made with 100% post-consumer recycled materials. They also have an ultralight down blanket that has an outer material that keeps it safe from water scratches and debris, which is super important when it comes to outdoor gear.

While these blankets may seem a bit extra, I believe anyone who enjoys time in the outdoors will love how warm, comfy and stylish these blankets are.



 

5. Repair Supplies


Something hikers and campers forget about all the time is repair kits. From fixing a hole in our favorite rain jacket with tenacious tape, or restringing a tent pole when it breaks in the field, or gluing anything back together with aquaseal. Repair supplies can be make or break for the avid outdoorsman in a rush.

If you get them multiple items these would make great little stocking stuffers, if that's your thing.




 


 

6. Nature Field Guides


Two National Audobon Society guide books for birds of North America

If your hiking friend is as nerdy about nature as I am then they will be so stoked to receive one of these books for a gift this year! The National Audobon Society has a collection of hundreds of different books all to help you identify anything you can possibly think of in nature. Whether they're into birds, rocks, mushrooms, mammals, trees or wildflowers there is an awesome Audobon guide book to help them learn more about the natural settings around them!


I've had my Audobon ID books since I was in third grade, and I've always loved bringing them for bird watching, identifying constellations at night, and cloud formations during the day.

Since not everyone wants to lug around these big books, you can also get small more specific field guides that are waterproof and fit in your pocket. I love these pocket guides for quick reference when out on the trail. Adding these field guides to my trips has made hiking so much more engaging and fun for me.



 


 

5. Landscape Photography for Their Home



Hannah Unbound's landscape photography hung on a stylish cement wall for christmas

So I couldn't possibly make this entire gift guide and not plug my own store just a little bit. I mean honestly, this is actually a great gift for these winter months where all a hiker can think about is those bright summer days where they can backpack and run around in the wildflowers! We miss the sun and the dirt, and the best way to remind them that there is still hope is by displaying beautiful destinations for them to dream about until the next hiking season.


I love having beautiful photos around my home to inspire me to keep looking for new places to hike and places to see. Plus, for every print sold at my shop, I will donate to "One Tree Planted" a charity that plants native trees around the world! So if you want to give a gift and give back to our amazing planet, then maybe consider hopping over to Etsy and supporting a small creator and planting a tree at the same time. Win-win!



 

8. Gear Cleaning Supplies


If you live with a hiker then you know the dirt and honestly, the smell that comes with storing their gear. But all of their precious outdoor supplies can't be cleaned with just any old soap, we need special gear specific solvents that won't hurt our very expensive sleeping bag or water repellent jacket.

Cleaning our gear after an outdoor adventure is just another thing that hikers usually don't think about, but will make them so happy that you thought about it for them so they can enjoy a better experience on their next outing.



 

9. Donate to an Environmental Charity for Someone

Waterfall and trees that you can save with your donations to charity

If you are really in the charitable mood and the hiker you know is more minimalist, or already has everything they need, then consider making a donation with their name on it.

There are so many charities that you can find one for almost any planet-saving cause you can think of. For instance, "Save the Redwoods" is a charity that is specifically serving the Redwood and Sequoia forests of California. If you know an animal lover you can do the classic wild animal adoption route on WWF, where you can pick almost any wild animal on the planet to symbolically adopt and receive a plushy and card of the animal you chose.

You can also pick more broad foundations such as tree planting nonprofits like "The Nature Conservancy" or "One Tree Planted". Or "The National Parks Foundation" that helps preserve all of America's beautiful national parks.


If you want to be more active in these charities, there are always volunteer opportunities to either plant trees, rebuild trails or clean up rivers and parks. This would be a great way to get all of your outdoorsy friends involved in helping out the natural lands that we all love so much!

 



 

10. Gift Cards


Last but certainly not least, is gift cards! Honestly, I freaking love gift cards! It makes it so much easier for me to purchase what I really need for my outdoor adventures. Especially if these cards are to a big camping store like REI or Cabella's, I know I will always spend every last penny.

A holiday gift card for a hiker or camper

The best part about these cards is that since so many pieces of hiking and camping equipment are so expensive gift cards are a great way to help someone save up to buy their really big-ticket items, like tents and sleeping bags that can cost hundreds of dollars.




So don't feel like you're letting someone down by getting them a gift card over an actual gift because some people really love picking out their own hiking gear, and the experience of shopping for it could be even more fun than having them open it during the holidays. So just grab them a gift card and take them to the store with you so you can both have the buying experience, and share even more together.




 

Hannah unbound hiking in the snow for the holidays

That is my complete 2021 holiday gift guide for the hiking and camping geek in your life. While of course, everyone has different preferences in gear, companies, things they actually need for the next hiking season these are all items I would get any beginner or intermediate outdoorsman I know.


I believe gift-giving shouldn't always be the thing they need, but that extra nice thing they would really want, but never buy for themselves, or something they forgot they wanted at all. But please do not purchase things just to get them, think about how the other person would feel about the gift and you're sure to pick the right one.


Do you have any items you would add to this list? Or anything you would really want from here? I'm dying to get my hands on one of those Rumple blankets!


If you have any questions about these gifts or companies feel free to comment below, text me (that's right, you can text me now!), or DM me on Instagram!


Until Next Time,

Happy Holidays!




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Hey there! My name is Hannah Smentkowski, I'm the photographer, writer, hiker, camper, and craft beer drinker of this blog!

 

Here, I share my travel, camping, and hiking tips to help anxious explorers get outdoors with confidence!

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