Trying to figure out how to impress that loved one who likes to hike or backpack? Here are some ideas for gifts that will not only be useful the next time your “giftee” hits the trail, but will also be sure to make a great impression on them as well.

Impress a Hiker with a New Tent

Nothing blows one away like a new backpacking tent for the holidays. A tent makes a thoughtful gift for either an experienced backpacker or someone who likes to day-hike, but wants to start doing overnight trips as well. Tents come in different sizes from lightweight, single-person tents to multi-person expedition tents that are used on mountaineering expeditions. A good compromise is the MSR Hubba Hubba, which is a two-person tent that is lightweight, and suitable for camping during the spring, summer, and fall.

Set it up the night before Christmas. It will make a great “wow” moment for that hiker when they see it next to the Christmas tree in the morning.

Impress a Hiker with a New Stove

A backpacking stove is another practical gift idea that will impress that hiker. A stove helps hikers to prepare hot food or drinks in the backcountry, and can heat water quickly. Buy the stove, along with the appropriate fuel bottle, and set them up under the tree (without the fuel inside for safety). Consider buying a pot to place on the stove as well.

Impress a Hiker with a New Headlamp

A headlamp is a necessary tool for anyone who goes out on the trail, and also likes to camp overnight. Headlamps provide hands-free use so that the hiker can work on camp chores, or for navigating difficult terrain at night. The Black Diamond Spot has LED lights and can switch to a spotlight for greater visibility. Consider taking the headlamp out of the package, install the batteries, and hang it on the tree or over the mantle.

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp, Black, One Size
  • One Quad Power LED and one Double Power white LED emit 300 lumens. Max Distances : [High] 80 m; [Low] 16 m. Max Burn Time : [High] 30 H (est.); [Low] 175 H (est.)
  • Settings include full strength in proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, red night-vision and lock mode
  • PowerTap Technology allows instant transitioning between full and dimmed power
  • Brightness Memory allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full power
  • Waterproof; Protected against water immersion down to >1m (3.3 ft) for 30 minutes (IPX 8)

Impress a Hiker with a New Backpack

Does your hiker have an old, worn-out backpack that has seen better days? A new backpack, either a daypack or overnight pack can make a great gift, and doesn’t have to be wrapped either. Place it under the tree, and place a nice bow on the top-loader.

Impress a Hiker with an Adventure

Ultimately, hikers want to get outside and hike! Surprise them with plans for an upcoming trip. Perhaps have a brochure describing a new trail system, or a map of a potential hiking area under the tree. For a young hiker in college or just out of school, consider buying them a spot on a course from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) or Outward Bound. These groups plan fantastic adventures around the world, and are perfect for a recent graduate who loves the outdoors.

There’s lots of ideas out there to make a great impression on that hiker or backpacker for the holiday.  

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