Top Gifts for Hikers and Day Hikers

Not sure what to get that hiker or day hiker in your life?    Our top gifts for hikers and day hikers below are sure to make any hiker or outdoors person happy!   Unlike many gifts for hikers lists, we're avid day hikers, and we have and use ALL of these items.  Each one is high quality, useful, and all tested by us!   How can you go wrong?

Our Top Gifts for Hikers and Day Hikers



Eno Singlenest Hammock

Eno hammocks are not only super lightweight, but they are sturdy, and incredible quick and easy to set-up.   They're perfect for setting up near waterfalls and scenic views.    The easily fold up into an attached pouch, and that fits easily in a backpack.   They even come in a number of different colors!



Osprey Hikelite Backpack

Osprey is very well known name, and for good reason, they make some of the highest quality AND most comfortable backpacks in the industry.   We bring our Hikelite with us on every hike, and it holds our snacks, water, emergency supplies, rain jackets, and other items.   These packs are super light, strong, and even come with a pull over rain cover.



Kershow Leek Carbin Fiber Pocket Knife

One of the single most useful tools you can have with you while hiking is a pocket knife.   Useful for opening packages, cutting food, cutting rope, emergencies, making kindling for a fire, make shift screwdriver, untangling knots, etc. etc.  The list goes on.  I used to carry a Gerber Paraframe, but this Carbin Fiber knife is lighter, and higher quality, and I really like sharp pointy end.  It's not cheap, but well worth the money.



GoPro HERO10 Black

An action camera is not only a great way to capture video while you're out hiking, but they make for great lightweight and small cameras for taking photos.   The small size, and light weight is perfect for hiking.  You can either wear it on your, or fit it into a pouch or pocket on your backpack.   While we don't have this latest model, we have found our action camera to be incredibly useful, especially given they are waterproof.



Marmot Precip Rain Jacket

The Blue Ridge Mountains are actually a temperate rain forest, which means it can rain at anytime, and it often comes out of nowhere.   When we first started hiking, we quickly learned to bring rain gear, and keep extra clothing and towels in our Jeep.   This super light weight and breathable rain jacket will keep you comfortable and dry, in the heaviest of downpours.   The jacket folds up into it's own pocket, so that it fits easily in your pack.



Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series

We're not huge fans of pre-packaged first aid kits, as you often don't have enough of what you need, and too much of what you don't need, but purchasing pre-built kits is simple.  These medical kits from Adventure Medical are compact, inexpensive, and come with a small pouch to hold it all together.  Being small, it fits nicely in your packpack.   We have found a first aid kit to be invaluable 



National Geographic Trail Maps

One of the single most important items any hiker can have with them is a trail map.   These maps from National Geographic are accurate, very high quality, and include topographic information and distances.  What we really like about them is they are waterproof and non-tearable.



Emergency 2-Person Sleeping bag

While you will probably never need it, keep this super compact emergency sleeping bag in your pack, may save your life.   This sleeping bag reflects 90% of your body heat, back to you, keeping you warm in an emergency situation.    It's large enough for two people, waterproof, wind resistant, tear resistant, and light weight.



Darn Tough Socks

The importance of good, comfortable and thick socks when hiking, is often way under-estimated.   Your feet really take a beating when hiking, and having good socks can make all the difference between a great hike and a really bad hike.  Darn Tough socks have extra padding, hidden seems, and a lifetime guarantee.   They are crazy comfortable as well.  While post people would normally hate getting socks as a gift, these will be the exception!



Petzl Actik CORE Headlamp - Rechargeable

A headlamp is  must have item in the backpack of every hiker.   We've all had that hike when it went longer than we expected, and it began to get dark.   Having a headlamp also allows you to feel confident when hiking to those epic sunrise or sunset locations.    We love this rechargeable one from Petzl, who makes some of the best headlamps in the industry.   



Suunto 7 - Hiking Watch

My wife purchased a Suunto hiking watch for me a few years ago, and to be honest I was hesitant, but quickly realized how useful these watches really are.  They have built in GPS, trail navigation features, altimeter, barometer, temperature readings.  They are waterproof, shock proof, and dirt proof.  An exceptional gift for any hiker.



Jetboil Minimo Camping Stove

Perfect for cooking quick freeze dried meals, and for coffee or other hot drinks.  These small and compact cooking stoves are requirements for over night hikers, and super nice for day hikers.    We really enjoy making coffee on those early morning sunrise hikes.  These stoves are built to last, and used by the majority of hikers.



Garmin InReach

This is one item we don't yet have, but it's on our list and honestly, should just be on every hikers list.  The Garmin InReach allows hikers to send text messages where there is no cell phone service.  You can send loved ones updates, tell them you are running late, or notify emergency services if you're in trouble.  This is one of those items, that while not cheap, just may save your life.

Its small size is perfect for fitting into your pack, is battery efficient, and even has additional map viewing features, optional weather updates.   It does require a monthly service fee in addition to the cost of the device.  Plan prices vary by feature



LowePro Tactic Camera Backpack

Regular backpacks don't work near as well for photographers.    Normally one of our kids carries the regular backpack, and my wife and I use these LowePro camera backpacks to carry our camera gear, but hiking items and snacks.   LowePro makes some of the best designed, and rugged camera backpacks on the market.

This is the perfect gift for the hiker and photographer.



Sawyer Products Mini Water Filter

You should always bring water with you on a hike, but sometimes you'll run out, and you cannot safely drink from creeks or streams no mater where you are.  The Sawyer Products Mini Water Filter solves this problem.   This inline filter, allows you to drink water in a number of different ways, and removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, 99.9999% of protozoa, and 100% of microplastics.

It's small size allows you to easily fit it in your back, and they are very inexpensive, but very durable.

For a list of all the gear we carry with us on a Dayhike, see our Day Hiking Essentials Guide.

What YOU need to bring on a Day Hike Video:

For More Gift Ideas, visit Amazon's Gifts for Hikers List!

About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.


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