While a big screen TV, a new cell phone, or some other distracting device is on most people’s list, this list is for the person who loves the outdoors. That person who would rather be 3 miles into a hike than 3 hours down a YouTube rabbit hole.
The best part of buying gifts for backpackers is that you know what you get them is going to be used often and greatly appreciated. Backpackers are always in need of a fresh piece of gear and there’s always something new and shiny out there that will impress them. The search can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t backpack, so we put together a list to make the search a little less painless.
The Best Gifts for Backpackers
Finding the perfect for someone who loves the outdoors is a nearly impossible task and knowing where to start is half the struggle. We put together a list of the 45 best gifts for backpackers that range from large to small and everything in between.
1. Jetboil Flash Camping Stove Cooking System
The Jetboil Camping Stove is optimized for efficiency and boils water in under 2 minutes and is the perfect camping stove for preparing soup, coffee, or a dehydrated meal. It’s compatible with a laundry list of attachments, including a coffee press, hanging kit, pot support, and the FluxRing cooking pot. When exploring the outdoors, having a reliable stove that is both compact and efficient is a fundamental tool in your toolkit.
2. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle
Hydro Flask is a wildly popular water bottle with double-walled insulation that keeps beverages warm for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. It’s both BPA free and phthalate-free and made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel. The proprietary powder coat keeps the bottle sweat-free gives it grip and best of all, every Hydro Flask comes with a lifetime warranty.
3. Darn Tough Merino Wool Hiker Socks
Darn Tough Merino Wool socks are designed for the trail, they are made to last and backed by a lifetime warranty. They are made in the USA from fine-gauge Merino Wool that is both antimicrobial and antifungal, both important features for a long-distance hiker and backpacker. After all, nobody wants to smell your stinky feet at the end of a day outdoors crushing miles.
4. Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Pillow
Packing a pillow from home on a backpacking trip takes up too much room in your pack. This Trekology Ultralight inflatable pillow is small in size, packing down to roughly the size of a soda can and only weighs 3.4 ounces. It’s made of durable TP fabric that’s water-resistant and inflates in just a few breaths, 3 to 5 to be exact.
Spending time outdoors is a way to escape the distracting grips of modern technology and devices that take away from the overall experience. However, the Garmin inReach SE+ doesn’t have Instagram or a selfie camera and will keep you safe in the unfortunate circumstance you lose your way. You can trigger an interactive SOS, use the satellite communication for text messaging, and track and share your location with family and friends.
6. MsForce LED Headlamp
Headlamps are an essential piece of backpacking gear, they take up barely any room, weigh just a few ounces, and give you a way to get around at night when the moonlight won’t cut it. The MsForce headlamp comes with 3 LED’s and all the components are airtight sealed with rubber gaskets, ensuring that rain, dirt, and dust will have zero impact over the life of this headlamp (or at least the 7-year warranty window).
7. Waterproof Backpack Rain Cover
There’s nothing worse than opening your backpack at the end of a long day only to find everything inside soaking wet. These backpacking rain covers are made of water-resistant 190T nylon and have a silver PU inner coating that offers protection from 5000mm of rain. There are a bunch of colors to choose from and if you get one that doesn’t fit your pack, ZM-Sports will happily exchange it to another size without any charge to you.
8. HIKENTURE 4-in-1 Stainless Steel Utensil Kit
This is a 4 in 1 backpacking cutlery set that includes a fork, spoon, knife, and can or bottle opener. It’s a mealtime multitool that weighs just over 5 ounces, made of stainless steel so it will never rust, and comes with a nylon carrying case. The lightweight and durable design coupled with 100% satisfaction guaranteed warranty make this a small yet awesome gift for any and every backpacker.
9. Snow Peak Trek Titanium Plate
What good is a backpacking stove and utensils if you have no place to eat your food? This is an extremely lightweight titanium plate that will last for thousands of miles of wear and tear. It weighs just 2 ounces and the titanium design with rounded edges will not leave any metallic taste in your mouth.
10. Jetboil Fuel Can Stabilizer
11. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 person tent is a free-standing, high-quality backpacking tent that doesn’t come with a huge price tag. It has a factory sealed rainfly and seams along with 75D 185T Poly Taffeta floor with 2000mm coating to keep the rain out. It is a perfect gift for the solo backpacker and you can read a full review here for a deeper dive into what makes this tent awesome.
12. Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Jacket
Patagonia is a well known outdoor brand with an outstanding mission of sustainability. The Nano Puff is one of their most popular jackets and comes with PrimaLoft Gold Eco insulation and compresses down to fit into the area roughly the size of the pocket on the jacket itself. This ultralight jacket is best for Spring, Summer, and Fall and is an item that every backpacker should keep in their arsenal.
13. Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock
Hammocks make excellent gifts for backpackers due to their simplicity, versatility and ultralight size. Wise Owl Outfitters hammock is made of heavy duty 210T parachute nylon that is both durable and comfortable. It weighs 22.5 ounces and packs into a carrying bag that’s 4 inches by 5 inches and best of all, it’s easy to set up and fun to sleep in!
14. Backpacking Journal
Keeping a journal of the good, bad, and ugly times on a backpacking trip gives you a place to store your memories forever. Take a few minutes at the end of each day and write down how you feel, the challenges, and the obstacles you overcame so you can look back years later and keep the memories alive and vivid.
15. Pocket Blanket
Space is at a premium on every backpacking trip and a pocket blanket is an ultralight and compact blanket that fits in the palm of your hand. It folds out to a large 63 x 43 inch, water-resistant, puncture-resistant blanket with holes in the corners so it can double as a groundsheet.
16. Osprey Packs Farpoint 55
Osprey has been making hiking backpacks since 1974 and has remained one of the most prominent names in outdoor backpacks. The Farpoint 55 is an excellent hiking backpack that comes with a mesh back panel, mesh harness, and LightWire frame suspension that transfers the load from the back to the hips. There’s a large zip panel to access the main compartment, dual front compression straps, and plenty of room for all your outdoor gear.
17. Kindle Paperwhite
Having a great book to enjoy in the evening is something we can all appreciate, the problem is that on a backpacking trip bringing a book or 2 takes up space fast. The Kindle Paperwhite is the solution to this problem, not only does it only weigh 6.4 ounces, it’s waterproof, and has its own lighting, so you can rely on it anytime, anywhere. The Kindle Paperwhite holds thousands of books too, so you can preload it with more books than you’ll ever be able to read.
18. MPOWERD Luci Solar Outdoor Light
The MPOWERD Luci Solar Outdoor light is, as the name suggests, a solar-powered light. It’s inflatable, collapsible, completely waterproof, submersible and only weighs 4.4 ounces. One of the best features is a strap that you can attach to the outside of your backpack, so when you’re on the move it’s always getting a charge and ready for the night.
19. Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
A backpacking towel needs to be 3 things: compact, lightweight, and quick-drying. The Rainleaf Microfiber Towel folds or rolls into a small area, weighs just a few ounces (depending on the size), and absorbs 5 times its weight in water and still manages to dry fast.
20. Jetboil Pot Support
21. Surviveware Small First Aid Kit
Accidents happen, and while it’s something that we all try to avoid, they are an unfortunate part of life. The Surviveware Small First Aid kit is designed for the outdoors, the case is waterproof, made of 600D polyester, lightweight, and compact. Each part of the bag is organized by category for easy access and has everything you need to field dress a small wound.
22. Starbucks Via Instant Roast Colombia Coffee
You can spend years attempting to perfect a backcountry cup of coffee, carry the gear, and pack the grounds… Or, grab a pack of Starbucks Via instant coffee which makes a surprisingly decent cup of coffee.
23. ViGrace Winter Gloves
These ViGrace Winter Gloves have fleece wool knit lining on the inside of the glove. The cuff on the glove is made of thick elastic material which keeps the cold out while trapping the natural heat from your hands in. They are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, if for any reason you’re not satisfied ViGrace will refund or replace your gloves.
24. Buff Headwear
BUFF headwear is a truly multifunctional and versatile piece of material that can be used as a hat, headband, scarf, neck gaiter, or balaclava. The original Buff is quick-drying, moisture-wicking, wind-resistant and a must have item for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. They come in a wide variety of colors and style, in other words, there’s a buff for everyone.
25. Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent
Permethrin Spray is a spray on solution that you can apply to your clothes before or during a backpacking trip which repels insects for up to 6 weeks. It doesn’t stain or damage your clothing, fabric, plastics, or any other outdoor gear. It works great and is designed for fabric, so it works much better than a standard bug spray you would use on your arms and legs.
26. Green Belly Backpacking Meals
Green Belly Backpacking Meals are meal bars on the go that were designed by an Appalachian through hiker Chris Cage. After hiking the AT he realized that there was a need for a high calorie nutritious snack that would keep him going for hours, then Green Belly meals were born. Each package contains 2 meal bars, each with 5.5 ounces of high octane fuel.
27. RAVPower Portable Power Bank
Devices are a part of our lives, love it or hate it, and a portable power bank is a quick and easy solution for keeping your devices charged outdoors. This RAVPower portable power bank has a 26800mAh battery which charges most devices up to 6 times. You can also charge up to 3 devices at the same time, so if your friends need a charge or your kindle and phone need a little boost, your covered.
28. Wild Paces Waterproof Compression Sacks
Wild Paces compression sacks are all purpose compression sacks and once they’re rolled up they become sealed and will float on water. The variety of bag sizes allow you to separate and organize your gear so you can quickly find it. These stuff sacks are worth the investment, especially if bad weather is a possibility.
29. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
LifeStraw water filters have an award winning hollow fiber membrane that removes protozoa and bacteria from drinking water. The filter will remove 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites without chemicals, iodine or batteries. The best part is that it comes inside a durable, BPA free water bottle so you can fill it up and keep smashing miles on the trail.
30. Jetboil Coffee Press
For those of us who love coffee, a french press is one of the best ways to make a cup of coffee. The Jetboil coffee press is the next best thing for the outdoors, it acts as a french press and is compatible with the Jetboil Campin Stove. This regular sized Jetboil Coffee Press works with the zip, flash, and micromole cooking systems.
31. Osprey Packs Hikelite 18
Not every trip outdoors is going to be a week long trek and for those more leisurely trips into the backcountry the Osprey Hikelight 18 is an excellent choice. It comes with an integrated rain cover, trekking pole attachment points, an internal hydration sleeve, and stretchy mesh side pockets. Osprey’s AirSpeed technology keeps your back well ventilated so you don’t have to deal with a sweaty and sticky back.
32. Ray-Ban Polarized Sunglasses
Sunglasses may not be on the top of everyone’s list of must haves for backpacker, however, we beg to differ. Sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, reduce eyestrain, and protect your eyes on the trail. Rayban sunglasses have been around since 1937 and your eyes will be safe and you might even look cool.
33. GoerTek Solar Charger
The GoerTek Solar Charger is a 25000mAh solar LiPolymer battery that stores enough power to charge a phone 57 times. It’s compact and convenient and it comes with 3 charging ports so you can charge multiple devices at the same time. There are 36 LED lights that work similar to a flashlight, so if you choose to leave your devices at home, you have a rechargeable flashlight that’s surprisingly bright.
34. GoPro Hero 7
The GoPro line of cameras are well known for their ability to capture motion in tough and challenging conditions. The GoPro Hero 7 is an extremely compact 4K camera that is 2.4 x 1.3 x 1.8 inches that’ll fit in the palm of your hand. It comes equipped with video stabilization, a 10 megapixel camera, intuitive touch control, and captures wide angle pictures and videos.
35. Coleman 0°F Mummy Sleeping Bag
36. LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool
Backpacking isn’t always a romantic walk in the woods, the reality is that things break and they need to be fixed. The Leatherman Wingman Tool is a one size fits all solution that every backpacker needs to have in their arsenal for those times that things break. With the compact size, light design, pocket clip, and 14 tools, it has all the tools you need in one little pocket sized solution.
37. Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad
Sleeping in the woods, on the dirt, in a sleeping bag can be less than comfortable. The Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad is 23 inches wide and 73 inches long and comes in at just over a pound, or 18.1 ounces. The 75D polyester material is incredibly lightweight and can take a beating, and best of all, it packs down into a 3 x 8 inch carrying bag.
Cooking in the backcountry isn’t always glamorous but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. The MalloMe backpacking mess kit comes with everything that you’ll need to make a simple or involved woodsy meal. It comes with a 10-piece campfire mess kit with 1 pot, 2 bowls, pot cover, utensils, and a spatula, in other words, everything you need to eat outside.
39. BearVault Bear Canisters for Backpackers
Despite your cuddly teddy bear from when you were a kid, the real thing is big, scary, and wants your food. The BearVault is approved for use in all National Parks and National Forests and a large portion of long distance backpackers trust the BV500. Keep your food and other good smelling items protected from bears, rodents, and any other wildlife that might get their nose in your business.
40. The North Face Resolve Jacket
You can’t predict the weather but you can be prepared for it when it decides to make an appearance. It has a Waterproof, seam-sealed DryVent™ 2L shell with mesh liner, 100% windproof fabric, an adjustable and stowable hood. The North Face Resolve comes with North Face’s guarantee which gives you a lifetime warranty in defects in materials and workmanship.
41. GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug
Coffee in the morning is the thing that backpacker’s dreams are made of. The GSI Infinity Backpacker Mug is wrapped with an insulated neoprene sleeve, sealable lid, and has non slip footing. It only weighs 3. ounces and holds 17 ounces of liquid, it’s made 100$ recycled material and comes with a lifetime warranty.
42. Stanley Stainless Steel Flask
Just because you’re in the backcountry it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a sip of your favorite spirit. This Stanley stainless steel flask holds 8 ounces, is rustproof, and made with BPA free material. This classic flask is a perfect gift for a backpacker and designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures.
43. Amazon Gift Card
What do you do if you don’t backpack or spend a lot of time in the outdoors but know someone who does? With millions (literally) of outdoor gear, clothing, and accessories in stock, an Amazon gift card is a great way to take the thinking out of the process and let the backpacker in your life choose exactly what they want. You can get an Amazon gift card that ranges from 20 dollars to 2000 dollars, so you should be able to find one that fits your budget.
44. Waterproof Backpack Rain Cover
Most backpacks will tell you that they’re waterproof or, at the very least, water resistant. The fact of the matter is, no matter how well your backpack is treated or coated with enough rain the inside will eventually get wet. The Gryps Waterproof Backpack Rain Cover is an ultralight rain cover that’s super easy to put on and take off and you can count on to keep your gear dry.
45. Gerber Backpacking Knife
Everyone needs a backpacking knife and it doesn’t have to be a huge Rambo knife. The Gerber STL 2.0 Knife is an ultralight and compact knife that weighs 1 ounce and is as thick as 3 quarters stacked together. It has a cut out stainless steel blade that can be opened with one hand, as well as, a frame lock to avoid unexpected openings.