Hikers’ Holiday Gift Guide

Make holiday dreams come true for the hiking enthusiast in your life with a gift that inspires them to get out and on the trail. From stocking stuffers and books to base layers and trekking poles, these products are personal favorites for those who enjoy spending time on the trail.

Stocking Stuffers

Adventure Medical Kits

Not all presents need to be expensive or large. Think about items hikers use often and run out of from time to time. If they are in need of a first-aid kit, or need to replenish theirs, Adventure Medical Kits is our go-to. Check out their Backyard Adventure Kits for your youngest hikers’ packs so they can help keep everyone safe, too!

Darn Tough

Everyone can use a new pair of hiking socks, even if they are just for backup in a pack. Smartwool makes a wide range of merino wool socks for kids in lower- or higher-cut styles with varying levels of cushion and a variety of colors guaranteed to keep your little hikers’ feet dry. Bright colors, favorite wildlife or hiking scenes and a variety of lengths and weights make Darn Tough Hiking Socks a great holiday gift pick. You can even take their short quiz to find the socks that best fit your loved ones’ needs.

Honey Stinger Waffles (left), Apex Protein Sticks (right)

Snacks are one of the most important things to pack on a hike. As proven every time my family heads out on a hike, snacks are great fuel and motivation. Honey Stinger Waffles are our go-to for any outdoor activity. They come in a wide variety of flavors, don’t melt and taste darn good. Another snack to fill a stocking (or backpack) with is jerky. Apex Protein Sticks are one of our favorites, with many flavors to satisfy the taste buds, from Kansas City BBQ to Jalapeño for those who like a little spice.

Eco Lips lip balm

Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent is our go-to for keeping biting insects away on the trail. Lips get dry and cracked from the sun and desert climates. One of our favorite lip balms is Eco Lips for the effectiveness of the product and the company’s commitment to the environment. Check out their new candy cane flavor for a festive treat on the trails.

Activmobility Fitbody Treats by Eukanuba

Speaking of treats, what about treating your best hiking fur buddies to a gift to keep them healthy and at your side hike after hike? Activmobility Fitbody Treats by Eukanuba are the perfect on-trail snack for your pup. Other small gifts to consider for your pup include Stunt Puppy’s Stunt Runner Leash for dogs that love to go-go-go and Ruffwear’s Polar Trex boots for keeping their paws snow- and ice-free while winter hiking, snowshoeing or skiing. If your dogs are anything like my dog, they just flock to water and mud. The Orvis Microfiber Dog-Drying Towel is the perfect towel for drying the pup off quickly on the trail or before they jump back into the car.

Orvis Microfiber Dog-Drying Towel



Petzl Headlamp

Headlamps are a great gift because they can be used for so many outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to nighttime bike rides and more. Petzl has long been a leader in the headlamp market. Give your loved one a Petzl Actik Core Headlamp, and they will thank you for this lightweight gift that has a multibeam design and can be recharged or run on AAA batteries. The lightweight and compact design (with an extra battery safety feature) of Petzl’s Tikkid Headlamp will have your little hikers feeling just like the big kids.

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

Trekking Poles

A great tool for snowshoeing and hiking, trekking poles are the kind of gear that not many think of buying for themselves. However, once someone has a pair, they find themselves using them quite a bit. The Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles are a great all-around adjustable trekking aid for any season.

Osprey Pack (left), REI Tarn (right)


My daughter was so excited when she got to step up to her own pack. Pack fit and preference vary widely. Kids’ packs need to fit properly, but there are fewer bells and whistles to sort through. The REI Tarn and Osprey packs are two recommended packs for kids that are durable and offer kid-friendly features and plenty of space for a sleeping bag and some clothes.

While there are many great backpack manufacturers out there, a gift card to REI or other outdoors stores will allow your older hiker to get fitted with the best pack for them. This way, they can get the pack that best fits their needs and size.

Tactical Baby Gear Daypack 3.0

For the families with babies and smaller children a good backpack/diaper bag is a must. Designed by the dads at Tactical Baby Gear, the Daypack 3.0 Combo Set is built for those who prefer to live life on the wild side. It features a built-in changing mat, wipes pouch, dump pouch and has detailed interior organization.


Base Layers

A good base layer can take you from the hiking trail to the ski hill and beyond. Great for layering, whether you are sledding, snowshoeing or even taking the pup for a walk, base layer bottoms and tops are essential for keeping warm and comfortable while hiking year-round. Smartwool makes a range of different weight layers in a variety of styles and colors. They have a quiz to find the perfect layer, whether your preference is a quarter-zip, hoodie or other style. Don’t forget the children’s line  to keep young adventurers comfortable, too.

Camelbak Scout hydration pack

Hydration Packs

Give your kiddos the job of carrying their own water and a couple of snacks (great intro to carrying their own backpack) with a smaller hydration pack from Camelbak. The Scout is a great entry-level pack with kid features like a whistle and name patch, fun colors and a shorter torso length. While our daughter has moved up to a bigger pack, her Scout still comes in handy for shorter hikes and mountain bike rides.

Teton Sports makes an affordable line of hydration packs for adults, including the Oasis 18L. The pack is perfect for biking, skiing, bouldering days at the crag and hiking. We love that you can pick to have the hydration port on the right or left side (my husband and I differ on our preference), and you can switch out the bladder and still have room to carry a bigger one if you have a longer day in the sun. Color choices are abundant, and the bungee cord on the front for carrying a raincoat or two for easy accessibility is a great bonus feature.

Roving Blue O-Pen

Water Filtration

As a hiker puts in more miles and goes on longer hikes, a way to filter water may become more necessary. Weighing in at a mere 1.2 ounces, the Roving Blue O-Pen can purify 16 ounces of water using ozone in less than a minute. Using a rechargeable battery, the pen can protect hikers from the most common organisms found in stream, river and lake water, including Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus and E. coli. For a less expensive option, the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System is lightweight at 3 ounces and filters water quickly, with no wait time.

The Best Utah Children’s Hikes (left), The Hiker’s Journal (right)


A good guidebook can help you explore new places. Check out The Best Utah Children’s Hikes and other titles from Mountaineers Books for great family-friendly hikes. To keep little hikers happy on the trail, try Trekking on a Trail for activities and games that help the miles pass by.

A logbook for recording dream hikes and hikes one enjoys is a great gift idea for anyone who likes to journal. The Kids Hike Passport by Letterfolk is a cute journal for the youngest hikers to keep track of what they saw on the hike, including animals, and what their favorite parts were. Simon & Schuster publishes a large number of journals for outdoor pursuits, including The Hiker’s Journal, for making notes and drawings of favorite hikes.

Subscription/Annual Pass

Is your friend or loved one always asking for ideas for new trails, searching the web for new adventures or looking for more diversity in their hikes? A subscription or annual pass might be the perfect gift for them.

Gaia (left), onX Backcountry (center), AllTrails (right)

Phone Apps

Most hiking apps are available with a free version but require an additional yearly subscription for access to all the features. Many offer free seven-day to one-month trials to see if the app has all the subscriber is looking for. Some of our favorite subscription apps to use on the trail are AllTrails, Gaia GPS and onX Backcountry. AllTrails is $29.99 annually or $59.99 for three years and features off-route notifications, downloadable maps and a Lifeline feature for friends and family to be able to track you. Gaia GPS is $40 a year with customizable features, a backup for photos, waypoints, etc., and a satellite feature. A subscription to onX Backcountry premium membership is $30 for one year ($40 to renew after the first year) and provides access to unlimited offline maps, slope data and avalanche predictions.

State Parks Pass

State parks are often less crowded than national parks and offer amazing trails and other recreational opportunities. Consider a state park pass to encourage more travel and exploration locally. State park pass rates vary by state. A quick online search for “(insert state name) park pass” is the best place to begin.

https://store.usgs.gov/pass ()

National Parks Pass aka America the Beautiful Pass

An annual National Parks Pass costs $80. The pass covers admission for any of the 423 national parks, national monuments and historical sites across the United States. Many parks have passholder designated lines allowing for faster entrance into parks and other perks. If your hiker is over 62, he or she is eligible for a Lifetime Senior Pass for $80.

Outdoors Magazine Subscription

Sometimes a beautiful photo or in-depth trail description is enough to get you inspired for more travel. A yearly magazine subscription to Backpacker or Outdoor Photographer can keep your hiker inspired to hit the trail throughout the year.

Nomadik or Cairn Gift Boxes

Consider a Nomadik or Cairn gift box (single- or multiple-month subscriptions available)for the hiker who may have everything but still can appreciate new and innovative products. The Hike Harder pack from Nomadik features a hydration bladder, socks, hydration packets and more. Gift boxes are themed, and individual featured products can often be purchased separately. Cairn gift boxes feature products from hammocks and solar lights to water filtration and more.

Charitable Donation

Make a donation in your loved one’s name to a charitable organization that shares their love of the outdoors. Some suggested nonprofits are:

Some More Options: