Best Gifts for Hikers, From Their Feet to Their Butts

It can be a challenge when shopping for the hiking fanatic in your life. After all, knowing exactly what they’d want in a gift or — more importantly — what they’d actually need can be tricky. That especially goes for the buyer who isn’t at all familiar with the hobby. What the avid hiker doesn’t need is an impractical present like a T-shirt with a goofy quote on it or a quirky themed coffee mug. Rest assured, we’re here to bypass those silly ideas and make your shopping mission of finding the best gifts for hikers an easy one.

This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

You may be asking yourself, what are the items that’d bring joy to your friend or loved one who eats, sleeps and breathes hiking? We’ve answered that question below with a roundup of worthy options. Practical gift ideas nearly always rank high on the list of the best gifts hikers would want. Whether they’re planning a multi-day backpacking trip or heading out for a 5-mile loop near home, various pieces of gear and useful accessories are always welcome. Gag gifts and cliche items, however, aren’t. We’re here to keep you focused on buying something that won’t end up being dead weight.

While you’re on the hunt for a great gift for the hiker in your life, take into consideration a few of my suggestions, which are based on my experiences hiking over the years. There’s a solid chance you’ll find some gear on this list your hiker doesn’t already have — or which could use an upgrade before their next outdoor adventure.

Heat It

There are about a thousand different ways you can try to repel mosquitoes, but in my experience, very few of them are 100% effective — and the ones that are shouldn’t live on or near your skin every day. You can’t always control when you’re going to get bit, but there are a couple of things you can do to stop those bites from driving you crazy. One I find particularly interesting is Heat It, an accessory that plugs into the charging port on your phone and uses an app to create a hot spot you press to the bite to dissolve the chemicals causing itchiness. The app also lets you document the number of bites and symptoms, to better help you determine if additional steps should be taken for your health.

Important note: The Android version of this accessory is USB-C, but it does not work with the new iPhone 15 series. An Apple-specific version will be available soon, but currently, only iPhone 14 and older are supported.


There is nothing more important on any kind of hike than hydration, and for a very long time, the gold standard in hydration on a trail or a bike has been the Camelbak. You can store loads of water in a convenient pouch on your back, with a long tube you can clip next to your shoulder for when you need a quick drink. 

You can get a lot of different kinds of backpack holsters for Camelbak reservoirs, but the Ambush is my personal favorite for hiking. The durable fabric can survive a fall, you don’t have to fully remove the bladder to refill it and there are several pockets for holding all of your essentials. It’s the perfect backpack for any kind of hike and makes it easy to leave with just this bag on your back.

There are few things better than sitting in a hammock at the side of a lake or the top of a mountain. This portable hammock is lightweight, packs away small and works in a bunch of different environments. It’s a simple gift and comes in a variety of different colors, which is great for making this gift feel more personalized.


You can’t have too many socks, especially when you’re hiking. Whether it’s a day hike or a full week out on the trail, having the right socks makes a huge difference. Smartwool socks come in a variety of heights, cushion levels and designs. They’re also great for any temperature because the primary focus is keeping moisture away from your feet and adding pressure in all of the right places to help prevent blisters. Consider buying your hiker a variety of light, medium and highly cushioned hiking socks. The lightest and thinnest (no cushion) also feel great in everyday sneakers, and the wool material has never made me itch.


When it comes to camp stoves, Jetboil is the champion. It works better at higher altitudes without consuming as much fuel, and it’s compact enough to fit in any pack. If you’re doing a hike for more than an afternoon, this is the cookstove every hiker loves. What we don’t love is accidentally running out of fuel in the middle of a trip, and that’s what makes the JetGauge so useful. It weighs the canister and gives a percentage of the remaining fuel for better preparation, and it belongs in every hiker’s pack if they’re hiking for multiple days. 

Ever hike to the top of a mountain only to discover it’s a lot colder up there? Not a fun feeling, especially if you’re unprepared. I’m not a fan of disposable heaters that end up in the trash or a fire pit, so I usually recommend these rechargeable hand warmers. They have multiple temperature settings, can be recharged by a solar panel if needed, and are small and light enough to not really notice in a day bag.


While more and more phones are coming with emergency satellite functionality, not everyone wants to bring their phone on a hike and have to worry about keeping it charged. If the hiker in your life would rather leave their phone in the car but still be able to reach out and let someone know where they are, the Spot Gen4 is a great option. It’s a simple black box you can clip to a belt or toss in a bag and offers satellite location and quick message check-ins at the touch of a button, as well as emergency services — should the need arise. While there are monthly service fees associated with Spot, they’re flexible enough that casual hikers would only spend a few dollars a year for safety when they’re in the wilderness.


I swear by these. Not every hiking shoe or boot comes with the right arch support for your foot, and even those that do could use a boost. If you’ve got high arches like me or you’re in need of something to provide a little extra heel support, Superfeet insoles mitigate the beating your feet take over hikes of any duration. Every color in the lineup indicates a different kind of support, and once you have trimmed these to fit the right shoe, they can stay there as long as you keep the boot. You can also pull them out and transfer them to any other shoe. Prices vary depending on size and support, but pick the right one and it’ll last years. 

Russell Holly

Most kayaks take up a lot of room, and they aren’t all that portable. If you wanted to go to a lake at the top of a hike and get in the water, your average kayak would make that a little rough. The Oru Kayak Inlet is an origami kayak that folds up when you’re not using it. You can wear it like a backpack, making it easier to get to places. 

The whole kit weighs 20 pounds and the backpack case can fit other things on it, so you can easily take it on a hike and enjoy the water when you get to your destination. 


Lights aren’t the most exciting gift in the world, but a solar-friendly light you can hang anywhere is an incredibly useful thing for any camper or hiker if they have the weight for it. If you can charge it while you’re hiking, having a light like this in the evening means never needing to worry about batteries, and that’s a big deal.