What Your Hiker Wants

Hiking is a great pastime because true lovers of the activity enjoy it year-round. It’s also great because there’s always something that can be purchased and added to your gear. This makes it easy for us to shop for the hikers in our family because each item is a great addition and very much appreciated. Keep reading for stocking stuffer ideas and other great gifts to get the trail trekker in your family this year.

Stocking stuffers for hikers is easy. No hiker can ever have too many carabiners, for example. I, myself, have dozens of them in all sizes and styles. Other gifts that are perfect for stockings include energy bars (Clif, Larabar, etc.), small tools (pocket knife, multi-tool, etc.), and unique items like survival chord bracelets or waterproof ID case.

If your hiker has expressed a need for something larger, such as boots, a backpack, or a tent, then try to take note of their current setup—and size—before heading to the store. Let the associate helping you know what you’re replacing and they’ll be able to pick out something with similar function.

Other great ideas for the more serious hiker include portable water filtration systems (Katadyn’s Microfilter, for example), performance clothing from great companies like CragHoppers, Marmot, and The North Face, and accessories like sleeping pads, portable GPS unit, or complete dinnerware sets for overnight trips.

A membership to a retailer’s rewards program is another good idea. Stores like REI and Bass Pro Shops reward their members each year with coupons and discounts, and signing up for such a membership is a great way to get more back for your buck. Also, a subscription to magazines like Backpacker or Outside are always a nice surprise as well.