1. Backpacking Backpack
One of the leading brands in backpacking and packs in general is Osprey. It’s integrated lightweight frame, mesh hip belt and ventilated back panel provide optimal airflow and comfort. Osprey makes some of the most comfortable bags I have personally worn!
Mens: Osprey Atmos 65 AG Pack
Womans: Osprey Aura 50 AG Pack
Weighing in at only 3 lbs 4.6oz the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 has a great weight to comfort ratio. This particular tent is so light that one person could carry it by them-self and not worry about weight. It could be a good idea to have a two person tent just incase your hiking buddy doesn’t have a one. You got their back! Plus you can make them carry half of the setup so it’s like carrying a feather. If it’s just you, you’ll have all kinds of room for activities! My brother owns this one and he and his wife love it!
Two Person Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2
The MSR Windburner is a great choice because it doesn’t actually use a flame like traditional stoves, therefore being great to beat the outdoor conditions such as wind. The MSR Pocket Rocket weighs in at only 3 ounces and boils water in an average of 3 min and 30 sec. I like to put my Pocket Rocket inside the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Soloist Cook-set along with a lighter. Light and compact, just how I like it. Those photos are not to size by the way. The Pocket Rocket is smaller then the WindBurner stove sytem.
Stove + Cookware: MSR WindBurner Stove System
Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket
4. Sleeping Pad
I put Summer and Winter categories because most of the time you can just use one or the other for all seasons and be just dandy. I just used my Xlite for mountaineering on Mt. Adams and was warm as an open fire. Therm-a-rest pads are crafted so well, you’ll often only need one. The XTherm is slightly warmer/ heavier with an R-Value of 5.7 and weighs only 15 ounces.
Summer: Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite
Winter: Therm-a-rest NeoAir XTherm
Black Diamond is a leading brand when it comes to illuminating. Rechargeable headlamps are the future with company’s like Goal Zero innovating the charging game using solar panels for backpacking. This headlamp also takes batteries but who likes using batteries? Such a waste of money and a hazard to mother nature. Remember, we have to respect our mothers.
Rechargeable: Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp
6. Nalgene Bottle
I’ll take two please! One for a pee bottle and for a drinking bottle. You can never have too many of these bad boys. I generally like the wide mouth ones, they’re more practical for the outdoors and some water filters even screw right onto them like the Katadyn. They make loads of different colors so you can buy their favorite!
Wide-Mouth: Nalgene Ultralite Wide-Mouth Water Bottle
Narrow-Mouth: Nalgene Narrow-Mouth Loop-Top Water Bottle
With many hammocks out there it’s tough to say “this is the best choice for every scenario.” The bottom line is there are four seasons and an array of different weather types. The cool part is the person with the hammock is probably swankiest person in the group. Hanging in between two trees, with a mosquito net and a rain fly that can double as a chair! King of the forest for sure! Paul Bunyan would stop chopping trees to be in a hammock. Rockin’ like a baby in the wind, awe yeah!
With mosquito net/ rainfly: Hennessy Ultralite Backpacker Asym Zip Hammock
Not Built in mosquito net/ rainfly: ENO SingleNest Hammock
8. Trekking Poles
Trekking poles have become more and more popular over time. I see so many people using them from the trails to the streets. Trekking poles can provide more balance and take pressure off your joints. Like everything else, there are many types of trekking poles, here is a good genreal choice!
Trekking Pole: Leki Carbonlite
9. Day Pack
I personally use a Lowepro Photo Hatchback 16L AW Camera Backpack because I take my camera everywhere. This pack has served me well since I got it in 2012. Here are some other suggestions for day packs with a couple great amenities like a rain cover and hydration bladder.
Mens: REI Trail Pack 25L
Womens: Osprey Sirrus 24L
GSI Outdoors is out of Spokane, WA and we like supporting local. I use the GSI Cookware set recommended below and love it! The set includes a 1.1 liter hard-anodized pot with plastic strainer lid, 14 fl. oz. insulated mug, telescoping foon, stove bag and welded sink/stuff sack. I have never used the MSR one, however it got Editor’s choice from Outdoor Gear Labs. It looks incredible. The MSR Cookset includes a 1.5-liter hard-anodized, nonstick pot, 2.5-liter hard-anodized pot, strainer lid, 2 polypropylene DeepDish plates, 2 insulated mugs and a pot handle. Perfect for an outing with your partner.
Solo: GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Soloist Cook-set
Dualist: MSR Quick 2 System Cook-set
A buff is extremely useful when you’re out on an adventure. They are a great affordable gift for the holiday’s or anytime. A buff protects from many of the harsh conditions mother nature throws at us. Wear it as head protection, face protection or one of the other 12 ways the seamless piece fabric folds. It comes in many different styles and colors so like the Nalgene you can get their favorite style and color.
12. First Aid Kit
This is a must have in the wilderness because you never know if you’re going to sprain an ankle, get pricked by a cactus or hit your head on a branch like my friend (how does that even happen?). Here a couple of different options for the weekend adventure to the week long expedition. Luckily, REI makes great specific first aid kits for easy selection.
Day Trip: REI day trip First-Aid Kit
Weekend: REI Backpacker Weekend First-Aid Kit
Multiday: REI Backpacker Multiday First-Aid Kit
Extended: REI Backpacker Extended First-Aid Kit
2 thoughts on “The Best Holiday Gifts for Hikers”
My husband and I have that sleeping pad, and we LOVE it! I also have a camping hammock, and I think it might be one of my favorite things. This is a wonderful list!
Yeah the sleeping pad is great! Hammocks are always fun too. Thank you for the kind words!