Hiking

The 6 Best Gifts for Hiking Lovers

Hikers are a hard bunch to find, especially if you’re not a hiker yourself. The amount of hiking gear on the market has exploded in recent years, and it can be especially difficult to identify the good things a hiker will actually use and enjoy amid all the hype and marketing. But never fear, because we’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for hikers we can find, regardless of skill level. Each gift on this list has been selected by an outdoor enthusiast on our team, so you won’t find anything in the list below that we wouldn’t use (or already own) ourselves.

The ultimate all-access hiking pass

America The Beautiful Annual Pass

We often get so caught up in searching for the latest technology, gear, and gadgets that we miss the best gifts lurking right under our noses. Enter the National Park Service’s “America The Beautiful” pass, which allows you to give any hiker access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites for an entire year. Honestly, we can’t stress enough the value of this pass. Not only does it grant unlimited access to every national park in the country, from Death Valley to Yellowstone (you can check out the full list here), but it also covers areas operated by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and admission fees for each passenger in the holder’s vehicle. As a bonus, if you pick up your pass from REI (either online using the link below or in store), they will donate 10% of the sale directly to the National Park Foundation.

America The Beautiful Annual Pass

The ultimate all-access hiking pass

America The Beautiful Annual Pass

damn durable merino wool hiker.

damn tough


The perfect hiking socks

Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Socks

The rules for hiking socks are pretty simple: they should fit snugly, provide cushion, wick away moisture, and remain breathable. For this reason, most are made from a combination of performance synthetic materials like nylon/polyester/spandex and insulating merino wool. Our first choice? The Darn Tough Merino Wool Hiker socks, which excel in both performance and durability. Some people are hesitant to splurge on a pair of socks for themselves, but as a gift for a hiker, Darn Tough socks are an affordable item that makes a huge impact on whoever unboxes them.

Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Socks

The perfect hiking socks

Darn Tough Hiker Merino Wool Socks

Nike wildhorse 7 trail running shoes.

Nike


Trail running shoes

Nike Wildhorse 7 Trail Runner

New hikers tend to hit the trails in big, bulky hiking boots or standard running/athletic shoes. Neither is ideal for your average hike and we’ll tell you why. Hiking boots are just overkill because they’re designed to support giant 40+ pound backpacks full of gear, and all that extra, unnecessary support comes at the expense of speed and breathability. Sports shoes, on the other hand, are fast and light, but their outsoles don’t provide adequate traction, protection or support on the uneven surfaces of hiking trails. This is where trail runners come in.

Trail runners offer the low weight, speed and breathability of a running shoe, but also benefit from a host of rugged exterior upgrades. These include grippy outsoles and reinforced uppers that withstand the rigors of a trail, like thorny undergrowth and abrasive rocks. Our favorite right now is the Nike Wildhorse 7, and for good reason. The Wildhorse 7 combines a sleek sneaker look with some serious off-road chops like nicely knobby outsoles, a reinforced heel box, a rock protection plate, and even a neoprene ankle cuff that keeps out small rocks and bumps. debris from getting into the shoes during your hike.

Nike Wildhorse 7 Trail Runner

Trail running shoes

Nike Wildhorse 7 Trail Runner

Cascade Mountain Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles at Academy Sports.

Additional support

Cascade Mountain Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Uphills, downhills and rough terrain can all be hard on your knees and will drain your energy faster no matter what your body condition is. This is precisely why it helps to have extra stability and support while hiking, which can be achieved with trekking poles – a more advanced and durable form of walking stick! Designed with sturdy spikes on the end, they can plant or rest on almost any type of terrain, helping you keep your balance and making your hike a little easier on your body.

These Cascade Mountain carbon fiber trekking poles are lightweight, so they won’t bog you down on your journey. They make a great gift for outdoor people, whether hiking or camping. Meanwhile, the cork and EVA grips are comfortable on the hands, with straps to ensure they stay on your person. They come with two poles and also a set of rubber boot tips, mud baskets, snow baskets and small rubber tips, all interchangeable. The plastic quick-lock system allows you to easily change the height of the posts and lock them in place. Gift them to another hiker and you’ll soon find they won’t leave without them.

Cascade Mountain Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Additional support

Cascade Mountain Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

suunto global compass gift for hikers.

suunto


A world compass

Suunto M3 Global Compass

Similar to the hiking socks above, many new and experienced hikers often buy themselves a compass, but they don’t splurge on a more effective one. In fact, most hikers choose to save an extra $20-30 by buying themselves a compass that only works in the northern hemisphere rather than buying a global compass that works from anywhere in the world. world. A quality global compass will also last a lifetime for campers, hikers and travelers.

Our favorite world compass is the Suunto M3, which provides hikers with everything they need, like adjustable declination, metric and imperial readings, glow-in-the-dark detailing for low-light readings, and a transparent baseplate. (and magnifying) for quick and easy bearing conversions on hiking maps. It’s also not bulky or heavy and can slip into a small backpack pocket. Suunto has been making high-performance navigation tools for decades and is a well-known and respected name among explorers of all kinds, from hikers to sailors.

Suunto M-3 G Compass for Globetrotters, One Size, Global Metric

A world compass

Suunto M3 Global Compass

Nemo chipper closed cell seat for hikers.

Nemo


A comfortable place to sit

Nemo Chipper closed cell foam seat

There’s nothing quite like crushing a long hike and being rewarded with sweeping mountain views at the end. Unfortunately, the wilderness locations we seek out rarely offer comfortable seating, which is why many hikers choose to bring their own camping furniture with them. Typically, that involves either an ultralight camping chair or a hammock, but we’d like to suggest something unique for the backpacker on your gift list this year.

Our favorite is Nemo’s Chipper’s closed-cell foam seat, which is an extremely lightweight seat alternative at just 5.6 ounces. It is made from 100% reclaimed and recycled sleeping pad foam, which is integrated with a special blend of variable density foams. Although it’s only about 1 inch thick when unfolded, it’s surprisingly comfortable on dirt, rocks, tree stumps, or any other less than ideal surface we find ourselves sitting on. outside.

Nemo Chipper closed cell foam seat

A comfortable place to sit

Nemo Chipper closed cell foam seat

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