Hiking Gear Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Person in Your Life!
This year more than ever, we tried to enjoy the great outdoors and hike our faces off (while keeping our face masks on, of course). We even created an awesome list of our favorite hikes for you to check out after reading this gift guide! You can check that list out here: 16 Best Hikes in Southern California.
At People’s Choice, we value health – both physical and mental – and believe that hiking helps boost both drastically. There is nothing quite like getting outside and hiking the incredible trails that Southern California has to offer. The combination of fresh air, vitamin d, beautiful sights, and….delicious jerky, simply can’t be beat.
Turns out, we’re not the only ones who enjoy a little jerky on our hikes! We’ve noticed an influx of jerky pictures out on the trail this year, which is why we thought to curate this holiday gift guide for the hiker in your life!
We understand that everyone reading this is not a seasoned vet when it comes to hiking. So instead of making you scour the internet, aimlessly searching for hiking equipment (we see you googling hiking pants and waterproof hiking boots over there), we reached out to a true hiking enthusiast!
We partnered up with Registered Dietitian and Pro Hiker (and friend) Hannah Heredia (@hikesandhealth) to create the ultimate gift ideas for a hiker. Hannah loves nature and believes hiking is one of the most inspiring forms of fitness.
We leveraged Hannah’s expertise here and are thankful that she put this lovely list of ideas together for us all to enjoy!
Having the right daypack makes your hiking experience so much more smooth! Daypacks such as Osprey have plenty of pockets to fit all of your gear and enough storage size for a bladder as well. Extra straps and storage areas make it easier for a hiker to access quick items such as a first aid kit, snacks, electrolyte packets and more. A typical day pack carries between 1.5-2.5L reservoir. A smaller reservoir (under 1.5 L) is better for short hikes or trail running. Other great brands for day packs: Salomon, Nathan, One Direction, REI Co-Op packs, North Face, Patagonia, Gregory, Patagonia, and Camelpaks.
Every hiker can use every type of snack out there! Especially on long hikes – calories per ounce really applies here. The less weight you take on hikes the easier it is on your back when your walking for a distance. Some of my favorite hiking snacks are: beef jerky, Stinger’s bars, Huppy Bars, That’s It bars, granola, trail mix, dried fruit, cookies, veggie chips, Goldfish and nuts.
I enjoy beef jerky for the variety in taste & flavors for my hikes. Also, it is a nice salty snack to help keep your electrolytes up! These items also make a great stocking stuffer!
Blister Free Socks
If you don’t have the right socks for your feet you’re looking at blister city! For long hikes I recommend a double layer such as Wright Sock – one way blisters develop is from friction and these socks take off the friction from your feet by using the double layer for friction instead. Other great options are: Smartwool, Bombas, Darn Tough, Swiftwick, Injinji, and Balega.
Trekking poles are always a solid gift! These help take off some weight from the joints when doing tough inclines or steep declines. For a first time hiker – I’d recommend getting a pair of lightweight carbon fiber trekking poles that can be foldable. Sturdier poles are often used for shorter and steeper hikes. An experienced hiker likely already has a set they prefer!
For most day hikes (especially in the desert) you can anticipate sweating a lot throughout the day. Electrolytes are portable and can be mixed with water to help replete the loss of vital electrolytes. Brands I like are: Liquid IV, Nuun, Gatorade, Salt Sticks, Cliff power blocks.
Just like having the right socks, wearing the right shoes are important when hiking! Many hiking shoes are made for climbing treks and also have enough cushion to support longer hikes (and prevent blisters). Many hikers replace shoes after 6 months due to wear and tear of the terrain. Brands I like for hiking Salomon, Altras, La Sportiva, Merrells, and Hoka One One. These are great gifts but remember to include a gift receipt just in case they do not fit.
First Aid Kit
Being prepared for any unexpected incident on a hike is so important! Having a simple first aid kit can help with any encounters from running into a cactus, rolling an ankle, having an allergic reaction to something, or an encounter with wildlife. Some great simple yet worthwhile brands for first aid kits are: Surviveware, Adventure Medical Kits, First Aid Only, and REI Co-Op Day Hiker First Aid Kit.
Also first aid kits are an HAS/FSA eligible item!
Headlamps are always something that should be carried on hikes. And night hiking gives you some of the best views of the city lights and provides amazing stargazing opportunities! Some great headlamps include those with higher lumen such as 300 and also red light for night (helps your eyes adjust without ruining your night vision with the light). Some brands I like are: Black Diamond, Petezl, and Energizer. These can be purchased at hardware stores as well.
Reservoir and replacement parts
Along with having a great daypack – your reservoir is an important part of your daypack. The reservoir can also become dirty easily and the nozzles break apart. Replacement parts of a reservoir and parts (nozzles and caps) can be pricey and definitely really appreciated gift items!
And if all else fails – gift cards always are reliable! Favorite places for gift cards are: REI, the North Face, Dick’s Sporting Good, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, Camping World, The Home Depot, Amazon (never disappoints!).
Other fun (and useful) gift ideas: memberships to climbing gyms, target shooting ranges, fishing supplies/memberships, All Trails app membership, a Campendium app membership, tracking watch such as an Apple watch or Garmin.
About the Author:
Hannah is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is from Arizona but currently traveling around the US in an RV. She loves hiking with some of her favorite hikes being Havasupai and the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim. She’s also completed the bucket list hike Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) in one day! She hopes to encourage everyone to get outdoors, explore, and also spread love, respect nature, and be kind. Follow her adventures on Instagram at hikesandhealth or check out evokeyouradventure.com for meal plans, hiking guides, and more!