This gift list is for casual hikers that prefer day hikes on popular, easy-to-navigate trails. They enjoy a bit of fresh air, an easy to moderate hike, and a beautiful day in the great outdoors.
They might not be heading out to the Pacific Crest Trail this weekend, but they’re definitely hitting the local hiking spot. If you're looking for gifts for your hiking friends or outdoor lovers, we've got you covered. Putting aside the typical lightweight sleeping bag, GPS device, and hiking gadgets, we put together the best list of gifts for your casual hiker.
And don't forget, guaranteed to impress, an easy and filling option to hit the trails with is our One of Everything Jerky Sampler Box.
Keep reading for the best gifts for casual hikers.
1. Beef Jerky
OK...so we might be a little biased with our top pick, but hear us out!
The casual hiker will need some essential items to fill their new hiking pack with and beef jerky is a great start. There’s a reason beef jerky has been loved by the outdoor community for generations. It’s lightweight and packed with protein. The natural electrolytes in beef jerky keep the hiker full, fueled, and ready for the trail.
Our New Hiking Go-To
This portable jerky is awesome for our hiking trips. Only problem with them was that I did not order enough!!
-Theodore P, Livermore, CA
Shop: Beef Jerky $6.99-$28.99
2. Hydration Pack
A hydration pack is an alternative pack option that also adds a hydration element. Rather than lugging around a large container of water, a sleek and ergonomic design of a pack will make the casual hike much more comfortable.
Camelpak is the OG of hydration packs and offers a range of options. The Rogue 85 OZ Hydration pack has the convenience of external fill in a sleek size. There are two external pockets for small items such as keys, wallet, and your phone. Great for the casual hiker, ready to hit the trail.
3. Hiking Fanny Pack
A third alternative for a hiking pack is a hiking fanny pack. Some sort of lightweight hip pack is absolutely necessary, especially for ultralight hikers. There are a variety of options available from high-tech to classic.
The Knockabout bag from Mountain Smith is a hybrid waist and shoulder option that swings around from the back to the front with ease. With plenty of organization options, this fanny pack is a great solution for a day hike. Take things out of the pockets of your hiking pants and keep them here for added safety.
4. Hiking Backpack
A dedicated backpack for hiking is a great idea for a casual hiker. It’s an easy way to keep all their hiking gear in one place. Plus, they won’t mind if the pack gets a little dirty or beat up on the trail.
This lightweight dry bag from Cotopaxi is designed for day trips. With a backpack side pocket, the lightweight design makes this a really comfortable option for any sort of rugged terrain. The straps will keep the pack comfortable and adjusted perfectly for some of those more difficult trails. Perfect for male and female hikers alike getting ready for their next outdoor adventure.
5. A Local Hiking Guide
The internet is a great resource for discovering new hiking spots, but a guidebook will be your best bet for the full story. Most major cities will have a local guide that details the best spots to check out.
Here’s one of our favorites for Los Angeles.
6. National Parks Pass
This is a great, aspirational gift for the casual hiker. A National Parks Pass will give your loved one access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers the entrance fees at National Parks and National Wildlife Forests and Grasslands. The money generated from the sale of each pass goes back to preserving America’s most beautiful natural resources.
7. Coffee Table Book
A coffee table book that features beautiful hikes is a great way for the casual hiker to share their passion. They can proudly display the book on their coffee table. It also makes for a great conversation piece.
8. Quality Hiking Socks
Of course it's important to find quality hiking shoes or hiking boots, but finding a quality pair of socks is also critical for comfortable hiking. Too big and wrinkles will rub your feet causing blisters, too small and they can create too much undue pressure and slippage.
Wool socks are usually a great option, but if we're getting specific, we’re big fans of Darn Tough socks. They have smooth ribbing that will stick to your foot and never slip. With reinforced cushioning around the heel, these are built for maximum comfort. Proven on the Appalachian Trail, these are socks that boast incredible durability.
9. Trekking Poles
Think of trekking poles as another set of limbs. A great tool for hikers of all skill levels, trekking poles, also known as hiking poles, enhance stability and reduce force on a hiker’s knees while on the trail, even icy trails. They can be adjusted in length to fit any height. Plus, some trekking poles include a spring system that can absorb shock and reduce impact.
Montem is one of our personal favorite hiking brands. They are an outdoor company that offers gear of great value designed by hikers, for hikers at a reasonable price. They have ultra strong trekking poles that will turn any casual hiker into a hiking superstar.
Sun protection is critical on a hike. Even for a casual hiker, it’s important to find an option that doesn’t rub off easily. Because the sunblock will go on your face and body, it’s important to find a natural, high quality solution.
We like the products from Oars + Alps. They use natural ingredients without harmful additives and harsh chemicals.
11. Lip Balm
Sun protection doesn’t end at sunblock. Don’t forget to protect your lips on the trail. This product is also from Oars + Alps.
12. Nano Puff Jacket
Cool outdoor gifts are a must. No matter where you are, it can get a little chilly on those early morning hikes, even for the casual hiker. Wearing layers is a great way to stay warm without overheating. There’s really only one name when it comes to outerwear and the outdoors – and that name is Patagonia. The jackets from Patagonia are undeniably expensive, but they’ll last a lifetime. Plus, no one can ever have enough hiking clothing. Don’t forget to check out their recycled options as well.
Shop: Nano Puff Jacket - $199
13. Biodegradable Wipes
You never know what might happen on the trail, even for casual hikers. Whether they are beginner hikers, day hikers, multi-day hikers, avid hikers, or even hiking couples, these are the perfect gift for everyone. Great for hands, faces, arms, and legs, these will keep the casual hiker clean and comfortable.
The products from Ursa Major are built for the great outdoors. Using only natural ingredients, their health and beauty products are great for hiking. The biodegradable wipes are made from bamboo and great to cleanse and hydrate your skin on the go.
14. Hydration Tablets
Staying hydrated is important for all hikers. There are a variety of options available, but we recommend sticking to options that minimize sugar and maximize electrolytes.
Nuun offers tablets that add a little fizz and flavor to your water. The Nuun Sport Tablets are a tasty and hydrating blend of electrolytes and minerals for on-the-go hydration.
Shop: Nuun Sport Tables - $7
15. Day Hike First Aid Kit
Safety first, especially on the trail. It’s important to always be prepared, you never know what might happen. That’s why it’s important to always carry a first aid kit. There are a variety of options out there and you can even build your own, but we like the kit from Hart. It’s built specifically for the needs of a day hike.
16. Swiss Army Knife
Following the same logic of the first aid kit, a swiss army knife is a nice tool to have just in case you need it, even for a casual hiker. Small, portable, and easy to pack, a quality swiss army knife is a great addition to any hike.
17. REI Gift Card
When in doubt, a gift card to REI is an excellent gift for casual hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. They can choose from REI’s large inventory to find the perfect item for their day hikes.
Shop: REI Gift Cards
18. Collapsible Dog Bowls
Don’t forget our favorite casual hike companions. A collapsible dog bowl can be folded to a smaller size, making it portable and easy to pack on a hike. This way your four-legged friend won’t be thirsty on those longer hikes.
19. Gone Hiking Candle
Give the gift of nostalgia with this hiking candle. Remind them what it feels like to be surrounded by tall pines with moss underfoot. With hints of sandalwood, jasmine and fresh waterfalls in the distance, this is guaranteed to be their new favorite candle.
Shop: Gone Hiking Candle - $23
20. 100 Hikes Of A Lifetime
Filled with beautiful National Geographic photography, like shots from the great smoky mountains nation park as well as Cuyahoga valley national park, you'll never want to put this book down. It's also filled with wisdom from expert hikers like Andrew Skurka, need-to-know travel information, and practical wildlife-spotting tips. 100 Hikes Of A Lifetime offers the planet's best experiences for hikers and sightseers. It’s the perfect gift for decor, planning their dream hike, and learning all in one.
21. Leather Hiking Journal
Get the hunter in your life something personal and unique with this leather hunting journal. Designed to be used on any type of hike, this will help them stay organized and allow them to keep notes on each key part of their trip. As they log their hiking journey, this is something they’ll remember forever.
22. Monthly Hiking Subscription Box
Delivered on a monthly basis, each one of these subscription boxes has a new theme based on the seasons and your personal interests. With a guaranteed $50+ total retail value in each box and 3-5 premium gear items, this is the perfect surprise gift for anyone who loves hiking. Get them started on their journey with all their favorite hiking gifts in one. You never know what might pop up-- a hiking hat, hiking clothes, hiking snacks, gadgets, etc. With this gift they'll be ready to go for their next adventure in no time.
23. National Parks Bucket List Water Bottle
National park gifts are always a classic. There are 63 National Parks in America, and this water bottle will help them keep track of all the ones they have visited! Not only can they take this interactive gift with them on hikes, but they can also add a sticker to each park after they’ve visited for a fun way to track their adventures.
24. Engraved Working Compass
If you're looking for a more luxury gift, this engraved compass is perfect and personalized. You have many different options to engrave the front, back, and inside of the compass with a photo, name, initials, text, your own handwriting text, symbol, or logo. It would be a great unique gift idea for your husband, boyfriend, valentines, fathers day, birthday, and more.
25. GoPro Hero 10 Black
GoPro’s are the best exciting gifts for any hiker who is looking to get into filming all the beautiful adventures they go on. This camera in particular is waterproof, smooth, fast, and has the best image quality of any other GoPro out there. This is a truly special gift for their next backpacking trip.
Shop: GoPro Hero 10 Black - $347
Finding the perfect top gifts for the casual hike doesn’t have to be a pain. Hopefully this list offered some new ideas. Don’t forget to pick up the ultimate gift for casual hikers — beef jerky!
Keto jerky is very tasty. I tried some for keto snacking while hiking the Colorado Trail. I’m a newbie to jerky and was happily surprised by how tasty it is!
-Susan R, Baily, CO