Christmas gift ideas for hikers

It’s that time of the year again when you start to consider gifts for the special hiker in your life. In this article we focus on the best and brightest products including those released over the past year. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to spend up big, in fact you may not even have to spend any money at all. It’s best to avoid grand gestures unless the gift receiver has been really specific with their request. Think of this from your perspective of getting an expensive gift you don’t really want. If you’re not sure, stick to small presents, or give gift vouchers.

Given the massive upswing in online shopping in 2020 brought about by the COVID pandemic, many retailers have warned of delays in deliveries so if you are planning on ordering online, or even for that matter in store, don’t leave your purchases until the last minute otherwise you may miss out.

In the following article article we discuss gift ideas in price categories with something to suit all budgets ranging from not spending money at all through to some big ticket items.

One comment I would make here is that this year in particular, stores are looking to clear stock after the impact of COVID and the fires. Many of the items listed below are available at prices cheaper than their normal retail price so snap them up when you see them!

Last updated Christmas 2020

$0 gift ideas

Spending money is easy but not always required. In fact sometimes the best gift costs nothing from a monetary sense but rather provides the receiver with an intangible gift they’ll treasure – think time or solitude – and you can be confident your gift will be well received. Zero cost ideas include:

  • Baby sitting services to let the adults have some alone time
  • Drop off and pick up services for your hikers to get to and from the trailheads
  • An offer to go for a hike with someone who doesn’t have a hiking partner
  • ‘Allowing’ your significant other to ‘disappear’ on a hike they have always wanted to do

Gift Vouchers

Giving gift vouchers is always appreciated. The downside is that the receiver knows how much you have spent and it can be a bit impersonal. The upside is that the receiver can buy exactly what they want and if they are saving for that ‘big ticket item’ every little bit helps. Most stores will offer gift vouchers with range of prices to suit everyone.

Gift vouchers at Wild Earth, one of Australia’s best known outdoor stores offering online sales. Impersonal I know but gift vouchers can be purchased and delivered into someone’s inbox so are great for those friends interstate

Gift Ideas under $20

Freeze Dried Meals

Something most hikers will use and its handy when you just want to go at the drop of a hat. Prices start around $11-17

GSI Essential Spoon-Long

This is a great long handled spoon that’s lightweight (just 27 grams) and extremely comfortable to use. Priced around $13

Sea To Summit X-CUP Collapsible 250ml cup

A lightweight foldable cup at around $15. Also available in a larger mug size

DVD’s/Blue Rays

Over the past four years we have reviewed some great movies with something to suit everyone’s tastes. Some of these movies are educational and many are inspiring. Most of these movies are priced well below the $20 mark

Gift Ideas $20-$40

Outdoor Books 

There is a very large range of great books available


The Suunto A-30 is one of the most popular compasses on the market. Every hiker should own a compass and this one can often be found for under $40 so keep an eye out

Gifts ideas $40-$100

Arcade Belts

Claimed as the world’s most comfortable belts at available at just under $50 – we love them!

Sea To Summit Aeros Premium Pillow

A great pillow option at under $70

Wacaco Nanopresso

One for the coffee lovers at around $70

MSR Carbon Core Tent Peg

These now form part of my tent peg arsenal and weigh only 6 grams a peg. Pack of 6 for under $80

Great Walks Magazine Subscription

At $84 for one year of 7 issues this a great gift option for one of Australia’s top hiking magazines

Deejo Tattoo Naked Topography knife

A beautiful looking extremely lightweight knife sitting at just under $100

Biolite Headlamp 330 Lumen Rechargeable Head Light

There are so many many headlamps on the market at the moment and this one was a bit of a surprise packet. Again at under $100

MSR Thru-Link Inline Micro Water Filter 

Without a doubt this is the best inline water filter available on the market and one that hasn’t been available for very long. While this sits at just over $100 you can usually get it for much cheaper

Over $100 but under $300

Starting to get up there in price. Ask first before gifting these items to your hiker

Jetboil Zip Cooking System

A small compact stove system and my choicer solo hiking. Under $170

Sea to Summit Etherlight XT Sleeping Mat

Comfy, warm, and lightweight all at under $250

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles

My choice of trekking pole for the past three years. Lightweight and durable at under $300

Gift Ideas $300-$1000

In this bracket you’re getting really serious on price and its best not to surprise an experienced hiker with gear in this price range. You‘ll either get it very right or you’ll get it very wrong

Sea to Summit Spark III Sleeping bag

If I could only own one sleeping bag then this would be it at under $670

Garmin InReach Explorer +

A present for the giver as well as the receiver. Under $700

Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Person Ultralight Tent – Platinum

One of the most comfortable lightweight two person tents on the market and under $1,000

Final thoughts

There really is no end to what you can buy the avid hiker in your life. Just pay attention to the strategically placed gear reviews laying around the house or their incessant chatter for hints on what to buy. One comment that I would make here is that while you can buy cheaper products occasionally from supermarkets or from overseas websites the products that we have talked about here  are good quality, comfortable and durable and the manufactures have spent time and resources developing this for the market.

Whatever you end up buying for your hiking enthusiast just remember it’s not necessarily about how much you spend but the thought you put in. If you aren’t sure, either go the gift voucher route or ask directly what they want.

2020 has been a challenging year in so many ways for everyone. Its more important than ever to get back to basics so whatever gifts you land on, grasp the opportunity to express how much those around you mean to you!

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