Christmas gift ideas for hikers

Presents for that special someone

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 during 2020 and 2021 brought about by the COVID pandemic, many retailers have warned of delays in deliveries which is a situation that hasn’t gotten any better. At least this year many of us have the ability to visit the shops although stock levels are unlikely to meet the demand so if you’re planning on ordering online, or even for that matter in store, don’t leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute otherwise you may miss out.

In the following 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.

Last updated Christmas 2021

$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:

  • So many parents have home schooled children over the past year so offers of baby sitting services are a great options for some adult alone time
  • Drop off and pick up services for your hikers greatly assist in getting them to and from the trailheads
  • An offer to go for a hike with someone who doesn’t have a hiking partner will be very welcome
  • ‘Allowing’ your significant other to ‘disappear’ on a hike they have always wanted to do is another great gift

Gift Vouchers

Giving gift vouchers are always appreciated. The downside is that the receiver knows how much you’ve spent and it can be a bit impersonal. The upside is that the receiver can buy exactly what they want and it can help them save for that ‘big ticket item’. Most stores will offer gift vouchers with a range of prices to suit everyone. Stores will either have predetermined voucher amounts to suit your budget or you can choose the amount that is perfect for you and the giftee.

Gift vouchers can be a bit impersonal but can either be delivered electronically which is great for interstate friends and family or in card form from most stores

Gift Ideas under $20

Sea to Summit First Aid Dry Sack

A versatile dry sack to clearly identify and locate all your first aid gear in an emergency. Available in three sizes depending on your needs

Freeze Dried Meals

Something most hikers will use and it’s handy when you just want to go hiking at the drop of a hat. We usually have at least 10-15 meal packs in the house at any one time just in case. Prices range around AUD $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 AUD $13

Sea to Summit Sea to Summit Cool Grip X-Mug

For hikers who like big drinks (480ml), a lightweight foldable mug at around AUD $19. Also available in a smaller sized X-Cup

DVDs/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 AUD $20 mark

Gift Ideas $20-$40

Outdoor Books 

There is a very large range of great books available

MSR Hook Tent stake

A lightweight robust hook stake suitable for harder soils with a pack of 6 coming in at AUD $25.65 RRP

Australian Hiker Buff

The first of our collaborations with BUFF to generate a truly unique Australian design. Priced at just under AUD $32

Gifts ideas $40-$100

Compass

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 AUD $50 so keep an eye out

Arcade Belts

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

Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow

A great pillow option at under AUD $70

MSR Groundhog Tent Peg

Probably the best known tent peg in the world and for good reason. These now form part of my tent peg arsenal. Pack of 6 for under AUD $60

Great Walks Magazine Subscription

At AUD $76 for one year of 7 issues this a great gift option for one of Australia’s top hiking magazines

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 AUD $100

Over $100 but under $300

Starting to get up there in price. Make sure you ask first before gifting these items to your hiker

Wacaco Nanopresso

One for the coffee lovers at around AUD $109 but often available at a much cheaper price. Simply great coffee

Deejo Tattoo Naked Topography knife

A beautiful looking extremely lightweight knife sitting at AUD $110 RRP

Jetboil Zip Cooking System

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

Sea to Summit Etherlight XT Sleeping Mat

Comfy, warm and lightweight all at under AUD $300

Rumpl Nanoloft Puffy 1 Person Blanket

We use this at home for a fair part of the year but also as a quilt when car camping. Rumpl has a range of sizes but we love this one at under AUD $250 RRP

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 II Sleeping bag

My current go-to sleeping bag and sitting just under AUD $600 RRP for the long version but slightly cheaper for the standard length

Garmin InReach Explorer +

A present for the giver as well as the receiver. Under AUD $700. This unit is hard to find at the moment but keep an eye out because its well worth it

Suunto 9 Baro Black

One of the longest battery life of any outdoor watch and sells for under AUD $1,000 RRP but you can often find it much cheaper

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 I would make here is that while you can buy cheaper products occasionally from supermarkets or from overseas websites, the products we have showcased here are good quality, comfortable and durable. In addition, the manufactures have spent time and resources developing the product 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, go the gift voucher route or ask directly what they want.

2020 and 2021 have been a challenging couple of years 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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