Christmas gift ideas for hikers

Presents for that special someone

If you are reading this it probably means that it’s fast approaching Christmas time and you are looking at buying that special hiker in your life a present or two!

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. As a general statement it’s best to avoid grand gestures unless the gift receiver has been really, 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.

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. Don’t leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute otherwise you may miss out.

Last updated Christmas 2023

$0 gift ideas - just your time and love!

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:

  • Offer to take the kids for a day/weekend to give parents some 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 - You choose the value

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 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 be delivered electronically which is great for interstate friends and family or in card form from most stores

Gift Ideas under $10-$20

Cheap doesn’t have to mean nasty. You can still have make an impact in this price bracket.

GSI Essential Spoon-Long

This is a great long handled spoon that’s lightweight (just 27 grams) and extremely comfortable to use which is why it’s been my spoon of choice for the past five years. Priced around AUD $13 RRP

GSI Cathole Trowel

For me this is the best trowel on the market. Is isn’t the lightest or the smallest but it has just the right combination of features that just work when you need to go. Price wise it sits around AUD $16.00 RRP

Lush Toothy Tabs

A strange option for a Christmas present but a great option for oral hygiene on the trail. Sits around AUD $17.00 RRP

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 $10-19

Sea to Summit Cool Grip X−Tumbler

For hikers who like big drinks (350 ml), a lightweight foldable mug at around AUD $18.99 RRP. Also available in a smaller sized X-Cup

DVDs/Blue Rays

Over the past six 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

Lots of options in this bracket to suit your budget.

Outdoor Books 

There is a very large range of great books available for hikers of all ages

Nikwax Tech Wash

This wash is designed to clean waterproof breathable garments and will revitalise water repellency and breathability. We use this on our gear on an annual basis and at AUD $22.95 RRP, it’s great value for money

MerinoFusion Light 160 Skull Cap

For those times of the year when the weather isn’t so warm. Australian made from Australian wool mixed with polypropylene. One sized fits all and sits at AUD $27.00 RRP

Australian Hiker Buff

The first of our collaborations with BUFF to generate a truly unique Australian design. Priced at just under AUD $32.99 RRP

Gifts ideas $40-$60

Creeping up a bit in price now

Suunto A-30 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 $50.00 RRP so keep an eye out

MSR Mini Groundhog Tent Stakes

The smaller version of the well known groundhog stakes and one of my favourite pegs. Pack of six for under AUD $57.00 RRP

Arcade Belts

Claimed as the world’s most comfortable belt and available at AUD $50-$60 – we love them!

Gifts ideas $60-$80

Staring to get up in price and at this stage you really need to start dropping hints to your hiker to make sure this is what they are after

Petzl E lite

If I’m not doing serious night hiking then this is my light of choice being so easy to use and very lightweight. In addition this is a great option for electrical failure at home as its so easy to use. Priced at AUD $63.50 RRP

Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug

Not something that we take on a hike but something that comes with us in our car on the way to the trailhead, every time!. We’ve had hot drinks stay hot for up to eight hours! A great option at under AUD $65.00 RRP and often available on sale

Gifts ideas $80-$100

Great Walks Magazine Subscription

At AUD $80 for one year of seven issues this a great gift option for one of Australia’s top hiking magazines. Prior to Christmas 2023 they even have a very special deal that drops the price even further

Katadyn BeFree 0.6 Litre

For a number of years this has been our main filter option for walks involving 1-2 of us. Its lightweight and reliable with at under AUD $99.95 RRP

Final thoughts

This year we have focused on what you can buy in the cheaper end of the outdoor gear market. This means that if your gift buying  ability is limited then there should be something to suit your budget. If you have a bit more to spend you don’t always have to go large but instead multiple small gifts will work just as well.

The items we have listed above we personally use and in many cases have done so for a number of years so we know that they work, and work well for long periods.

You will have noticed that with one exception we haven’t really suggested clothing because for many people gifting hiking clothes isn’t the best option unless you rifle through their cupboard to see what they already have. in addition you run the risk of getting the wrong sizing.

There is so much choice on the market, particularly in the sub $100 category and 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. Just pay attention to the strategically placed gear reviews laying around the house or their incessant chatter hinting about what to buy. If you aren’t sure, go the gift voucher route or ask directly what they want.

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