With Christmas approaching it is an ideal time for those new to hiking that are still building their hiking kit, as well as those gear freaks that will take any excuse to buy new gear at the drop of a hat to outlay some of their hard earned dollars on new equipment. For many manufacturers the start of the new calendar year is an opportunity to release their new product ranges so it is not unusual to find high quality, soon to be superseded gear at great prices. If you can its also a great time to convince family members and loved ones of the benefits of hiking and start leaving gear brochures turned to the right page in strategic places around the house. There is a huge range of gift options on the market so if you are buying presents for a hiking fanatic then here are some options worth considering.T
The podcast version for those on the go that would rather listen can be found here
Now before we discuss the obvious equipment options lets look at some of the alternatives that friends and relatives can substitute instead of outlaying their hard earned dollars that will still get your hiker out and about. These involve time and effort rather than a wallet (in most cases) and are well worth considering and greatly appreciated. It also takes the consumerism out of the gift giving process and doesn’t rely on spending money. Options here include:
Really impersonal I know but if your hiking friend or family has their own set of digital measuring scales that measures in grams and they spend excessive amounts of time weighting their equipment or cutting the handle off tooth brushes then they more than likely wont appreciate you buying major equipment items for them as they will already have a detailed spread sheet that clearly outline what they are going to buy and when.
Gift vouchers at Wild Earth, one of Australia’s best known outdoor stores offering online sales. Impersonal I know but they can be purchased and deliver into someone inbox so re great for those friends interstate
If you are intending on buying hiking and camping equipment as a surprise for your friends or family then there are two considerations. Firstly pay really close attention to their hints or buy them items that regularly wear out and need replacing. Alternatively just ask them what you want. Here are some suggestions:
If you hike a lot then you will wear through socks. You can never have to many!
Buff Original Buffs are a multi purpose piece of gear that most hikers will find a use for. Pick something Lairy in colour to make that hiker in your life stand out
Topographic Maps can be found at various stores or online for around the $10 mark. If you can purchase 1:25,000 scale but this will depend on what the hiker is trying to achieve.
Not everyone is into Freeze dried food but its always handy to have a few spare for those just in case trips Outdoor Gourmet Tandoori Chicken
Good quality underwear w=for hiking is essential to prevent chafing Brief Mens Exofficio Give-N-Go Sports Mesh 6″ Boxer Brief Mens
For most people a basic compass is all they will ever need and there are plenty to choose from for under $100 Suunto A-30 Compass
Head torches are pretty common these days and there is a huge range to choose from Petzl Elite next to an Australian 20 cent piece
Water bladder vs bottles? This is a very personal choice. Water Bladders
Trekking poles are great particularly if you have knee problems Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
So many choices her but this little Garm unit has served m well for the past 3 years Garmin GPS
For those hikrs who are going off the beaten track this is a really good compass that is very accurate – Silva Expedition 54 Southern Hemisphere Plate Compass
Mont adverstise this as the smallest, lightest sleeping bag on the market Good quality summer weight sleeping bag from Mont
For cold wether or those of you that feel the cold you may need a heavy duty sleeping bag. Good bags will lat for years Mont Brindabella Sleeping bag
Out current tent that is lightweight and versatile Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 person tent
Most ultralight hikers will know this tent by reputation even if thy don’t own one. Thi tent is not cheap but has the reputation and credibility to back up the price ZPacks Duplex Utralight tent
If you are a keen hiker then doing a Navigation Course will greatly enhance your hiking experience. this is just one option on offer in NSW. Look in your local area for courses on offer
And last but not least I will mention the obvious omission from this list, which is a backpack. If your hiker is new and doesn’t know much then buying a backpack is an option but this is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment and one that is best left to the individual so if you are going to buy them a backpack don’t make it a surprise.
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.