30 Gift Ideas for Backpackers: A Complete Holiday Gift Guide

We’ve compiled a list of 30 fun and practical gifts for the backpacker on your list. Each item on the list Paul or I personally own and love or have read lots of reviews of and have added to our own wish lists. This post contains affiliate links that earn us a small commission should you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you) Thank you in advance for your support!

1. TOAKS Titanium Single Wall 450ml Cup

Travel ultralight without losing your morning cup of coffee with the TOAKS Titanium Single Wall 450ml cup. Made of pure lightweight titanium, it resists corrosion and eliminates metallic aftertaste.

  •  Pure titanium construction resists corrosion, withstands high temperatures and eliminates metallic aftertaste
  •  Ounce and milliliter marks enable precise measurements
  •  The round bottom edge allows for easy cleaning
  •  Handles with curved finger rests fold away for compact storage; includes mesh storage sack
  •  Nests inside the TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove, Titanium 650ml pot or Titanium 750ml pot (sold separately)

Shop TOAKS Titanium Single Wall 450ml Cup ($19.95)

2. BioLite HeadLamp 425

Experience top-tier performance with the BioLite HeadLamp 425. With 3D SlimFit Construction and a front profile of only 10 mm, it sits flush on the forehead without any worry of bounce or slippage.

  •  Moisture-wicking fabric band keeps you cool and dry for any activity, and the rechargeable battery means you can leave the alkalines behind
  •  Weighs only 78 g (2.8 oz.)
  •  Max output is 425 lumens
  •  All modes are dimmable and offer brightness mode memory
  •  Rear red light with solid or strobe mode for added visibility
  •  Average run time ranges from 60 hours on low to 4 hours on high
  •  1 hour reserve power mode alerts you when power is low
  •  Easy one-hand tilting and updated larger power button
  •  Lock mode stops light from turning on accidentally in your pack
  •  Recharges via USB-C located on back of unit
  •  Connect to an external power bank (not included) for extended runtimes via Pass-Thru Charging
  •  Fits helmets

Shop BioLite HeadLamp 425 ($59.95)

3. Kula Cloth Reusable Antimicrobial Pee Cloth

When nature calls (and it will), the Kula Cloth Reusable Antimicrobial Pee Cloth keeps your hands dry on one side while sopping moisture into the absorbent, antimicrobial side that won’t show stains.

  •  Smooth side is waterproof; use the other (soft, dimpled) antimicrobial side to wipe
  •  Antimicrobial Silvadur™ silver ion–infused absorbent material on the soft side won’t show stains
  •  Nontoxic, nonsensitizing and nonirritating to the skin
  •  Double snap keeps it folded closed for privacy while attached to a backpack
  •  Reflective threads enhance visibility when locating for use with a headlamp
  •  CPSIA-certified
  •  PFA- and PFOA-free

Shop Kula Cloth Reusable Antimicrobial Pee Cloth ($20.00)

4. NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad

Rugged, comfortable, versatile and lightweight—hallmarks of a closed-cell design—the NEMO Switchback sleeping pad even has a heat-reflecting film to keep the chill from creeping through.

  •  Space-efficient design allows for 20% more thickness in a folded package that’s smaller than the industry standard
  •  Highly efficient hexagonal nesting pattern allows for taller, wider nodes, providing great plushness without increasing packed size
  •  Taller nodes create 20% more space for uncompressed sleeping bag insulation, trapping more warmth around your body
  •  Premium dual-density, abrasion-resistant Axiotomic™ foam offers a supple top layer for comfort and a resilient lower layer for premium support and years of adventures
  •  Metalized thermal reflective film reflects heat back to your body and is durable, use after use
  •  Use as a standalone pad for ultralight durability and comfort, or pair with another pad for extra insulation in extreme cold conditions
  •  Packaging is made from recycled materials; please recycle it

Shop NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad ($44.95)

5. Marmot Always Summer Sleeping Bag

Get luxurious quiltlike comfort while backpacking or camping with the Marmot Always Summer sleeping bag. It’s filled with highly packable, 650-fill-power down for just-right warmth on cool nights.

  •  Certified 650-fill-power down is treated with Down Defender to improve water resistance in wet conditions
  •  Dual side zippers for easy access
  •  Extended zipper flaps provide blanket-like coverage when unzipped
  •  Footbox zipper opens when you want extra space and closes when you want extra warmth
  •  Recycled shell and lining fabrics
  •  Internal stash pocket
  •  ISO tested for reliable temperature rating
  •  Stuff and storage sack included

Shop Marmot Always Summer Sleeping Bag ($199.00)

6. GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist II Cookset

Say goodbye to scratches, burn circles and grams. The superlight GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist II cookset uses a proprietary alloy to conduct heat evenly and efficiently, saving on fuel.

  •  Kit includes a hard-anodized 1.4L pot with strainer lid, two 14 fl. oz. insulated mugs with lids, two 14 fl. oz. bowls, 2 folding ‘foons’ and a welded sink/storage bag
  •  Hard-anodized Halulite alloy pot distributes heat evenly for fast and efficient cooking and is extremely lightweight and abrasion-resistant
  •  Crushproof, heat-resistant, nylon pot lid won’t deform in packs; lid includes an integrated strainer
  •  Folding handle locks into place for cooking and secures entire cookset for transport
  •  Unique bowl and mug solution offers a low center of gravity and sip-it lid to virtually eliminate spills; insulating sleeve keeps drinks hot
  •  Folding foon compacts to just 3.7 in. long but extends and locks to become a 6.1 in. fork-spoon hybrid
  •  Convenient graduations molded into the 1.4-liter pot make for easy measuring
  •  Welded stuff sack holds the cookset while traveling and doubles as a sink or wash basin in camp
  •  Integrated nesting design has room for an ultralight stove and 110g fuel canister to store within the set (not included)
  •  Handy spout makes it easy to pour water for rehydrating meals or brewing coffee or tea

Shop GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist II Cookset ($69.95)

7. TheTentLab The Deuce #2 UL Backcountry Trowel

The Deuce #2 UL trowel from TheTentLab is a revolutionary ultralight backcountry latrine trowel that can be used with the handle up or, for 4 times the digging power, handle down.

  •  Regularly using this trowel requires using “Advanced Techniques”; see User Manual on this page for details and instructions
  •  4 teeth on the leading edge of the blade are shaped and placed for cutting roots up to 0.5 in. thick as you run into them in your cat hole; teeth don’t obstruct normal digging
  •  Finger-grip contours on the handle ensure a secure grip
  •  Thin edge of aerospace-grade aluminum cuts through small roots and tough ground
  •  Weighs just 17 grams (0.6 o.z), which is the weight of 3 U.S. quarters
  •  Minimalist, incognito design
  •  Also makes a great sand stake, shoe horn; bear-canister screw tool, bottle opener or sandcastle sculpter
  •  100% recyclable; just drop it into any aluminum recycle bin
  •  Designed in Colorado by TheTentLab; some colors made in Colorado, other colors made in Korea

Shop TheTentLab The Deuce #2 UL Backcountry Trowel ($19.95)

8. AMC The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey

Derick Lugo had never been hiking. He didn’t even know if he liked being outside all that much. What could go wrong? Find out in The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey.

Shop AMC The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey ($19.95)

9. Patagonia Baggies Shorts – Women’s

Old school and still cool, these women’s Patagonia Baggies shorts are great in and around the water—and they are made from recycled fishing nets to help reduce ocean pollution.

Shop Patagonia Baggies Shorts – Women’s ($59.00)

10. Rite in the Rain Mini Stapled Notebook – Package of 3

Shop Rite in the Rain Mini Stapled Notebook – Package of 3 ($10.95)

11. GSI Outdoors Glacier Camp Stove

The high-output GSI Outdoors Glacier camp stove is designed for fast, reliable cooking and supports larger cookware with 5 in. diameter pot support arms and a burner head that diffuses even heat.

  •  Large and powerful burner rapidly and evenly heats even larger pots and pans
  •  Canister mount, micro control valve provides precise tunability and output
  •  Serrated 5 in. diameter pot support arms provide a stable, secure cooking platform
  •  Sturdy, reliable design
  •  Includes stove bag
  •  Fuel not included

Shop GSI Outdoors Glacier Camp Stove ($29.95)

12. Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks – Women’s

Tested on the Vermont Long Trail, these women’s Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion women’s socks provide miles of comfort and durability, thanks to a highly cushioned, performance-oriented design.

Shop Darn Tough Hiker Crew Micro Crew Cushion Socks – Women’s ($25.00)

13. NOLS Wilderness Navigation – 3rd Edition

The official NOLS guide to finding your way, NOLS Wilderness Navigation packed with essential information for wilderness travelers to confidently navigate on- and off-trail, as well as on the water.

Shop NOLS Wilderness Navigation – 3rd Edition ($16.95)

14. REI Co-op Sahara Shade Hoodie – Men’s

Move like you’re in a T-shirt but fully protected from the sun. Built for the trail, the men’s REI Co-op Sahara Shade Hoodie has a tech-tee-like knit that wicks moisture and provides shade.

Shop REI Co-op Sahara Shade Hoodie – Men’s ($49.95)

15. Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight PRO Medical Kit

Be ready to treat injuries and illnesses with the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight PRO medical kit. It’s ideal for guides, trip leaders and mountaineers who travel light and fast.

Shop Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight PRO Medical Kit ($139.95)

16. Zippo Windproof Lighter

Carry the Zippo Windproof lighter with you wherever you roam. It will help you start a fire or light your camp stove for years to come.

Shop Zippo Windproof Lighter ($22.95)

17. goodr Circle Gs Polarized Sunglasses

When you’re as colorful as the nature and activities you enjoy, the goodr Circle Gs polarized sunglasses let you see better while looking your best. Rounded lenses and nonslip frames hold steady.

Shop goodr Circle Gs Polarized Sunglasses ($25.00)

18. America the Beautiful Pass – 2022/2023

Good for a year’s worth of visits, the annual America the Beautiful Pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country, including all our national parks.

Shop American the Beautiful Pass – 2022/2023 ($79.99)

19. Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter Complete Kit – 2 Liter

Platypus took the already fast and easy-to-use GravityWorks™ filter system and came up with this smaller and lighter 2-liter complete kit that adapts to your backcountry travels.

  •  Complete kit includes a 2-liter dirty collection reservoir, a 2-liter Platy bottle, GravityWorks filter cartridge, in-line adapter, bottle adapters and hoses
  •  Fill the dirty collection reservoir, hang it above the clean Platy bottle and let gravity carry the water through the filter
  •  Bottle adapter fits Platypus and most Nalgene, MSR, Sigg and Klean Kanteen bottles (not included) also attaches to most hydration reservoir shutoff valves and tubes
  •  Hollow fiber filter technology offers a high flow rate of 1.5 liters per minute—that’s 2 liters in less than 90 sec.
  •  Filter physically removes particles, protozoa, and bacteria down to 0.2 microns in size, including giardia, salmonella, cryptosporidia and others
  •  Unfiltered reservoir features a quick-disconnect valve that automatically shuts off the flow of water when hose is disconnected
  •  Use the included push/pull adapter to connect the GravityWorks system directly into any Platy bottle with a push/pull cap; also works with many other bottles and reservoirs
  •  Clean the system by simply holding the filtered-water reservoir above the unfiltered-water reservoir to backflush the filter
  •  Taste-free reservoirs and silicone hoses ensure great-tasting water

Shop Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter Complete kit – 2 liter ($109.95)

20. Turtle Fur Comfort Shell Lite Supersoft Totally Tubular Neck Gaiter – Prints

From scorching day hikes to long days on the river, bring your Turtle Fur Comfort Shell Lite Supersoft Totally Tubular neck gaiter for extra protection from the sun—or a quick way to cool down.

Shop Turtle Fur Comfort Shell Lite Supersoft Totally Tubular Neck Gaiter – Prints ($25.00)

21. REI Co-op Membership

  • Co-op profits go back to their source—members get 10% back annually on eligible purchases. (10% is typical but not guaranteed.)
  • Member free shipping. No minimum purchase amount required. Exclusions apply.
  • Save on your favorite (outdoor) things with special offers, discounts, Member Bonus Cards and more.
  • Buy and trade in used gear with Re/Supply, co-op members shop and trade in used gear that’s ready for more life outside.
  • Early access to curated products and limited-edition gear. Only at REI Co-op—and just for our members.
  • Members save 20% on bike & snow shop services. Exclusions apply.
  • Members, try something different or rediscover a forgotten favorite. Or just get outside in a new way. No deposit required.
  • Explore more for less with special pricing and discounts on REI Co-op classes, day trips and nationwide adventures.New members create change. We’ll donate $5 to the REI Cooperative Action Fund† with the purchase of each lifetime membership. †The REI Cooperative Action Fund is a 501(c)(3) public charity which makes grants to nonprofits that promote justice, equity and belonging in the outdoors.
  • Learn, explore and connect through access to unique local events, hosted live in your neighborhood and virtually around the country.
  • Your voice matters. Members can vote on candidates for the co-op board who represent and guide the co-op forward.
  • Members get free flat tire repair for bikes (labor only, parts not included) and machine wax for skis or boards. Exclusions apply.

Shop REI Co-op Membership ($30.00)

22. Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sacks – Set of 3

Easy to fit into little corners of a kayak and light enough to take backpacking, this set of 3 durable Sea to Summit lightweight dry sacks can be squashed into tight spots heavy dry bags won’t go.

Shop Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sacks – Set of 3 ($44.94)

23. NOLS Cookery – 7th Edition

With classic favorites, such as pizza, cinnamon rolls and super cocoa, and lots of new recipes, the 7th edition of NOLS Cookery helps first-time backpackers and seasoned backcountry chefs eat well.

  •  In addition to the favorites, new and updated recipes are also included, along with recipes for lightweight backpackers and an expanded nutrition chapter
  •  Includes 200 recipes, each one with caloric and nutrient information
  •  NOLS Around the World section includes recipes from NOLS campuses on 6 continents
  •  Another section includes recipes that can be prepared ahead of time so you’re always ready for the next adventure

Shop NOLS Cookery 7th Edition ($19.95)

23. Salomon Outpulse Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots – Women’s

When you don’t have time to tiptoe over creeks, the women’s Salomon Outpulse Mid GORE-TEX hiking boots propel you forward, delivering premium energy return and a fluid stride in a waterproof package.

Shop Salomon Outpulse Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots – Women’s ($160.00)

24. National Geographic Pacific Crest Trail Wall Map – Boxed

The beautiful National Geographic Pacific Crest Trail wall map is ideal as a reference and planning tool for fans and thru-hikers of this magnificent national scenic trail.

Shop National Geographic Pacific Crest Trail Wall Map – Boxed ($19.95)

25. Garmin inReach Mini 2

Home is closer than you think with Garmin inReach Mini 2. At just 3.5 oz., this compact satellite communicator adds peace of mind to your adventures without adding weight to your pack.

  •  Stay in touch globally with 2-way communication, tracking and interactive SOS capabilities (active satellite subscription required)
  •  In case of an emergency in the backcountry, trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (active satellite subscription required)
  •  Pairs with Garmin devices, such as wearables and handhelds, so you can use them to send and receive messages or trigger an SOS
  •  TracBack® routing navigates you back to your starting point the same way you came—right on your device
  •  You can also share your location with loved ones back home by using your MapShare™ page or with your coordinates embedded in your messages
  •  Use the Garmin Explore™ app on a compatible smartphone to plan trips, access topographical maps, create waypoints and courses you can sync to your device and more
  •  Cell service is not required to navigate on your phone using the paired app; maps are downloaded to your device for access anywhere, anytime
  •  Digital compass delivers accurate heading information, even when you’re not moving
  •  Stay on adventures longer with up to 14 days battery life in full sky view, or up to 4 days in moderate tree cover for standard activity recording and 10-minute tracking mode
  •  Battery life for 10-minute tracking and high-detail activity recording is 5 days in full sky view, or up to 2 days in moderate tree cover
  •  30-minute tracking interval with standard activity recording extends battery life to 30 days in full sky view, or up to 10 days in moderate tree cover
  •  Rugged, impact resistant and water-rated to IPX7—easily withstands rain, snow, splashes and incidental exposure to water of up to 1 meter for up to 30 min.

Shop Garmin inReach Mini 2 ($400.00)

26. Kahtoola INSTAgaiter Mid Gaiters

Hit the trail and keep dust, pebbles and mud out with the Kahtoola INSTAgaiter Mid gaiters. Their mid-cut design accommodates high-profile hiking boots or trail runners with ease.

  •  Breathable fabric keeps your ankles from getting too sweaty in warm temperatures
  •  Lightweight fabric packs down to a small size when not in use
  •  Elasticized drawcord ensures elements won’t enter the top of your boots or shoes
  •  Asymmetrical VISLON® zippers won’t rub your ankle bones when you flex and move
  •  Adjustable instep strap is made from durable, rounded thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to interface cleanly with a variety of outsoles
  •  The durable water repellent (DWR) finish makes a little drizzle no big deal

Shop Kahtoola INSTAgatiter Mid Gaiters ($39.89)

27. Cotopaxi Teca Calido Hooded Jacket – Men’s

Fall through spring, around town or far away, the men’s Cotopaxi Teca Calido hooded jacket stows away in its own chest pocket to deploy at a moment’s notice for impressive warmth wherever you roam.

  •  This core-warming jacket combines recycled polyester insulation and repurposed taffeta for reversible and convenient color-blocked protection
  •  Packs into its own chest pocket to easily stow away until the temperature drops
  •  Elastic binding on hood, hem and cuffs keeps warmth in
  •  Main side features zippered handwarmer pockets; reverse features two 2-way drop-in patch and hand pockets, plus 1 zippered chest pocket

Shop Cotopaxi Teca Calido Hooded Jacket – Men’s ($150.00)

28. Benchmade 535GRY-1 Bugout DP Fine-Edge Knife

Subtle yet capable, the Benchmade 535GRY-1 Bugout DP Fine-Edge knife was designed to easily blend into its surroundings, from the campground to the city.

  •  Drop-point, CPM-S30V premium, stainless-steel blade (58-60HRC) holds edges well and works for a variety of uses; smoked gray chromium nitride coating offers a subtle look
  •  Manual AXIS® lock folding mechanism is secure and ambidextrous
  •  Textured, ranger-green Grivory handle is comfortable to hold and easy to grip
  •  Chromium nitride-coated, reversible, tip-up, mini deep-carry pocket clip
  •  Oversize lanyard hole on handle
  •  Lightweight, DLC-coated titanium AXIS bar, anodized barrel spacers and dual thumb studs

Shop Benchmade 535FRY-1 Bugout DP Fine-Edge Knife ($171.00)

29. LifeStraw Peak Water Filter Straw

Weighing only 2.3 oz. and taking up little space, the LifeStraw Peak water filter straw stashes away in a pack or emergency kit—it’s ideal for backup filtration, emergency use and ultralight treks.

  • Unlimited shelf life—no need to worry about how long the filter has been sitting in your go-bag unused
  •  Can also be attached to water bottles and to standard gravity hoses
  •  Reengineered LifeStraw filter helps reduce clogging from sand and silt
  •  Built with premium materials to endure outdoor use and make it leakproof
  •  0.2-micron filter physically removes 99.999999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli; removes 99.999% of all parasites; removes 99.999% of microplastics
  •  Also removes silt, sand and cloudiness greater than 0.2 micron
  •  Membrane microfilter lasts up to 1,000 gal. (4,000 liters)
  •  Meets U.S. EPA and NSF P231 drinking water standards for the removal of bacteria and parasites

Shop LifeStraw Peak Water Filter Straw ($19.95)

30. Patagonia Micro D Snap-T Fleece Pullover – Women’s

Worn as a soft, cozy layer or used as a pillow on a long overnighter, the women’s Patagonia Micro D Snap-T fleece pullover is a comfy staple for the campsite, the trails and everyday adventures.

  •  Micro D® 100% recycled polyester microfleece offers soft, light warmth; fleece acts as an insulated mid layer with a shell, or a stand-alone layer in moderate conditions
  •  Features a nylon-reinforced front placket with 4 snaps for easy venting adjustments; placket has durable water repellent (DWR) finish to shed moisture and stains
  •  Stand-up collar has 2 layers of fleece for added warmth
  •  Spandex trim at the cuffs and hem offers a smooth finish on exposed skin
  •  Front and back yokes

Shop Patagonia Micro D Snap-T Fleece Pullover – Women’s ($99.00)


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