The gift of new gear is something every hiker, camper, and backpacker is sure to feel grateful for. If you are searching for the right gift for friends, family, and loved ones who dig the outdoors, then look no further.
To help you find the perfect gift, we have combed through our gear and picked out our favorite items that cost less than $50. Everything on the list is useful, durable, lightweight, and sure to impress.
Tip: Not sure which lightweight backpacking gear to buy? We’ve done the “heavy lifting” for you. See our top picks.
- 1 Sunski Foothill Polarized Sunglasses
- 2 Anker Powercore 10000
- 3 Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
- 4 Snow Peak Titanium Cup
- 5 Gerber Ultralight LST
- 6 MSR Pocket Rocket 2
- 7 Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks
- 8 TheTentlab The Deuce of Spades Backcountry Potty Trowel
- 9 TOAKS Titanium Long Handle Spoon
- 10 Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad
- 11 REI Gift Card
- 12 More Gift Ideas
Anyone that spends a lot of time hiking in the sun knows that polarized sunglasses are crucial. Sunski makes the most affordable, best looking shades I have ever worn and they are made from a proprietary recycled plastic called SuperLight. Also, if you break your sunglasses under “normal use”, Sunski will replace them for free.
It is crucial to keep your phone and camera charged up on hikes, so you can navigate difficult terrain and return home with photos to share and memories to revisit. The Anker Powercore 10000 is one of the smallest and lightest external batteries with high mAh per gram. It weighs just 6 oz, provides three-and-a-half iPhone 6S charges, and costs $26.
In my opinion, the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp belongs in every hiker’s pack. At 3.25 oz, it is lightweight, and outputs 300-lumens of light with a maximum beam distance of eighty feet. It is also waterproof and has useful settings, like red night vision mode, which helps you see at night without blinding your campmates.
I like to start my mornings with a strong cup of coffee and I make no exceptions in the backcountry. At 2.4 oz, the Snow Peak Titanium Cup is a lightweight, rust proof cup that is tougher than steel. In a pinch, it doubles as a pot for boiling water.
Tip: To make fresh brewed coffee in the backcountry, check out the GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip Coffee Maker.
A rugged but lightweight knife created by Pete Gerber himself and built in the USA. The Gerber Ultralight LST weighs 0.6 oz, features a stainless steel blade, and clips in-pocket. Overall, this is a compact, well-constructed knife that is built to last.
Tip: Accidents happen. Learn how to treat cuts and wounds in the backcountry.
After a long and strenuous day on the trail, you are ready to settle into camp and cook a hot meal. At this point, the last thing you want is a fussy or failing stove. I have used the same MSR Pocket Rocket for the better part of a decade and it has never let me down. Since then, MSR has released a smaller, lighter version of the original. It weighs 2.6 oz and boils 1 liter of water in 3.5 minutes.
Not sure which backpacking stove to get? Start with Best Backpacking Stoves.
Over the years, I have tested a multitude of different hiking socks and Darn Toughs are the most comfortable and best performing ones of the bunch. This merino wool sock is cool in the heat, warm in the cold, breathable, and fast drying. It is also resistant to foul odors, which is a huge benefit on longer treks.
Tip: We’ve tested a lot of different socks. Read about our favorites.
The Deuce of Spades is a lightweight, titanium potty trowel that enables a more responsible approach to pooping in the woods. I borrowed my friend’s on a recent backpacking trip and ordered one the moment I got back.
Tip: Check out the Potty Packs Sh!t Kit for an all-in-one toilet solution.
Freeze dried and dehydrated food pouches tend to be deep and a shorter spoon is not sufficient for those hard to reach corners. The 8 5/8″ (220mm) TOAKS Titanium Long Handle Spoon is the perfect utensil for backcountry eats. At 0.65 oz, it is lightweight and includes a smooth, polished bowl and matte finish handle.
Because of its many uses, the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol makes an excellent gift for outdoor adventurers. At 14 oz, it works as a lightweight, minimal sleeping pad or as an added layer of insulation underneath an air pad. Its egg-carton pattern is soft and comfy, so you can lounge around on the Z Lite Sol at camp, during meals, and for impromptu yoga sessions in the wilderness.
Want to sleep better on backpacking trips? Check out Best Lightweight Sleeping Pads.
An REI Gift Card is always a great option if you are not sure what gear a person already has and which items are on their wishlist. Why not let them decide?
More Gift Ideas
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