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.
Joshua Tree Skin Care (JTree) – CBD Warming Balm + Arnica + Menthol
As a desert dwelling climber, I am a huge fan of JTree’s Climbing Salve. Chalk is great for keeping your hands dry while you climb, but it also dries them out in between climbs, which is not ideal. This salve helps tremendously with that.
Recently, I was introduced to another great JTree product, CBD Recovery. I have been using it on my cracked knuckles and massaging it into sore areas to help me recover in between long days outside on the wall.
This would make a great gift for your friends and family who climb, but also the ones that don’t. Outdoorsy types tend to go hard and could use a little TLC on off days. 🙂
Knockaround Frosted Grey / Red Sunset Sunglasses
These durable sunglasses are both stylish and available in an array of frames and color combos. Unlike a lot of quality shades, they won’t break the bank. Polarized lenses at $20? Now that’s a great deal!
Surviveware Small First Aid Kit
At 1 lbs, hikers can throw this first aid kit in their daypack and rest assured that they’re prepared for the worst-case scenario on their next hike. The kit has 100 supplies and is well-organized, clearly labelled, and self-contained in a fully waterproof case.
Anker Powercore 10000
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.
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
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.
Snow Peak Titanium Cup
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.
Gerber Ultralight LST
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.
MSR Pocket Rocket 2
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.
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks
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.
TheTentlab The Deuce of Spades Backcountry Potty Trowel
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.
TOAKS Titanium Long Handle Spoon
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.
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad
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.
REI Gift Card
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
For more gift ideas, click on the following links: