With the holidays are upon us and Christmas shopping commencing, there's no better time to discuss what you can get for that hiker/backpacker/adventurer in your life. These are what we believe to be the best gifts for backpackers that you can get for under $50.
For the avid backpacker: Consumables
Consumables are really the best gifts you can get for avid backpackers; these are the experienced folks who know exactly what gear they want to take out on the trail and likely already have it. The best option for getting a gift for that avid backpacker in your life will likely be replacing the gear that’s always being beaten up on the trail from constant use- those little items that every backpacker needs to replace simply because they have no choice but to burn through them.
The first, and the most obvious thing that avid backpackers burn through is food.
Food - $13
Backpacking food is always going to be a great gift for any backpacker. They will need more for each and every trip! If you haven’t tried the backpacking food made by Peak Refuel, you’re missing out:
Water Filters - $45
Water filters can only be used so many times before they need to be replaced, and make a great budget gift for any backpacker going out into the wilderness where they need to refill from unpotable sources:
Headlamps - $40
Higher quality headlamps made by name brands tend to last longer, but we generally consider headlamps to be a consumable item that the avid backpacker will use up or get damaged pretty quickly:
Gloves - $45
With all the backpacking we’ve done in the last year, we’ve worn through some gloves. Every backpacker, especially those that use trekking poles, could use a good pair:
For the Weekend Warrior: Luxury Items
Honestly, every type of backpacker could use some quality of life improvements when it comes to backpacking, but for those weekend warriors or hikers that are a little less seasoned, comfort is probably going to be a slightly higher priority.
Booties - $45
Nobody wants cold feet when they’re trying to go to sleep while backpacking, and it’s really nice to know you’re for sure going to have warm feet at the end of the day with insulated Booties:
Hammocks - $70
Hammocks are a great way to camp, and are worth giving a try! They are a comfortable place to sleep at night, and easy to set up along the trail for a place to sit during lunch! Although our hammocks are over the 50 dollar limit, you can go out and find them for under that amount:
Backpacking Pillow - $25
Many of us here at OV see backpacking pillows as an absolute essential for a comfortable night’s sleep, but to some, they’re considered a luxury:
Battery Banks - $50
In an increasingly digital world, many backpackers have ditched their map and compass for their cell phones. For one to navigate with their phone, they need power. A quality battery bank makes a great gift:
For the New Backpacker: Backpacking Essentials
There are some items that every backpacker needs, and if you know someone who’s just starting out on their backpacking journey, then getting them high-quality gear can help make their outdoor experiences that much better.
Long-Handled Spoon - $11
Every backpacker needs a good utensil, and our favorite is the long-handled spoon. The lighter and easier to clean it is, the better:
Stove - $35
A stove is an essential purchase for a backpacker. You can get a gas stove, or, for a more silent cooking experience outdoors, we recommend an alcohol stove:
Wool Socks - $27
You may have heard of the phrase, “cotton kills.” Wool is a much better fabric for staying warm even when it gets wet and quickly wicking moisture away from your skin. Everyone could use some wool socks for backpacking. Here are some that we like:
Merino Wool Buff - $20
A general principle for getting backpacking gear is getting gear with more than one purpose. A merino buff can be just that. Whether your backpacker uses it for sun protection or as a makeshift oven mitt, a merino wool buff is a great option:
The Most Popular Gift Item for Backpackers this Year
That rounds out our list of the best gifts for under $50. But if you’re wondering about what items backpackers are craving this holiday season, we have a recommendation:
The Garmin InReach
Highly sought after by backpackers, the Garmin Inreach or Garmin Inreach Mini would make an amazing gift for serious backpackers for navigating the wilderness. The Inreach allows you to navigate, send text messages to loved ones at home, or request emergency help if the adventure goes south. The Garmin Inreach will not only be incredibly helpful for your backpacker, but will also give you peace at mind at home knowing they have a good way to communicate if needed:
Whatever gifts you get for the backpacker in your life, we hope that you and yours have an amazing holiday season. We’ll be running lots of sales this winter, so make sure you’re signed up to our mailing list to get notified about those when they pop up. We hope you found this article helpful, and look forward to your comments and suggestions down below.