It’s that wonderful time of the year when the shops play The Pogues on loop, kids squeal they want everything for Christmas and you haven’t got a clue what to buy the outdoorsy people in your life.
Just as well you landed here then because your hiking fairy godmother is on hand to help with Christmas gifts for hikers and campers from £10-£100. (I can’t do anything about the shops’ dire taste in music or squawking little ‘uns, though.)
I’m not including novelty gifts that will be thrown away after one use as our poor planet can’t cope with the additional 30 percent of waste that we create in the UK alone at Christmas.
Gifts for hikers under £25
Exped Dry Bags – £11-58
These are great gifts for hikers to line backpacks or for putting oh-my-God-these-things-can’t-get-wet-EVER in them. They’re the best brand I’ve found from the maaaany I’ve used. They come in a range of sizes from teeny (XXS = 1 litre) to huge (backpack liner = 140 litres).
Sigg Bottle – £17-25
These can get bumped and bashed and still seem to work perfectly. My latest Sigg bottle is much lighter than my old one, the seal is different, too (no rubber rand on my new one) but it works just as well. Sigg make an assortment of bottles, some that take both hot and cold liquids as well as the traditional water holders, so great Christmas gifts for hikers. Mine are all metal, not plastic, so stronger, more durable, and better for the environment. Buy them here.
OS Maps App – £20-24 depending if you buy the one-off yearly version or rolling subscription
This is the official app with full Ordnance Survey map coverage of the UK in various scales including 1:25,000 and 1:50,000. It’s a steal considering one waterproof map costs around £15 so the app is one of the best gifts for hikers you can get your mitts on. Although the app has received negative reviews in recent months since Ordnance Survey updated it, I’ve had no issues. I’ve never downloaded maps which seems to be one of the main problems (you don’t need to if you plot your route when online as your phone/tablet will cache the data for use offline). See my full OS Maps app review here.
Osprey Ultra-Light Stuff Pack – £25
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Osprey make the best backpack presents for walkers. I’ve been toting my Osprey ultra-light stuff pack with me everywhere for the past 2.5 years (I’m on my second one). They pack up tiny yet hold 20 litres and have a side pouch for a water bottle. They’re made from the same material as Osprey dry bags but the waterproofing will wear away with use, so still best to line it.
Extremities Super Thicky Gloves – £20
I really like these, despite the daft name, as they have grippy bits on the palms and keep your hands at just the right temperature. I’ve used them in -6 Celcius and had happy hands. They aren’t waterproof but they are quite thick so it takes a little while for the water/snow to seep through! They make good, cheap gifts for hikers and cyclists. Buy them here.
Fluffy Headband – Barts – £25
Apart from the fact lots of people (me included) look ridiculous in hats, they get too hot walking in them. Cue head warmers. Perfect gifts for hikers who get cold ears but have a mass of hair. Mine is a Barts faux fur headband which makes me look only slightly less ridiculous than in a hat.
A personalised, humorous message written for the hiker in your life – £10
I’ll write a witty 100-150-word message to the outdoorsy person you just can’t buy anything for. I just need a bit of info about them and I’ll add humour, wit and probably a couple of puns. It’ll be emailled in a PDF and word document for you to print out. For more info click here.
Gifts for hikers under £50
Jack Wolfskin Gibside Fleece – £45
I’ve had this Jack Wolfskin fleece for about three years now and besides the fact I’ve just dropped my hot chocolate all down it, it’s in great condition. It’s thick and warm yet lets air in so you don’t overheat, has zip pockets and a full zip opening and is a fab present for walkers. Buy it here.
Sealskinz Waterproof Socks – £30-45
Did you really expect to find a list of Christmas gifts for hikers without socks? But these socks are special. Magical in fact. So incredible that they’ll keep your feet dry even when your boots don’t. I love them. These are Christmas presents for walkers that they’ll thank you for. (Yes, I did just write that about receiving socks for Xmas.) Find them on the Sealskinz website here.
Swiss Army Knife – Victorinox Huntsman – £40
Scissors. They’re a hiker’s best friend. Don’t ask me why, I just know that when I had a penknife without them all I wanted was one with them. This is the penknife I own now, given to me by a friend, who knows which gifts for hikers I’d use, and I always have it to hand.
Gifts for hikers £50-£100
Black Diamond Storm Head Torch (350 lumens) – £50
The power on this torch is great. It also has red and green lights for night and fog vision plus dimming and strobe settings in case you want a rave in the forest! You can lock it and it’s waterproof for up to one metre for 30 minutes and withstands a hammering from Scottish rain. You can move the position of it, too. Black Diamond have brought a new one out for 2019/2020 that looks lighter and slightly brighter. BD’s torches make great Christmas gifts for hikers or dog walkers out and about in winter months.
Icebreaker Thermals – £50-£100
No list of gifts for hikers would ever make my blog without mentioning Icebreaker. And that’s not because they’ve sponsored me (they haven’t, I buy my kit just like you do), but because I’ve slammed every piece I’ve owned and some of it doesn’t even look worn. They’re expensive, yes, but they are definitely worth every penny. From underwear to thermal leggings and base layer tops, gilets to a full winter jacket, I own heaps of Icebreaker gear. Most of it is 100 percent merino wool, but check the labels. Icebreaker gifts for hikers will make you the top dog this Christmas! Buy them here.
Camping Gifts for Hikers
For the more adventurous souls, here are some camping presents for walkers who sleep under canvas.
Primus Express Spider Cooking Stove II – £50-60
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Great little cooker that is safe, sturdy and lightweight. Great gifts for hikers and campers, I used it for a year on my giant hike through the UK and haven’t been able to look at a packet of cous cous since! It has tripod legs away from the gas and a tube running to it which means it’s safer than those which sit directly above the canisters. Weighs 200g and comes in a really useful canvas bag.
Anker PowerPort Solar Lite (solar panel) – £50
If you’re stuck thinking of great gifts for hikers and campers, look no further! It’s a two-panel solar port that captures sun even on cloudy days. I used it through spring, summer and autumn and attached it to Anker battery packs (don’t hook it up directly to your phone etc. as it won’t charge it if the sun is intermittent). Excellent customer service so if you have a problem within the first 18 months, Anker (bought only though Amazon) will sort you out. Weighs 400g. It seems, though, that this smaller model has been replaced by a 3-panel version which is the link provided here.
Exped Downmat Lite 5 £90-110
This is a fabulous piece of kit for the campers out there. Filled with down and with a separate blowing up pump (the pump is tiny and weighs 45g), it works wonders in cold weather. I used it solidly for seven months in both freezing temps (lowest was about -10 Celcius) and warmer months (23 Celcius). Weighs 620g and is 5cm thick, 183cm long. A great option for presents for walkers if you’re looking to spend a bit more.
Or you could just forego the whole consumerist madness as I have for the past few years and donate to charitable causes. (Sorry family, no gifts for hikers under the tree this year!)
For more kit reviews, click here, you might get extra inspiration from them!
I’ve personally paid for and used everything recommended in this blog post. I also get zero kickbacks from any links I’ve shared, it’s just for ease of use for you.
Jane Batchelor is a bit of a hiking and travelling fiend and when not writing about walking, she’s generally out on a trail somewhere, splodging through mud, snow or puddles. And if she’s lucky, all three.
(In case you’re wondering, she’s kitted out in her Icebreaker gear in the French Alps here which she recommends as the best presents for walkers! The dog in the main photo is her best mate in Chamonix, and yes, he really does wear a polo jumper to keep warm!)