From headlamps to hammocks, we’ve got the perfect gift list to get your beginner backpacker out on the trail this holiday season.
It can be hard to figure out what gifts make sense to buy for a beginner backpacker, and with the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to gear up! You don’t have to know everything about hiking and backpacking to buy the right gift for your young adventurer. Keep the process easy for yourself and keep these two suggestions in mind: keep it light and look for lasting value.
Keep It Light
Each ounce makes a difference when it comes to backpacking! Weight is important to hikers. They need to keep their packs light to reduce strain and injury. Focus on searching for lightweight gifts that won’t weigh them down.
Look for Lasting Value
Buy gear built to last! Durability is the name of this game, meaning it’s important to take the time to read reviews and focus on brands that are reputable for thoughtful designs and quality materials.
We know that choosing a present for the outdoor enthusiast that is fun, valuable and unique can be overwhelming which is why we’ve pulled together a budget-friendly gift list that will help take your young adventurer’s trail game to the next level.
Our Top 10 Gift Ideas for the Beginner Backpacker:
1. Reduce their chance of blisters with these incredible socks by Farm to Feet
Looking for a mid-weight sock that will keep them warm while providing incredible moisture management? These merino wool socks are key to keeping feet dry and reducing blisters during outdoor adventures, which is a MUST when it comes to enjoying a trek all day long.
Why we love these: Farm to Feet is committed to the single, simple goal of creating the world’s best wool socks. Plus, all their products are manufactured in the U.S.!
2. The perfect day pack by Osprey Daylite Pack
There is no shortage of good daypacks, which makes it hard to list just one. This pack is lightweight, simple, durable and comfortable while coming with a reasonable price tag. It’s perfect for those quick day hikes and its durability will last season after season!
Why we love this pack: It’s light yet built for adventure. The side mesh pockets are great for holding a thermos of hot chocolate and we love the easily accessible main compartment.
3. Have a seat on this lightweight portable chair by Trekology
This camp chair weighs in at 2.1 lbs which makes it perfect for bringing along on an adventure. Its compact design brings ease and offers comfort on the trail, especially around a campfire as your backpacker sits and talks about their journey ahead with their crew!
Why we like this chair: The assembly of this chair is easy. No tools are required – just pop it open and have a seat.
4. Get them ready to trek through anything with these trekking poles by Trailbuddy Gear
These poles will help them keep their balance when crossing moving water, trekking along narrow ridgelines and going up and down hills with loose ground like sand. Poles help you gauge and test the ground you’re about to step in and can help save you from accidental slips.
Why we like these poles: These trekking poles are super light weighing in at 9.2oz each! They’re also easy to take apart to air dry or pack into a backpack.
5. Relax post-hike in this comfy hammock by Wise Owl
Hammocks are great options for those looking for a simple lounging solution. And for beginner backpackers, it may just be that extra special piece of gear. Hammocks take up little space in a pack and only require a couple of sturdy trees.
Why we like this: This hammock is easy to set up and lightweight and is perfect for unwinding and relaxing after a long day!
6. Save their lips and keep them healthy with Hurraw! Lip Balms
Finding a good lip balm to bring on a trip will save them from chapped and cracked lips on the trail. There are so many amazing lip balms out there. Save their lips by putting on a balm that includes sunscreen!
Why we like Hurraw!: This lip balm is non-glossy and not sticky while staying 100% natural. They also do well with high temperatures so hikers can toss one in their pack or pocket without the fear of it melting away.
7. Turn up the heat on their dinner with YellowBird Hot Sauce
Cooking a hot meal at the end of a long trail day is the best. And who said trail food has to be boring? Spice it up.
Why we like YellowBird Hot Sauce: Grab the variety pack containing 2oz bottles of different flavors. From velvety, caramelized onions to tangy citrus-infused cucumber, these hot sauces are perfect for throwing in a pack and adding some kick to your meals.
8. Their new best friend, sweatband, hat, scarf, bandana and more, The Original Buff
Buffs are versatile items of headgear that will protect them from the elements. They can be folded and used in several ways. This piece of gear can keep the wind out of your ears, the rain away from your head and your hair out of your face.
Why we like this: You can save time going in and out of your pack looking for random pieces of gear with just this one item. Plus, these buffs come in so many fun patterns and fabrics and are super soft to wear!
9. Get rid of pesky bugs with Permethrin Insect Repellant
Nothing ruins an enjoyable moment like bug stressing! That’s why it’s important to protect yourself from biting insects, insect-transmitted diseases, and stings.
Why we like this: Permethrin is a chemical that you can spray on clothing, gear, tents, or packs, and it works more effectively than using bug spray alone. It’s also long-lasting, lasting up to six weeks and in-between washes, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying every few hours!
10. Light up their path with this groovy headlight by Petzl
A headlight is a crucial piece of gear for any budding backpacker! Headlamps eliminate the need to hold on to a light source, allowing you to put your hands to better use.
Why we like this: This headlight is rechargeable and offers 450 lumens of power, making it ideal for dynamic outdoor activities like mountaineering, running, hiking, and backpacking.
Now that your beginner backpacker is stocked with the perfect gifts for their outdoor adventure, sign them up for an unforgettable summer expedition with Outward Bound!
About the Author
Hanna McCarthy is a former Outward Bound Instructor and now lives and works in Philly with her husband, Nick, and two dogs, Jelly and Waffle. She finds time each year to surf in new places and enjoys spending time with friends and family. Hanna now splits her career between a corporate job and teaching yoga, finding balance in her life.
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