Backpacking Gift Ideas
Looking for backpacking gift ideas for a hiker on your list? Our 2017 gift guide features our trail-tested, favorite backpacking gear from our trail adventures throughout the South.
We’re huge fans of a great day hike – but there’s just something magical about spending the night (or a few!) under the stars. Our adventures cover some serious miles every year, giving us the chance to test some of the best, trail-worthy backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, cookware and backpacking gear. We share the philosophy that great gear can go a long way to enhance an adventure – and that lightweight, thoughtfully-designed gear is invaluable when the miles start to rack up on the trail.
We’ve wrapped our favorite, trail-tested gear into our 2017 Outdoor Gift Guide. Find the perfect backpacking gift idea – or some new gear for your own adventures on the trail. (Looking for a great hike to test out your new gear? Check out our favorite trails to Georgia mountain summits and on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina for some of our favorite backpack-worthy adventures.)
THE UTIMATE MULTI-UTENSIL
The Full Windsor Muncher packs ten different tools into one lightweight multi utensil. This titanium constructed, space saving tool features a spork, serrated knife, can and bottle opener, peeler, fire starter, cord cutter, pry bar, flathead screwdriver, and a box cutter. And a carabiner lets us hook the Muncher to our pack to keep it handy. It’s pretty much the perfect ultralight accessory for every backpacking adventure.
Morning coffee is a must-have around our campsite, and we’ve tried just about every gadget and press trying to get the best tasting cup. Kuju eliminates the need for fancy equipment. Simply open the individually wrapped packet, hang the filter over the cup, secure with the cardboard tabs, and pour hot water over the grounds. Simple, quick, delicious, and devine.
We’ve loved backpacking with our Osprey packs over the years, and while our Aether 70L is still going strong, we love the upgrades on this newer model. The Osprey Aether 60 is a mid-sized pack that’s perfect for overnights and multi-day adventures, and it offers outstanding on-trail comfort from its innovative suspension.
FOOD WITH A MISSION
The Provisions line of delicious packaged meals and snacks are perfect for any adventure, on the trail or at home. Patagonia packs its Provisions with organic grains, fruits, and vegetables, and each meal is full of bold flavors and nutrient-filled ingredients. Delicious menu options include creamy banana hot cereal, black bean soup, savory grains, buffalo jerky, and an outstanding wild-caught salmon. And Patagonia’s pledge to conservation means each ingredient and product is sourced responsibly from farmers and fishermen committed to sustainable environmental practices.
DEPENDABLE FIRE STARTER
The UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit provides peace of mind when stormy weather catches up to us on the trail. The kit includes 12 windproof and waterproof matches that each burning for up to 25 seconds. The kit also includes 3 replaceable strike pads and a waterproof case that floats. With the Titan Stormproof Match Kit, we’re able to able to light a fire at the campsite, in pretty much whatever weather Mother Nature chooses to toss our way.
LIGHTWEIGHT & HIGH QUALITY
The Swedish-made Morakniv Eldris Knife is a staple in our adventure bag. Weighing only 2.8 oz, this pint-sized knife easily stashes in a backpack or cargo pant pocket. The super-sharp stainless steel blade measures 2.3 inches, and the knife’s spine is compatible with a fire starter. The Eldris features a grippy polymer handle, and the included sheath keeps the blade locked away when not in use. It’s the perfect knife for tasks around the campsite and out on the trail.
The Big Agnes Wiley SL 30 Sleeping Bag makes nights under the stars comfortable and dreamy. Super soft technical material surrounds 650-fill DownTek insulation, creating a warm and spacious interior, perfect for a restful night after a long day on the trail. Little details like the attached pad sleeve that doubles as a stuff sack, large draft collar, and interior loops for sleeping bag liners make this our new go-to bag for overnight adventures.
shop now – REI
LIGHTWEIGHT AND ROOMY
Lightweight, roomy, and loads of storage; the Sierra Designs Divine Light two-person tent is one great backpacking tent. The tent feels spacious, thanks to a 45.5″ ceiling height, nearly vertical side walls, and three (!!!) large doors. There’s plenty of room for gear storage in the large vestibule which can also double as an awning. The tent is light, weighing 3 lbs 15 oz packed, but for ultra light backpacking, trekking poles can replace the tent’s vertical poles, saving 6 oz.
The Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller is a must have for for camping trips, backyard barbecues, and pool parties. The Backpacker creates a 15’ protective barrier that effectively repels mosquitos and other biting insects. Simply attach to a standard camping fuel canister and light. As the insect repellent-filled mat heats up bugs disappear!
ULTRALIGHT, SMALL + EFFICIENT
Amazingly small and light, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle 4 Season Stove is a must have for backcountry treks when every ounce counts. The unique folding legs and pot supports allow the stove to fold up and nest with GSI’s Halulite Microdualist Cookset, saving space in our packs. And the super efficient burner boils water quickly while using less fuel, which means fewer canisters and less weight on the trail.
The lightweight Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra features an insulated layer on top and bottom of the pad, keeping us warm and comfortable on cold overnight adventures. A high volume air valve makes inflating and deflating quick and easy, and larger outside tubes keep us centered on the pad all night. There’s nothing like a comfy snooze under the stars.
shop now – REI
Yum on the run
Mealtime on the trail just got one heck of an upgrade! Good To-Go’s gourmet backpacking meals have changed the way we think about trail food. They’re made by a former Iron Chef (for real!), and they’re super delicious and easy to prepare. Just add boiling water, wait 20 minutes, and you’ll be set for a meal more suited for a sit-down restaurant than a mountain summit. After a long day of hiking, the Thai Curry is simply incredible.
It’s no secret: we’re huge fans of our ENO Hammocks. There’s just nothing better than hanging a hammock and enjoying a fantastic summit view, or sneaking in a nap at the campsite. The lightweight Sub7 has become our go-to hammock for backcountry backpacking and hiking. Weighing in at only 6.5 oz and folding into a 4” square stuff sack, the hammock stuffs easily into a side pocket or backpack, and is ultra-light weight.
shop now – Amazon
DINNER FOR TWO
The Halulite MicroDualist is our favorite lightweight backpacking cookset for two. The set weighs only one pound, and includes a cooking pot, a strainer lid, two bowls, two insulated mugs, two lids, two telescoping sporks, a stove bag, and a sink/stuff sack.
The Sawyer Mini is the easiest-to-use, lightest and most effective water filter we’ve tested. It lasts longer and outperforms most other backpacking water filters available, and has replaced the heavier pump-style filters in our gear closet.
X MARKS THE SPOT
Hiking with a physical map and compass is important in the event we lose cell service or GPS power. And the National Geographic Trails Illustrated are our favorite: they’re water and tear resistant, trustworthy and easy to read.
For warm-weather camping we love to pack this sleeping bag liner: it provides just enough warmth and breathability to make summertime sleeping comfortable. And it’s great in cold weather, to add a little extra warmth to our winter bags – and it’s machine washable, too.
shop now – Amazonshop now – REI
Where are we?!
The Garmin Oregon 700 GPS tracks our position, sets waypoints and finds trails from a touchscreen-equipped, tough, waterproof shell. No cell network? No problem… unlike our cell phones, the Oregon 700 stores its maps in-device for offline use. With thousands of miles logged on our Garmin Oregon GPS units over the years, they’re our favorite tool for mapping trails around Georgia and around the world.
LIGHT IT UP
Sometime nature just doesn’t cooperate and building a fire can be nearly impossible. With the Adventure Medical Fire Lite Kit starting a fire is easy in any weather. The kit includes a firestarter and 20 pieces of Tinder Quick waterproof tinder.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
Light and bright, the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp shines a 200 lumen beam. When our adventures keep us out after dark or up before sunrise, hands free illumination is a necessity and this Black Diamond Spot has us covered, with three brightness settings and a strobe feature. And it’s waterproof, too.
shop now – amazonshop now – REI
Once we get into our ENO hammock we don’t want to get out – except if that means getting soaked in a sudden rainstorm. ENO’s ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp keeps us nestled in our relaxing cocoon while keeping us sheltered from ugly weather. It’s our favorite ENO hammock upgrade, turning our favorite open-air hammock into a rain-proof tent alternative. (And, did you know? ENO is based in Asheville, NC!)
Thank you for your support! - the Trailful crew