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11/12/2015 by Brian Eagen

Quality Outdoor Gifts for Backpackers

I love receiving the gift of travel. Spending your money on shared experiences provides the most bang for your buck. Having your own set of solid outdoor equipment make it simpler to get outside because you already have the proper tools. Outfit the backpacker in your life (or yourself!) with quality gear this holiday season.

Quality Outdoor Gifts for Backpackers pano


Snow Peak GigaPower Stove

Snow Peak GigaPower Stove: $49

A reliable camp stove heats water for your coffee and cooks you delicious, warm dinners. A canister stove is the go-to type for almost all backpackers. The Snow Peak GigaPower continues to be a top choice for its lightness, simplicity, and reliability.

Mountain House Meals

Mountain House Meals: $5 to $25

Your backpacker will always need meals for on the trail. Mountain House makes a wide variety of dehydrated dinners from beef stroganoff to scrambled eggs and bacon, which are perfect for the trails. Or, get them a copy of the Outdoor Blueprint Cookbook and they can learn to create their own meals.

GSI Outdoors Compact Scraper

GSI Outdoors Compact Scraper: $10

This tiny spatula is quite the versatile piece of gear. It can cut up most trail foods, spoon meals into your mouth, and scrape dishes clean. I’ve gone entire trips with only this and a pot as my eating setup. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for your backpacker.


Backpacker Magazine Subscription

Backpacker Magazine Subscription: $12

Backpacker Magazine provides hours of entertainment for when you’re not on the trail. It inspires planning during the winter months, let’s you know the best gear that’s currently on the market, and comes full of photos of the most beautiful places on earth.


Kindle: $50 to $200

If your backpacker enjoys reading during their outdoor downtime then a Kindle is the best weight saver around. Instead of lugging around multiple bulky books, just take this one small device. Preload guidebooks and you won’t even need to worry about carrying those. The Paperwhite is my favorite choice because it lights up at night.

Space Pen

Space Pen: $20

I love carrying a space pen with me in the backcountry. It makes writing while I’m laying down simple and even works when the temperatures are well below freezing (if you’re that brave).


Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel

Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel: $80

Smartphones enable your backpacker to take pictures, track where they are, make a phone call, and more -- all in one device. More and more technology is entering the backcountry, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Your backpacker will never run out of power with a new solar panel set up like the Nomad 7.

Anker Gen2 Astro E4 Battery Pack

Anker Gen2 Astro E4 Battery: $40

For shorter trips, I leave the solar panel at home and bring along a simple battery pack instead. This is another great choice for enabling your backpacker to enjoy their technology without losing power.

Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp

Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp: $60

A headlamp is an essential piece of outdoor gear and I’ve been through my fair share of them. I highly recommend the ReVolt because it can be recharged, has a strong spotlight, and has an easy-to-use red light mode for nighttime reading.

Classic Backpacking Gear

Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles: $80

A set of trekking poles will allow your backpacker to protect their knees on long downhill stretches, which means that they can explore the backcountry longer and feel better while doing it. The BD Trail Back poles are a set I’ve been happily using for over 5 years.

Dirty Girl Gaiters

Dirty Girl Gaiters: $21

Believe it or not, your ankles can be the most stylish part of your backpacking attire with a set of Dirty Girl Gaiters. Pick a pattern, and you’ll never have to worry about rocks, dirt, and gravel getting into your shoe again!

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Therm-A-Rest Z-Lite

Therm-A-Rest Z-Lite: $40

Nothing quite beats a simple ensolite sleeping pad when it comes to versatility. This pad can be safely used as a chair, yoga mat, and sleeping pad without risking it being punctured.


Backpack: $200+

No backpacking gift list would be complete without listing a backpack itself. It’s hard to gift a backpack unless they have already tried some on, but you can learn everything you need to know about choosing a backpack and offer some suggestions and a “coupon” as your gift.

Like I said before, gear is a means to more easily create experiences. The perfect gift for the well equipped backpacker might just be an All Expenses Paid trip that you take them on, creating lasting experiences together.

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