Well it’s that time of year again and if you’re lucky enough to have a hiker on your list the possibilities for gifts are endless.
Whether they're new to the activity or have years of experience, hiker's needs fall into a few general categories. Things to keep them dry – inside and out. Things to keep the bugs off. Things to keep them hydrated. Things to carry things in. Things to keep them safe.
That opens a pretty broad range of potential gift ideas that will range in price from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars.
Keep the bugs off: This would include various types of insect repellents, bug jackets, bug hats, deer fly strips, etc.
Keep Hydrated: This can be something as simple as a Nalgene™ or stainless steel water container, to a water bladder that straps on their back…a bit more pricey but very convenient.
Keep Dry: Socks and undergarments that “wick” perspiration away are excellent. For the outside layers you can blow the budget on a full lightweight Gortex™ rain suit or pick up a good quality poncho that folds up into a small bag for those sudden storms or emergencies. A pair of “gators” to keep snow out of the boots during those late fall or winter hikes are also a good idea.
Packs: Does your hiker take short walks of a couple of kilometers or do they prefer day long hikes that cover 20 k or more? Sometimes a simple “fanny pack” that has a good water bottle holder and a couple of pockets for a few essentials is just the ticket, while those longer hikes require a full backpack with lots of room for lunch, drinks, dry clothes, and rain gear.
Things to Keep Them Safe: Consider things like a walking stick or a pair of walking poles. If they hike in bear country, some bear spray might be appreciated. A small first aid kit is something that every hiker should have, but often forget about.
The ideas are endless, but regardless of what hiking equipment you decide to buy be sure it is high quality and is designed for many years of use.