December 2, 2016

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: 20 items under $25 for Hikers and Backpackers

Holiday gifts for hikers: all of these gift ideas are from my own personal gear kit: items that I use regularly and highly recommend. Have a question about any of this gear? Leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer it.

GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug

An insulated mug that keeps drinks very hot, with a locking lid that limits spills.
weighs 3.5 oz

Purchase: REI / Amazon

Deuce of Spades Backcountry Trowel
Deuce of Spades Backcountry Trowel


Digging a cathole has never been easier with this sharp trowel, and at only 0.6 ounces, it won’t weigh down your pack.
Purchase: REI  /  Amazon

PackTowl Personal Towel – Small

These microbial towels have many uses: I keep one in my bathroom kit for drying off after using a portable bidet, one in my kitchen kit for washing and drying dishes, and one for sponge baths.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

Granite Gear stuff sacks
Granite Gear Stuff Sacks, set of 2

I like to stay organized when hiking and backpacking, so I use stuff sacks in various colors. I use the smaller size for kitchen essentials and toiletry items, and the larger size for essentials.

Purchase: Amazon

Gear Aid Tenacious Tape
Gear Aid Tenacious Tape

The only tape you need in a repair kit, Tenacious Tape can be used to repair tent fabric, air mattresses, hiking shoes or boots, rain gear, and more. I like the clear version.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

tent stake
MSR Ground Hog Tent Stake

Three-sided stakes provides extra holding power, with a notch at top for securing guylines; attached nylon pull-cord allows easy removal.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

Nikwax Tech Wash and TX.Direct

Tech Wash is a safe, soap-based cleaner for synthetic waterproof clothing, equipment, insulated garments and sleeping bags. TX.Direct Wash-In restores durable water repellency to waterproof breathable clothing.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

Osprey 12L Stuff Sack

I use this waterproof stuff sack for storing and hanging food when backpacking. This bag has withstood several heavy rains and kept everything inside dry.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

Niteline cord
BlueWater 3mm NiteLine Utility Cord, 50 ft

Shine your headlamp in the direction of this cord and it lights up like a string of lights. I cut the cord in half to hang food from trees when backpacking, and have extra that I can use for tent guylines.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

2nd Skin Blister Kit
Spenco 2nd Skin Blister Kit

This kit helps to protect and prevent blisters, with 2nd skin moist pads, adhesive strips and pressure pads.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

Loksak OpsakLOKSAK OPSAK Odor-Proof Barrier Bags – 11″ x 9″ – Package of 2

These odor-proof bags have multiple uses for hiking and backpacking: use one to store food and keep the smells from attracting critters; use another to carry out pet waste and/or toilet paper.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

humangear GoTubb 0.9 cu. in. Container - Package of 3
humangear GoTubb Containers


Set of three small containers, useful for lotions, gels and other items.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

Nalgene vial
Nalgene Polyethylene Bottle – 1 fl. oz.


Part of my camp kitchen, I use these vials to take small amounts of soy sauce, olive oil, and other liquids to enhance backpacking food.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

Halo II Headband


For those who sweat as much as I do, this headband keeps the sweat out of your eyes while hiking.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

REI Backpacker Pillow
REI Backpacker Pillow

The shape of this pillow fits inside a sleeping bag hood, and with a mix of poly and down fill, it’s super comfy. Weighs 6 oz.

Purchase: REI

Sawyer Permethrin
Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent

This summer, I backpacked to many mosquito-filled alpine areas, but I sprayed my clothes with Sawyer’s Permethrin insect repellent and didn’t get bit.

Purchase: REI / Amazon

I Heart Oregon (& Washington) hiking book
Hiking book: I Heart Oregon (& Washington): 25 of the Portland Area’s Best Hikes

Designed by yours truly, this highly visual full-color book includes 400+ photos and customized maps displayed throughout.

Purchase: Autographed copyAmazon

I Heart Oregon's Seven Wonders
Hiking book: I Heart Oregon’s Seven Wonders

My second hiking book, this highly visual full-color book focuses on hikes in each of Oregon’s Seven Wonders.

Purchase: Autographed copyAmazon

Normally priced over $25, these items are currently on sale.

Camelbak Antidote 3L
CamelBak Antidote Reservoir – 3 Liters
Normally $35.00, currently on sale at REI for $24.93

Stay hydrated on the trail with this easy-to-fill reservoir, and use it to store water at camp.

Purchase: REI

Anker Astro Battery Backup
Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Portable Charger
Normally $49.99, currently on sale for $15.99

I use this portable charger to recharge my iPhone 6 and DeLorme InReach SE. Includes a mini-USB cord. iPhone cord not included.

Purchase: Amazon

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission if a purchase is made. This does not change the price of the item. Regardless, the items listed here are owned by me and purchased with my own funds. All reviews are unbiased and not paid for by any company. Thank you for supporting this blog!

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