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  • Writer's pictureLuna DeLamer

ULTIMATE TOP 55+ BEST GIFTS FOR BACKPACKERS 2024 [ALL BUDGETS]


Man looks out over mountain with lake in full backpacking gear and hiking boots.

Ranging from $0 to $449.95, Pathloom is bringing you the Ultimate Gift Guide to help you find the perfect gift for the explorer in your life!


It’s that special time of year again when you frantically Google ‘best gifts for backpackers’ and comb through dozens of pages searching for something other than socks. The pages all blend into one, and suddenly you’re a ball of anxiety with a big ol’ bow and tinsel on top.

Take a breath, we’ve got you.


So! What do you get someone who spends their free time with no wifi, in a tent, up a mountain, with only a shovel as a bathroom?


Probably not a VR set - if you get me.


Regardless of your price range, we’ve compiled a list of gifts from stocking stuffers to totally-blow-the-budget. Read on and let us know in the comments what’s on your list this year.


 

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Table of Contents


Collage of images depicting the items described below.

Gifts Under $25

Rainy days are sorted with this lovely reminder of their adventures of the past, and those to come.


You can only play ‘I Spy’ in a forest for so long before you begin to lose touch with reality. Gift your adventurer a fun deck of cards to pass the time while camping out.


Perfectly ground and precisely measured coffee spares them from intricate brewing procedures. Their only task involves tearing open the packet, securing it to their mug, and pouring hot water—resulting in a quick and effortless preparation of coffee.


A beautifully illustrated and factual book that covers everything from plants, animals, and our country’s coolest geological features.


Light up the dark with this must-have gift. The Black Diamond Astro 300 not only has a brightness memory feature that removes the endless soul-destroying pattern of clicking through multiple cycles to find the right brightness setting, but it also has a digital lockout feature that prevents it from being turned on when stored. Nifty right?


Are you unsure which headlamp to get? Choosing a suitable headlamp for your adventures can be somewhat of a challenge. Check out this blog post where we highlight some of the most important features to look for when shopping for a headlamp.


Treat your backpackers inner artist with this fun paint by number kit, where at the stroke of a brush they will find themselves immersed in five of the National Parks (Arches, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Glacier). Not only is this a visual masterpiece, but the accompanying booklet also includes fun facts about each park. Did you know that the Grand Canyon National Park's most dangerous animal is the rock squirrel, who each year bites dozens of visitors attempting to feed it? We’re suddenly seeing Scrat from the Ice Age movies in a totally new light!


Do you have a friend who seems like they are destined to be a Park Ranger? Are they always the one who plans every adventure and insists on navigating only by compass? This 9oz. environmentally conscious homage to the wilderness is ideal for the nature enthusiast in your life.


Bucket list inspiration doesn’t get much better than this (well except the push pin map in the $25-$50 section below). Frame this interactive poster and watch their excitement grow with each adventure checked off the list.


✨AUTHORS PICK✨

Are you ready to win the holidays? Like, seriously win the award for best present ever? Nothing ruins a trip more than those pesky flying hypodermic needles slowly draining your lifeforce, and patience, with every passing second. The Thermacell MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller is a miracle worker - whether they are traversing trails or setting up camp for the night, this beauty will keep mosquitoes away.


A collage of images depicting the gifts listed below.

Gifts $25 - $50

Okay, we lied - but only a little bit. Of course, socks would end up on this list but let me tell you, these aren’t just any socks– these are Darn Tough Socks. Not only are they the most durable socks our team has ever tested, but they have a lifetime guarantee.


This gift is such a power move, cheesy jokes aside this compact charger that is smaller than a deck of cards and as light as a baseball packs serious charging capabilities. This charger proves that small can be powerful.


Bring the forest to them this holiday season with a Terrarium kit that they can build to look like their favorite woodsy nook.


SmartWool Merino Wool Underwear - For Him $35 / For Her $34

These are not your average undies! SmartWool uses merino wool technology to combat sweat, increase breathability, and combat odors.


Transport them back to their favorite park with this delicious smelling gift. Parks Project expertly blends fragrances that are GMO-free with 100% natural soy, giving you an impressive 80-hour burn time. 


Memories to last a lifetime- this trendy journal will help them keep track of their most impressive adventures.


Do they have a favorite park or campsite? Engrave this stunning cuff bracelet with the coordinates of their special place and watch the memories flood back every time they wear this.


But first, coffee! Don’t let the compact nature of this coffee press fool you– it is a pure caffeinated wonder. I never leave for a backpacking adventure without this magical go-bean juice maker.


No coffee table is complete without this stunning book. From Dry Tortugas' sun-drenched shores to Denali's snow-clad summits, this captivating atlas weaves together authoritative maps, graphics, and photos, unfolding the stories of sixty-one of America's most cherished parks. Jonathan Waterman, a seasoned ranger and accomplished author, guides readers through scenic reserves, highlighting each park's exceptional features.


This gorgeous National Park push-pin map is a vibe. This tasteful wall hanging will seamlessly adapt to any room, while reminding your backpacker of all of the incredible adventures they’ve been on.


Myer Mill not only creates stunning conversational pieces, but these 3D topographic maps are sure to remind your favorite backpacker of the times they’ve spent on those trails.


After hiking all day, nothing is more important than getting a good night's sleep. And it all starts with being comfortable. The Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow is incredibly comfortable thanks to its multi-functional valve that allows tailored support. And if that isn’t good enough, it packs down to the size of a grapefruit and only weighs a few ounces!


Who doesn’t want a Swiss Army knife? This is the crème de la crème of multi-tools with an outstanding 15 functions including a wood saw.


Does a backpacker 💩 in the woods? Yes. Yes, they do. And with the PACT Outdoor Bathroom kit, they can 💩 with dignity and good conscience knowing that they aren’t disturbing nature while they answer nature's call. This impressive kit comes with an ultra-durable tri-fold case that holds a lightweight ergonomic shovel, PACT Tabs (they break down 💩), PACT Wipes, organic hand sanitizer, and a nifty storage pouch. I promise this won’t be a 💩 gift.


Collage of images depicting the items described below.

Gifts $50 - $100

Bring a part of their favorite National Park home with this creative National Park Botanical Kit. Each kit includes everything they will need to begin growing their little piece of their chosen National Park.


Give the gift of constant support and comfort with the breathable and fashionable bra. This beauty is cut to their contours while keeping everything firmly in place. This is made with TENCEL™ Lyocell which not only allows for faster drying times, but it also is cooling while remaining soft to the touch.


Are they a total klutz who is already on their second screen replacement this year? Perhaps it is time to invest in arguably the best phone case on the market. Otterbox phone cases can be totally customized to their needs while keeping their all important gadgets safe from gravity.


Patagonia Capilene® Cool Merino Tops - Women’s $59 / Men's $69

Make backpack sweat patches a thing of the past with this stylish Merino technical top. As if regulating body temperature isn’t enough, this top also helps to control odor, keeping the wearer fresh for those long backcountry treks. Because let’s be honest, we are all guilty of seeing how many uses we can get out of a top on one trip!


Perfect for long treks where their devices will need multiple charges, this portable solar panel boasts 3 upgraded USB (Type A) ports, allowing for multiple devices to charge at once. Foldable and compact, this powerful solar panel won’t take up precious space in their pack.


Perfect for the photography lover, this versatile clip secures their camera directly onto their backpack, diminishing the need to carry their case which inevitably gets in the way. This handy camera clip inserts into the tripod mount of their camera and holds it firmly in place while keeping their hands free.


IT HAS POCKETS. Not just any pockets, our team has hiked mountains with their oversized phones in these pockets and they have not failed. Hands down, these are the best leggings our team has tried so far. These uber comfortable, high waist leggings feature a 4-way stretch, keeping the wearer flexible while scrambling up hillsides. Totally breathable, they can be worn all year round. Made from 79% recycled plastic bottles (RPET) and 21% spandex, this sustainable gem wins every single time.


Where style meets function, these highly rated hiking pants are exceptionally lightweight without compromising on durability. These pants are wind and water resistant, while maintaining exceptional breathability. The internal drawcord waist ensures a perfect fit while the drawcord leg hem keeps them snug. It too has lots of pockets with zips, ensuring your gear is safe on all your adventures.


This all-access pass grants entrance to all sites managed by the National Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation for 1 whole year. With 422 national parks and historical sites, as well as nearly 1,500 federal recreation areas to explore, the possibilities for adventure are limitless.


Keep the bears at bay with this handy food container. Designed to be wide, round, and slippery, this canister keeps the bears out and their food safe. It is also worth noting that this has approval from both the Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.



Spend it All in One Place

Save valuable space and weight in their pack by swapping their books for a lightweight Kindle. Unlike a book, the Kindle offers both a light and dark mode, assisting with late night reading- no headlamp required.


Don’t let them get weighed down with bulky, heavy cooking systems. The Jetboil Stash is revolutionary, an 8L wonder boasting a rapid 2.5 minute boil time that weighs less than half a pound! A backpacker essential, this item features a nesting design facilitated by the pot's collapsible handle.


Exped Megamat 12 Lite $229

A great night's sleep can make or break a backpacking trip. Luckily, with the Megamat 12 Lite, they’ll be sleeping safe and sound on one of the world’s most comfortable sleep mats. Not only is this mat incredibly warm (rated to -4°F), but it also has incredibly soft and quiet fabric.


Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket - Men’s $239 / Women’s $239

Constructed of incredibly lightweight and highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco 100% postconsumer recycled polyester with P.U.R.E.™ (Produced Using Reduced Emissions) technology, this incredibly warm, windproof, and water resistant jacket packs down to an impressively small size.


Prioritizing comfort and airflow, the Atmos AG 65 is the go-to choice for backpacks. Its AntiGravity suspension ensures an amazing fit, seamlessly wrapping around their back and hips in 3D-suspended mesh, making them forget the load they're carrying. With user-friendly features like stretch mesh side pockets, an internal reservoir sleeve for extra hydration, Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment, and an integrated rain cover, the Atmos AG 65 stands out as a top-tier backpacking pack. Crafted with recycled main, accent, and bottom fabrics, it sets the standard for the industry.


It is no wonder that this incredible pack is a bestseller. Specifically designed for the female form, this versatile pack can conquer all challenges. Featuring a custom Fit-On-The-Fly Hipbelt and Shoulder Strap, it enables total customization for optimal comfort. The close-to-body carry stabilizes the load, especially on technical trails. For versatility, the detachable top lid transforms into a daypack for exploring outside of basecamp. Crafted with top-notch bluesign®-approved high-tenacity nylon and PFC-free DWR, it prioritizes both quality and environmental responsibility.


Do they spend most of their time in the backcountry miles away from civilization and phone signal? Then this is the perfect gift for them. This handy device is connected to global satellite coverage, ensuring they’re connected even when there is no cellphone signal. With the two-way messaging feature, you’ll be with them every step of the way. With location sharing and SOS alerts, help will be on the way at the click of a button. And as if that isn’t impressive enough, the inReach Mini2 features TracBack® routing, helping to retrace steps if they get lost along the way.


There is a reason this tent has won so many awards. It is ultra lightweight while boasting some ‘can’t-live-without’ features, such as speedy setup and tons of storage pockets. The door can also be transformed into an awning giving way to beautiful views from the sanctuary of their bed. Overall I think they’ll find camping in this is in-tents-ly comfortable.


Collage of images depicting the items described below.

Stocking Stuffers

This truly is the gift that keeps on giving! REI holds courses on everything from outdoor survival skills to virtual ‘Leave No Trace’ courses. The prices can range from totally free all the way up to $429, accommodating all budgets.


Backpacking Meals From $3.50

Perfect for the hangry backpacker, these easy and quick meals not only offer nutrition in a jiffy, but are healthy too. With a wide variety of choices, these meals make a perfect stocking stuffer.


Sunscreen lip balm is a savior on backpacking adventures - nothing is worse than blisters from sunburnt lips! Protect their lips with this incredible fragrance free zinc-based wonder. Even more impressive is that this miracle worker not only boasts cruelty-free credentials and a host of other benefits but is also compliant with Hawaii Act 104 Reef regulations. This ensures that the product has no adverse effects on coral reefs and marine life.


A must have for every backpacker– this strong, waterproof tape instantly repairs tents, jackets, hiking pants and more, leaving the item machine washable after 24 hours.


Recycling empty isobutane fuel canisters has never been easier- this handy tool punctures the canisters easily enabling simple recycling.


Romantic backpacking weekend away? A bottle just because? Never fear, the Platypus Portable Wine Bottle stores a whole bottle of wine without compromising the flavor. This ingenious pouch is durable and entirely leak-free, leaving you free to toast the sunset with your favorite vino.


It’s as if I asked a genie to make a natural sunscreen that doesn’t harm the planet while being totally reef safe and providing the protection that I need. This stuff actually works! Protect their skin and the planet with this incredible sunscreen.


Ladies know what I am talking about. Nothing is worse than that little jiggle after being caught without toilet paper. That’s where the Kula Cloth comes to the rescue! This ingenious wee cloth absorbs 10x its weight in water with a durable and waterproof 'clean' side so your hand doesn't get wet. It’s made from eco-friendly natural materials and features a ‘double snap' that allows the cloth to hang from the backpack while folded in half. As if that isn’t awesome enough, hands down my favorite feature is the retro-reflective thread detail for locating it at night with a headlamp - no more stumbling in the darkness when nature calls!


A REI gift card is the ultimate stocking stuffer for backpacking enthusiasts. You really cannot go wrong with this versatile gift, as it offers the perfect opportunity for them to gear up with top-quality equipment, ranging from innovative gadgets to durable outdoor apparel. This ensures they'll be well-equipped and ready for their next adventure in the great outdoors.


Upgrade their outdoor cutlery with the Sea to Summit spoon, fork and knife set. Constructed from hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, this sleek and lightweight essential will complete their backpacking kit.


This is a literal lifesaver. Super compact at just 5.1 inches, this portable device effectively removes bacteria, parasites, microplastics, silt, sand, and cloudiness from drinking water. With standard 28mm threading, it easily screws onto most common water bottles. The one-handed flip cap ensures convenient on-the-go filtration, allowing them to fill up a 1L bottle in just 20 seconds. Weighing under 2 ounces and providing 2,000 liters of clean drinking water, it's a must-have for backpackers.


Unsure whether to use tablets, filters or UV purification? Check out our water purification blog to find out which is right for you.


Lather them in luxury this holiday season with French green and antioxidant-rich matcha green tea compact bars. Aside from smelling incredible, these little delights will provide 50-75 washes and are color-safe, vegan & cruelty-free. Weighing only 2 ounces each and at 2 inches in diameter, these bars are ideal for stashing in their backpack without taking up as much space as liquid shampoos and conditioners.


So, there you have it – Pathloom’s Ultimate Backpacker's Gift Guide for 2023! As you dive into this mix of must-have gear and outdoor goodies, I’m crossing my fingers that you stumble upon that perfect gift to make your explorer feel extra special this holiday season.


But if you ask me, it's not just about the stuff. Sometimes, the most incredible presents are the memories we cook up together. Some of the best gifts I have ever received have been experiences with my friends and family. A surprise weekend camping trip or backpacking through the jungle. Those are the memories that stick around, creating a highlight reel of stories I'll be telling until the end of time (and probably blogging about so keep an eye on this space!).


Now, I want to hear from you! Let me know in the comments what’s on your wishlist this year?




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gitenen310
May 09

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