By David Link
As an avid hiker myself, I picked out some gifts that will work great for both the casual and serious hiker in your life. From outdoor tools to accessories that don’t require exact sizing to buy, there’s something here for everyone. Remember, we have access to such a large amount of gear that not everything will appear in stock, but we can still get it shipped to you in roughly the same time. Enjoy the holidays with your friends and family!
Every hiker needs good, lightweight gloves when the trail gets windy or cold. Heavy-duty mittens are obviously overkill and cheap polyester gloves just don’t cut it when you’re in the elements. What a hiker really needs is a glove that functions like nothing is there but provides a decent level of warmth as you move. I’ve picked out the Outdoor Research Longhouse Women’s (Men’s) gloves for the job. These gloves are extremely mobile, and they’re touchscreen compatible should you need to check your phone or snap a photo on the trail. Another nice feature you might not immediately notice is the tapered cut of the glove, which tucks in well bellow your jacket sleeve for maximum warmth. These gloves are a great, affordable idea for hikers that face colder temperatures from time to time.
If you get off the grid in any regard while hiking, you absolutely need a compass / GPS unit. This entry-level Bushnell BackTrack Digital Compass is more affordable than other BackTrack models, but it has everything you need to get home safely should you get turned around. The compass is self-calibrating and it is weather resistant so it won’t die on you when the conditions get rough. You’ll be able to store up to three locations in the device so you can drop a waypoint and get back to it anytime you need. Don’t forget the extra batteries as this device runs on 2 AAAs. You’ll also want to pack a backup pair whenever you hike.
Ok so socks are pretty much the least exciting gift you can give, but a good sock makes all the difference on a long hike. I’ve picked out the DryMax Hiking HD Socks, and since it’s winter, the full over-calf variety is a more season-appropriate choice. These socks help keep your feet dry on long hikes and anti-microbial properties keep your feet smelling fresh. Anti-blister protection and an anti-bunching instep ensure maximum comfort over the long haul. If you’re going to give socks this season, these are the ones to gift.
Any dedicated hiker knows its wise to carry a light on a long hike. If you get lost or severe weather delays your travel, a light can help you cover those final tense miles after the sun sets. Get the hiker in your life an innovative safety measure in the GoMotion LiteBelt. GoMotion devices center the light source in the middle of your body, which leaves your hands free to handle other tasks. Flashlights occupy your hands and can be hard to use when you hike hard terrain. Headlamps free up your hands, but the light follows your field of view. A snap off in the bushes to your side and a turn of your head could result in a rolled ankle when you lose your focus. It’s easy to see why a body-mounted light offers several benefits, and the belt can hold cellphones and other gear as well. Also a great gift for runners and both trail and road.
When weather is a factor while hiking, a pair of gaiters can make all the difference between dry shoes and socks and a soggy, weather-shortened hike. Gaiters are just as valuable in snowshoeing and winter activities as well. The Outdoor Research Flex-Tex II Gaiters are a good choice for all-around gaiters that will fit a variety of situations. These gaiters have a durable BioThane instep strap that allows you to attach the gaiters without removing your boots, and a water resistant, breathable nylon fabric ensures your boots will stay dry even when the conditions are wet and soggy. The OR gaiters won’t interfere with your hiking adventures either as a movement-mirroring stretch performance makes them seem like you’re wearing only your boots. An interesting gift for anyone who enjoys winter or wet spring hikes.
Serious hikers and adventure junkies tend to be weather nerds too because well, when you’re miles from the trail head, a change in weather can have a real impact on your day. Now you can give those outdoor junkies a professional weather tool in the Kestrel NV2400 Weather Meter. This device measures barometric pressure, wind speed, wind chill, and air, water and snow temperature, and this powerful device only weighs 2.3oz. It’s waterproof and has a temperature resistance rated from -22 F to 140 F, which means you can take it basically anywhere, including the top of the highest mountains. This is an interesting gift choice for anyone interested in the science of weather, especially if they want to witness it first hand on the trail.
This last item is a bit higher in price point than the rest, but the value you get is absolutely worth it. Hikers always benefit from a good pair of binoculars in their pack, and the Zeiss Terra ED binoculars might just be the perfect pair for hiking duties. These binoculars are lightweight and compact, we’re talking 18oz. and a 4.9″ x 4.4″ size, but they sacrifice no performance for their size. Schott ED glass with Zeiss MC coatings make for an exceptionally clear image, and the 10x magnification is the best all around middle power that anyone can use. Maybe it ends up being the only gift or a combination birthday gift, but these binoculars truly are worth the price.
Prices and availability on 1800Gear subject to change.