Best Stocking Stuffers for Hikers

If you have someone who loves hiking in your life, read on for the best stocking stuffers for hikers!

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Gift giving is always challenging for me. I am firmly on team “useful gifts only”, which often means there are limited surprises in whoever receives gifts from me. I want to know exactly what you want OR I will get you something I know you need. Personally, I hate getting things that I won’t use and will eventually end up as a re-gift.

These would make the cutest stocking stuffers for the Central PA Hiker in your life (Photo Cred: Sisters’ Sunflowers)

It also seems like so many “best stocking stuffer” lists are filled with gifts that are super expensive. Stocking stuffer to me means an item that is small and under $35. Sure a headlamp is a great gift, but that’s an item that a hiker would likely want to pick out for themselves and they are NOT cheap.

My list below only includes items that are $35 or under. If you have a hiker in your life you’d like to get something small but meaningful for, check out my recommendations for best stocking stuffers for hikers!

Best Stocking Stuffers for Hikers

I’ve been hiking for about three years now and I can promise that hikers would love to get any of these gifts (hint, hint, Mom). Read on for some of the best stocking stuffers for hikers!

Socks

Great socks are one of my all time favorite gifts to receive (my childhood self would be so ashamed). Good socks are necessary to keep your feet warm, dry and blister-free. Merino wool regulates temperature well to keep your feet from getting sweaty and it is naturally antimicrobial so it tends to retain smells less than synthetic fabrics. 

There are two brands that most hikers love – Smartwool and Darn Tough. Smartwool is my personal favorite though Darn Tough’s lifetime guarantee is unmatched. Either option in a fun pattern is a great option for the hiker in your life.

SmartWoolREI | Amazon | Backcountry (almost all of my socks are Smartwool and they work really well for me)

Darn ToughREI | Amazon | Backcountry (Darn Tough has a lifetime guarantee on socks, making them a hiker favorite)

If you’re interested in shopping at a brand that has sustainability built into their brand, grab a pair of socks from Keep Nature Wild. For every item they sell, one pound of trash is removed from nature. Check out their adorable socks here!

Snacks

Anytime someone asks me what I want as a gift, I say snacks. Hikers need to eat more on trail because they are burning so many calories while moving. This is especially important in the colder weather. Some hiking snacks can be really expensive and if you’re hiking frequently, that adds up!

Some snacks I love to take on trail: gummi bears, Honey Stinger waffles or chews, Cliff bars, and Fritos chips. Ask the hiker in your life what snacks they like to take on trail and help them stock up!

Honey StingerREI | Backcountry

Cliff BarREI | Backcountry

Camp Meals

Buying those dehydrated meals for a long backpacking trip can really put a dent in your wallet! But it’s so much easier and lighter to toss one of those in your bag than it is to pull something together from a grocery store.

Check out your favorite dehydrated camp meals from REI, Amazon, or Backcountry! (My personal favorite is the Backpacker Pantry Pad Thai!)

Books about Hiking

If the hiker in your life is also a book lover, get them a book about their favorite subject – hiking! There are tons of great books available around hiking. Whether it’s a hiking guide or the memoir of someone who hiked a long trail, reading about hiking is ALMOST as good as experiencing it yourself. Almost.

Check out my recommendations for best hiking books and my details reviews here! My personal favorite is Mud, Rocks, and Blazes by Heather Anish Anderson and it’s her memoir about setting the Fastest Known Time (or FKT) on the Appalachian Trail.

Reusable Snack Bag

Like I mentioned above, hikers are ALWAYS hungry. But sometimes our favorite snacks are tough to transport on trail. I’ve gotten to a scenic vista ready to eat my picnic lunch only to realize my chips have shifted in my bag and gotten totally crushed. I obviously eat them anyway, but that’s not ideal.

These silicone Stasher bags are great for transporting all different types of snacks. I like using them for both hiking and car camping. If you pre-prep your car camping meals at home, these bags are a great way to keep ingredients separate prior to cooking. And they are more environmentally friendly than a normal Ziploc bag. It’s win-win!

Looking to get something more than a stocking stuffer for the hiker in your life? Check out my list of Top Ten Day Hiking Essentials!

Electrolytes

Hydration is key when hiking and that means more than just water. I would never have made it through some of my harder hikes this year without a significant boost from an electrolyte mix.

I’ve been using Nuun for a LONG time. The compact tube makes it super easy to leave in your hiking bag so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it. Unlike some of the high sugar electrolyte formulas, Nuuns are easy to clean out of water bottles and don’t leave a horrible aftertaste. Nuun Sport got me to the top of the highest peak in the UK!

I also really like LiquidIV (great for staying hydrated) and LMNT (great for hot days because of the high salt content). I would absolutely NOT have survived my Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail thru-hike without either of these.

Is the hiker in your life a backpacker? Check out my comprehensive list of Backpacking Must-Haves!

Lightweight Camping Mug

This lightweight mug from GSI is an awesome addition to any backpacking kitchen and is one of my all time favorite pieces of backpacking gear. It only weighs 3.5 oz and is perfect for your morning coffee before hitting the trail. It’s also easy to clip to the outside of your pack and is easy to clean after.

REI | Amazon

Sticker of Favorite Hiking Area

Have you ever seen a hiker with a water bottle that wasn’t covered in stickers? Me neither! Stickers are a great way to remember the awesome places the hiker in your life have visited.

Pennsylvania stickers! (Photo courtesy of Sisters Sunflowers)

If you’re in Pennsylvania, check out Sisters’ Sunflowers Stickers! These homemade stickers are adorable and hand drawn in Pennsylvania. Amy, the artist, offers a ton of options for your favorite Pennsylvania hike or state park.

First Aid Supplies

Ok, this may seem too useful and lame to add to a stocking but hear me out. I always need bandaids, Neosporin, and moleskin. No matter how careful I am, I’m generally pretty clumsy and always have sort of scrape to disinfect and patch up.

Keeping feet blister free is vital for a successful hiking season. One bad blister can grind your plans to a halt. Moleskin is key to keeping feet in action and it’s not cheap. And you’ll get bonus points for getting the good stuff – Dr. Scholls!

Long Handled Spork

I don’t care if the hiker in your life already has one. They probably don’t know where it is and will spend way too much time before their next camping trip searching for it. A long handled spork is a MUST for eating dehydrated meals – otherwise you end up getting your (pretty grubby, even if you washed them) fingers in your food!

Shop at REI | Amazon | Backcountry

Lightweight Flask

Nothing makes an overnight hiking or camping trip a party like some hot toddies. This lightweight flask from GSI is super easy to take on any trip. Just add a splash of bourbon to some lemon ginger tea and you’ll sleep cozily through the night. We bought this when we couldn’t find any of our existing flasks before a trip (I swear we have like four) and it was a great purchase!

Additional Suggestions for Hiking Stocking Stuffers

While some of the above stocking stuffers are my favorites, I’ve listed out some other items that hikers might love!

What would you add to my list of best stocking stuffers for hikers? Which item is yout favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

Updated November 23, 2023

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