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Backpacker’s Holiday Shopping Guide

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide

I love the holidays! I love buying gifts for people and surprising them with just what they want. Here is a my backpackers holiday shopping guide with 15 gift ideas for that backpacker in your life (or yourself, I won’t tell!) that fits every budget.

1. Food

Average cost $12

Freeze-dried and dehydrated meals don’t have to taste badly! Good-to-Go meals are the bomb! I actually eat them in the comfort of my home in addition to the backcountry. One year, my brother bought me a whole bunch for Christmas and it was one of my best gifts. Also they last for a long time, so they can be the gift that gives all year.

Some great flavors include Thai Curry, Pad Thai, Herb Mushroom Risotto, Classic Marinara with Pasta, Mexican Quinoa Bowl, and Chicken Gumbo.

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide
These dehydrated meals are so yummy!

2. Stuff Sacks, Compression Sacks

Average cost $20-$30

One thing that every backpacker needs is a way to store and their stuff. Bonus points if they can minimize the space their stuff takes up in their packs. Sea-to-Summit makes some great dry bags and compression sacks.

Dry Sack Sea-to-Summit and Compression Sack Sea-to-Summit

3. Eating dishes

Average cost $30

Most freeze-dried or dehydrated meals come in two-person servings. This saves weight and space. But in splitting that food between you and your hiking partner, you are going to need dishes to eat out of. I love these Sea-to-Summit dishes. They are light weight, compact, and durable.

Cookset Sea-to-Summit

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide
Sea-to-Summit cook wear is light weight, durable, and great for backpackers.

4. Backpacking Pillow

Average cost $35

I have a compressible pillow for backpacking. But the problem with it is two things: 1. It’s bulking; and 2. It’s compresses when I sleep on it. Not really ideal. I had my doubts about an inflatable pillow, but I was sold after receiving it a gift from my best friend. You can fine-tune it, it’s super light, and it packs down really small.

Inflatable pillow Sea to Summit

5. Electronics Charger

Average cost $50

Full disclosure, I was provided a sample OUTXE in order to review. However, all thoughts and opinions I formed where my own. You can read more about what I thought here. But long story short, I really like this charger. And it’s a great gift for backpackers. My dad actually bought me one (another type) for Christmas and I thought it was a very thoughtful gift! The OUTXE is waterproof and dust proof–so bonus for outdoor enthusiast.

Charger OUTXE

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide
The OUTXE keeps all my devices charged and is weather proof!

6. Stoves

Average cost $60-$99

Lightweight stoves are an important part of backpacking. Believe me, I had mine mistakenly get taken out of a bear box once by someone else, never to be seen again. I was looking at cold oatmeal for the next two days. Fortunately, we were able to borrow one to boil water to re-hydrate our food. I have an Optimus and a Jetboil and both are great pieces of gear.

Stove Optimus Average $60 and Jetboil Average $99

7. Camera Clip

Average cost $70

If you are a shutterbug or have a hiking shutterbug family or friend this Peak Design Capture clip should be on your list. It’s secures your camera to your backpack strap so that your hands are free. I love mine because with it I can use my trekking poles, hold my dog’s leash, or catch myself if I fall.

Capture Clip Peak Designs

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide
The Capture Clip frees up my hands!

8. Hammock

Average cost $70

Many backpackers forgo the tent and are turning to hammocks because they are lighter weight and more comfortable. But they also make for a great way to relax around the campsite, whether in the backcountry or car camping.

Hammock Eno

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide
Even the cat likes a ENO Hammock!

9. Water Filter

Average cost $80

I used to not carry a water filer but only use purification tablets. But once I went backpacking with my brother and he had one. I loved how easy it was to get water. After that trip, I bought my own water filter. I like the Katadyn Hiker Pro because it can be cleaned in the field.

Water Filter Katadyn Hiker Pro

10. Sleeping Pad

Average cost $90

Sleeping pads not only make the ground a little more comfy, but they are also very important to keep you warm in cooler weather. Therm-a-Rest makes them lightweight and compact, perfect backpacking.

Insulate sleeping pad Therma-a-Rest

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide
My Therm-a-Rest kept me comfy even on the bathroom floor in inclimate weather.

11. eReader

Average cost $150

One of my main luxury items when I backpack is a book! I never thought I’d trade in paper books for an eReader, but carrying around all that paper weighs on a backpacker. When I found out that Kindle has a battery life for weeks, I gave it a try. The main deciding factor for me though, was that I could scrunch down into my sleeping bag and read. And with a back light, I don’t need to use a headlamp.

eReader Kindle Paperwhite

12. Lightweight Backpack

Average cost $180

I was looking for a smaller backpack to cut down on the weight. I chose the Osprey Kyte. It’s only 46 liters but it’s just the right size for my stuff. I like that it’s about two pounds lighter than my other backpack, and I don’t over pack it as much. The Kyte is a woman’s cut and the Kestral is a man’s cut.

Backpack Osprey Kyte and Kestral

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide
The Osprey Kyte is great for lightweight backpacking or a day pack.

13. Tent

Average cost $300

The MSR Hubba Hubba is on the higher end of the price range for backpacking tent, but it is worth the price. Weighing in at under four pounds, it’s pretty light for a two person tent. And it’s roomy enough for two people and a dog.

Tent MSR Hubba Hubba

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide
The MSR Hubba Hubba keeps you dry in the rain.

14. Emergency Beacon/Mapping GPS

Cost $450 + $15 a month

I was very reluctant to buy the Garmin InRead because of the price. But my parents talked me into it because I hike alone often. It not only can track you with GPS, show you where you are on a map, but it also has the ability to send help when need. Fortunately I’ve never had to use the SOS feature. But I do love being able to text my parents when I don’t have cell service. And the comfort knowing if something does happen, I can call for help.

GPS Emergency Garmin InReach

Backpacker's Holiday Shopping Guide
I love my Garmin InReach! It allows me to text loved ones anywhere, even without cell service.

15. Don’t Forget Your Pooch!

Average cost $80

Ruffwear makes some great gear for dogs. I used to use an off brand backpack that I bought at Target. It worked well enough, but never fit my dog well. Last year I bought the Ruffwear Approach and I love the way it fits my dog. It fits snug and stays in it’s place. I also just recently bought the Ruffwear Quinzee Warm, Lightweight Insulated Jacket for Dogs.  It also fits very nicely and keeps my pup warm on cold nights in the backcountry.

Backpack Ruffwear and Warm Coat Ruffwear

Backpackers Holiday Shopping Guide – 15 gift ideas for that backpacker in your life (or yourself, I won't tell!) that fits every budget.
My dog Caddie may not appreciate her backpack, but I appreciate her carrying her own weight.

Note: this post contains affiliate links. Shopping through those links supports Right Kind of Lost, for which I am eternally grateful, at no additional cost to you.

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