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10 Gifts for the Backpacker Who Has Everything

Two people backpacking in some foothills.
Ian Slack

Figuring out what to gift backpackers, campers, and hikers is hard when they have pretty much everything already. If you’re struggling, one of these 10 ideas is sure to please!

TOAKS Titanium Double Wall Cup

Two TOAKS Titanium Double Wall Cups.

Camping in chilly weather means coffee and other warm beverages cool down quickly—especially in lightweight backpacking cups made of thin metal or plastic.

TOAKS solves this with its Titanium Double Wall Cup, which features two layers of titanium with an air pocket between to insulate just like a thermos. It weighs just 4.7 ounces, so it’s still ultralight and durable.

Keeps Drinks Warm

TOAKS Titanium 450ml Double Wall Cup

The TOAKS Titanium Double Wall Cup features two layers of ultralight metal with an air pocket between, which acts like a thermos.

Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair

Helinox Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair

Yes, when you’re “roughing it,” you’re expected to sit on whatever you can find—like a fallen log—but camp seats like the Helinox Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair weigh very little and pack down small.

It’s very comfortable despite its tiny size, and your friend or loved one won’t have to suffer “wet butt” from sitting on a log or rock.

Fireside Comfort

Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair, Black

The Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair packs down so small, your friend won't resent having it in his pack. He'll also love the luxury after a long day on the trail.

Garmin inReach Explorer+

The Garmin inReach Explorer+

Hikers and backpackers can quickly go “off the grid” in areas where there’s no cell phone signal, let alone any data—especially in the mountains. If no one can even send a text message for help, it can be life-threatening in an emergency.

Garmin’s inReach Explorer series uses satellite communication, which enables someone to send an interactive SOS to rescuers and receive text messages and emails. It does require a data subscription, but there are many options to choose from depending on budget and how often the device will be used.

The inReach Explorer+ also features GPS navigation, downloadable maps, and a built-in digital compass. Your recipient can even let friends and family track her position, so they always know where she is.

Stay Connected

Garmin 010-01735-10 inReach Explorer+, Handheld Satellite Communicator with Topo Maps and GPS Navigation

The Garmin inReach Explorer+ uses satellite communication to send an SOS if someone gets in trouble. It also sends and receives text messages and emails, and has GPS navigation, downloadable maps, and a built-in compass. The live tracking keeps people back home informed about where their loved one is.

Anker Astro E1 Candy-Bar Sized Ultra Compact Portable Charger

The Anker Astro E1 Ultra Compact Portable Charger

Backup batteries to keep cell phones charged have been around for a while, but the Anker Astro E1 packs a lot of power in a small package, which makes it perfect for backpackers. It’s not the lightest charger available (still, it only weighs 4-1/2 ounces), and it doesn’t have all the features of some of the larger models, but it’s the size and shape of a candy bar.

It takes about 5-1/2 hours to recharge the Anker Astro E1, and it will charge most smartphones twice.

Stay Charged

Anker [Upgraded to 6700mAh] Astro E1 Candy-Bar Sized Ultra Compact Portable Charger, External Battery Power Bank, with High-Speed Charging PowerIQ Technology

The Anker Astro E1 is the size of a candy bar and only weighs 4-1/2 ounces. It will give your recipient two smartphone charges on his next backpacking trip.

Platypus GravityWorks Complete Water Filter Kit

The Platypus GravityWorks Complete Water Filter Kit.

Water is one of the heaviest things a backpacker has to carry, so they’re always looking for opportunities to take advantage of natural sources. This is dangerous, though, because the bacteria and protozoa make people sick.

That’s where the Platypus GravityWorks comes in! Water is placed in the “dirty” bladder, hooked up to the filter, and then gravity does the rest. In just 10 minutes, the water is clean and ready to drink.

Clean Water

Platypus GravityWorks Group Camping Water Filter System, 2-Liter

The Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter Kit uses gravity and an in-line filter to process dirty water.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress.

When it comes to their gear, backpackers have to choose between weight and comfort. They can’t drag mattresses with them, but they don’t want to wake up with back pain, either.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm is a great compromise! It packs down small and weighs only 15 ounces, but blows up into a very comfortable mattress in about two minutes.

It’s also great for cold weather camping because it uses reflective ThermaCapture technology to trap radiant heat and not circulate cold air.

Sleep Sound

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress, Standard Valve, Regular - 20 x 72 Inches

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight blows up into a thick, comfortable mattress in about two minutes. It packs down to the size of a one-liter water bottle and only weighs 15 ounces.

Fenix HL12R USB Rechargeable Headlamp

The Fenix HL12R USB Rechargeable Headlamp.

LED and battery technology are getting better all the time, and there’s no better example of this than the Fenix HL12R Headlamp. Weighing just two-and-a-half ounces and a little over two inches wide, this little light is very comfortable to wear.

The Fenix puts out 130 lumens on “high” with an eight-hour runtime. It also has a 400-lumen “burst” mode, but that automatically dims to keep the unit from overheating. The built-in 1,000 mAh Li-polymer battery has a four-light indicator on the front that displays how much charge is left.

It also has a red-light mode for situations in which only a bit of light is necessary, and it will run in that mode for a whopping 66 hours.

Light Up the Night

Fenix HL12R 400 Lumen Neutral White + Red LED Compact USB Rechargeable Headlamp and LumenTac Cable Organizer (Grey)

The Fenix HL12R 400 Lumen LED Compact USB Rechargeable Headlamp weighs just two-and-a-half ounces, is a little over two inches wide, and puts out a lot of lumens with a long runtime.

ViGrace Winter Touchscreen Gloves

A pair of black ViGrace Winter Touchscreen Gloves.

What do you do when you need to keep your hands warm while you use your smartphone? You wear ViGrace Winter Touchscreen Gloves, of course! The conductive material on the thumb, and fore- and middle fingers work on touch screen devices.

The stretchy knit design with a fleece lining fits snuggly. They’re even coated across the palm with a silicon pattern that keeps the phone from sliding out of your hand.

Stay Warm While Using a Smartphone

Sven 15-Inch Folding Camp Saw

Sven Folding Camp Saw 15 Inch

Gathering and breaking down wood on a backpacking trip is quite a challenge without tools! Hatchets are common, but they’re quite heavy.

This 12-ounce Folding Camp Saw will make a wonderful—and more efficient—addition to your friend’s backpack. It folds down when it’s not in use so the blade won’t damage anything else in the pack.

A Cut Above

Sven Saw 15"

The Sven Folding Camp Saw is triangular and comes in three pieces that pack down into the handle. At just 12 ounces, it's a lot lighter than a hatchet and more effective for cutting wood.

MSR Windburner Duo Stove System

The MSR Windburner Duo Stove System.

The MSR Windburner Duo Stove System features fins welded to the bottom of the 1.8-liter pot that fits into a radiant burner. It supplies maximum heat transfer and keeps the wind out.

Not only does this stove boil water in a fraction of the usual time, but it helps conserve fuel on longer trips. The stove folds up and can be packed inside the pot, along with an eight-ounce fuel canister. It even includes a BPA-free drinking/straining lid and an integrated bowl.

You can also purchase a kit that turns the pot into a coffee press.

Fast Boil

MSR WindBurner Duo Windproof Camping and Backpacking Stove System

The integrated MSR Windburner Duo Stove System is a cut above the standard camping stove. The ingenious fins on the bottom keep out the wind, and it boils water in under five minutes.

Ian Slack Ian Slack
Ian worked as the head mechanic at one of the Southeast's largest bike shops and keeps up with all the latest technical innovations. An avid outdoors person, he likes to backpack and camp and is a total gear junkie. Read Full Bio »