2020 Update: Stocking fillers for the adventurer in your life - gift ideas for hikers this Christmas
Updated: Nov 12
First written for 2019, we have updated this guide for 2020 by adding some new finds we've enjoyed this year, some cheap and cheerful options, and - because we are all restricted to shopping largely from home in the run up to this Xmas - links to where you can buy each and every item online!
If you are in need of ideas for a loved one who hikes, Christmas shopping for a mountain-loving relative, searching for stocking fillers for an outdoorsy significant other or even looking for a Secret Santa gift for that colleague who turns up to work in hiking boots with a rucksack in place of a briefcase, then despair no more - AJ Spain is here to help!
From favourite gear we've used and tested, to gifts we're hoping Santa Claus might leave in our stockings, here's some great gift ideas for hikers, in no particular order.
Nikwax - as boring as a waterproofer might seem, this is super useful to anyone who spends time outdoors, in the elements. TX Direct Spray-On is our go-to product for restoring and reviving the DWR treatment on our shell layers and couldn't be easier to apply. We're also fans of their Tech Wash, Polar Proof and footwear cleaning and proofing products. Unlike other waterproofers, Nikwax is water based and PFC free and the company is actively environmentally conscious.
We'd be delighted to find any Nikwax product under our Christmas tree!
Shower in a Can - if you haven't yet read our review, take a moment to have a look. This innovative product is designed to give you an all-over body wash without water. Great eco credentials and vegan society approved. Also hand luggage sized.
We used it both wild camping and in our daily jobs and were impressed with the clean, fresh feeling it gave us in situations where washing or showering just wasn't an option. The full review is on our blog.
Summit to Eat - we love the pun of this product's name and really enjoyed their Vegetable Chipotle Chilli with Rice on our GR20 weekend training trip. (Check the blog to find out more about our GR20 challenge).
These meals are lightweight, easy to prepare, create minimal clean up and are designed to be nutritious and filling after a long day of hiking.
Buy it from our official expedition partners at Base Camp Foods, along with any other of their huge range of food, eating, cooking and other backpacking gear, and benefit from an exclusive 10% discount for our readers. Use code AJSPAIN10 at checkout.
Wacaco Minipresso - why let the camper in your life go without their luxuries? We know we love a good cup of coffee in the morning and being out in the wilderness or on a mountainside should be no exception. We've been using the Minipresso for nearly over 3 years, having received it for Christmas ourselves, and it's still a favourite ever gift. Read our full review for more.
The newer, smaller, lighter, Nanopresso is also available, along with a host of other devices and accessories.
Deuce of Spades - everyone who has spent time in nature has had to answer a call of nature. Very literally. Leave No Trace is a central part of our attitude towards how we treat the outdoors here at Adventurous Journeys Spain and so, when we need to, ahem, attend to business, we dig a cat hole. Hiking poles, boots, tent pegs, sticks and rocks are all rubbish at digging. We know, we tried.
This ultralight trowel makes short work of digging a small hole (or a large one!). It weighs in at a near non-existent 17g in our preferred #2 size, which we consider the best combination of robust and lightweight. It can even be used as an extra tent peg or snow anchor. Tip: choose a very bright colour to make it easy to find in a hurry!
Spork - there are many versions of this ubiquitous camping utensil but we really like the Sea to Summit Delta Spork (in blue but orange also available) which we received as a gift. It's superlight but also durable, unlike many of the no-brand alternatives. Three tools in one; a spoon, fork and knife; it simplifies eating and this one is the perfect size for reaching the bottom of of ration packs. As a bonus, it's cheap as chips if you buy it here.
Sit mat - keeping warm and dry is vital when hiking and camping. And sitting on rocks and logs does neither and isn't comfortable. Whether stopping for a breather and a cuppa or sitting down to enjoy a summit view or picnic, this will be a welcome Christmas gift addition to any walker or rambler's day bag.
Be warned - not all sit mats are equal. There are cheap versions available and there are also more cushioned self-inflating designs but we favour the simplicity and efficiency of a silver coated egg-crate foam design. We believe the Thermarest Z Seat (pictured) is the king of all sit mats (though stock is increasingly difficult to get in Europe). For an item that's the best in its field, it won't break the bank and, bonus, it certainly helps fill a stocking!
Update: recently Decathlon have made their own copy-cat version which we find just as good, for even less! It's so cheap we even took the scissors to ours to size it to our own, um, needs and so save a few precious grams of trail weight!
Thermarest currently out of stock on Amazon.co.uk - Buy here on Amazon.es (Spain)
Hiking Socks - usually socks are as boring a present as a monogrammed handkerchief but not good quality hiking socks. To anyone who regularly walks the hills, footcare and comfort are essential. Without warm, dry, comfortable feet we have no mode of transport.
Quality rarely comes cheap, however. It might seem that £30-60 is a lot to spend on one pair of socks, and it is, but with keen hikers spending hundreds on boots, it isn't really logical to skimp on cheap socks.
Besides, the socks Santa left under our trees last year are not just any old socks. Lorpen are a renowned brand and their Polartec T3+ Expedition range are designed for extreme warmth, durability and high-wicking, fast-drying technology. Believe us, if you are caught on a cold, wet mountainside for any length of time you will happily pay twice what these cost to keep your feet warm and dry!
This is another Sea to Summit Delta product that we hope Santa might bring us - this time from the Delta Light range. We love this mug for it's surprising insulating qualities, considering it is super lightweight and not at all expensive. We carry one each on every overnight adventure. Also available in grey for those seeking discretion.
Backpacking stove - this was a recent upgrade to our lightweight camping kit. Cannister stoves are ubiquitous and come in a whole range of types, styles and options.
We chose the more recent MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe which is a power house of a stove, with built in Piezo ignition and pressure regulator for only 99grams.
It isn't the cheapest option out there, however, but don't worry if your Christmas present buying budget won't stretch. The well regarded and widely admired MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is on offer from our official expedition partners Base Camp Food.
If you missed the deal, don't worry - all our readers can still get an extra 10% off by using our exclusive code AJSPAIN10 at checkout. Either stove can also be bought as part of a kit with or entire cooking system.
Gas Canister Recycling Tool - all those gas canisters aren't disposable, they are recyclable. Help your hiking loved one look after the environment they enjoy camping in. This tool from Jetboil works with any screw thread canister (industry standard EN417), like the above stove. By puncturing the empty canisters it makes them safe to recycle as you would food cans. A cheap but well appreciated gift, available at an even better price for out readers using the exclusive code AJSPAIN10 at checkout on the Base Camp Food website.
Please check local legislation for correct recycling procedures.
Guidebooks - give the gift of information and inspiration. Whenever we can't get outdoors we love to spend time reading about, researching and planning new routes and new places to visit.
We love Cicerone guide books, which cover the UK and across the world. We first got to know new routes in our local areas from them and will be using them for our GR20 challenge next year. Before setting off to any new adventure, in any new destination, we check the Cicerone guide.
Hopefully you've found something here that inspires you with new ideas for your hiking friends and camping family this Christmas. Let us know in the comments if you found stocking filler inspiration here, or even if you've a suggestion to add to our list.
Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas from the team at Adventurous Journeys Spain!
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