Finding a good gift for a hiking friend or family member can be challenging if you’re not an expert gear hound or you don’t know their gear preferences.
Over the years, I’ve found that buying gift memberships for them in backpacking, hiking, or other outdoor organizations is a great way to recognize their passion and enthusiasm, and can introduce them to new communities or opportunities that they’ve never considered before. In addition, your gift membership helps sustain the stewardship activities of these organizations which benefits us all.
Here is a list of organizations that have broad appeal for and hikers and backpackers. I describe each one briefly and provide links to their home pages and membership forms.This list is by no means exhaustive, so make sure to search for other local hiking and outdoors organization in your area, as well.
- The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics encourages responsible, non-motorized activities with minimal impact on public recreational areas. Give a Leave No Trace Membership.
- The Wilderness Society protects and conserves America’s wilderness and road-less areas, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and national forests. Give a Wilderness Society Membership.
- The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a volunteer-based, private nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of the 2175-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Give an Appalachian Trail Conservancy Membership.
- The Green Mountain Club and its members share a love for hiking and a commitment to preserving and protecting the Long Trail System for future generations. Give a Green Mountain Club Membership.
- The Appalachian Mountain Club is America’s oldest nonprofit conservation and recreation organization, promoting the protection, enjoyment, and wise use of the mountains, rivers, and trails of the Appalachian region. Give an Appalachian Mountain Club Membership.
- The Pacific Crest Trail Association’s mission is to protect,preserve and promote the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as an internationally significant resource for the enjoyment of hikers and equestrians, and for the value that wild and scenic lands provide to all people. Give a Pacific Crest Trail Association Membership.
- The North Country Trail Association is a grassroots organization building a 4,600 mile long hiking trail from New York to North Dakota. Give a North Country Trail Association Membership.
- The Adirondack Mountain Club is a nonprofit membership organization that protects wild lands and waters through a balanced approach of conservation and advocacy. environmental education, and responsible recreation. ADK’s mission is to represent all those who love wild places and to ensure that those places are protected and accessible for generations to come. Give an Adirondack Club Membership.
Written 2008, Revised 2012,2013,2014