Backpacking Gift Guide: 50 Gifts for $50 or Less

Backpacking Gift Guide: 50 for $50 or Less

It can be difficult to pick good backpacking gifts if you’re not an expert backpacker or hiker. That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of great backpacking gifts for $50 or less to help you get your backpacking friends gifts that they’ll appreciate. If you want to spend more, we suggest giving them a gift card so they can pick out the gear they want.

Backpacking Gifts for $50 or less

  1. Optimus Crux Canister Stove: ($50) Powerful but efficient canister stove which folds down and packs into the unused space under a gas canister. Weighs 2.9 oz. Top-rated!
  2. REI Minimalist 2.0 GTX Mittens: ($50) Waterproof, seam-taped rain mitten shells.
  3. Hammock Gear Bottom Entry Bug Net: ($50) Turns any netless (ENO, Kammock, Grand Trunk, etc.) hammock into an insect-proof haven. If you don’t have a structural ridgeline (required) to suspend the netting overhead, which is often the case, add one for just $8 more. 
  4. MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Canister Stove: ($50) Durable and lightweight folding canister stove. Lasts forever.
  5. Outdoor Herbivore Vegan Backpacking Meal Combo: ($50) A complete one-day menu of dried meals and trail mix, perfect for a weekend night on the trail. Consist of 3 meals, 1 snack, and 1 dessert for a total of over 2,800 calories.
  6. Snow Peak Titanium Trek 700 Mug: ($50) Ultralight cook pot that doubles as a bowl and mug.
  7. Zpacks Titanium Flask: ($49) Weighing just 3 oz, it holds 8.8 oz of liquid. Includes a titanium funnel for refills.
  8. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dyneema WP Backpack Shoulder Pocket: ($49) Holds a smartphone, w/ wallet compartment. Waterproof. A backpacker favorite.
  9. Saalt Menstrual Cup Duo Pack: ($47) Reusable medical-grade silicone construction that replaces wasteful tampons and offers up to 12 hours of protection at a time.
  10. Soto Amicus Stove and Cook Set:  ($45) Very powerful and well-made canister stove with a cook set that will hold a fuel canister.
  11. Platypus QuickDraw Water Filter Kit: ($45) High-quality water filter that doesn’t leak when it gets wet and is fast and simple to use.
  12. Toaks Titanium 900ml Cookpot: ($45) Pure titanium construction resists corrosion, withstands high temperatures, and eliminates metallic aftertaste. Folding wire handle. Weighs just 4 oz and fits a 220-gram gas canister for packing.
  13. Osprey Daylight Sling Pack: ($45) Casual over-the-shoulder sling pack perfect for urban use or travel. Available in multiple colors including purple!
  14. Six Moon Designs Ultralight Packing Pods: ($45) 3-pack of kidney-shaped packing organizers used to maximize backpack space.
  15. Ragged Mountain Equipment Mitten Shells: ($42) Hardwearing winter hiking and mountaineering mitten shells for use over insulated gloves or mittens. Waterproof breathable with long gauntlets. A real steal at this price and handmade in New Hampshire.
  16. Two Nalgene Insulated Water Bottle Sleeves: ($42) Prevents water from freezing in winter. A winter day hiking and backpacking must-have.
  17. Ripstop By the Roll Rain Skirt: ($41) Do it Yourself Kit for making an Ultralight Rain Skirt.
  18. Black Diamond Astro 300-R Headlamp: ($40) Rechargeable 300-lumen lithium-ion headlamp with a simple single switch controls (that you don’t have to memorize.) It’s still fully featured with a dimmer, strobe, and flood, and is powered by an integrated 1500 mAh lithium-ion battery that recharges via a micro-USB charge port.
  19. Ratsack Food Storage Bag: ($40) Lightweight, flexible stainless-steel mesh bag seals at the top with a sturdy hook-and-loop closure and is perfect for keeping rodents out of your food back when it’s stored in a lean-to or a campsite bear box.
  20. NEMO Fillo Pillow: ($40) Thick luxury foam pillow that provides soft, flexible comfort with a comfortable and comforting microfleece cover. Only weighs 9 oz and packs down to the size of a potato.
  21. Hammock Gear Underquilt Protector: ($40) Provides wind and splash protection for hammock underquilts in cooler weather while adding a few degrees of warmth. Very useful for the hammocker in your family.
  22. Toaks Titanium Alcohol Stove: ($35) Ultralight alcohol siphon-style backpacking stove. Super easy to use.
  23. Nitecore NU32 Rechargeable Headlamp: ($40) A very bright, fully-featured, 550-lumen rechargeable headlamp with a larger-than-average 6.6Whr (1800 mAh) lithium-ion battery for long-lasting power.
  24. AeroPress Travel Coffee Press ($40) Portable coffee press which makes excellent delicious American, espresso, and cold-brew style coffee. Makes superb coffee in 1 minute. Perfect for the backpacking coffee snob!
  25. Gossamer Gear Lighttrek (Chrome) Hiking Umbrella: ($39) Classic ultralight trekking umbrella for sun and rain protection. Weighs just 6.6 oz making it the lightest full-size trekking umbrella available. Add on a hands-free umbrella clamp ($6) to attach it to a backpack.
  26. Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon Hat: ($38) Super warm, windproof, Polartec Hat. A classic!
  27. QiWiz Big Dig Titanium Trowel: ($36) Handmade ultralight titanium poo trowel that can dig through tough soil.
  28. Jetboil Coffee Press. ($36) Turns a Jetboil stove into a French press.
  29. Reversible Polar Buff: ($35) With 8 different wearable variations, it can be worn as a bandana, scarf, headband, hat, hairband, helmet liner, and more.
  30. Titanium Wood Stove: ($35) Small wood stove that folds flat for easy packing. Use it to cook using sticks and small pieces of wood or to enjoy leave no trace fire. Only weighs 4 oz.
  31. Enlightened Equipment Rain Mitts: ($35) 3-layer waterproof breathable rain mittens.
  32. Matador NanoDry Towel ($35): Ultralight 47″ x 24″ and packable travel towel that dries really fast. It’s even big enough that you can cut it in half and still dry yourself off with it!
  33. Gaia GPS Premium Subscription: ($32) One-year license to the leading Smartphone navigation app. Priceless.
  34. Joby GorillaPod Kit ($30): Portable, flexible, and lightweight tripod compatible with cameras and smartphones.
  35. Gerber Ultralight LST Knife: ($30) The Ultralight LST is a locking folder that’s a perfect choice for everyday tasks. It weighs just 0.6 oz (17g) making it perfect for backpacking.
  36. Dutchware Gear Pack Back: ($29) Handy external mesh pocket that fits any backpack and can be used to carry extra or wet gear.
  37. Darn Tough Hiker Boot Cushion Hiking Socks: ($27) Backpackers favorite. Super durable and comfortable.
  38. HydraPak 3L Seeker ($27) 3L soft bottle that’s the perfect size for camp use and long water carries. This is a hard size to find in soft bottles. Also compatible with the BeFree water filter.
  39. Possum Down Gloves: ($25) Super warm, lightweight wool gloves from New Zealand. A cult favorite.
  40. Luci Lantern: ($25) Solar-powered inflatable lantern. Super lightweight. Good for emergencies too.
  41. Good To-Go Weekender Variety Pack: ($23) Two dinners and one breakfast from Good To-Go Backpacking Meals. Gourmet quality food that you’d swear was take-out. Just add boiling water.
  42. The Deuce #3 Heavy-Duty Backcountry Trowel: ($22) Colorful trowel for digging catholes.
  43. NEMO Chipper Foam Trail Seat: ($20) Unique folding foam seat made from recycled foam scraps. It is really nice to sit on a warm dry surface.
  44. Swiss Army Knife Classic: ($20) By far the most popular knife on the trail with scissors, a tweeze, toothpick, nail file, and blade.
  45. Kula Cloth Reusable Antimicrobial Pee Cloth: ($20) Many female hikers have switched away from using TP or the drip-dry method to using a pee cloth because it’s easier and more environmentally sound. Give it to a friend or relative.
  46. Opinel No. 8 beechwood Handle Knife: ($18) Beautiful, folding French pocket knife.
  47. Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set: ($15) 24 oz stainless steel pot with folding handle and 2 stackable mugs that’s super convenient for making hot drinks in camp. A real pleasure to use.
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  1. Fantastic list. I think I own about half of these things and they’re all top notch! Love #40. That is a hoot!

    • CAPT Gary Andres USN ret

      Rainbow… made my day, pointing out No. 40. My wife — and all my grown children….are addicted to Pooh. Someone in my family, is getting No.40 for Christmas. Uhhh, maybe me! Thanks for pointing that out. I’m still laughing!

  2. I just ordered the Possum gloves. My hands get very cold at temps most folks consider moderate. I’m hoping these will work inside Bar Mitts when bicycling. If anything they should be good as liners. Keeping Raynauds Syndrome at bay is my perpetual winter challenge.

  3. Hey Philip, I appreciate the Xmas post of goodies you’ve recommended. I do wonder about #41 as you’ve discredited that product in an earlier post due to it’s lack of transparency…

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