50 Best Backpacking Gifts Under $50


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 under $50 to help you get your backpacking friends gear that they’ll appreciate, without breaking the bank. If you want to spend more, we suggest giving them a gift card so they can pick out the gear they want.

Recommended Gift Cards

Backpacking Gifts for $50 or less

  1. Trail Designs Caldera Cone: Super-efficient Ultralight stove system compatible with alcohol, wood, and solid fuels
  2. Sven Saw. Ultralight folding saw that’s really handy for cutting firewood and trail maintenance. Classic design.
  3. Soto Amicus Stove and Cook Set:  Very powerful canister stove with a two-piece anodized cook set that will hold a fuel canister.
  4. Petzl e+Lite Headlamp. Ultralight headlamp. One of the best-designed products ever!
  5. MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Canister Stove. Durable and lightweight folding canister stove. Lasts forever.
  6. Ultralight Compression Sack: Made with Dyneema this is a superlight stuff sack for shrinking your load.
  7. Ultralight Pack Cover: Made with Dyneema, waterproof, and very lightweight.
  8. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dyneema Waterproof Backpack Shoulder Pocket. Holds a smartphone, w/ wallet compartment.
  9. Toaks Titanium Alcohol Stove: Ultralight alcohol siphon-style backpacking stove. Super easy to use.
  10. Gaia GPS Premium Subscription. One year license to the leading Smartphone navigation app. Priceless.
  11. REI Backpack Duffle Bag: Duffle bag to protect your backpack from theft or damage when traveling.
  12. Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon Hat. Super warm, windproof, Polartec Hat. A classic!
  13. Mystery Ranch Wet Rib: Accessory front pocket for a backpack with a cult following.
  14. Mountain Laurel Designs Event Rain Mitts. Makes hiking in the rain enjoyable again.
  15. Ripstop By the Roll Rain Skirt: Do it Yourself Kit for making a Dyneema Rain Skirt.
  16. Snow Peak Titanium Trek 700 Mug. Ultralight cook pot which doubles as a bowl and mug.

Backpacking Gifts for $25 or less

  1. Opinel No. 8 beechwood Handle Knife: Beautiful, lightweight Swedish pocket knife.
  2. Swiss Army Knife Classic: Smallest Swiss Army Knife with scissors. Thin and lightweight.
  3. Knog Quokka Rechargeable Headlamp: Very cool LED headlamp with dimmable spot, wide, combo, and red modes.
  4. NEMO Airpin Tent Stakes: Revolutionary ultralight tent stakes that eliminate the need to tie knots.
  5. Outdoor Research ActiveIce Spectrum Sun Gloves: Cooling Gloves for sun protection in alpine or desert areas.
  6. Sea to Summit Ultralight Aeros Pillow Case.  A soft pillow that you fill with clothing to fluff it up. Luxurious.
  7. GSI Stainless Stemless Wine Glass: Spill-proof break-proof wine glass that is perfect in camp
  8. Snowpeak Kettle 0.89L: Unique stainless kettle with folding handles that’s perfect for boiling water in camp
  9. Toaks Titanium Windscreen. Super lightweight and compatible with all alcohol or ESBIT stoves.
  10. Luci Lantern. Solar-powered inflatable lantern. Super lightweight. Good for emergencies too.
  11. REI Lifetime Membership. 10% rebate on all purchases for the rest of your life!
  12. CNOC Vecto 3L Squeezable Water Bottle. Compatible with all Sawyer filters. A backpacker favorite.
  13. Possum Down Gloves. Super warm, lightweight wool gloves from New Zealand. A cult favorite.
  14. Possum Down Socks: Super warm sleeping socks from New Zealand. Wool and possum fur.
  15. Simple Shower. Ultralight shower kit that connects to soda bottles.
  16. Vargo Titanium Whistle. Ultralight way to signal for help.
  17. BRS UL Titanium Canister Stove. Compact folding stove. Just 25 grams.
  18. Darn Tough Hiker Boot Cushion Hiking Socks. Backpackers favorite. Super durable and comfortable
  19. Nite-Ize BugLit LED Micro flashlight. Perfect for backpacking and camping. Looks like a bug!
  20. MSR Windburner Coffee Press Kit. Got a Windburner? You can have coffee too.

Backpacking Gifts for $10 or less

  1. Swiss Army Knife Replacement Tweezers. Replace the missing tweezers in your Swiss Army Knife.
  2. Swiss Army Knife Replacement Toothpicks. Replace the missing toothpick in your Swiss Army Knife.
  3. Bear bells: Surprisingly effective bear deterrent for people or dogs.
  4. Injinji Socks. Socks with distinct toes that stop hiking blisters in their tracks
  5. Dr. Bronner’s Soap. A revelation if you’ve never tried it. The 2 oz size for is perfect for backpacking.
  6. Voile Ski Straps. Flexible straps that have a million and one uses for backpacking and skiing.
  7. Lightload Towels. Mini wash towels that can withstand multiple uses. Great stocking stuffer.
  8. An Assortment of Mini Nalgene Bottles. Perfect for repackaging lotions for backpacking.
  9. Nalgene Flask. Unbreakable. Great for sipping whiskey or cordials on the trail.
  10. Leukotape P Sports tape. Great blister prevention tape that is popular with long-distance thru-hikers.
  11. Jetboil Coffee Press. Turns a Jetboil stove into a French press.
  12. Yellowbird Hot Sauce: This tiny 2 oz bottle makes camping meals come alive.
  13. Dyneema (Cuben Fiber) Tent Stake Sack: Super durable and ultralight. Lasts forever.
  14. CuloClean Portable Bidet: Sounds weirds, but it screws onto a soda bottle. Keeping clean is important on the trail.

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  1. Great list Phil!

    One thing I can no longer recommend are injinji socks. I’ve been using them for years but the build quality seems to be dipping. I owned my first pair about 5 years ago and put hundreds of miles in them. My second pair split at the big toe within the first hundred miles. My last pair came apart in the wash after only using them for a few months. I WISH there was a better alternative but there just isn’t. I hope they sort this out.

    • Brian,
      Thanks for this – I’ve been eying a pair of liners (not merino but regular) and I keep hearing quality has gone down. So disappointing!! What kind are you using?

      • Just to reiterate, I’ve only ever used the wool version. I have a pair of the liners but haven’t actually used them. I would consider these to be much less durable than the wool version in general but can’t speak on them in particular. Either way, there aren’t a whole lot of options out there. For that reason I continue to use Injinji. The way my toes fit together causes hot spots and blisters if they aren’t separated individually. If anyone has alternative suggestions to wool toe socks, I’d love to hear about them.

  2. Some great ideas on these lists! Some random comments/observations…

    I can vouch for the CuloClean. It produces just the right water flow with the water bottle at just about any angle. Easy to get water where you need it. It has two sets of two-same sized O-rings (with each set having a slightly different diameter) which pressure fit into the neck of the water bottle. So it’s not a screw connection. Little pressure is needed to produce a flow when squeezing the bottle, so there’s little chance of blowing the device off the bottle.

    Re. the Simple Shower, for me, although it may have its uses for other applications, the flow rate is way too high to be useful as a backcountry shower, IMO. A liter bottle empties in less than half a minute. Even taping over half the holes, it’s still too fast. This wouldn’t be an issue with a handy water source, but if you’re some distance from you’re refill source, this is a drawback. The Bottle Shower (from England) offers two different heads with different flow rates, both of which are much slower than the Simple Shower, so it’s easier to control how much water goes where.

    Seems like there aren’t many topics that get folks riled up more than how to deal with bears, so i’ll just mention that, from my (somewhat extensive) readings, the jury seems to be out on the effectiveness of “bear bells” as a means to alert bears to human presence. At least one study suggests that bears come to regard the constant jingling as a kind of white noise (like birds chirping), and just ignore it. Or, worse, some bears find it curious and will be drawn to investigate. I only use them attached to my food bag overnight to (possibly) alert me that some critter might be messing with it.

  3. Opinel knives are made in France.

  4. That Snow Peak mug listed under $25 is $44.95. A 15″ Sven Saw is only $15 so maybe just trade the two?

  5. A drool-worthy list with several items I’d like to see. One more to think about: an Anker (or other brand) portable charging brick for all those rechargeable headlights and cell phones we take with us in the woods these days. A decent 10,000 mAh charger can be had for much less than $50.

    • I have an Anker Power Core Slim 10000 that i’m happy with so far (not a lot of use on it yet). With the fabric pouch, it’s 7.4 ounces. $39.00 before taxes and shipping.

      Anker has a confusing array of power packs, in some cases with variants on the same model, and minor differences in specs. Read the descriptions carefully and be sure you’re ordering the one you want.

  6. Thanks for listing the TRAIL DESIGS Caldera Cone stove. This is a Very compact and lightweight stove, not to mention very efficient.
    In its woodturning form is is made of titanium with a ti insert called the “Inferno” to convert it to a very efficient “gassier” wood stove like the (non-collapsable) Canadian Bush Buddy.

    The ti versions ar the larger Tri Ti and smaller Sidewinder. I have the Sidewinder with the fitted 3 cup pot and lid. Great for solo or 2 person cooking. AND great for melting snow (IF wood is available) without using up a lot of with gas or kerosene in a liquid fuel stove.

    For 3 season use I mainly burn ESBIT tablets but sometimes alcohol.

  7. Luci makes a solar powered light that can be charged by the sun or by plugging in to a power source. It will also charge your lights, phone or Garmin. I have used it for bike packing and camping. Deflates to take up less room. Costs about $40. Highly recommend this.

  8. Unfortunately, the Dome Perignon hat, #12 on list, under $50, is no longer carried by REI. The MH website shows the hat has been redesigned and it does not appear to be as suitable for hiking as it is for biking. I will miss the previous version of the Dome but do have one that will provide a few years service. Phil, why don’t you do a study on the REI Co-op Insulated Waterproof Hat, $39.99. I have used the Dome Perignnon and this REI branded hat interchangeable for a few years and I think the REI hat is better fitted for hiking. I like the earflaps that can be put up and down and the short visor for blocking sun in your eyes.

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