Backpacking and adventure travelers are pretty easy to please when it comes to holiday gifts. All you need to do is get them a shiny new piece of gear and youâ€™re sure to see a smile when they open their gift. You pretty much canâ€™t go wrong with a durable waterproof camera, a couple of compression sacks, or the latest in ultralight backpacking gear.
If all else fails you can always get the backpacker on your list a gift card at REI or Backcountry.com and they can pick out their own new piece of gear if none of the following 10 great gift ideas appeal to the backpacker on your list.
SteriPEN Journey Water Purifier System
The SteriPEN Journey Water Purifier System has everything a backpacker needs to safely purify water from rivers and streams during backpacking trips. The Journey uses ultraviolet light to purify water protecting you from 99.9% of protozoa, bacteria, and viruses.
The Journey is fast and easy to use and one of the best hiking water filters on the market.Â It takes only 48 seconds to purify a half-liter of water and all you need to do is press a button, insert the SteriPEN into the water, and stir.
Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee
Starbucks has pretty much revolutionized camp coffee with their release of VIA Ready Brew, instant coffee that tastes just like freshly brewed Starbucks.Â Now available in vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, and mocha, VIA makes a great stocking stuffer for travelers. Flavored Starbucks VIA would be perfect for a winter backpacking trip and their Italian Roast and Colombian Brew would be great anytime.
>>Buy Starbucks VIA Ready Brew
Sea To Summit Compression Sacks
A backpacker can never have too many compression sacks. Compression sacks pack sleeping bags and clothes down to next to nothing by squeezing all the air out with compression straps. Compressions sacks maximize the amount of space in your backpack and help keep your gear organized. They come in a variety of different sizes and colors and some are waterproof and ultralight. The Sea To Summit Ultra Sil Compression sacks are extremely lightweight, durable and water resistant.
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Jetboil Flash Crunchit Cooking System
The Jetboil Flash is the perfect all-in-one cooking system. Combining a cooking burner and cooking pot in one, the system lights fast and easy with the simple push of a button and can boil two cups of water in just two minutes. The cooking burner and fuel canister store easily inside the 1-liter cooking cup and take up very little space in your pack. The new Crunchit Cooking System includes the Crunchit, a tool that punctures fuel canisters so that they can be recycled.
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2
Hardcore ultralight backpackers often travel with a tarp system for a shelter, but if the backpacker on your list prefers a tent and finds the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 under the tree, they will surely be jumping for joy. Using the latest in ultralight materials, fabrics, and aluminum poles, the Big Agnes weighs in at just a little over 2 pounds. This durable, waterproof tent is completely freestanding with room enough for two. The Fly Creek is also one of the best tents for travelers, since you don’t have to worry about the tent taking up lots of space in your backpack.
>>Buy Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2
Patagonia Fleece Jackets
Fleece jackets are an invaluable piece of outdoor gear for backpackers and Patagonia undoubtedly makes the best fleece jackets on the market. The Patagonia Menâ€™s R2 Jacket is a mountain man classic. This super lightweight and compressible fleece makes a great stand-alone jacket in cooler temps or a great insulating layer underneath a shell. The Patagonia Women’s R3 Jacket is Patagonia’s warmest fleece, plus it is super soft and lightweight too.
Open Country Food Dehydrator
After reading Food To Go, a cooking e-book for the outdoorsy type, I realized that a food dehydrator is a must for any serious backpacker. By dehydrating foods you can make your own lightweight backpacking food, rather than relying on expensive pre-made meals. The Open Country Sportman’s Kitchen dehydrates foods like fruits, vegetables, soups, and sauces fast with its 700 watts of power. The dehydrator comes with a detailed instruction booklet with recipes to get you started.
Harmony House Backpacking Kit
If yor don’t think your backpacker would ever dehydrate their own foods and they eat nothing but Ramen on the trail, the Harmony House Backpacking Kit is a great gift idea. The kit includes 18 pouches of dehydrated vegetables and beans from bell peppers, sweet corn, onions, and potato dices to lentils, red beans, and pinto beans. All you need to do is add one part dried veggies to two parts water, soften, and eat. You can also add them to soups, pastas, and stews and simmer until done.
Exped Down Sleeping Pad
With its compact, lightweight design, and 700-fill goose down, the Exped DownMat9 Air Pad is one of the most comfortable and warmest sleeping pads on the market. A built-in hand pump makes it easy to inflate and lets you adjust the air pressure to your comfort. The Exped’s superior warmth makes it perfect for winter backpacking adventures as well as year-round trips.
>>Buy Exped DownMat9 Air Pad
Sierra Designs Coffee Sling
The Sierra Designs Coffee Sling is perfect for the backpacker that has everything. Every backpacker knows what its like to spill coffee or beer all over the inside of their tent and the Coffee Sling prevents that from ever happening again. The slings hang from the tent’s gear loft loops and accommodates a wide array of beverages like water bottles, beer bottles, and even small boxes of wine.
[Photo courtesy of pagedooley]