Jeffrey H. Ryan Hiker Author Photographer Speaker Podcaster Director

If you have outdoor adventurers on your shopping list, I have a few suggestions to share. I hope you find these five gifts for hikers and backpackers serve double-duty as problem solvers (for the givers) and happy surprise (for the recipients).

  1. Hydrapak Stash 1L Bottle.  I love this bottle (I bought two). Here’s why — it collapses down to stash in your pack. When you need to carry extra water, it will be there. When you don’t, it doesn’t take up valuable pack space like a hard-sided bottle. For that reason, they are also great for air travel, when you’re trying to keep your checked through or carry-on luggage sizes more compact.
    Price – Around $25.
    Where to get itMoosejaw
  2. Goal Zero Flip 30 Recharger.  Keeping your phone or tablet charged on the trail can be a challenge. In the past, portable chargers have either been really heavy or light and underpowered. I love the folks at GoalZero. They have some really sweet technology for home and road use and their customer service is tops. At 6.8 ounces, their Flip 30 charger carries enough power to charge a smartphone twice, a tablet once or a headlamp 5-10 times. What’s more, it can be recharged on the trail with one of their trail worthy Nomad solar panels.
    Price – Normally $39.95. Currently $29.95.
    Where to get itGoal Zero
  3. Helly Hansen Lifa Hat.  Meets every requirement of a worthy hiking hat — performance fabric that wicks moisture away from your head, a clean profile that facilitates use of a headlamp and the ability to pack small. What’s not to love?
    Price – Normally $22.95
    Where to get itHelly Hansen
  4. Ragged Mountain Equipment Intervale Gaiters.  Keep snow and ice out of your boots in the winter, and pine needles, twigs, sand and pebbles out the rest of the year. 16″ high and available in coated or uncoated styles, they’re made in New Hampshire, USA.
    Price – $29.00 (either style)
    Where to get itRagged Mountain
  5. Therm-a-Rest Z Seat.  There are so many uses for this little gem. It weighs only 2 ounces, folds to 12″ x 2.5″ x 2.75, so you can take it anywhere, and you’ll be glad you did. It creates an instant cushion to sit on during breaks (sure beats sitting on rocks, a log or the ground), creates a nice “welcome mat” for taking boots off, so you don’t track dirt into your tent and creates a little extra cushioning to place under your ground pad. Also makes a nice windscreen for your cook stove. 16″ x 12″ x .75″ open size.
    Price – As low as $11.21
    Where to get itBackcountry.com

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