A Hiker’s Guide to Stocking Stuffers

The holiday season is upon us and many are frantically searching for the perfect gift for our loved ones.  It can be tough to find that one great gift and, unfortunately, you’re on your own on that one. We can, however, offer some great suggestions for stocking stuffers this season!  All of these items we either own or have used on the trail, so we can attest to how great they perform.  So without further ado, here’s a list of our favorite stocking stuffers for that special backpacker or hiker in your life!

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Sea to Summit Long Spoon
If you’ve ever owned a pre-made cook sets, you are probably familiar with those plastic, fold-up utensils and know how much of a pain in the butt they are.  Do your loved one a favor and upgrade their culinary arsenal with a Sea to Summit Long Spoon!  Make sure to grab the long handle variety, since they are great for getting into those hard to reach corners of your freeze dried meal packs.  They are cheap, light weight, durable, and will make eating out of a plastic bag a breeze!

Sea to Summit Titanium Long Spoon

Like Lieutenant Dan once said : “There is one item of G.I. gear that can be the difference between a live grunt and a dead grunt. Socks.” The same can be said for a hiker. Socks are usually looked at as one of those gifts that you dread getting, but as a hiker, once you have a great pair of hiking socks, you want MORE! You can never have enough socks!

Our favorites: Darn Tough Quarter Cushion Socks

Buff Original Scarf
These simple scarf-like apparatuses have more uses than you would think.  Apart from the traditional neck warming functionality, they are also great as a hat, hair tie, ear muffs, helmet liner, or face mask.  Buffs are also moisture-wicking, odor resistant, quick drying, and come in a plethora of styles to choose from.  This has definitely become Nadine’s go-to headwear when out on the trail.

Buff Original Scarf

Fire Starter
A fire can make the difference between life and death when out in the wilderness.  Make sure your loved one has all the necessary gear (and backup gear) to keep warm this coming season. On a less serious note, it’s also a lot more fun and gives you bragging rights if you can start a fire with some more primitive tools.

Our Favorite: Light My Fire FireSteel Scout, UCO Stormproof Match Kit

Food & Snacks
There is a ton of variety in food and snacks available to the modern hiker these days.  It’s always fun to try something new on the trail like the latest vegan, grass-feed protein bar or electrolyte infused energy tablets.  Grab something new and fun for your hiking friend or just stick to the basics.  Either way, you can never go wrong with getting food as a gift for an outdoors enthusiast.

Our Favorites: Cliff Bars, NUUN Hydration Tablets

Inflatable Pillow
To many, a pillow on a backpacking trip could be considered a luxury item.  To me, it’s a necessity.  I picked up a Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow this past backpacking season and it has greatly improved my ability to get a good night sleep in the woods.  If your loved one could use more sleep in the wilderness skip the sleeping pills and grab an inflatable pillow instead!

Our Favorites: Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow

Stuff Sacks
Backpackers love stuff sacks!  They are great for organizing gear and will keep everything dry if you accidentally fall into a creek or lake.  While on a backpacking trip, we tend to pack all dry gear (sleeping bag, clothes, food, etc) into separate water proof stuff sacks so that if anything goes wrong, we know the essentials will be dry.  Additionally, a water proof stuff sack is great for using as a bear hang to keep your food dry if it rains overnight and can also be used as organizers when back at home when the trip is over.

Our Favorites: Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Liquid Soap
Dr. Bronner’s is a favorite among outdoors enthusiasts for good reason.  Apart from being organic and environmentally friendly, it smells great and is concentrated, so a little goes a long way.  It’s also multipurpose and can be used as a shampoo, body soap, or dish soap.

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Liquid Soap

Do you have any other ideas for great stocking stuffers for backpackers or hikers?  Let us know in the comments!


  1. I had an extra long Light My Fire Spork, but it was borrowed and destroyed. It was nice for getting down into things with out getting food on my fingers. I think I might try the Sea to Summit Long Spoon to so it stacks up.

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