Tuesday, January 31, 2023
HomeHiking70 Crappy (however sensible) Christmas Presents for Hikers |

70 Crappy (however sensible) Christmas Presents for Hikers |

(Notice: This 12 months’s record incorporates lots of your outdated favourites, in conjunction with 20 new additions. I notice that December 24 may be very past due for a Christmas present submit, however what the whats up, this newsletter hasn’t ever actually been in regards to the pressies. Satisfied Christmas to everybody, and would possibly your festive season be stuffed with peace, marvel, and no less than two or 3 abdominal laughs. Cheers, Cam). 

Within the 12 years since its release, the most well liked articles on The Climbing Existence haven’t been about out of doors abilities, backpacking apparatus, or go back and forth studies from far-flung locales. Nope, they’ve been about crappy hiker items that you’ll pick out up for lower than 5 bucks.


From Walmart with Love.

Subsequently, after a three-year hiatus, I’ve determined to mud off the festive season favorite and provides my thrifty readership extra of what they appear to like. With out additional ado, if cash’s tighter than a hairpin flip however for some inexplicable explanation why, you are feeling a way of legal responsibility to offer your hiker friends one thing, believe the next 70 present concepts for only $5 $10.

1.  A Field of Ziplocs – Just about everybody takes Ziplocs (or equivalents) backpacking. However let’s be fair, not anything says, “I don’t give a shit about you” like plastic baggage for Christmas.

2.  Path Patches – Perfect present for hikers that need everybody to grasp that they’ve thru-hiked the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Path however aren’t moderately able to take the calf tattoo plunge.

3.  Socks – For lower than $10, you could have to move artificial and even cotton. No Merino Wool or any of the ones different fancy blends. If conceivable, attempt to make your selection seasonal-appropriate. You realize those with little Christmas timber and snowmen on them……..possibly some reindeer as smartly.

4.  Dental Floss – Along with serving to to stay your tooth blank, uber-strong dental floss can be utilized as thread for equipment upkeep within the discipline, an emergency alternative for a damaged shoelace, or even a makeshift clothesline underneath your safe haven at night time.

5.  Bandana –  You’ll be able to steadily to find those multi-purpose gem stones on the backside of outside retailer discount boxes. Doable makes use of come with: towel, water filter out, neck coverage, pot cleaner, tent drier, pee rag for she-hikers, hanky, makeshift gaiters, helpful to put on to your face all the way through sand storms, and to hand in case you are low on budget and make a decision to rob a comfort retailer.


Bandana………..7-11 mode.

6. Hacky Sacks (set of 6)– I’ve a couple of hippy hiker pals that love those little baggage. At simply over $3 each and every they constitute superb cost, weigh simplest a few oz., soak up nearly no area to your pack, and will make for a amusing diversion all the way through lengthy days on path. With each and every 3rd set bought, consumers will obtain a complimentary eBook reproduction of The Mild Artwork of Bong and Pipe Making.

7.  Bathroom Paper – In the event that they aren’t too choosy with reference to softness/high quality, $10 price of lavatory roll can probably closing the giftee all of a multi-month thru-hike…………no less than when supplemented with the stuff they are going to pinch from resorts, eating places, gasoline stations, and classier public restrooms.

8. Titan (or Voile) Straps – Used to carry in combination two trekking poles when pitching mid-style shelters in probably stormy prerequisites. I used this forged setup all the way through my fresh go back and forth to the Faroes/Greenland/Lapland (see picture underneath).

MLD Duomid, Arctic Circle Path, Greenland.

9.  Loopy/Tremendous Glue – Helpful for snoozing mat upkeep, small holes in tents, and at a pinch, even cuts and blisters.

10.  Tent Pegs – If you wish to pass fancy, for a $10er you’ll most likely pick out up a couple of titanium stakes. However, you’ll purchase six to 8 of the Military Disposal Retailer selection.

11.  Plastic Disposable Kitchen Gloves – You’ll be able to acquire 100-count packs (or extra) of those for a music on Amazon. They are able to be used as a part of a layering gadget on your arms when climbing in extraordinarily bloodless and rainy prerequisites. For main points, see “Easy methods to Stay Your Fingers Heat Whilst Climbing in Chilly Climate.”

plastic disposable gloves

12.  Baking Soda – Any other superb multi-purpose merchandise that extra hikers must learn about. Makes use of come with toothpaste, deodorant replace, cleansing pots and drink bottles, antacid for disenchanted stomachs, and is helping to take away foot odour from sneakers. As well as, baking soda assists in relieving itching related to insect bites, bee stings, and poison ivy/oak.

12. Head Internet – Weighs simplest an oz. or two and is usually a sanity saver all the way through the peak of worm season. Certainly, when the midges, mozzies, or sandflies are swarming, I’m no longer certain there’s a higher value-for-money merchandise in a single’s backpacking package.

13.  $10 Goodwill Reward card – Polyester Hawaiian-style shirts, solar clothes, dishevelled shorts, 100wt fleece – the record of discount basement hiker choices are virtually unending. Steer clear of socks, lingerie, and bandanas. There’s reasonable, and there’s simply simple cheesy.


Tatu Jo – Mythical long-distance hiker and long-time gourmand of thrift retailer climbing shirts (picture courtesy of Whitney LaRuffa).

14.  Hand Sanitizer – I haven’t had a case of the trots within the “backcountry” (in an effort to talk) since 1999. I believe that the diligent use of hand sanitizer is a part of the rationale. I at all times stay a small bottle to hand in some of the shoulder strap wallet on my backpack (in conjunction with sunscreen and lip balm).

15.  Folgers Vintage Decaf Speedy – None of that fancy By way of stuff from Starbucks. The truth that it’s decaf leaves the giftee in no doubt as to the way you actually really feel about them.

16.  Simpsons Bic Lighters – Customised Bic lighters that includes characters and scenes from The Simpsons. Whilst cooking up a banquet at day’s finish, those little flame throwers are certain to carry a grin on your fellow hiker’s dials. And bear in mind…….

17.  Six-Pack of Ramen – A culinary staple for backpackers. In case you actually wish to make the effort, make a selection singles with quite a few flavours.

18.  Tyvek Groundsheet – This may if truth be told value you not anything if you’ll discover a piece in a development website online dumpster. Customise the scale for the giftee. It’s the little issues that depend.

19.  Reconstituted Talenti Ice Cream Container – A far-loved mainstay of the cold-soaking crowd.  The Talenti container sports activities a large mouth, a screw-top lid, and naturally, the not-to-be-scoffed-at bonus of a (semi)tasty pint of ice cream.

20.  Diaper Pins – This one is courtesy of long-time subscriber Gerry B, who wrote that “out of date diaper pins are a lot better and more potent than same old protection pins, and I stay a pair hooked to my packs for drying socks or different items of clothes.

21. Dr. Bronner’s Cleaning soap: To hand travel-sized selection pack. Weight-conscious hikers can repackage into mini-dropper bottles (see underneath). No longer simplest are they reasonably priced and sensible, however gifting Dr.Bronner’s is a none-too-subtle approach of claiming, “mate, you actually want to paintings to your hygiene.”

22.  Mini Dropper Bottles (2 Pack) – For just about twenty years, I’ve repackaged my hand sanitizer and Aquamira in those tiny bottles for all of my backcountry journeys.

23.  Trash Compactor BagWhen bought in packets of 10 or 20, those small children normally figure out to between $1 and $2 a pop. It puzzles me as to why someone would spend $40 plus for a dyneema pack liner, when a trash compactor bag weighs about the similar (a tiny bit heavier) and plays simply as smartly for a fragment of the cost.

24. Zipper Cleaner – Maintaining tent zippers blank charges simply in the back of laundering your snoozing bag at the record of items hikers are liable to omit on the finish of an extended backpacking season. Zipper repairs is particularly essential if a lot of your climbing is finished in coastal or wasteland environments (Tip: All the time be mild with zippers; by no means power a caught zipper).

25.  Condoms – Along with the most obvious, the outdated Johnny bag may also be used as an emergency water holder (as much as 2 liters) in case one among your bottles develops a leak. Additionally they turn out to be useful as a water resistant quilt on your telephone all the way through river crossings. It’s even conceivable to make use of the contact display screen in the course of the latex – helpful for secure sexting.

Whether or not you might be sexting or fording a difficult river, if it’s no longer on, it’s no longer on.

26.  Bag Balm – Bag Balm now is available in sensible travel-sized 1/4 ounces tubes. No longer simplest does these items works wonders on thigh and bum chafe, but it surely additionally is useful in case you are triumph over through the urge to take advantage of a cow whilst out on path (i.e. Which was once its unique aim when advanced again in 1899).

27.  Titanium Stitching Scissors – I’ve a few gram weenie hiker pals who love this stuff. They tip the scales at simplest 0.3 ounces, and when you upload the mini-tweezers from the Swiss Military Vintage, you might have a gossamer weight combo (0.4 ounces), which must quilt nearly your entire restore and tick removing wishes whilst out within the discipline.

28. 3M Micropore Tape – Breathable paper clinical tape. Adheres smartly. I’ve used it for years as an alternative of band-aids and different adhesive strips.

29.  Ibuprofen – Nutrition “I”. A hurting hiker’s absolute best pal. Will also be discovered in lots of (if no longer maximum) hikers’ First-Support kits. Put out of your mind in regards to the identify manufacturers reminiscent of Advil and pass generic. For $10 you’ll normally pick out up a 100-count bottle at maximum main supermarkets.

30.  Backcountry Bidet / Reconstituted Sports activities Drink Bottle (600ml) – Affordable and multi-purpose. You’ll be able to pick out one up at any petrol/gasoline station. Search for bottles with a flip-cap spout. Display you care through together with the next directions and warnings on an accompanying Put up-it notice:

A. Be sure you fill the bottle to the highest sooner than use, as roughly simplest the primary 200 ml are squirtable;

B. Quick, sharp squeezes fired at an upward perspective of 45° paintings absolute best, and;

C. Professional Tip: Don’t put the spout too as regards to your freckle, as injuries can occur, and there’s not anything worse than discovering poo floaties to your ingesting water over the process the climbing day.

A sports activities drink bottle and 4 squares of TP are all you wish to have on your morning constitutional.

31. Bleach – Put out of your mind about the ones fancy filters and chlorine dioxide drops. Bleach tastes horrible and will not be very efficient combatting giardia and crypto, however what the whats up, for $10 you’ll purchase sufficient to closing you a few thru-hikes after which put your financial savings in opposition to a process Fasigyn.

32Inflatable Pillow / Wine field bladder – The redneck’s backcountry pillow. For bogan bonus issues and a surefire thumper of a headache day after today, pack in a complete field and drink all of it at the first night time of your go back and forth.

33. Protection Sun shades – A variety of other choices. Opt for one that provides just right UV coverage. You’ll be able to steadily pick out them up for round $10 a couple on-line or at {hardware} shops.

34.  Electrolyte Pills – Particularly useful when climbing in scorching temperatures and/or for those who ceaselessly be afflicted by muscle cramps.

35. Ultralight Backpackin’ Guidelines – Greater than a decade after it was once printed, Mike Clelland’s Ultralight Backpackin’ Guidelines nonetheless charges as one of the crucial informative and entertaining books on the best way to lighten your pack weight.

36. Make The united states Nice Once more cap – Sensible and crappy. Regarding the former high quality, the hat’s brim assists in keeping the solar’s harmful rays off your face. As for the crappy section…….smartly………..

37.  Hand Rake (Set of two) – Talking of the porn-star-hushing, document-squirreling, disinfectant-boosting, tax-avoiding, NFT-hawking, election-denying, riot-fanning, wannabee-Greenland-purchasing, former Commander Bankrupt In Leader, one among Trumpy’s maximum memorable ideas was once to observe Finland’s instance in serving to to stay The united states’s “forests flooring blank.” Hikers can do their section through choosing up a couple of those light-weight leaf scoopers for his or her subsequent backcountry tour. They weigh underneath 12 ounces a couple and are simple to strap onto the again of your pack when no longer in use. With each and every 2d pair bought, consumers will obtain both a “Rake The united states Nice Once more” or “I Love Finland” bumper decal.

Leaf scoopers/hand rakes are an excellent choice for both the yard or your subsequent backpacking go back and forth.

Need to pass the additional mile in woodland fireplace prevention? This Finnish woman presentations us how through taking good care of the woodland ground close to her house.

37. Beer Koozie – Multi-purpose merchandise. Emergency mitten, garage on your DSLR lenses, paw protector in case your canine steps on a cactus, and assists in keeping that post-hike beer that you just left to your automotive refreshingly lukewarm. Earn gram weenie bonus issues through shopping it from one among your favorite ultralight cottage equipment corporations.

38.  Therm-a-rest Z-Lite Seat Pad  – When your outdated Z-Lite has long gone flatter than gander’s arch, lob off a few segments and present them to a climbing good friend looking for slightly extra back-country convenience all the way through their noon breaks. However, large spenders can splash out on a new Z-Seat Pad and proportion the posterior love amongst 3 in their hiker buddies.

39.  Frogg Toggs / DriDucks Rain Pants – Your entire Frog Toggs swimsuit will value round $22. On the other hand, whilst the jacket could also be a useful choice for plenty of three-season backpacking tours, the pants (est. cost $0.10) are about as sturdy as a couple of Altras on anything else however manicured trails. Without reference to the surroundings, likelihood is that you are going to blow out the crotch, bottom, or rip a hollow in some of the legs inside a few days of leaving the trailhead.

Frog Toggs pants within the discipline (picture from BWCA.com).

40.  Mylar Blanket (Pack of 10) – A discount at lower than a greenback a pop. Along with being utilized in emergencies, area blankets may also be hired as a light-weight floor sheet, signaling replicate, and makeshift tarp.

41 Baskin & Robbins Crimson Spoon –  In case you order a sundae at Baskin & Robbins, it comes with a semi-durable, difficult-to-lose, long-handled red plastic spoon. I used this type of for 2000 miles at the Pacific Crest Path in 2012.

42.  The Fellowship of the Ring – That is the primary a part of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and for my cash, the most efficient thru-hiking story ever written. You’ll be able to normally pick out up a used reproduction for lower than a fiver on Amazon. Principally, it’s the tale of a various bunch of men who went out for a multi-month stroll, were given as much as a whole lot of memorable adventures, met some cool path angels, took some 0 days, had some variations of opinion with reference to course variety, cut up into separate teams, stood through each and every different when instances have been difficult, completed their journeys at other termini, and, after all, met up for celebratory post-hike beers on a discipline referred to as Cormallen at adventure’s finish.

The lads from the Fellowship with the Misty Mountains within the background.

43.  John Muir’s Works – You’ll be able to pick out up both a paperback or Kindle model of “The Yosemite” and “My First Summer season within the Sierra” for lower than $5 on Amazon. Greater than 3 many years after first studying Muir’s works as a youngster, he stays one among my favorite desolate tract writers.

44.  Tenacious Tape – An improve from duct tape for out-in-the-field equipment upkeep on your tent, rain jacket, or wind blouse

45.  Mini Cube – This one is courtesy of my pal, Liz “Snorkel” Thomas, backpacking sage, writer, and Queen of City Via-hiking. In step with Snorks, “5 mini-dice weigh in at grams and supply hours of leisure for hikers trapped in a tent or safe haven on a wet or snowy day. Just right for Yahtzee, Farkel, and the rest you’ll make up.” A 100-pack will set you again $5.

46.  PeakFinder App – This advice is from my outdated mate, Paul Magnanti (Pmags). Whilst climbing in Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo vary in 2016, Mags blew me away when he began randomly damn off the names and altitudes of each and every mountain inside sight. Simply once I concept he was once taking the piss, he confirmed me the PeakFinder app on his telephone ($3.99 as of 2022). To make use of the app, merely level the digicam at your mountain of selection, and a wide ranging drawing will overlay the picture and come up with all of the related main points. It recently has data on greater than 950,000 peaks all over the world (Notice: Different helpful apps for hikers come with PlantNet (unfastened, easy, rapid, and correct plant identifications), SkySafari (simple to make use of astronomy information to the night time sky), and Knots 3-D (take a wild wager).

PeakFinder App (picture from peakfinder.org).

47. Nan Shepherd’s “The Dwelling Mountain”: Shepherd was once a Scottish poet and nationalist who’s venerated at the nation’s five-pound notice. “The Dwelling Mountain” is Shepherd’s superbly written testomony to the thrill and wonders of strolling in nature, in particular in her cherished Cairngorm mountains.

48Dehydrated Cocktails – Highest for hip flask-carrying backpackers that wish to lengthen hiker middle of the night previous 9 pm. Taste choices come with Mango Margarita, Mint Mojito, and Blood Orange Mai Tai.

49. Personalised Revenge Voodoo Doll – When sharing anyone’s path combine has left you with a debilitating case of the trots, otherwise you picked up a bit greater than you bargained for all the way through a wild night time at Path Days, present your self this type of customized light-weight dolls (3.2 ounces / pins incorporated). Positive they value slightly over $10, but it surely’s laborious to position a worth on a just right dose of path revenge.

Personalised Revenge Voodoo Doll

50. Backpacking Talents/Instructional Books – A lot of the backpacking recommendation you spot on YouTube is 90 p.c tip and 10 p.c iceberg. For other folks simply entering the game, I extremely counsel choosing up a handful of vintage hiking-related texts, which can supplement the time you spend out within the boonies in serving to to construct your backcountry talent set and data base.

51The ground part of a Platypus bladder – When your platy bladder is discoloured, increasingly more brittle, and the seam on the peak has ruptured, reduce it in part and regift the ground section to an ultralight hiker pal. They are able to then use it to scoop water from filthy puddles when climbing in pink rock nation or then again make use of it as a deficient guy’s consuming vessel.

52. Plastic Bathe Curtain – Put out of your mind about fancy fabrics reminiscent of Dyneema Composite Materials (DCF); the mythical Grandma Gatewood used a plastic bathe curtain for rain coverage when she turned into the primary lady to thru-hike the Appalachian Path in 1955. In doing so, she will have inadvertently turn into the originator of the Poncho Tarp.

The mythical Grandma Gatewood.

53. Junk mail satchels – The united states’s favourite thriller meat. Affordable, long-lasting, and full of fats and protein, (in idea) unsolicited mail turns out love it can be a just right choice for calorie-loading long-distance hikers. Till you if truth be told style it. I throw up a bit in my mouth simply enthusiastic about it.

54.  Mack’s Silicone Ear Plugs – Anti-snoring resolution. In step with their promo spiel, Mack’s “had been saving marriages since 1962.” Essential for someone pondering of going from hut to hut within the Alps or climbing the Appalachian Path all the way through the common season (Notice: As an advantage, I will individually attest that Mack’s silicone plugs paintings nice within the pool as smartly, for the ones folks which can be liable to swimmer’s ear infections).

55Beano Extremely When your climbing spouse is overdoing it at the dehydrated beans, and his or her farts would make a skunk blush, be offering them some Beano Extremely to chop issues off on the pass.

56. Croakies (or similar) – Helpful present for noggin-perching sunglass wearers, reminiscent of myself, that ceaselessly scratch or lose shades out within the boonies.

57Smartwater bottle – Light-weight (1.3 ounces), lengthy, slim, clean aspects, and slightly sturdy, Smartwater is the ingesting vessel of selection for plenty of weight-conscious backpackers.

58Spiky Therapeutic massage BallLight-weight and compact merchandise that is helping to cut back muscle ache and pressure within the ft, calves, hips, glutes, and shoulders. For a bit extra money, you’ll go for a lighter and extra environmentally pleasant cork choice from Rawology.

59Handsfree Umbrella Clamp – Useful accent for umbrella customers (particularly those who wield trekking poles) that clips onto virtually any shoulder strap.

Greg “Malto” Gressel on a dampish hike in New York’s Adirondack mountains (2015).

60. Paper Espresso Filters – Affordable-as-chips merchandise that comes in handy for pre-filtering grimy or silty water.

61. Lodge/Spa Slippers – Tipping the scales at round 70 gr/2.5 ounces, lodge slippers are an inexpensive, mild, compact, and at ease camp shoe choice. They’re additionally excellent for backcountry huts when you wish to have to go away your climbing sneakers on the door.

62. Sponges – Featherweight, multi-purpose merchandise that can be utilized as a pot cleaner, condensation dryer, and, when you’re actually determined, to absorb the closing drops of water in a shallower-than-shallow pothole (Notice: A straw can be a better choice for the closing level).

63. Blaze Orange Vest (and hat) – Very important package when climbing all the way through searching season in lots of puts in the United States. Within the phrases of PMags (noticed within the picture underneath): “Dressed in blaze orange is just right for protection; hunters respect it, and it’s a deferential approach of sharing the outside amongst all customers.”

Yours actually and Pmags all the way through a 2014 go back and forth within the Mount Evans Desolate tract.

64. Foot Document/Callus Remover – You’ll be able to steadily pick out foot recordsdata up for only $10, however for one thing as essential as your ft, I’d counsel spending a wee bit extra for a fashion that’s going to do the process smartly and closing for the lengthy haul. I purchased a Probelle a couple of years again, and it’s nonetheless going stable.

65. Nikwax Down Wash –  For arguably probably the most loved (and steadily the costliest) merchandise in a backpacker’s package, it surprises me what number of other folks don’t take higher care in their snoozing bag/duvet. In a nutshell, laundering your bag or duvet every year will lend a hand it last more and insulate extra successfully (Notice: If you wish to pass the additional backyard, purchase the giftee a couple of tennis balls to help within the drying procedure).

66. Lint –  Makes for an excellent emergency fireplace starter. Empty the contents of your garments dryer’s lint catcher right into a tiny Ziploc bag. Throw in some further lint out of your abdominal button simply to offer the present a extra personalized effect.


Abdominal lint extraction – Eastern genre.

67. Packing Pod Pillow – I have a tendency to not use numerous stuff sacks once I hike, however during the last couple of years, I’ve periodically introduced alongside a few SMD packing pods. Aside from being to hand for organizational functions, those brightly colored pods also are the very best measurement to make use of as a pillowcase, full of no matter clothes pieces you’re no longer snoozing in.

68. 100 Wt Fleece – Sturdy, breathable, and moisture-resistant energetic put on. A very good value-for-money merchandise that (extra steadily than no longer) has a spot in my backpacking package without reference to the surroundings or season. They’ll normally value a bit over $10, however you’ll steadily to find them on particular for only $20 or $30.

69. Mini Carabiners – Guidelines the dimensions at 0.1 ounces/3 gr and can be utilized for guyline attachments, drying hooks, and placing undergo baggage. Poncho tarp customers can use them to make a fast transition from poncho to safe haven mode when it’s raining.

70. Fanny Pack – Fanny packs are just like the fruitcakes of the backpacking international. They get numerous shit, however on the finish of the day, you’ve were given to tip your cap to a utilitarian merchandise that merely refuses to depart. Talking of one thing/one that’s unimaginable to kill…………..

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