Even around the holidays, there are only so many wool hiking socks and REI gift cards that one hiker can appreciate. So in today’s blog post, we’re going to look at unique hiking gifts so awesome that your loved one would never dream of reselling them on GearTrade.
(⬇Here’s a helpful link to GearTrade.com in case you’re an unfortunate hiker whose friends and family didn’t read this post.⬇)
A few years ago, I started using Etsy.com (an online marketplace that connects artists to the public) to buy personalized gifts for my mom and friends. And it totally helped me go from hopeless gift giver (like buying-jerky-for-a-vegetarian hopeless) to gifting goddess (at least in a relative sense).
I learned that almost everyone likes handmade, unique gifts — especially ones that are customized just for them.
In addition to making you AWESOME, many unique hiking gifts can be purchased online. Which means you will spend less time at the mall and more time doing what matters around the holidays (making cookies, getting blitzed on eggnog, etc.).
A couple of tips for finding the perfect unique hiking gift on Etsy:
- Shop early. Handcrafted, customized items may take extra time to create and ship.
- If your artist or product has a story behind it, considering printing it out and including it with the gift or card.
- If you have a question, contact the seller and ask. Etsy makes it very easy to message the artist.
- While most artists are trustworthy, never give your social security number to anyone an Etsy, and keep all transactions through the Etsy website.
So without further ado, here are my top 11 unique hiking gift ideas for 2018:
Ever notice how when hikers talk hiking, the conversation eventually spirals down to bodily functions? So there’s a 98 percent chance this T-shirt will give the hiker in your life some serious lulz. Made of high quality-cotton and available in multiple colors (heather colors contain polyester). Plus sizes also available. Etsy prices start at $20.
**P.S., if you think this gift idea is just for him, I am a chick and I would proudly wear this to happy hour!**
Give the hiker in your life a portrait that will make them laugh — and could become their coolest social media avatar ever! Andrew from Cartoon Portrait will work from your hiking photos to create cartoon portrait of your loved one in action. For an additional cost, he can also create portraits of couples and families. Delivery is digital; ask Andrew about printing options if you’d like to print the portrait on a photo, poster, T-shirt, or anything else. Etsy price: $30.
While I love this hat for her, I love it even more for a guy with enough hair to make a messy man bun. (Yes, you can get the embroidery in colors other than pink.) This soft, unstructured cap is made of 100 percent cotton with a faux-leather back buckle. While it’s somewhat adjustable, it’s a ladies fit and may not fit large man heads (if you’ve got a borderline case, ask the seller for specific dimensions). Etsy prices start at $27.99, upgrade to a “high ponytail/messy bun” hat for just $.50 more.
Give your favorite hiker a gift that shows off their carefree approach to life. This stainless steel mug with a red carabiner handle is insulated and safe for both hot and cold beverages. Each mug is made to order by Blue Fox Gifts and can be personalized by request. Etsy price: $14.99
Help the hiker in your life add a little style to this year’s tree. These rustic state hiker ornaments are designed and crafted by a husband and wife team in Georgia. Choose your loved one’s favorite hiking state … or get them one for every state they’ve hiked in! Note that each ornament comes with one or two hikers depending on the shape of the state. Etsy price: $12.
What time is it? Who cares when it’s hiking time? This unique clock from Story Cabin is sure to make the hiker in your life laugh every time they see it — and remind them to count experiences instead of hours. Each clock is handmade in traditional oak. Available in 7-, 11-, or 18-inch sizes. Etsy prices start at $47.
Give a gift that reminds every guest that this home belongs to a hiker. These attractive stone coasters are dishwasher safe with felt pads to protect your loved one’s furniture. The ivory beige decor makes this a perfect gift for him, for her, or for any home decor. The seller were personalize the wording upon request. Etsy price: $22.95 for a set of four.
OK, so I was excited beyond all reason to find out there’s a Maurer Trail in South Tyrol, Italy. Give your favorite hiker the same rush of pride (because hey, there’s probably a Zorzfeldt Trail somewhere). This distressed wood sign is perfect for the cabin, RV, and even adds a touch of humor to an urban apartment. Artist The Lizton Sign Shop can also create custom signs according to your specifications. Comes in a variety of sizes. Etsy prices start at $46.
This casual bracelet by ExJe Extreme Jewelry lets your favorite hiker, rock climber, or mountaineer show off their bad ass hobby with style. The miniature carabiner charm opens and closes, and the paracord wrist band can be adjusted to almost any wrist size. This bracelet is available in many colors; you can order additional wrist bands if you like. Makes a great gift for him or for her. Etsy price: $36 (or $39.90 with gift bag).
Smell is the sense most closely connected to memory, so give this trail-scented candle to your favorite hiker as a ticket to their happy place — even when they’re stuck at their desk. The artist crafted this candle to recreate his experience hiking in the southern Rocky Mountains. The phthalate-free fragrance features hints of pine, evergreen, moss, and cedarwood. This eight-ounce candle will give your loved one over 50 hours of hiking aromatherapy. Etsy price: $22.95.
Give your loved one the gift of health and fitness the fun way. This eight-week training plan helps beginning hikers to hike faster and further using a safe, step-by-step approach. I designed this plan for people who are doing some walking or physical activity most days but not actively training for hiking or other endurance sports. Includes beginner cardio and strength workouts. Miss Adventure Pants price: $25.
So there you have ’em. All my unique hiking gift ideas.
Got hiking gift ideas of your own? Comment below to share!
Originally published Oct. 30, 2018.