Looking for a cool electronic gift for that outdoorsy special someone? There are several products which make perfect gifts, either under the tree or as stocking stuffers, and are also practical tools for anyone looking to get outside on the trails or into the remote backcountry.
Getting a Headlamp for Hikers
A headlamp is a light that can be worn with an elastic band around the head, allowing the user to free up the hands for doing camp chores at night, or for hiking down a trail. They vary in brightness, weight, and beam strength. Many headlamps are now made with LED bulbs, making them brighter than conventional bulbs. Headlamp straps are adjustable, and can fit most head sizes. If that special someone is still using a hand-held flashlight, a headlamp can make a great gift.
Getting an Avalanche Beacon for Hikers
For hikers who like to go snowshoeing in the winter, and travel in the mountains where there is potential avalanche danger, an avalanche beacon is a sensible gift idea. Beacons emit a signal that can be received by other beacons, allowing rescuers to pinpoint the location a victim who has been swept up in an avalanche. Consider also including a coupon for a free class from a gear store or reputable guide service that can teach how to correctly use an avalanche beacon, as well as other important avalanche tools such as a shovel and probe pole.
Getting a GPS Unit for Hikers
GPS units are another sensible electronic gift for hikers. The devices allow the user to get a fix on their position anywhere on earth by using multiple satellites in orbit around the planet. This allows hikers to determine where they are, and use either latitude/longitude or UTM coordinates to find their location on a map. One can also enter coordinates into the device, and it will point the user in that direction, displaying how far it is to those coordinates. Some unites now have digital maps uploaded into the unit, as well as companion software for a computer.
Getting a New Watch for Hikers
Watches can do much more than simply tell time. There are specialized watches on the market for outdoor enthusiasts that can include information such as elevation, temperature, and even one’s heart rate.
Things to Remember When Buying Outdoor Electronic Gifts
When buying these or other electronic gifts, keep these ideas in mind:
Make sure that the item matches the need of the user. For instance, someone who only hikes the local community trail may not need a GPS unit or an avalanche beacon, but they might appreciate a watch for measuring heart rate or a new headlamp.
Make sure to have the correct batteries for the device. If the product isn’t sold with the batteries included, buy the correct batteries for the device before wrapping the gift.
Keep the receipt, just in case.
Outdoor electronics can make thoughtful presents for any hiker or camper on the gift list.
Five Ways to Impress a Hiker for the Holidays
Trying to figure out how to impress that loved one who likes to hike or backpack? Here are some ideas for gifts that will not only be useful the next time your “giftee” hits the trail, but will also be sure to make a great impression on them as well.
Impress a Hiker with a New Tent
Nothing blows one away like a new backpacking tent for the holidays. A tent makes a thoughtful gift for either an experienced backpacker or someone who likes to day-hike, but wants to start doing overnight trips as well. Tents come in different sizes from lightweight, single-person tents to multi-person expedition tents that are used on mountaineering expeditions. A good compromise is the MSR Hubba Hubba, which is a two-person tent that is lightweight, and suitable for camping during the spring, summer, and fall.
Set it up the night before Christmas. It will make a great “wow” moment for that hiker when they see it next to the Christmas tree in the morning.
Impress a Hiker with a New Stove
A backpacking stove is another practical gift idea that will impress that hiker. A stove helps hikers to prepare hot food or drinks in the backcountry, and can heat water quickly. Buy the stove, along with the appropriate fuel bottle, and set them up under the tree (without the fuel inside for safety). Consider buying a pot to place on the stove as well.
Impress a Hiker with a New Headlamp
A headlamp is a necessary tool for anyone who goes out on the trail, and also likes to camp overnight. Headlamps provide hands-free use so that the hiker can work on camp chores, or for navigating difficult terrain at night. The Black Diamond Spot has LED lights and can switch to a spotlight for greater visibility. Consider taking the headlamp out of the package, install the batteries, and hang it on the tree or over the mantle.
Impress a Hiker with a New Backpack
Does your hiker have an old, worn-out backpack that has seen better days? A new backpack, either a daypack or overnight pack can make a great gift, and doesn’t have to be wrapped either. Place it under the tree, and place a nice bow on the top-loader.
Impress a Hiker with an Adventure
Ultimately, hikers want to get outside and hike! Surprise them with plans for an upcoming trip. Perhaps have a brochure describing a new trail system, or a map of a potential hiking area under the tree. For a young hiker in college or just out of school, consider buying them a spot on a course from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) or Outward Bound. These groups plan fantastic adventures around the world, and are perfect for a recent graduate who loves the outdoors.
There’s lots of ideas out there to make a great impression on that hiker or backpacker for the holiday.