The best gifts for camping and hiking, according to Hipcamp employees

Sleeping pads with extra support. Solar fairy lights. A portable French press. The experts at the camping platform share their favorite gifts for outdoor adventures.

The best gifts for camping and hiking, according to Hipcamp employees
[Photo: courtesy Cotopaxi]

2020 was the year that many Americans rediscovered the great outdoors—and all the functional (and fun!) gear that’s required to sleep under the stars. To find out what to buy for the campers (and glampers) in your life, we turned to the experts at Hipcamp, the camping booking site that allows you to book stays at everything from public campgrounds to private ranches and vineyards across the U.S. These are the gifts they wish they had received. All of the products below pair well with a Hipcamp gift card. Happy camping!


Alyssa Ravasio, founder and CEO 

[Photo: courtesy Mpowerd]
Mpowerd Luci Solar Camping String Lights, $32
Hanging lights can immediately change the atmosphere of your campsite, and it’s a really simple and small item to pack for your travels. I like these lights because they are solar-powered with a secondary charging function via a USB cable. 

Kammok Roo Double Camping Hammock, $79
Hammocks are always a fun add-on to a weekend outdoors and can transform your site into a relaxing oasis. I love lounging in one after a hike with a great book. Kammok hammocks are lightweight, take up minimal space when packing, and double wire gates ensure your hammock won’t slip out while you hang.

The North Face Dolomite One Double Sleeping Bag, $199
This sleeping bag is definitely an investment, but for couples who often travel and camp together, it’s a must-have. Plus, you’ll only have to pack one bag instead of two!


Mason Smith, head of government and community relations 

[Photo: courtesy Leatherman]
Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-Tool, $39.95
For those spending the night outdoors, you can never have enough safety tools—which is why they make the perfect gift! This small, lightweight tool has multiple functions and is a must-have for adventurers. 

Hummingbird UL 20/30 Sleeping Bag, $509
While it’s an investment, I swear by this Hummingbird sleeping bag—it’s one of the best out there. For serious campers in need of a warm, lightweight bag that will keep them comfortable against the elements, look no further. 

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray, $44.95
As a backcountry adventure, peace of mind is the best gift you can give. With this bear deterrent spray, hikers can walk in peace knowing they’ll be protected in the event of some furry visitors.  


Ann Yang, founder’s associate

[Photo: courtesy Patagonia]
Patagonia 2-Day Camp Meal Kit for Two, $89
I love Patagonia’s new initiative to expand into sustainable food—it combines two of my passions, great food and spending time outside. This two-day kit is perfect for backpacking and includes delicious snacks and meals all sourced thoughtfully with partners who are thinking about food in the larger context of environmental advocacy.

Luzon 18L Del Dia Backpack, $55 
This backpack repurposes textile scraps that are left over from other companies’ larger production runs—every backpack comes in unique color combinations as a result! Featuring a hardy but lightweight ripstop nylon shell and ultralight, mesh shoulder straps, the pack is extra comfy to carry, and thanks to its roomy, main compartment, it can fit most anything.

Topo Designs Sherpa Jacket—Women’s, $149 
I love this fleece! The details are thoughtful and stylish, and it keeps you cozy whether you’re on a camping trip or doing a picnic in the park with friends. The natural/khaki color combo is my favorite. 


Cassandra Prenn-Vasilakis, market management lead 

[Photo: courtesy Everyday Oil]
Everyday Oil Unscented 1oz, $14.00
This is my go-to when I’m traveling (and at home, just in a bigger bottle). It’s unscented, all natural, and is an all-in-one cleanser and moisturizer that keeps me feeling refreshed no matter the length of my excursion. Pro tip: If you want the scented one, it’s heavenly and has ingredients that double as natural bug repellents! I tend to pack the unscented one when I’m camping so I don’t have to worry about critters.

Crazy Creek Original Chair, $55.50
You’ll only ever need to buy one! I’ve had the same Crazy Creek Chair for more than a decade, and it’s just as comfortable and convenient now as it was then! You can strap these chairs to the outside of your pack and use them as a camp chair on the trail and at your campsite. They also double as a small sleeping pad in a pinch!

MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove, $44.95
This camp stove is ultralight and boils water super quickly. It’s my go-to for backpacking trips, and I love that I can keep it in the brain of my pack and break it out quickly if I want to whip up tea, noodles, or coffee on the trail.


MPOWERD Luci Original Inflatable Solar Lantern, $24.95
This solar lantern is the perfect, lightweight addition to any backpacking, camping, or paddling trip. Attach it to the top of your pack with the adjustable strap to charge during the day, and enjoy 24 hours of warm white light! The best part is that it’s inflatable, so it takes up minimal space in your pack!

Khang Tran, head of engineering

[Photo: courtesy Sawyer]
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System, $36.95
I love to hike, but it can be exhausting, and water bottles add more weight to your bag. This product is amazing because it’s super light and easy to use. All you have to do is fill the pouch with natural water, attach the filter, and squeeze the water through the filter.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System, $109.95
The fastest way to boil water in the outdoors. If you want your coffee and you want it ASAP, you have to get this. Expensive, but a must for those who appreciate having hot water in a flash.


Bryan Levine, head of product

[Photo: courtesy Herschel]
Herschel Little American Backpack, $110 
There is a reason why people love Herschel’s backpacks. They’re stylish, durable, and comfortable. I enjoy the Little America style that offers enough space for my personal items and has a padded sleeve for my MacBook. I take it with me on road trips, flying, or even when I’m just out running a quick errand!

Burton Total Impact Shorts, $130
Winter is coming—and I can’t wait for snowboarding season! I always look forward to mastering new tricks, and these shorts have extra security that allows me to do so without completely wrecking my body. These shorts have hip, tailbone, and sit-bone padding and move along with your body. Not only are they comfortable but also serve as another layer on a cold day! 

Kate Cobb, senior software engineer

[Photo: courtesy Light My Fire]
Light My Fire MealKit BIO 8-Piece Mess Kit, $29.95
The Light My Fire MealKit BIOmess kit has everything you need to prep and eat a meal outdoors. It’s compact, lightweight, and I love the variety of dishes included. It’s a lot easier to pack and environmentally friendly. I no longer need to buy plastic plates and utensils. 


Annelise Poda, ‎head of support

[Photo: courtesy Big Agnes]
Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, $59.95
I didn’t know what I was missing until I got this sleeping pad! It packs down to the size of a burrito, is super light, and lets me get good rest while backpacking, even as a side sleeper. I recommend it in tandem with the Big Agnes Pumphouse ($34.95), which gives you a quick and lung-saving way to blow up this sleeping pad while also acting as a dry bag/stuff sack when you’re on the move. 

MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter, $49.95
It’s so important to have a clean source of water while recreating outside, and I love the MSR water filter. It gives me peace of mind knowing I have a safe, good source of natural water at any given time, and it does an excellent job of purifying the water to meet EPA water standards. 

Survival Preparedness Kit, $37.99
This survival kit truly has it all, fitting 47 essential pieces of gear into one compact pack. It contains everything from medical kits to fishing tools, to help ensure you are prepared for whatever nature throws at you. Just be sure you know how to properly use and put away everything in the kit before you break it out! 


Emily Mitchell, support guide

[Photo: courtesy Nomadix]
Nomadix National Parks Maps All-Purpose Towel, $40
This towel is a map that features all 61 U.S. National Parks and constantly reminds me which parks I have yet to cross off my list. I’ll use it for yoga or bring it to the beach with me since it’s soft and slip-resistant, and the recycled materials it’s made out of are a sustainable plus!

Stanley Classic Stay Hot French Press 48oz H.Green, $82 
No matter if I’m home or camping, coffee is essential for me. When I’m camping, I love to bring this hot French press for my coffee. It’s small and portable, and it keeps drinks hot for 4 hours. It’s the perfect fix before I start a long hike or day of adventure.

Gareth Sudul, VP of operations

[Photo: courtesy Filson]
Filson Summer Packer Hat, $70
Staying cool on long hikes with a heavy pack is a must for me. I’ve tried a few hats over the years, but the Filson Summer Packer Hat is the best I’ve found. It keeps the sun off my face and neck and is packable, and looks good to boot. 


Garmin InReach Mini, $349
The InReach Mini is one of my favorite gear additions in recent years. It allows me to stay in touch with friends and family by satellite text message while I’m in the backcountry, and also lets them track my route in near real-time. It also brings me peace of mind knowing I’ve got a surefire way to call for help while out of cell range when on solo motocamping trips.

REI Ditty Sack, Set of 3, $19
I don’t know why it took me so long to discover these, but am I ever glad I bought some a few years back as they make packing and pack organization dead simple. I use them backpacking, flying, and day-to-day to keep the little things organized and together. 

Julian Bialowas, head of design

Filson x Helinox Solid Tactical Sunset Chair, $195
For every epic campfire, a comfortable chair is a must. I love this one because it’s huge, cozy, and durable and packs down to the size of a football.


NEMO Fillo Elite Ultralight Backpacking Pillow, $44.95
When backpacking, you want to be as comfortable as possible! The NEMO Fillo Elite Ultralight Backpacking pillow is a travel essential. It offers all the support of home bedding in a small, convenient, and lightweight package. I love its easily compressible feature, which prevents it from taking up space in my bag. 

Snowpeak Pack & Carry Fireplace, $189 
This is the most convenient fire pit! It’s foldable, easy to set up, and highly customizable for all your campfire and grilling needs. The airflow is really good on this so it avoids an overly smoky pit. I take it with me camping, or I’ll use it in my backyard.

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