Buying Guides

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers

Joel Lee 20-12-2017

The Christmas season may not be the ideal time for hiking and camping, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look ahead to next summer. Why not be proactive and gift your friends or family with awesome gadgets to kick that next outdoor adventure up a few notches?


Even if you aren’t blessed with a fat wallet, there are still plenty of affordable gift ideas that don’t sacrifice utility or novelty. These emergency survival basics When Disaster Strikes: Putting Together A Basic Emergency Toolkit Read More can make for great starting options, but here are a few niftier ideas that won’t break your bank account.

1. Water Purification

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking lifestraw go

The LifeStraw is a remarkable piece of technology that lets you to stick your face in polluted waters and drink it down safely, all without having to rely on purification techniques that take hours or days. The LifeStraw Go makes it a hundred times more convenient to use.

Fill the bottle with dirty water and drink as thirsty. The straw filters out at least 99.9% of all waterborne parasites and bacteria, and does so without using chemicals like iodine or chlorine. The activated carbon filter helps eliminate most odors and tastes. The bottle itself is BPA-free and leakproof.


It’s fast, durable, and portable, making it an essential part of any outdoor activity emergency kit. The LifeStraw Go could be a life-saver for lost hikers and injured campers.

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking sawyer mini

While the LifeStraw is excellent for portability and emergencies, it’s a self-contained system that’s only good for one person. A robust filtration system may be more desirable when you have many bottles to refill, as is the case when camping or hiking as a family or in a group.

That’s when the Sawyer Mini comes in handy. This lightweight miniature filtration setup can clean up to 100,000 gallons of water on a single filter, removing 99.9999% of all waterborne parasites and bacteria. The system can be used to fill the included water pouch or regular disposable water bottles. Just fill it up, attach the system, and drink.


2. Headlamp

Black Diamond Rugged Storm Headlamp

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking black diamond

Every camper should have at least one LED headlamp in their arsenal. Not only is it infinitely more flexible and convenient than a handheld flashlight, but it often has longer battery life and brighter lighting. It comes out on top in almost every way.

This headlamp by Black Diamond is insanely bright, offering 350 lumens in eight different lighting modes, including dimmer and strobe settings. It’s also extremely rugged with an IPX7 rating, which withstands up to 30 minutes of immersion at a 1-meter depth. Truly the best option for hikers and campers who like to push the outdoors to the extreme.


Vitchelo Waterproof LED Headlamp

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking vitchelo

If you’re on a tight budget, this headlamp by Vitchelo is about as good as it gets in terms of price-for-performance. The 168-lumen light shines up to 360-feet ahead at night and lasts up to 12 hours on a full charge with three AAA batteries. It also has three settings: full strength, dimmed, and strobe for emergencies.

It has an IPX6 waterproof rating, so it can be used in the rain and survives being dropped in water as long as it’s fished out within a minute or so.

3. Lantern

MalloMe LED Camping Lantern


7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking mallome

This camping lantern by MalloMe is incredible for the price. It provides 146 lumens of light in 360 degrees and runs on AA batteries for maximum convenience. Perfect for camping, whether for use as a reading light, a travel light, a tent light, or even to light the campsite. The lantern also collapses to about half size, making it easy to transport when needed.

MPOWERD Inflatable Solar Lantern

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking mpowerd

This solar lantern by MPOWERD may seem like a gimmick, but it’s so much more than that. It’s made entirely of malleable plastic so it can be collapsed down to a 1-inch thick disc.

No batteries needed. Just leave the solar side in the sun to charge it up, inflate it when it gets dark, and press the button to turn it on. Lasts up to 24 hours on a full charge, and comes with four light settings: low, medium, high, and strobe.

4. Power Bank

EasyAcc Rugged Outdoor Power Bank

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking easyacc

Some campsites have charging stations, but not all of them do. And good luck finding an outlet when you’re deep along a hiking trail. A power bank acts as a backup battery for your important devices (e.g. smartphone), and this one by EasyAcc is rugged enough to withstand whatever outdoor stresses may come its way.

Its IPX7 rating allows it to survive up to 30 minutes in water, and its robust outer casing makes it weatherproof, dustproof, and shockproof. Its massive 20,000mAh capacity is enough to fully charge any smartphone from 0-100 about five to seven times. It even has a safety mechanism to prevent overcharging of your devices.

RAVPower Rugged Outdoor Power Bank

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking ravpower

This power bank by RAVPower is a good budget alternative to the EasyAcc. It’s similarly weatherproof, dustproof, and shockproof, but only has an IPX6 waterproof rating, which means it can’t be fully immersed but survives water exposure for up to 3 minutes.

It has safety mechanisms to detect overcharging and short-circuiting, but only half as much charging capacity How to Charge Your Android Phone Faster Charging your phone isn't as simple as just plugging it in. You need to learn all these tricks to getting the fastest charge. Read More as the EasyAcc — but even so, that should be more than enough for a night or two of camping and/or hiking.

5. GPS Navigator

Garmin eTrex 10 Handheld GPS Navigator

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking garmin etrex 10

Unlike a car navigator, the Garmin eTrex 10 is a terrain navigator that tracks elevation as well as time and distance between waypoints. You can download trail maps and load them onto the device, making it perfect for hikers. Good handheld navigators under $100 are hard to come by, and this is pretty much the only one worth getting in its price range.

With its IPX7 waterproof rating, you can accidentally drop it into water and be completely fine. Note that this navigator supports both GPS and GLONASS navigation. If you aren’t sure what that is, see our write-up on the GPS alternative you never knew existed GLONASS - The GPS Alternative You Never Knew Existed Did you know there's more to location services than GPS? There's another satellite navigation system which you might not have heard of, but you're probably already using. It's called GLONASS. Read More .

6. Bluetooth Speakers

AOMAIS GO Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking aomais go

Who doesn’t like a bit of music to liven up a campsite? These hefty speakers by AOMAIS can connect to any device using Bluetooth or a 3.5mm audio cable. Its powerful drivers produce a deep and resonant sound, and the entire thing is waterproof with an IPX7 rating. At 50 percent volume, it provides up to 30 hours of playback.

One cool thing about this device is that you can actually recharge other devices by connecting them to it. It works out great in case your smartphone unexpectedly dies, for instance. But it’s big, so don’t expect to carry it along with you on a hiking trail!

VAVA Rugged Weatherproof Bluetooth Speakers

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking vava voom

This nifty speaker device by VAVA is much smaller than the AOMAIS GO, and therefore more practical for hikers versus campers. Thanks to its weatherproof, dustproof, shockproof, and IPX6 waterproof casing, you can take it with you everywhere without fear of damage.

When playing music at 80 percent volume, this device lasts up to 24 hours. It lacks the recharging capability of the AOMAIS GO, but at nearly half the price, it’s a reasonable trade-off to make. The included carabiner lets you clip it to a belt or backpack and go hands-free.

7. Portable Cooking

Coleman Fold N Go Grill

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking coleman grill

It’s nice being able to cook camp meals over an actual campfire, but for those times when convenience is more important than the authentic experience, the Coleman Fold N Go Grill provides exactly what you need in no time at all.

This quick-setup grill requires one 16.4-ounce propane canister to provide 3.5 hours of cooking, adjustable up to 6,000 BTUs of heat. It’s compact enough to be portable yet durable enough to handle whatever you put on it. The lid closes for faster cooking, and the cooking surface is about 13 x 15 inches.

The cherry on top: removable grill pan and grease plate make for easy cleanup!

Coleman Fold N Go Stove

7 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Campers and Hikers camping hiking coleman stove

If you’re looking for something a bit more versatile than the Fold N Go Grill, the Coleman Fold N Go Stove may impress you more. The stove about equals the grill in size and is just as portable when folded, but provides two separate open-flame cooking areas that can each accommodate 12-inch pans.

Again, all you need is a 16.4-ounce propane canister for fuel. The heat is much stronger as well, adjustable up to a whopping 10,000 BTUs. Both burners have heavy-duty grates that are easy to clean and will last you a long time.

Gift Ideas for Campers and Hikers: Final Thoughts

We’ve only scratched the surface. There are dozens of other awesome gift ideas for tech-savvy hikers and campers out there. If you aren’t happy with the above selections, at least you can use them to point you towards something you will like.

What other gift ideas do you have? If you’re an avid hiker or camper, what sorts of techy gifts would you love to receive? Share with us in the comments below!

Related topics: Camping, Gadgets, Gift Ideas, Hiking, Travel.

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  1. robh
    December 6, 2014 at 9:25 am

    "The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs" by Tristan Gooley. Hardback, 448 pages published in May, hit the UK bestsellers lists and gained lots of very positive press reviews.
    Currently reduced from £20 to £5 on Amazon UK.

    Also, a detail (paper) map of areas they are likley to visit. In the age of GPS and mapping on mobile phones too many people rely on technology without realising that when it fails (the battery dies, they drop in in a puddle etc) they're potentially lost.

    And don't forget about basics like warm hat and gloves for cold or canvas hat for hot (water absorbent so it can be soaked the keep the head cooled longer).

  2. Drew
    December 6, 2014 at 7:48 am

    BadDad-- Not entirely true. FRS frequencies can be used without a license; they operate around 462 MHz and 467Mhz, as long as the transmitter is less than 0.5 watts, which produces about a 2-mile range. If you are going to exceed 2 miles (thus using more than 0.5 watts) or use a frequency NOT in the FRS range, you can pay for a license. I do. Cheap, easy to get, valid for 5 years and prevents fines. The license application is often included in the blister-pack in many of these radios.

    • BadDad
      December 7, 2014 at 2:26 am

      You are correct, Drew but the radios shown were not FRS radios and have no FCC certification for FCC Part 95. GMRS allows higher power and is a good choice if someone is willing to pay the FCC the $80 for five years. I'd sure like to see the FCC reduce the license fee. I believe the license fee is rather steep.

      Now, the VHF MURS channels, of which there are five, works pretty although no repeaters are allowed. No license is required for two Watt radios but there are few manufacturers of the radios that have the correct FCC certification.

      Europe's FRS band use a digital mode which gives enhanced range due to error over the US analog FRS radios. Sure be nice if the FCC would modify the rules to allow digital. Even Australia has a better personal radio service at UHF than we do.

  3. BadDad
    December 5, 2014 at 2:23 am

    The portable radios noted in this article are good for amateur radio (ham) only. In the US, they are not approved by the FCC for business or personal use. The fines for unlicensed usage start at $10,000 per day per occurrence. Don't risk it. They aren't nice people

    • Joel Lee
      December 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks for mentioning that as I wasn't aware. Can you clarify the difference between "amateur radio" and "personal use"?

    • dragonmouth
      December 6, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      "Amateur Radio" - what is popularly known as short wave radio. Can be operated on many frequencies. World-wide reach and use. Requires a license in most, if not, all countries.

      "Personal Use" - all kinds of walkie-talkies, Citizens Band Radio. Usually low power, short range communications. Usually no license required.

    • BadDad
      December 7, 2014 at 2:17 am

      Amateur, also called ham radio, is a hobby service that requires a person to pass a test on FCC regulations and answer technical questions on electronic theory, RF propagation, antennas, etc. You are issued a license by the FCC based on several license classes. Personal use (FCC Part 95) is generally non-licensed services such as FRS (family radio service), MURS (Multi-user radio service), Citizen Band, or the licensed service, GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service).

      Many of the Chinese radios do not meet the requirements set-forth by the FCC for commercial licenses which must meet the FCC Part 90 regulations. Part 97, which governs, amateur radio do not have the same requirements thus an entree for these types of radios.

  4. Greg Breen
    December 5, 2014 at 2:15 am


    The only geocaching board game. Fun, fun, fun

  5. Drew
    December 5, 2014 at 1:20 am

    I'd also put a solar charger on this list; I use an AllPower to charge my Anker 20,000 mah battery.

    • Joel Lee
      December 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Great idea! Charge up batteries during the day, expend them during the night.

  6. dragonmouth
    December 4, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    "Northbound Train LED Headlamp"
    WalMart offers three or four headlamps with similar or better functionality for $15-$20.

    • Joel Lee
      December 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      I try not to shop at Walmart anymore for several personal reasons, but if those work for you, by all means go for it. I'm sure you could find some cheaper headlamps on Amazon too. I'd be wary about quality and durability when going cheaper, but I know price is always an accurate indicator of that. Northbound Train is just a safe pick. :)

    • dragonmouth
      December 6, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Many people avoid Wally World for philosophical reason. Others avoid it because of the "you get what you pay for" adage. But just like with everything else, you have to be an educated consumer. You have to know what you are looking at. Many times I find the exact same merchandise as in WalMart, in chain sporting goods stores, such as Dick's, for 50%, 100% more. I don't even want to talk about specialty stores such as Cabella's, Gander Mountain, REI or Eastern Mountain Sports. I don't know how they have the conscience to overcharge like they do.

      I don't trust Amazon because I cannot examine the merchandise before purchasing. Purchasing online, then returning when it's not what you expected, is a royal PITA. Plus I find that, with careful shopping, I can buy the same or similar merchandise from other retailers at a lower price. Over the past few years, Amazon has become the path of least resistance for many shoppers.

      I have been using neck and head lights in a saltwater environment for at least the past 30 years. In that time I came to the conclusion that unless one goes real high end ($100+), there is very little difference in reliability and durability between lights. There is some difference in features but that is it.

      BTW - currently I am using a WalMart 5 LED light that clips to the bill of my hat. I bought it for $1.79 five years ago. It uses a C2032 button battery which I have yet to change. The light operates with 1, 3, or 5 LEDs being on at one time and is about 7mm thick.