Finding the best gifts for backpackers can be a bit of a challenge. Because what can you give to someone who has to carry all his belongings in one backpack? To help you out, I created this list with 50 awesome backpackers gifts. I am a frequent backpacker myself, and putting together this post was basically like combining my packing list with my personal Christmas wishlist. You will actually find a bunch of products that I personally use or that I will be asking Santa this year!
Table of Contents
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Large budget backpackers gifts
#1 Travel experience gifts
Let me start this list with the absolute best gift for backpackers and travelers in general. And that is the gift of travel. The actual travel experience. Check out these 25 travel experience gifts to find one that matched the traveler.
Though if you just want a general experience gift that any backpacker will love, simply buy the Tinggly Experience The World box. It’s a gift card that gives the receiver access to many different travel experiences around the world.
#2 Noise-cancelling earbuds
Gifts for backpackers need to be practical, small, and lightweight, and that is exactly why these earbuds by Beats are perfect. Besides that, they also provide high-quality sound, are sweat-proof, and have a noise-canceling option. In short, they are the perfect gift for backpackers who love listening to music.
#3 Portable speakers
Portable Bluetooth speakers are another option for backpackers who love listening to music. My favorite speaker for backpackers is the JBL GO 3 because it’s incredibly small, waterproof, dustproof, and still produces high-quality sounds.
An eReader is the best gift for the backpacker who loves to read. If you have to carry all your belongings on your back, you simply can’t take many books. And for a bookworm (like me), that sucks.
Thanks to the invention of the eReader, backpackers can bring as many books as they want with just this small device. My eReader is one of my most precious belongings when I travel, and I guarantee that any bookworm will love this gift. Especially if you pair it with a kindle subscription (#34).
#5 Handheld GPS
Are you looking for gifts for backpackers who love hiking in the middle of nowhere? Then Garmin’s handheld devices are the perfect gift.
These devices will help them to navigate through the middle of nowhere. They contain trails around the world and accurately show the location without the need for data. Where phones have no connection, Garmin devices do.
I know what you’re thinking.
How can backpackers possibly fit everything in this tiny backpack?
But actually, backpackers typically travel with two backpacks; a big one with all their belongings and a small one they use during the day; the daypack. And this backpack by Osprey falls into that last category. Osprey is a very popular brand among backpackers because of their high quality. So if you are looking for a practical backpacker gift, this daypack is perfect.
#7 US national park pass
Then this national park pass is perfect. It will allow them to access many different national parks all over the US, including their vehicle and 4 other passengers!
#8 GoPro action camera
A GoPro action camera is a great gift for adventurous and active travelers. It allows them to capture each moment, even when they’re underwater, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, bungee jumping, or doing any other crazy activity.
#9 Lightweight puff jackets
Lightweight puff jackets are not only great for mountaineers and hikers, but for backpackers too. This eco-hoodie by The North Face is lightweight and can easily be rolled into a small package, yet it’s incredibly warm. And thus perfect for backpackers who travel around different climates.
#10 Portable charger
A power bank or portable charger is one of the must-have travel items of this decade.
Backpackers use their phones for everything; navigation, music, taking photos, booking accommodation, paying, and whatnot. So running out of batteries is one of the worst things that can happen.
Trust me, I have been there.
Arriving at a new destination at night with just a few percent on my phone, stressing to find my hostel before the batteries die. It’s not a great experience, which I now easily avoid because I have a power bank.
So if you are looking for practical gifts for backpackers who use their phones a lot, this is the perfect gift.
#11 Wanderlust phone case
Are you looking for gifts for the backpacker who is obsessed with his or her phone?
Then a travel-themed phone case such as this one with photos is perfect!
#12 Mini espresso maker
This is one of my favorite gifts for the backpacker who loves coffee; a portable coffee maker.
All they need are Nespresso-compatible cups and they can make a delicious coffee anywhere.
This portable hammock is the perfect gift for a backpacker who loves sleeping and relaxing outdoors. It comes with straps and carabiners so they can set up their hammock anywhere.
#14 Phone lens
This phone lens is one of the best gifts for backpackers who love taking beautiful photos, but who don’t have space for large cameras. Instead, they can just take this small lens and add it to their iPhone to make wide-angle photos.
#15 Water bottles
Are you looking for practical backpackers gifts? Then a water bottle is a great option. I selected three types of water bottles that are great for different types of backpackers.
The first one is a water bottle with a filter which is perfect for hikers and people who often camp outside. The filter allows them to safely drink water from lakes and rivers.
The second one is an insulated bottle, which is the one I personally use. It’s great for people who often travel to warm destinations because it keeps their water cold.
The last option is a collapsible water bottle, which is perfect for people who travel light.
#16 Floating sunglasses
Rheos’ sunglasses are the best gifts for the backpacker who loves water sports.
Because, unlike other sunglasses, theirs float on water!
For the best backpacking gifts for men, check out The North Face rainjackets. They are another essential item for any type of traveler.
Smartwatches are one of my favorite tech gifts for backpackers. Check out Samsung for great smartwatches for Android users. For Apple fans, an Apple watch is the best option.
#19 Travel-themed board game
If the receiver of this gift loves board games, then check out these 25 travel-themed board games. Or simply go for Trekking the World.
Mid-budget backpackers gifts
#20 International street food cookbook
Are you looking for gifts for the backpacker who loves food?
Then this cookbook is perfect. Backpackers can recreate all the street food dishes they have tried during their travels, at home. And trust me, backpackers have tried a lot of street food. It’s typically the cheapest and most tasty food option, which is why backpackers love it.
#21 Shampoo bars
This set of four shampoo bars is one of the best gifts for the backpacker who cares about the environment.
Shampoo bars are very compact soap bars that work the same as regular shampoo, except you don’t need a plastic bottle (which is why they are better for the environment).
#22 Tripod selfie stick
For backpackers who travel alone, but who do like to take photos of themselves, this selfie stick tripod combination is perfect.
#23 Hanging toiletry bag
Are you looking for cute and practical backpacking gifts for women?
Then this waterproof hanging toiletry bag is perfect. It comes with a cute design and you can choose from six different colors. Though it’s the hook and the waterproof design that make it a great gift for travelers.
#24 Language class gift card
Are you looking for backpacking gifts for someone who loves learning languages?
Then check out this list with 25 awesome gifts for language lovers. Or go for an italki gift card which allows them to take personal online classes from native speakers.
#25 Dry bag
I always travel with a dry bag. Whether I’m going to the beach or traveling in the snow, it’s the best way to protect my stuff from unexpected water.
Earth Pak is one of the best brands and they offer bags in many different sizes and colors.
#26 Scratch map
When backpackers are not traveling, they are thinking about traveling. And that’s why travelers love maps because they allow them to dream about new and undiscovered destinations.
Check out these 25 world maps for more inspiration, or go for the classic scratch-off poster that every traveler loves.
#27 Gift cards
I know that gift cards have the reputation of being boring and impersonal gifts.
But actually, it’s one of the most useful and desired gifts. Plus if you use one of these creative ways to present a gift card, it’s anything but boring!
Check out these 25 best gift cards for travelers to find the perfect gift card for your receiver. Or go for a gift card from Columbia which is a popular brand for travel gear and clothing.
Here is another highly underrated gift for backpackers; money.
Traveling is an expensive hobby, so anything that will help them to pay for travel is a great gift. Just as gift cards, gifting money is still considered a bad gift. But I beg to differ, especially if you use a cute way to give money. For example, this money origami for travelers or this photo frame made from money.
#29 Travel journal
A travel journal is one of the best gifts for the backpacker who will leave for a trip soon. They can take the journal on the road and record their memories.
For more inspiration, check out these 25 travel journals too.
#30 Scarf with hidden pockets
Backpackers often travel by night buses and trains. Obviously, this comes with a risk, which is why this scarf with hidden pockets is perfect! They can wear it on the bus and carry their passports, money, and bank cards safely around their neck.
For more gift ideas to keep backpackers and their belongings safe on the road, check out these travel safety gifts.
#31 Inflatable travel pillow
As I said, backpackers often take night buses and in order to get a good night’s sleep on a bus, a travel pillow is essential.
Honestly, I prefer memory foam pillows over inflatable ones. But as a backpacker, I usually go for the smaller inflatable ones, because they take up less space in a backpack.
#32 Bra wallet
Are you looking for backpacking gifts for women?
Then this hidden wallet that women can attach to their bras is perfect!
They can keep their money and bank cards safely tucked under their clothes.
#33 Travel guides
This is another great gift for the backpacker who will leave on a trip soon, a travel guide for that specific destination.
Even though backpackers don’t travel with many books, they usually make an exception for a guidebook. Especially if that guidebook is the backpacker’s bible (aka the Lonely Planet).
So check out Amazon to find the Lonely Planet for the receiver’s next destination, and I guarantee they will actually bring your gift on their journey.
#34 Subscription gifts
Like gift cards, subscription gifts are one of the most practical and desired gifts.
For backpackers, three popular subscriptions include Netflix, Spotify, and Kindle.
#35 Piggy bank for travelers
Remember what I said about gifts that help backpackers pay for their next trip?
That’s right, they are all great gifts.
So this piggy bank in the shape of a suitcase is a perfect gift to help them save for that next trip. Check out these travel-themed piggy banks for more designs.
Small budget backpackers gifts
#36 Quick-drying towels
Definitely not the most exciting gifts for backpackers, but the most practical nonetheless, are the fast-drying towels.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a backpacker who does not use one of these. As the name already suggests, they dry quickly and are super lightweight, which is what makes them so popular among backpackers.
#37 Something from their favorite country
Do you know te receiver’s favorite travel destination?
Then a gift related to that destination is perfect!
#38 Travel-themed jewelry
Are you looking for cute backpackers gifts for women?
Then look no further.
This necklace with pendants of a globe and a compass is perfect!
#39 Collapsible coffee mug
Are you looking for backpackers gifts for coffee lovers? Then these collapsible coffee mugs are perfect, they are small and allow travelers to drink coffee anywhere.
#40 Personalized sleeping masks
To get a good night’s sleep on a bus or in a crowded dorm, a sleeping mask is another backpacker’s essential.
And what’s cuter than a mask that has their name on it?
If you like the personal touch, check out these personalized gifts for more inspiration.
#41 Fanny pack
I love fanny packs. They are like the colorful and happy version of the money belt. It keeps your money safe while also looking fashionable.
You can find them in all sorts of styles and designs, so check out Amazon for more options. Personally, I loved this cat design.
#42 Book for backpackers
This is one of the best gifts for backpackers and budget travelers who are still new to the scene.
Matt Kepnes is a famous travel budget blogger (Nomadic Matt) who has turned his years of experience into this fun and comprehensive book that’s a must-have for every backpacker.
#43 Tote bags
I always travel with a tote bag. It’s small, light, and can easily be rolled up if you’re not using it. They are perfect for the beach, grocery shopping, and basically anything else for which you need a small bag.
And what I love the most about tote bags is that they are available in many different designs, such as this one with a map of the world.
So if you are looking for practical gifts for backpackers, head over to Zazzle to check out all tote bag designs, or buy this world map bag from Amazon.
#44 Travel utensils
This is another great gift for sustainable backpackers who don’t want to use disposable cutlery.
#45 Travel-sized games
For backpackers who love games, check out this list filled with travel-sized and lightweight games.
One of my favorite games is Spot It! It’s a fast-paced game in which you have to find the matching symbols on cards as fast as possible. It’s easy to explain and learn, and you can play it in any language, which is why it’s perfect for backpackers who often meet travelers from different countries.
#46 Travel-themed coloring book for adults
A travel-themed coloring book is a perfect gift for backpackers who are stressed. As studies have shown that coloring books for adults help to reduce stress. And what’s a better way to wind down for travelers, than with a book filled with travel pictures?
#47 Waterproof deck of cards
This is one of the best gifts for the backpacker who loves drinking games.
Because for some reason (could it be the alcohol?) drinks are spilled more often when playing drinking games and this usually ruins the cards. But with these waterproof cards, backpackers can spill all they want and continue playing.
#48 Passport cover
Passport covers are probably not one of the most unique backpackers gifts on this list. But, since a passport is a backpacker’s most important document, it is one of the most practical gifts.
And if you buy a cute cover such as this one with a map of the world, it can definitely be a cute gift too.
#49 Luggage tags
Are you looking for small gifts for backpackers? Then a luggage tag in a cute theme, such as this one with mountains is perfect!
Or check out Zazzle, for more options.
#50 Hiking socks with text
I’m not going to lie. Hiking socks are typically not the most exciting gift for backpackers.
But they are practical.
So if you want to buy practical backpacking gifts for people who love hiking, this is it.
Save these gifts for backpackers
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Final note on these gifts for backpackers
Do you need a little more help to find the perfect gift? Check out the editor’s top 3 or the other gift guides on this site!