If you know a keen walker or you are friends with someone who would like to do more walking in 2019, why not buy then a Christmas gift to suit their hobby? If you know me, then you know that I like my walking gadgets! If this was a list of Christmas gifts for the backpacker then it would go on forever, so I decided that a list for the average person who likes to walk in all weathers would be more suitable. Below are fifteen ideas that you may find helpful.
You will notice that I do not list walking boots/shoes or clothes as they are a very personal items of choice.
Idea #1 – First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an essential item for any walker, but there are loads to choose from so how do you know what is right? If the person that you are buying the present for is the type of walker that goes for a stroll at the weekends then a simple “Light walker” first aid kit will be fine. One thing to bear in mind is the weight of the kit. Ideally, the product should be as light as possible. I once went hiking and I had a blister on my ankle. A lady that I was walking with worked for St Johns Ambulance and in her backpack, she had the most humungous first aid kit that you have ever seen! It was completely over the top. So please consider weight, and only include the essentials for your walker – they will thank you for it.
Price range: From £8 – £30
Idea #2 – Multi-tool
A multi-tool is very handy to have on your person. You never know when you will need a corkscrew, bottle opener or a knife to cut the cheese! I have never used the screwdriver or half of the other tools in my multi-tool gadget, but it is nice to know that they are there if a need should arise! One of the most popular brands is the Swiss Army Knife, but there are some excellent other brands out there.
Price range: From £12 – £85
Idea #3 – Anti-Chafe Balm
Body glide or anti-chafe balm is always a good stocking filler for walkers. Not only does body glide stop chafing in certain areas of your body, but it is also a great barrier cream for your feet – which helps prevent blisters. All walkers will keep a small pot of chafe balm in their pack (The Compeed Stick Balm is excellent for blisters).
Price range: £16 – £24
Idea #4 – Waterproof Socks
Really? Yes, there is such a thing as waterproof socks and they are amazing! I have actually added a pair to my own Christmas list. If you are in the UK then you are more-a-less guaranteed wet weather so these are a fantastic investment and an even better Christmas present! Don't worry, it is not like wearing rubber gloves on your feet, they feel like proper socks (wool), but they are waterproof. Sealskin is the most renowned brand.
Price range: £15 – 35
Idea #5 – Shoe Lights
I love my shoe-lights and I never walk in the dark without them. You may think that a head torch would be a more suitable present, but head torches are uncomfortable to wear and you also tend to blind people if you wanted a chat whilst walking. Shoe lights are the way to go! Now, there are good shoe lights and bad shoe lights. Remember, that you want a light that projects a good beam so that you can see where you are going. The type of light that a cyclist would wear for “awareness” is ok, but not really great for guidance in the dark.
Price range: £18 – £25
Idea #6 – Earmuffs
Not everyone likes to wear a beanie or woolly hat, so the next best thing to keep your ears pain free during the winter months is by wearing a headband. There are hundreds of styles available nowadays and an Amazon search for “ear warmer for running” will feed you lots of options to go through.
Price range: £7.50 – £15.00
Idea #7 – High Visibility Jacket
Safety first. I know that a high visibility vest is not the most attractive thing to wear but it is still important if you are walking at night. As a Christmas present, you may want to personalise your high vis vest, plus you don't have to buy bright yellow and look like a construction worker. There are all sorts of colours available from bright pink, blue, orange or green. There is also the option to buy a sash (see image on the right), which is extremely popular at the moment (Price £4.50)
Idea #8 – Eco-Friendly Water Bottle
With the heightened awareness of plastic in the environment, what better way to do your bit by investing in an eco-friendly water bottle for the walker in your life!
This particular bottle from Tree Tribe even plants 10 trees per sale of their bottle!
Check it out on Amazon here.
Price range: £70 (it's a good cause!)
Idea #9 – Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitiser is a great little stocking filler, but try and buy something a little bit different. Perhaps adding a hand sanitizer case to the mix that has a carabiner so your walker can easily attach it to their backpack.
Idea #10 – Magazine Annual Subscription
There are many magazines out there depending on your style of outdoors activity. Ones to consider are:-
Price range: c£50
Idea #11 – Fitbit or Pedometer
For many walkers, there is a sense of achievement when we have completed our 10,000 steps. I know that you can measure steps on a phone nowadays, but there is something special about being involved in a community that encourages you to do more. The social aspect of a Fitbit is fantastic. To the extent that although I have an Apple Watch that measures everything a Fitbit will measure, I still keep a simple Fitbit Zip in my pocket to track my steps and keep an eye on the leaderboard.
Price range: £45 – £60
Idea #12 – Massage roller/stick
This is a great little present for anyone who likes to walk when they go on holiday or travelling. A mini massage stick or a simple small massage ball can work wonders on your sore feet after a long day's hiking. They are lightweight enough to pop into your backpack and I always carry one with me when I am on a walking holiday.
Price range: £10-£25
Idea #13 – National Trust Membership
If your “walker” enjoys historic buildings and castles in very scenic places then consider a National Trust Membership. This is the ultimate present that just keeps giving!
Price: from £69 a year
Idea #14 – YHA Membership
I am just planning my walking weekends for 2019 and I have already used my YHA membership three times. The YHA is a very different organisation nowadays to what it used to be in my childhood. All beds are spotless, with clean sheets and freshly laundered duvet covers and pillows. They often have private rooms and en-suites for the fraction of the price of a hotel. A YHA Membership is the perfect present for anyone who loves to travel and wants to make the most of the year ahead of them.
Price: £15 a year
Idea #15 – Subscription for AllTrails or ViewRanger
All good walkers like to seek out new routes or even create their own. The two applications above are the best on the market to do this. ViewRanger works with OS Maps and is approximately £15 a month. AllTrails is the app that I use as I find it easier to navigate, and the annual subscription for this service is £23 (ish) – $29.99.
There are lots of items that you can purchase either online or at the main outdoor shops in the UK, such as Decathlon, Cotswold Outdoors, Mountain Warehouse or Go Outdoors, but remember to always go for quality before price. If you are not sure of a product then hop over to YouTube and type in the product name – I guarantee that someone somewhere will have recorded a gear review video about it. Yes, even that eco-friendly water bottle!