What kind of gifts can you buy for an ultralight backpacker who’s a minimalist and eschews material possessions? It’s a quandary, isn’t it? Here are some tried and true gear favorites that all ultralight backpacker’s lust for. They may be minimalists, but they’re not stupid. They like great gear just like everyone else!
Altra Timp Trail Running Shoes
The Altra Timp is a moderately cushioned trail runner perfect for long days of hiking when you need to move fast but want a little extra protection for your feet. Drainage holes help shed excess water—perfect for creek crossings, while the uppers have thermoplastic urethane overlays for added stability and protection. Altra’s signature wide toe box allows toes to spread naturally, while hook-and-loop tabs provide attachment points for gaiters.
Katabatic Gear Palisade 30F Down Quilt
Gossamer Gear “The One” Ultralight Tent
Apple iPhone X – 64GB
Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket
Yama Mountain Gear 1P Cirriform Tarp
The 13.1 ounce 1-person Cirriform tarp has a wind shedding shape and front vestibule for increased weather protection and gear storage. Made with stretch resistant Silpoly fabric, it has an aerodynamic cut that saves even more gear weight. This tarp is quickly becoming a UL classic.
Superior 35 UL Backpack
Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter Kit
The Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter system is the most popular water filter used by ultralight backpackers today. With a field weight of only 3 oz., it makes filtering water as simple as filling a pouch and squeezing water into your mouth. No pills, no pumps and no wait. The kit includes a 32 fl. oz. pouch; collapsible pouches are made from durable Mylar foil and can be reused hundreds of times. The Hollow-fiber membrane filter removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli; and removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.
Liteflex Trekking Umbrella
NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad
Mountain Laurel Designs eVent Rain Mitts
Weighing just 1 oz, these rain mitts are designed for 3+ season hikers, needing short term early morning warmth or anytime rain protection. While not intended as all-day everyday cold weather mitts, they are easily layered with fleece or wool liner gloves. Seam sealing is recommended for full weather protection. These mitts are a UL backpacking classic and have a worldwide following.
QiWiz Titanium Leave-No-Trace Trowel
The QiWiz (pronounced Chee-wiz) Big Dig Trowel is an ultralight titanium trowel that’s tough enough to cut through tree roots and hard packed soil when you need to dig a hole in a hurry. Weighing just half an ounce, this hand-made trowel can be used to stake out a tarp or tent when it’s not needed for other “business.”
ZPacks Bear Bag Kit
Alpacka Scout Packraft
Darn Tough Hiker Socks
Last but not least, give the gift of Darn Tough Hiker Socks. Super durable, cushioned, and comfortable, these wool socks fit like a dream. Their merino wool is naturally antimicrobial and repels bacteria and odors—a great feature when you need to get any extra day or two out of your socks. An army travels on it’s feet. Nuff said.
Want to learn more? Here are gear reviews of many of the items I list above.
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