There’s no shortage of useful, quirky stocking stuffers for ultralight backpackers and hikers! From the best backcountry coffee, to a do-it-all gaiter, to the cork massage ball they never knew they needed, these are stocking stuffers for the hard-to-buy-for, gram-counting backpacking geek on your list.
For the Backcountry Food and Drink Aficionado
This hiker might do big miles, or they might not. But one thing they do enjoy on their backpacking trips is good food. They also don’t have a lot of space to spare in their pack, so their food bag consists of lightweight, high-quality snacks, meals, and coffee chocked full of good ingredients.
Caffeine you can eat? Sign us up. This tasty, creative snack is made with dark chocolate, espresso, and organic toasted coconut flakes. One pack equals two *strong* cups of coffee. The miles will fly by. Get their story here.
$1.99 (small) $6.49 (larger packet)
This variety is made with almonds, dark chocolate, and espresso—all the good things you need to power your way through the day. Eat this delicious spread straight from the package, or spread it on energy bars, tortillas, or kick your oatmeal up a notch by mixing in a spoonful of Trail Butter. This is also available as a full jar. Get their story here.
Tea-drinking hikers rejoice—Cusa Instant Tea takes the hassle out of tea bags and apparatuses on the trail. This sample pack comes with English Breakfast, Oolong, and Mango Green Tea. Get the details on this cool company, and how they engineered “instant” tea here.
$3.49 each, or 6 for $18.99
This is for the hiker who needs the XL size coffee in the morning. Each packet of CS Coffee makes a 20-ounce cup of strong, dark-roasted coffee. It comes with the bonus of feeling extra good about your purchase, as CS Coffee hires people with disabilities to package their product. Get the backstory on CS Coffee here.
$2.49 each, or 3 for $7.49
If you couldn’t tell, we’re all about that caffeinated pick-me-up in the name of good taste and good ingredients. Tuck a few packets of this coffee into your hiker’s stocking and they’ll be ever so grateful. This is a milder medium-roast coffee that makes an 8-10oz cup. Get their story here.
For the Hardcore Mile Crusher
Whether this hiker is setting FKTs, fastpacking, or simply putting in long days on the trail, they want to pack items that add convenience and efficiency to their day without the weight penalty.
$10.99 (small size)
These tiny, ultralight cork balls are the perfect way to roll out sore feet, legs, your back ... any of the aches that come with pushing big miles. Get Rawlogy's story here.
This smart new design from CNOC is a durable, collapsible water bottle with one-liter of capacity and the same threading as standard SmartWater bottles — so you can thread your Sawyer filter for easy use without having to buy disposable bottles. Read their story here.
This is an ultralight, wicking, do-it-all gaiter. I always wear a headband when I hike, but the full-size Buff ends up feeling too thick and constricting, This is a lighter, stretchier option that can provide some warmth as well as protection from the sun. I wear it as a headband and a neck warmer.
Eight inches of spoon length means not a bite of your backcountry rehydrated Alfredo gets missed. Long-handled spoons also mean no peanut butter or tuna on your knuckles! A durable, lightweight option is always better than disposable plasticware.
Super absorbent and made with antimicrobial materials, this is the answer for anyone who squats to pee and hates dripping dry, using excess toilet paper, or—yikes—wiping with leaves. Use this between town stops, then toss it in the wash on laundry day. Learn how Kula got its start here.
For the Highly Organized Backpacker
This hiker’s pack looks like the backpacking version of The Container Store. Every piece of gear has a place, and if you ask them for a lighter, a charging cable, a Twix bar, or their cookset, they whip it out in the blink of an eye. These organizational gear items will only make ‘em more of a force!
This three-pack of pods come in bright, fun colors for easy grabbing from the cavern of your pack. These are some of the least expensive packing pods out there, and still lightweight, structured, and durable with taped seams for extra protection. Six Moon’s story here.
The lack of shoulder pockets in backpacking packs is a head scratcher, or maybe it’s just me. Regardless, this convenient shoulder pocket clips to your shoulder strap, and has an easy-access mesh pocket in the front, as well as a flap-closure main pocket. I keep my phone in the mesh and snacks / headphones in the main compartment. Get the scoop here.
3”x4” for the wallet pouch
Organize your small items in these DCF zippered pouches that come in five different sizes. These are ideal for the gear most likely to get lost, or whatever you want to keep together and on hand, like nail clippers, ibuprofen, a charging cable and lip balm. Find out how they’re sewn in a tiny seaside home here.
The days of tying your cards and cash together with a hair tie are gone! This hiker wallet is stitched from durable, ultralight DCF and is sleek enough to not take up any extra space. You can easily fit 3-4 cards in each side, plus cash across the length of the wallet. Hawbuck's story here.