45 EPIC GIFTS for Backpackers in 2020

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Ahoy amigos! It’s that time of the year once more – the time to treat your favourite traveller to something special… The only problem? You’re not quite sure what are good gifts for backpackers.

“Will they like it?”

“Will they need it?”

“Will it save their life when they come face to face with angry bears, difficult treks or Delhi belly?”

“What on earth is a good travelling gift for someone who is always on the road, scrambling up mountains, partying in Thailand and lazing upon palm-fringed beaches?”

Well, probably not a flat-screen TV…

Luckily, there are a ton of great backpacking gifts for those who travel a lot. From nifty little trinkets to essential items to an actual backpack (you know, the thing they live out of), there’s a lot to choose from.

I’ve popped together a list of some of the best things in my own bag and I think that these would make some excellent gift ideas for backpackers!

 

The 45 Best Gifts for Backpackers

So what do all of those security guards see when they run my bag through the X-Ray machine? Well here’s a good look. Take these as inspiration for own backpacking gift ideas when shopping for that special someone.

 

1. Active Roots Parachute Hammock

Hammocks make an excellent gift for travellers, campers, hikers and outdoorsy folks who want to watch the stars and save some money on accommodation costs, whilst they drift off. Hammocks are sexy, lightweight, fun to sleep in and offer you a ton of options for where to spend the night.

Hammock for backpackers

There’s a lot of portable hammock options out there but if you don’t want to spend so much, I recommend getting a parachute hammock; they are super light, strong and durable. Active Roots hammocks are some of the best value parachute hammocks on the market and 10% of Active Root’s profits go towards supporting noble causes such as the Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai.

 

2. Nomatic Travel Bag

Yes, the backpacker in your life probably needs some sort of backpack. We don’t recommend just any old backpack though – the Nomatic Travel Bag is the absolutely best piece of kit we’ve found on the market.

We’ve been testing it for years now (not because we have to, we actually travel with it on every trip)! This bag is perfect for the minimalist backpacker who wants to fit all their travel necessities in a sleek carryon. You can read more of our thoughts in the full review.

GET ONE HERE

 

 

3. Tortuga Outbreaker

We may as well get this one out of the way, too. We know there isn’t just one backpack to fit everyone’s travel style, so we recommend the Tortuga Outbreaker as a stylish carry-on. Ideally, it’ll make a great companion to accompany a larger bag for those who travel a little heavier, or frequent cold destinations.

Tortuga Outbreaker

Its organization is impeccable and functions well enough as a stand-alone bag if you only need a few changes of clothes at a time. We’ve written a lot more about this bag in the full review.

GET ONE HERE

 

 

4. Planner/Travel Journal

Keeping a journal is one of the best things to do when traveling. The Nomatic travel planner is our favorite, it works great for digital nomads and organized backpackers with it’s lay flat pages and calendar. Keep on track with your goals, travels and save those precious memories, especially the ones you do not want to share online.

GET ONE HERE

 

5. Water Bottle

Every backpacker should hit the road with a water bottle – it’ll save you money and help reduce your plastic footprint on our amazing planet. Active Roots 25 OZ Travel Bottles are tough, lightweight and maintain the temperature of your beverage – so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are.

For every Active Roots water bottle sold, we also donate 10% to PlasticOceans.org – an awesome initiative aimed at educating people on the risk of single use plastic and helping to clean up our oceans.

GET ONE HERE

 

 

6. Foldable Hat

Foldable Hat

This crush resistant foldable hat can fit in your back pocket! Great for outdoor activites, it comes in four colors and has quick-dry, ultra-breathable material and tuck-flap brim design.

 

GET ONE HERE

 

7. Security Travel Belt with Hidden Money Wallet

Hand’s down, this is a must-have for any nomad, backpacker, hiker, adventurer or regular traveller. You can conceal up to twenty folded notes inside the zipped inner-facing part of the security belt and, since the belt clasp is not metal, you can wear this belt through an airport scanner without setting it off.

gifts for backpackers

This is my favourite travel accessory and is vital for keeping my cash and Rizla papers safe when I am backpacking. I never travel without it. Buy it for the adventurer in your life and they are sure to be pretty stoked that they have the perfect way to hide their emergency money.

 

8. Head Torch

I never travel without a head torch. Whether you are drunkenly rolling around your tent, descending into the depths of the earth or simply walking home in the dark, every backpacker should have a torch and this makes a great gift for travellers.

Gifts for backpackers

Petzl makes some of the best head torches in the business; the Petzel Tikka is my favourite as it has a red light setting meaning you can use it without insects being attracted to your forehead. One of the greatest gifts for backpackers who love adventure.

GET ON AMAZON GET ON REI

 

9. Pocket Blanket

This lightweight, waterproof, super compact pocket blanket is a must for all adventures. Doubling up as an emergency poncho, this picnic blanket is worth its weight in gold when chilling, or camping, on the beach.

Matador Pocket BlanketThis tear-resistant blanket has rustproof metal ground stakes and sand pocket corners to keep blanket secure on beaches. 

GET ONE HERE

 

10. Sungod Custom Sunglasses

gifts for backpackers

The ultimate in adventure sunnies, these sunglasses are pretty much bulletproof and are very affordable. Best of all, you can design your own pair online out of thousands of possible combinations making these ones of the best gifts for backpackers around! Want more info, check out our in-depth review on these epic sunglasses.

 

Looking to light up your next adventure with sustainable solar power?

The MPOWERD Luci Base Light packs flat, is waterproof and can be pre-charged by USB as well as by the sun.  This super-powerful, 350 lumens light, is perfect for backpackers, hikers and outdoorsy folk and best of all – it’s environmentally friendly MPOWERD believes in making a positive social and environmental impact on the world by providing responsibly crafted, sustainable products, which is something we can all get behind! Grab one today and join the solar power tribe!

Check on REI          Check on MPOWERD

 

11. Scratch Map

What’s cooler than a map? A scratch map is an ideal gift for backpackers who have just returned from their adventures and want to keep track of where they have been in the world… It can also do wonders for post travel blues.

 

12. Vango Sabre Tent

The gold-standard of affordable adventure tents comes from Vango. If you have somebody you truly god-damn love and want to splash out on this is a great gift for travellers in your life.

tent for backpackers

This a two people tent with a part mesh inner door for better ventilation. Perfect if you feel claustrophobic in tents and it keeps the bugs out.

Check out this post on the best tents to take backpacking for more inspiration.

 

13. Hippy Dippy Yoga Pants

Slip into your adventure in style with these bohemian elephant pants, suitable for raves, yoga, chilling out on the beach and endless Instagram selfies. Best of all, a percentage of all sales goes towards supporting the endangered Asian elephant at the Laos conservation centre! 🙂 

 

14. Carry on cocktail kit

Cocktail kit for backpackers

For travellers who think they are the next James Bond, this is a fun gift that can add a little class and grace to even the most bedraggled of backpackers!

GET ONE HERE

 

15. Microfibre Quick Drying Towel 

Whenever you are hitting the road, pack a microfibre towel for the journey. No matter if you are camping, hitching or partying hard, you should always have a super fast drying towel to keep you clean on the road.

towel for backpackers

The Active Roots microfibre travel towel is one of the best value towels around, comes in multiple funky colours and, best of all, a percentage of all profits made by Active Roots go back to noble causes such as supporting Luang Prabang’s elephant sanctuary.

GET ONE HERE

 

16. Leatherman skeletool multi tool

Skeletool gift for backpackers

A great gift for travellers who tend to head off into the wilds, I’ve had mine for nearly ten years now and it has never broken; it’s a strong piece of kit built to last and if I had to take just one thing with me to a desert island, it would be this. The carabiner belt clip doubles up as a bottle opener which is endlessly cool.

 

17. Marco Polo Guidebooks

Any backpacker will tell you that we can be a pretty spontaneous lot. But as broke backpackers, you need to have at least some of your shit sorted before you hit the road. If you’re pressed on time, the best way to explore a city is with the help of some experts.

Marcopolo guides for backpackers

Marco Polo are my go-to guidebook when I rock up in a city and have just a couple of days to get to grips with everything to do. Packed to bursting with practical info, travel tips, culture notes and plenty of lesser known attractions, this is the guide you want to pack.

 

18. Pixter Phone Lens

 

If you’re keen to up your photo game but don’t want to splash out on (or carry around!) a massive camera, I strongly recommend Pixter Camera lenses. I’ve been messing around with mine for a couple of months now and they have turned my average photos into something a lot more special.

pixter for gift for backpackers

The best thing about these camera lenses, they are surprisingly affordable! I recommend the super fisheye lens.

GET ONE HERE

 

19. Bose Headphones

Headphones for backpackers

For backpackers who love their music, a decent pair of headphones can make a world of difference when travelling the world. It’s time to toss your cheap pair of shitty headphones out (recycle them) and rock to something with a much clearer sound… The Bose Sound support headphones pack a hell of a punch for the price.

GET ONE HERE

 

20. Fingerprint Padlock

We haven’t tried this out yet so it’s hard to say if it’s as good as it looks but holy shit! – A fingerprint padlock?! The future is here!

gifts for backpackers fingerprint padlock

Supposedly, once fully charged, the padlock can be used for up to two years and perform 30,000 unlocks… That’s a ton of unlocks. This is a product which every drunken backpacker will want at some point on their adventures….

GET ONE HERE

 

21. The Backpacker Bible

$10 ebook for backpackers

Nine years of travel tested tips, tricks and know-how! Everything you need to know to ditch your desk, hit the road and earn money as you travel around the world. Actionable advice and steps on planning, finances, where to go, making friends, staying safe, picking up work and building an online income – this is the bible for long term travel.

 

22. Travel Guitar

Travel guitars have come a looong way in recent years. They used to be flimsy, unreliable, or very expensive. Now things have changed for the better, as the best travel guitars are well built, sound great and are super affordable (by guitar standards). Believe me, this is the best gift you could ever get for a traveling musician.

Our highest recommendation for a travel guitar is the Martin Travel Guitar (pictured above), but if you are looking for some more music inspiration, check out our awesome guide to the top travel guitars.

GET ONE HERE

 

23. Portable Battery Charger

I spend a lot of time in the Pakistani mountains, where electricity isn’t always guarunteed. No matter how many gadgets I have to keep myself entertained on that 14 hour bus ride, they are all rendered useless as soon as their batteries die. Thankfully, there are super lightweight, compact, and powerful as hell external batteries out there.

gifts for backpackers

If possible try to get an external battery with multiple USB slots – being able to charge many things at once is very convenient. Some also come with a waterproof pouch!

I usually travel with a couple of portable batteries because, if the opportunity arises, they make a truly excellent gift for people you may meet living in the mountains. A must have in any backpacker’s checklist.

 

24. Buff Multifunctional Headwear

gifts for backpackers

I am somewhat obsessed with Buffs, having a collection of half a dozen. It’s always worth having one on your wrist; I use them to cover tattoos from the sun and keep my mouth covered from dust when in smoggy Asian cities…

 

25. 20 Reasons to backpack around the world

books for backpackers

If you’re looking to inspire and educate your backpacking friends on why they should hit the road in the first place, check out Mike Huxley’s book on twenty reasons to backpack around the world.

GET ONE HERE

 

26. Coleman Sundome tent

Coleman sundome tent for backpackers

Look, at the end of the day – a tent makes a cracking gift for backpackers who hitchhike or like to travel in a remote area, buy them any of the above and they should be happy. This is one of the best budget tents on the market.

 

27. GoPro

It pretty much goes without saying that any budget traveller would die for a GoPro, even if they already have a camera. For those rather accident prone travellers, a durable and waterproof camera is pretty much the best backpacker gift ever.

gopro gift for backpackers

You can pick up GoPros relatively cheap if you simply avoid buying the latest model. Still can’t find an affordable model though? Then check out our bargain guide to the best GoPro Alternatives.

GET ON AMAZON GET ON REI

 

28. Portable Speaker

Portable travel speaker for backpackers

Powerful, lightweight, water resistant and inexpensive, this little guy is amazing for sharing tunes with new friends from around the world. A great gift idea for men who travel.

#29 Grayl Geopress

Grayls Geopress Water Bottle

Want to save the world and stay hydrated? Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to the oceans and planet – Be a part of the solution and invest in a filter water bottle.

The Grayl  Geopress water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. We use it on our own adventures to purify often nasty looking water and it does a beautiful job – we have yet to get sick! This is what the whole Broke Backpacker team uses- in mountains, cities, jungles – we love it – it’s a total game changer.

GET ONE HERE

 

30. Pocket Rocket Stove

The best part about this stove is it is absolutely TINY! Worried your backpacker pal isn’t getting enough nourishment on the road? Get them this so they can cook no matter what random places they wind up at.

awesome camping gifts to use for cooking

I’ve cooked in deserts, on the side of the road and upon towering mountains in The Himalayas; my MSR pocket rocket is hands down one of the best bits of kit in my pack. Check out this post for a full breakdown on the best stoves to take backpacking.

GET ON AMAZON GET ON REI

 

31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

 

The bible for travellers hitting the road for the first time and in need of some adventure inspiration on how to travel with no money. Jack Kerouac is the daddy of all backpackers and he writes like a dream.

book gifts for backpackers

Here are some other great books for some on-the-go reading.

 

32. Travel Mug Thermos

Thermos gift

Imagine being able to drink a cup of hot coffee in the middle of a thick snow or a cool refreshing drink in a blazing desert. This travel mug is also a thermos which can keep hot things hot and cold things cold, an amazing gift for backpackers!

 

33. Travel Money Belt

Travel money belt for backpackers

A classic but a goodie, every backpacker should have a travel money belt. This one is RFID blocking meaning your card details can’t be swiped by pesky criminals!

 

34. Barmah Kangaroo leather hat

hat gift for backpackers

The ultimate gift for travellers who think they are Indiana Jones… I’ve had mine for over eight years and it’s fantastic in hot or wet environments. If you’re heading into the jungle, it’s well worth having…

GET ONE HERE

 

35. Waterproof playing cards

gifts for backpackers

The best way to make new friends on the road is still to have a deck of cards. These plastic coated ones can have endless amounts of beer spilt on them and still remain in one piece…

 

36. Garmin vívoactive Smartwatch

Garmin smart watch for gifts

A smartwatch is a great gift for travellers who move around constantly. It has a range of apps for health and fitness, social networking and tons of fun entertainment apps – something to keep them occupied on arduous train journeys and long haul flights!

 

37. Headphone splitter

headphone splitter gift for backpackers

Hands down one of the cheapest gifts for backpackers on the list; if your buddy is travelling with a companion then this makes the perfect mini gift.

GET ONE HERE

 

38. Kindle

Do you have any idea how much extra weight a few books add? Way, way too much. Plus, for those picky readers out there, finding an engaging book at book exchanges in foreign countries can be a tricky game to play. The first time I hit the road, I had about a dozen books on me; it was nuts.

gifts for backpackers

Fortunately, there’s now Kindle. Bonus points: throw in an Amazon gift voucher so we can buy ourselves a few books. If you’re in search of travel reading inspiration, check out the ultimate list of books to read on the road.

 

39. Grizzly Bushcraft Ultimate Survival Knife 

gifts for backpackers

I never hit the road without a trusty knife, or two. I own over a dozen knives but the Bushcraft is hands down the best knife in my collection. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a male traveller, a knife is always a good choice!

GET ONE HERE

 

40. Travel Security T-shirt

tshirt for backpackers

This T-shirt has 5 discreet pockets where you can hide your valuables. It is also a perfect gift idea for travellers and travelling photographers – you will never lose that sneaky lens cap again!

 

41. Electronic Candles

gifts for backpackers electronic candles

These electronic candles are a total god-damn game changer. When you’re camping out, enjoying a cheeky smoke beneath the stars or getting cosy with your camping buddy, these candles are awesome for setting up some ambience. They flicker convincingly, don’t blow out like normal candles and won’t set fire to your tent… They are also super cheap with a whole pack of 24 costing less than $10.

GET ONE HERE

 

42. AR Toiletry Bag

AR Toiletry Bag

 

Another backpacker favorite for staying organized is a hanging toiletry bag. It’s extremely helpful to have all of your accessories neatly gathered in one bag that you can hang for easy accessibility, especially when counter space isn’t plentiful or even available. A well-organized bag is worth having whether you’re tree whilst camping or a hook in the wall – it helps to have quick access to all your stuff.

GET ONE HERE

 

43. Touchscreen Gloves

gifts for backpackers

Get a pair of these really cool unisex gloves. They areanti-skid, waterproof, windproof and can be used on all touchscreen devices. One of the smartest gifts for backpackers.

 

44. Tinggly Bucketlist Experience Boxset

What possible better gift you can give to somebody than the gift of experience? With a Tinggly Bucketlist Giftset, you can give the traveller in your life the experience of a lifetime from a huge range of options. The Giftset is essentially a voucher for them to go and have the experience of a lifetime!

 

45. Zipper Scarf

AR Zipper Scarf

Don’t lose your money to a pickpocket! There are tons of ways to store valuables and goods while travelling but a travel scarf has to be the least obtrusive and the most classy.

The Active Roots Zipper Scarfis your run-of-the-mill infinity scarf but with a hidden pocket that’s big and sturdy enough for a night’s cash, your phone, a passport and (hell with it) some snacks too!easy accessibility, especially when counter space isn’t plentiful or even available.

GET ONE HERE

 

46. Active Roots Day Pack

 

active roots daypack

It’s always worth having a daypack with you whenever you travel but often NOT worth carrying something bulky around. The Active Roots adventure daypack is hands down the best foldable day pack around, it comes with a water bottle holder, folds down super small yet provides plenty of space for your day-venture and is tough and sturdy.

GET ONE HERE

 

47. Allasleep

I don’t know about you, but I find it near impossible to sleep whilst seated on planes, busses or mules as I just can’t get comfy. Well, this is where Allasleep comes in! Allasleep slots into your seat and helps you sleep. How? Well, it keeps the neck in a neutral position so that the head doesn’t tip sideways or forward and it ads a penumbra effect which promotes relaxation.

It has been approved by Occupational Therapists and will vastly improve the quality of your in-transit sleep! Zzzzzzz…

48. Adventure Compass

 

gifts for backpackers

An adventure compass makes the perfect gift for backpackers still in touch with the old ways of exploring and with a bit of a romantic side. This particular one is truly gorgeous and looks a lot more expensive than it is, so makes an impressive budget gift for a backpacker. Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken is engraved within.

 

49. World Nomads Travel Insurance

If you’re constantly on the road like myself, insurance is the gift that keeps on giving… I’ve had to claim three times on my insurance over the last nine years of travelling and each time I’ve been thankful I had it sorted. One of the best gifts for backpackers too tight to buy their own insurance!

 

 


So there you have it, the ultimate list of gifts for backpackers. Now go make their day! Check out these posts for even more inspiration.



Yay for transparency! The links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you buy anything, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse crap. Your support helps me keep the site going. 

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