I’ve done my fair share of hiking during this past year and I always bring my camera along. Because of which, I’ve used many different products to aid me in my hiking photography. Some products worked great, others were a big waste of money. So without further delay, here are the best photography gifts for hikers!
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Hiking Backpack for Photographers
There are many different gift ideas for hikers, but a backpack is always number one! When picking out a hiking backpack, consider two factors. First, the bag must be waterproof or have some way to quickly make it waterproof. Can you imagine being far out along your day hiking trail and then to have it start down pouring? This happened to me while I was in Goblin Valley but luckily I had the Zecti Camera Bag which was already waterproof to begin with but came with a great rain cover I could easily slip over the camera bag.
The second factor to look for is how wearable is it? What I mean by that is it heavy or a light camera bag? Is there adjustable chest and waist straps? Is the back of the bag cushioned? You’ll be carrying around camera gear that can get heavy so it’s important to have a backpack that is light-weight and comfortable.
The four backpacks below are what I would recommend with all varying price range are the best hiking backpacks for photographers. I included a sling camera backpack because I have many fellow hiking photographers who enjoy using them. These are all great gifts for day hikers.
The next on this list of gift ideas for hikers is a camera clip! I can’t tell you how many times while on the trail I pull out my camera to take a photo then place in securely back in my backpack only to pull it out five minutes later. While hiking it’s not a great idea to carry your camera in your hand due to fall risks. In addition, I hated wearing the camera strap around my neck while backpacking because it would get heavy and my neck would be throbbing by the time we reached the end.
This latest camera clip securely holds your DSLR camera (or your compact and point-and shoot cameras) while you are hiking. It works by attaching itself to any strap or belt on your camera bag. What I love about it is that it has a quick release button so you can quickly access your camera.
This is an incredible photography gift for any one of your friends who likes to hike or play outdoors!
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Tripod for hiking
The two major factors to look for while picking out the perfect tripod are light-weight & durability. I have been using the Amazon Basics Tripod because it was an inexpensive tripod and very lightweight. This may be the most light weight tripod on the market today.
I will say that most of my hiking does not take place during harsh weather or incredibly rugged terrain which is why I opted for this tripod. I do understand that it is not the absolute best tripod on the market but for me, it does just fine and with that price I was sold.
These four tripods are the ones that I would recommend depending on your budget. They are all great and obviously as you spend more, you get more advanced features on the tripod.
extra camera batteries & SD Card
Small Flexible Tripod for DSLR Camera
I know we just covered the best tripods for hiking but it also might be a great photography gift idea to give a flexible tripod for a dslr camera! There have been times while I have been hiking that setting up a full-tripod is just not ideal. For example, when there were hoards of people at Arches National Park in Utah it would have been nice to have smaller tripod!
The flexible legs on these tripods also make it easy to capture those difficult shots where there is not a great foundation to set up a tripod. I’ve even seen these legs been wrapped around tree branches to take amazing photos that would not have been possible previously. I believe this would fit well into the category of “best gifts for casual hikers”.
Additionally, tripods are the perfect gift because they allow the person to take those awesome travel photos with themselves in frame! Watch this short video of myself explaining how I take my own travel photos when I want to be in the picture using only my phone, tripod, and my camera!
SD Memory Card Case
This is the last on our list for hiking photography gear! While you’re out on the trails the last thing that you want to happen is to fill up a memory card and not have a replacement! I may have had this happen to me a time or two. Which resulted in me sitting alongside the trail going back and deleting non-essential photos.
The better alternative would be to purchase a SD Memory Card Case so you can fill it up with several additional memory cards which can be easily slipped into a backpack. The four below are my top, inexpensive picks!
Additional Hiking Gifts
In order to get great at outdoor photography, you also need essential hiking gear as well. A few additional gift ideas include an rei gift card, sleeping bag, first aid kit, national parks pass, gift card to their favorite outdoor store, water bottle, wool socks, water filter, fire starter (just in case), lip balm, and trekking poles!
I hope this gift guide helps you on your search to picking up the best photography gifts for that hiker in your life.
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