5 easy gifts for true South African hikers and adventurers

Get your hiking friends light, compact gear as a gift.  (Hanlie Gouws)

Get your hiking friends light, compact gear as a gift. (Hanlie Gouws)


  • Give the wanderers in your life something light and easy to carry this festive season.
  • We search South African stores for gifts that won’t hurt you or your bank accounts.
  • Some of our favorites include a coffee maker, a set of dry bags, and a very comfy mat.
  • For more stories see www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

It can be very frustrating to give your hiking friends a practical gift, especially if you don’t hike yourself. And it’s just as frustrating for hikers when they receive heavy and bulky gifts from friends and family who want a review afterwards. Stores are sometimes very unhelpful in this regard by displaying hiking and camping gear in the same department.

The truth is that carrying your gift from the car to your tent when you go camping is very different than carrying it up and down a mountain for up to five days. That enamel mug might look so pretty at the store, but on day four of the trek your friend might be looking for a rock to bury it under while pining for that ugly bamboo mug that weighs 80g and left at home would.

Business Insider South Africa went shopping to find light and compact gifts that would last and won’t break you. These items are available online and in store, but simply check online to see if your nearest store has them in stock.

broth spoon

broth spoon

One of the best possible gadgets for the coffee loving hiker. It only weighs around 20g and is quick and easy to use: place your coffee grounds on one side of the spoon, twist the other side on top and stir into boiling water. You can also use it for tea. It’s made from food-grade polypropylene, food-grade stainless steel mesh, and is dishwasher safe (although a good shake is enough to clean it).

Available at Cape Union Mart for R199.



Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth 1L

The beloved bottle that made Nalgene famous is still as good as ever and one of the most convenient bottles around. It doesn’t leak (I’ve used it for many purposes and have never spilled a drop) and since you can pour boiling water straight into it, it’s ideal for soaking your pasta or rice in it to save cooking time, and you can it Use it as a hot water bottle on a cold night. The wide opening makes fetching water from rivers, streams or waterfalls super easy. It also fits most filter devices when clean running water is not available. It weighs just 177.25g and comes in a range of funky colours.

Available from Drifters for R309


Black Diamond Explorer 3 trail trekking pole

A very comfortable and durable pole for everything from day hikes to real adventures. The three-piece poles are adjustable with two FlickLocks and offer quick and safe length adjustments (from 58.5 cm to 130 cm). Each bar only weighs 276g so when not in use they don’t add much to your overall load.

Available from Outdoor Warehouse at R599 per pole.

dry pockets

dry pockets

Lightweight dry bags from JR Gear

Dry bags are a must for any hike with river crossings or possible rain, but they also help keep a cavernous pack neat and organized. They’re made from lightweight fabric and the seam construction is taped to ensure they won’t absorb water.

Available in a range of sizes from 2.5 to 30 liters between R190 and R350 from Mountain Mail Order

hiking mat

Therm-A-Rest RidgeRest Classic Regular

The Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic is a durable foam mattress that is comfortable and insulating. The best thing about this 400g mat is that when rolled up, it doubles as a seat for lunch breaks or cooking. It’s only 53cm wide, making it easy to carry on top or bottom of your pack without interfering with your movement around tight corners. I prefer them to any type of inflatable mattress for all but the coldest of hikes because you don’t have to deflate and squash them back into their sack every time you use them.

Available for R569 at Camp & Climb.

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