For Christmas 2021, my good friend Temperpedic elected to do a “consumable” Christmas with her family – where they only gave each other gifts that could be consumed one way or another. I thought this was an absolutely fabulous idea – and also thought that this could be super fun to do for the backpackers in your life… especially since backpackers are always trying to cut clutter in their pack.
What is a consumable gift, you ask? A gift that can be used up in any sort of way – eaten, experienced… basically anything where after the final use, you don’t have something sitting in your house for the rest of your life.
My favorite wipes for backpacking are Venture Wipes. They are individually wrapped (which is perfect for backpacking), and infused with aloe and tea tree oil. They are larger than a regular baby wipe, so they are considered “shower wipes,” which allow you to get a lot more use out of one wipe than normal. They are super durable and just so beyond practical.
I have to add though – to be totally honest, if you are looking for consumable gifts because you are trying to go zero waste, these wipes are not for you – they come individually wrapped, so they make more waste than normal baby wipes. HOWEVER, you generally use less waste while you are backpacking, so in the grand scheme of things, they could still be considered “low-waste.” Regardless, I love them and highly, highly recommend them for any backpacker.
Instant coffee is a staple in any backpacker’s life. And now, we aren’t stuck with only plain black coffee… although there are plenty of options if that is your thing! You can now buy instant vanilla lattes, dirty chai lattes, coffee with cream, caramel macchiatos, salted caramel lattes – the possibilities are endless!
Help the backpacker in your life restock their pantry! There are so many different types of dehydrated meals out there – my personal favorites include lasagna with meat sauce, chicken pad thai, or yellow curry – but the possibilities truly are endless!
Refresh of first-aid kit
Find me a better gift for someone than the gift of safety. Refresh their first-aid kit with band-aids and larger bandages, pain-killers, antibiotic creams, anti-nausea medication, icy-hot, anti-itch cream, or allergy meds! Also, consider buying them little ziploc bags to put all of their medication into. Not only are you giving them a gift that they can consume, but you are also doing them a huge favor – because if the backpacker in your life is anything like me, they constantly forget to refill their first-aid kit.
We’ve all heard about the ten essentials of hiking – but have you heard about the eleventh essential of backpacking? In case you haven’t, it is a perfect box of perfect wine. Nothing better than a box of your favorite wine to greet you at camp after a long day on the trails. And what’s great about a box of wine is that once you’ve finished, the box is super light and packs up into your trash super well! My personal favorite is Black Box, but I can also vouch for Bota Mini.
Moleskin is a bandage used by hikers and backpackers to prevent new and care for existing blisters. It provides protection against friction between the shoe and foot. Always great to have in your backpack for those unexpected hot spots!
After a few days (or hours) in the mountain, ain’t nothing better than an epsom salt bath. Epsom salts are full of magnesium, which act as a muscle relaxer and can tend to your aching body. Drop a few scoops of epsom salts into your bath, and you’ll be good as new in no time. For purchase, consider EpSoak Pure Epsom, Solimo with infused Lavender, or Solimo with infused Eucalyptus.
Mini toiletries are a fundamental necessity if you want to keep clean in the backcountry. Consider purchasing your loved one mini deodorant, toothpaste, a folding toothbrush, sunscreen, lotion, or a travel-sized hairbrush. For convenience, I’ve linked sample products here, but almost all of them come in multi-packs. If you are looking for single item, I suggest the travel section of your neighborhood Target. And remember: the mini-er, the better.
After a long day on the trail, treat your backpacker to a fresh, homemade(ish) cocktail. All you need is powdered cocktail mix and a mini bottle of your backpacker’s favorite liquor for a delicious lightweight nightcap (or daycap if they arrive to camp early!).
Rounding out the list with the least fun, but probably most practical option, are gift cards to their favorite outdoor store! Let them pick out their most coveted gear – because we all know how particular we can be with the specific gear that we want.
Have any other good ideas? What are your favorite consumables to get? Leave them in the comments below! And happy holidays to you and yours!