Updated: Nov 17, 2022
The holiday season is upon us and what better way to buy gifts for your hiking and trail-loving friends than from a small business? When you support a small business you support your neighbors, friends, and individuals that do a happy dance when they see an order come through!
We’re sharing some of our favorite trail-inspired small businesses and their products in this gift guide.
“Abstract Hikes is a groovy sticker and design company for outdoor enthusiasts who want to reconnect with the trail or manifest their next adventure. After over 5,000 miles of thru-hiking, I now transform all the nostalgia and beauty from my treks into surreal portal paintings back to the ‘trailverse’ and beyond!” - Alina “Abstract” Drufovka
Adventure Stories by Michelle
“Adventure Stories by Michelle is a publishing company that focuses on children's adventure books. I wrote my first book, Folly and Molly Take on the Appalachian Trail, to inspire the next generation and beyond to love the Appalachian Trail as much as I do.” - Michelle Adshead
Join Folly and Molly on this rhyming adventure as they take on this epic journey—a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. This book is ideal for children ages 3 to 7, and anyone who loves the Appalachian Trail! Purchase a copy directly through her website and please follow along on Adventure Stories by Michelle’s instagram.
“Carpenter Woodworks makes replica trail signs and gifts perfect for hikers to celebrate and commemorate their favorite hikes and trails. It’s about being Inspired by Adventure.” - Brian Carpenter
Trail Signs are carved and painted to look as authentic as possible. Most signs measure up to 23.5 x 11.25” based on the scale. All signs are made to order and ship out within 1-2 weeks. Purchase yours directly through Brian’s website. Looking for a sign not featured in the online shop? Custom and replica signs (with submitted picture) can also be made. Just contact him for more details. Also, follow along on his instagram page!
Chica’s Arm Candy
“Chica’s Arm Candy business started in Costa Rica, where my husband and I lived for 4 years. I am the author of 7 books, an avid thru-hiker (Appalachian Trail among others), and a co-owner of Chica & Sunsets Hiker Hostel along the Appalachian Trail in the Smoky Mountains.” - Jen Beck Seymour aka Chica
All of her “HIKE” arm candy is hiker friendly - meaning you can wear it while hiking, sleeping in the woods, and in the showers in town! Most of her jewelry is made with a unique penny charm that has melted lead-free solder on the face and then is hand stamped; strung on hand-knotted waxed thread with hematite, faceted and metallic seed beads with adjustable slip-knot closure.
“I'm an author, keynote speaker, adventurer, outdoor educator, and a podcast host.” - Derick Lugo
Derick is the author of 'The Unlikely Thru-Hiker', a humorous memoir of his 6-month thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. He’s currently working on two new books, including a children’s picture book, and a second memoir detailing his 5-month thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail. He’s host of the Unlikely Stories Podcast.
“What could be a better hobby for a long-distance hiker than pottery? Now I have an excuse to get dirty indoors while creating something functional and beautiful!” - Jen Kelley
Handmade and wheel-thrown pottery created in the Great Smoky Mountains. Functional and funky pottery to add a fun touch to your kitchen. Purchase via Etsy or direct message Jen on Instagram (be sure to follow her there as well!)
“I create Latin backpacking food for adventurers with great taste and strong values!” - Martha Y Díaz
Itacate Foods has three delicious meals available: Charge-up Chilaquiles, Sunset Caldo, and Campsite Lentejas. Vegan/Vegetarian backpacking meals inspired by our Latin American roots. Purchase them via her website and stay up to date via instagram.
“The thru-hiking shirt where fun meets functional! Why settle for a sun hoodie or a button down when you can have both?”
This thru-hiker owned company creates fun gear designed with long distance hiking in mind. They also offer free two-day shipping to trail for thru hikers!
“Sambob seeks to make garments that make everyone feel comfortable in the outdoors! We make cozy custom fleece pullovers, crewnecks, and baby onesies that allow you to express yourself through color and pattern, whoever you are.” - Sam Roberts
Sambob has custom fleece pullovers, crewnecks, and baby onesies, with dozens of colors and patterns to choose from. Find them on their website and follow them on Instagram to stay up to date on all things Sambob!
Virginia Foothill Designs
“I specialize in ultralight gear that is custom made based off of conversations I have with hikers on Instagram and Reddit. Together we can figure out ways to enjoy the outdoors even more.” - Scott Burrill
Over 125 UL fabrics to dream up funky fanny packs, packs, stuff sacks etc! They are ideal gear for hiking, backpacking, biking, and whatever else you like to do in the great outdoors!
You can buy them directly on Instagram and be sure to give them a follow as well.
Thanks for all you do to support these small businesses and others! We are so grateful for every social media share, like, and of course, purchase. It means the world, especially during the holiday season. Happy holidays and happy trails from all of us, to you!