Every year, there’s that one popular present that everybody fights over in the stores and goes crazy trying to get. Luckily, while the hordes seek out the latest gizmos and try to find this season’s must-have toys, you can help the person on your list reach the summit of one of the world’s most popular mountains: New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock.

Mount Monadnock’s proximity to major metropolitan areas (it’s just a two-hour drive from Boston and less than five hours from New York) and year-round accessibility make it one of the most-climbed mountains in the world, attracting more than 125,000 hikers annually. At roughly four miles out-and-back along the iconic White Dot and White Cross trails, summiting is within the capabilities of most hikers, and a few key pieces of gear will go a long way toward helping give the gift of the U.S.’s most popular peak this holiday.

Alpha Guides

10 Gifts Your Loved One Needs to Hike Mount Monadnock

1. Give the Gift of Knowledge

Provide the inspiration to tackle this bucket-list-worthy hike and summit one of the world’s most popular mountains with goEast’s Alpha Guide: Hiking Mount Monadnock’s White Dot and White Cross Trails.

2. Find Balance During the Holidays

Whether you’re hiking Mount Monadnock in the summer or tackling it in winter, trekking poles are a good idea for coping with the slick, uneven terrain found on the White Dot and White Cross trails. EMS Summit Trekking Poles are perfect for keeping the hiker on your list upright as they navigate everything from the trails’ slick slabs to the icy conditions frequently encountered in winter.

Slabs on Mount Monadnock
Credit: Tim Peck

3. Get a Grip

Solitude on the mountain is hard to find on busy weekends, but quiet moments can be found, especially during the winter. If the hiker on your list is looking to summit Mount Monadnock in winter, traction devices like Kahtoola MICROSpikes are vital for negotiating the packed snow found at low elevations and the icy stretches found on the upper third of the mountain.

4. A Functional and Fashionable Gift

A substantial portion of the trip up the White Dot and down the White Cross trails is above treeline. A good pair of polarized sunglasses is perfect for protecting your beloved hiker’s eyes from the sun and wind they will surely encounter on their trip. We love the Julbo Montebianco 2 for their ability to transition from Monadnock’s summit to the patio at Harlow’s in Peterborough.

Hiking the White Dot Trail on Mount Monadnock
Credit: Tim Peck

5. They’re Sure to Take a Shine to this Gift

No matter the season, sustained time above treeline also means extended exposure to the sun. A UPF-rated wicking shirt like the Cotopaxi Sombra Sun Hoodie (men’s/women’s) helps protect the hiker on your list from the sun’s harsh rays. As a bonus, the Sombra’s hood is great for fending off the fierce winds common above treeline.

6. Pick Up a Puffer Jacket

Rising above the flat fields and woodlands at its base, it’s easy to see how Mount Monadnock received its name—“monadnock” is an old Abenaki word that loosely translates to “mountain standing alone.” Because of the mountain’s prominence, the summit is often cold and windy, even in the summer months. No matter what time of year the hiker on your list heads for Monadnock’s summit, they’re sure to appreciate a lightweight, packable puffy, like our EMS Feather Pack Hooded Jacket (men’s/women’s), to keep them cozy.

Approaching the summit of Mount Monadnock
Credit: Tim Peck

7. Accessorize for the Season

Because of the potential for cool weather on Monadnock’s summit, a lightweight winter hat like the Smartwool NTS 250 Cuffed Beanie, and cozy mitts such as the Smartwool Active Fleece Wind Mittens are welcome additions to any hiker’s pack no matter the season. Need another can’t-miss accessory for that special someone on your list? A neck gaiter like the Buff Merino Lightweight is a versatile piece perfect for keeping the cold at bay.

8. Get Transcendental

Two authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, spent significant amounts of time in the region and have recognized “seats” on the mountain. Encourage the hiker on your list to make the short diversion to “Emerson’s Seat” and “Thoreau’s Seat” by putting them in a transcendental mood with a copy of either author’s work. Or, print out a copy of Thoreau’s The Mountains in the Horizonwhich opens with verses in praise of Monadnock—for them to read when they get to these special places.

Since Thoreau definitely would have embraced selfies, hook the hiker on your list up with a dry bag like the NRS Aquapac Waterproof Phone Case to keep their smartphones and cameras dry in the event of inclement weather.

Near Mount Monadnock's summit
Credit: Tim Peck

9. Buy Them A Drink

Whether struggling up a steep, kicking back behind a summit windbreak, or staring out at the landscape from “Thoreau’s Seat,” it’s easy to get distracted and forget to drink enough. This is why hydration packs, where the hose is right in front of you at all times, are perfect for this trip. Even if the person on your list already has a hydration backpack, they most likely are ready for a new bladder like the Camelbak Crux 2L Reservoir.

10. Holidays Are a Picnic

Jaffery, New Hampshire—the gateway town to Mount Monadnock—is a far cry from a mountain town, making finding a nearby place for a post-hike beer or meal a struggle. Bring the après scene to the hiker on your list by hooking them up with a Hydro Flask 20 L Carry Out Soft Cooler, Hydro Flask Tallboy Cooler, and Big Agnes Helinox Chair One. The EMS Camp Blanket is a nice addition to post-hike hangs for those who aren’t afraid of hitting the trail in cold weather.

What’s the key piece of gear you wish someone would hook you up with this holiday? Let us know in the comments below!