You’ve waited again until the last minute to get a Father’s Day gift and now you’re scrambling for something cool to slide to daddyo next weekend, right?
It’s OK to admit that you are in hair-on-fire mode. Dad isn’t one to give a list of things he wants or needs. Truth be told, he probably has said, “Aw, don’t get me nothin’ and I’ll be fine. Just show up for some burgers.” But you know that’s a cop-out. Everyone likes to have a little something.
Instead of a little something, make it a big something that’s cool and he wouldn’t buy for himself. Because that’s the neat thing about giving gifts: getting them something they wouldn’t think about buying. But if they get it from you then they’ll darn sure like it and use it. Even if it comes with the usual, “Aw, you didn’t have to do that!”
Some suggestions you should be able to easily find for Father’s Day weekend for a great surprise:
Back in the day when I was outside more frequently one of my must-have items was a multi-tool, which included straight- and serrated-edge knife blades, pliers and screwdrivers. You can do a lot with a solid multi-tool, which Leatherman makes in spades. They’re handy in a pinch, whether you need to slice apples for a kid (because slicing apples in a deer blind is fun) or gutting a deer or removing sand spurs from your boots with the pliers. They’re one of the best things an outdoorsman can have.
Everyone needs at least one good flashlight but most outdoors guys have eight or 10, right? A few in the truck, some in the garage, at least one in the backpack, maybe extras stashed in the blind, definitely some for camp. Ledlenser produces some quality lights that will give you ample visiblity whether you’re searching for a buck, trying to get on the trail to your favorite lock-on or if you need to tread lightly around camp because some goober spilled a box of nails by the back door putting up the new steps. Ledlenser has everything from thin pocket lights to larger ones for bigger needs.
If you want to buy dad something from the Yeti lineup you’ll have no problem making a selection. The new Mag Slider lids (which are fantastic) for the Rambler series to prevent spills. The larger Rambler Jugs or Bottles are great for keeping items cold or hot; imagine stew or soup on a cold day, or your favorite brew for evening after summer camp work. Of course, the Flip, Hopper 2 and rotomolded coolers (from small to gigantic) will fit just about any need. One of my top picks would be the 10-ounce Lowball in the Rambler series. It’s super for coffee or a stiff one after a long day in the field.
Mossberg and Hornady
You know for a fact your father never would buy a new rifle because he says he loves the one he’s shot for the last 18 years. The bottom line is it’s not something he’d buy for himself, which is why you could really surprise him. Take a look at the Mossberg Patriot rifle, which has classic lines and is a sure-fire deer-killer. I’d opt for the .308 caliber, but that’s just me. Throw in a couple of boxes of Hornady ammunition, too, and then after he’s shocked you can suggest heading to the range one day soon. Take him shooting … return the gift he gave you years ago when you were a kid.
When this first hit the market years ago my first thought was, honestly, “Eh, another gimmick.” I wasn’t the only one. Boy, were we wrong. The Thermacell lineup of mosquito repellers is one of the best things to ever be introduced to the hunting world. They work like a champ whether you’re chasing deer, elk, turkeys or are out fishing on the dock. Fantastic gift idea that dad will love. Look for the new MR450 unit, which has been upgraded with several new features.
Mud, snakes, ice, swampy goo … whatever it is, dad would love to get through it when he’s hunting without having cold or wet feet. LaCrosse Boots definitely would make his head turn because (again!) he’s not going to go buy new ones. Find out what size shoe he wears and then get at least a half-size up so his winter socks will fit but he’ll still have some wiggle room for his toes. If you live in the Southeast, I’d recommend the snake boots because they’re comfortable and work.
Tenzing, Alps Packs
If dad’s not a minimalist hunter, meaning he only shoves a candy bar in his pocket and heads out, then chances are good he uses a backpack. Get him a new one from the great lineups at Tenzing or Alps packs. Both are super, durable, designed for hunters by hunters, and you’ll probably find something for just about any hunting need. Whether it’s a smaller daypack or larger frame model for longer trips, he’ll appreciate having a new pack for his gear.
I’ll bet your dad has an old rifle case with a busted zipper and some duct tape on it. Right? And if he shoots a bow or crossbow, he probably has a soft case or nothing at all. Solve that problem with a new case from Plano, which offers a great variety. They’re built to handle bumps and slams, have soft cushioning foam inside (some models), lockdown straps, flush latches and and are airline approved (some models). I’ve flown with my rifle, bow and crossbow with Plano cases and never worried about anything being amiss. Plano also has a great selection of handgun and smaller boxes for gear, too.
Field & Stream Gear
Last winter my wife donned my soft-shell Field & Stream camo jacket a couple of times and remarked how it was warm and snuggly. I’m not into snuggly for hunting but definitely prefer warm, and Field & Stream apparel works wonderfully to do just that. Field & Stream creates its men’s and women’s apparel the same way: with careful attention to detail, design features to help you move easier and great fabrics that shed the elements. The apparel designer and I have talked a few times about what he looks for with the gear, and he’s out in the heat, wind, cold, rain and snow with his togs to see what works or doesn’t. Check out the new Every Hunt lineup for some great possibilities for deer and big game hunting, and look around the optics, gun cabinets, the lace-up Woodsman boots (pictured above) and fishing gear for other ideas.