Father’s Day is this Sunday, meaning you still have time to partially make up for being such a disappointment as a son and/or daughter. And, since doing stuff outdoors and dads goes together like alcohol and power tools, IndefinitelyWild is here to help you find the right gift.
Outdoor Technology Turtle Shell 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker - $99
Bright colors and angular looks make this relatively affordable speaker look nicer than upmarket options, which it can pretty much match on sound quality. It’s shock proof and water resistant, meaning your dad can drop it on the floor and spill beer on it, while the 16-hours of music in its battery will get it through a weekend-long camping trip with no problem. It’ll also give pops the ability to easily take music into the garage, shed or wherever it is he goes to escape your mother. And, well, dads like music.
Salt X Aether Sunglasses - $600
This collaboration between luxury eyewear brand Salt and fancy, but functional outdoors gear purveyor Aether combines super-clear, polarized, photochromic Zeiss lenses with flexible, adjustable, lightweight beta-titanium frames. Aether’s contribution are the perforated fairings, which block 80 percent of wind blast and glare from getting in around the sides and top, while retaining good peripheral vision. That makes them perfect for sailing, motorcycle riding or anything else that’s outdoors, windy and sunny.
Condor Parang - $60
Shockingly affordable for such a large, well-made and elegant tool. If your dad clears brush, lives somewhere tropical (Florida counts, this time) or just likes knives, then he’ll love this 17.5-inch long, 1/4-inch thick not-a-machete. The hardwood handle with brass pins and smooth curves not only makes this a nice tool to look at, but it’s a pleasure to swing too. It even includes a nice, leather sheath that you wear on your off-side for a cross draw.
Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener - $150
I got one of these the other week and, after a brief learning curve, managed to get all my outdoors blades and kitchen knives sharper than ever before, in less time than it used to take me to fully sharpen a single, super-steel knife. The angle guide makes it idiot proof, but is removable for sharpening larger tools like lawnmower blades, axes and similar. A sharper tool is a safer, more efficient tool, so if your dad works in the yard, the kitchen or just carries a knife, this is something he’ll really benefit from owning.
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All-Season Sleeping Pad - $150
Does your dad go camping? Sleeping pad technology has advanced massively since the foam rolls you slept on as a Boy Scout or since the self-inflating Therm-A-Rest your dad probably uses now was designed. Four inches thick, the lateral baffles on this pad are super supportive and the R-value of 4.9 makes it incredibly warm, all in a package that compresses down to the size of a Nalgene for carrying. Available in long and wide sizes for big guys, this thing will add considerably comfort for anyone that sleeps outside. Your dad’s aching back will thank you.
Rumpl Blanket - $65-230
The idea here is simple — take the technical materials used in modern sleeping bags and use them to make a comfy blanket. You can take it camping, use it for some extra warmth in front of the fireplace, use it as a nice, soft picnic blanket or wrap the dog in it on cold nights. With restrained color choices and outdoor-influenced patterns, dad might even be able to replace the frilly purple comforter mom keeps on their bed at home.
Thermacell Mosquito Repellant Appliance - $25
A little butane cartridge heats a pad that contains an effective mosquito repellant, creating a 15-foot diameter “bubble” that’s 100% mosquito free. I figured it’d be a gimmick, but took it camping in the mosquito infested Sierra and found it works as advertised; now I carry it everywhere. Equally at home in the back yard as it is in a tree stand.
Randolph Engineering Ranger Falcon Shooting Glasses — from $184
Does your dad shoot? A pair of quality shooting glasses will improve his accuracy and endurance on the range and in the field. And these are the nicest you can buy. The amber lenses are good all-rounders, but the purple ones will intensify orange clays against a bright blue sky while the pink ones increase contrast, especially in thick, green forest. A good son would buy dad all three; they’re interchangeable on a single frame.
Kitsbow Alpha Snap Jacket — $389
A nice, classically-styled shirt jacket that’s as technical as it gets thanks to Polartec’s new Alpha insulation. That’s capable of handling large variances in ambient temperature or body heat, so you can wear this single item from a chilly afternoon to a frigid night and simply be comfortable the whole while. Kitsbow specializes in mountain bike apparel, but its approach applies leading technology to clothes that don’t look dumb off the bike, making its stuff just great clothing in general. The Power Wool henley is a great accompaniment to this jacket, employing merino wool for next-to-skin comfort and synthetic fibers for improved wicking. That’ll keep you dry and comfortable as a standalone item in warm weather or make the perfect base layer for active pursuits in sub-freezing conditions.
Big Green Egg — $800+
I’m not a dad, but my girlfriend bought me one of these for my birthday, and I’m confident saying it’s the best gift I’ve ever been given. Eggheads (yes, really), don’t like to call these grilles, they’re “outdoor cooking systems.” I’ll just say it’s the nicest grille on earth. The ceramic, egg-shaped body allows you to minutely control airflow, giving you both the ability to quickly achieve extremely high temperatures or set it at something low and hold it there without human intervention for 12+ hour smokes. On mine, I’ve mastered the art of the steak, applying a 1,200-degree sear for 30 seconds on each side, before pulling it off and cooking the vegetables while the meat decompresses. 20-minutes later, the veggies are done and I’ve got the grille down to 250 degrees for a 10-minute cook-through for a perfectly even medium-rare throughout. I’ve also aced the notoriously difficult-to-perfect smoked brisket and this thing will even cook great pizza or a moist roast chicken.
And don’t worry dad, while I forgot all about Father’s Day, Lara didn’t and we’re bringing you something nice.
IndefinitelyWild is a new publication about adventure travel in the outdoors, the vehicles and gear that get us there and the people we meet along the way. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.