If you’re into camping, fishing, kayaking, hunting, skiing, or hiking, chances are you got it from your dad. But there’s a difference between the two of you. When he got out in the wilderness, he did it with a map and compass in his hand instead of a smartphone, and he didn’t go to get an Instagram shot. Chances are your outdoorsy dad has hung onto a lot of the gear he brought with him, and no matter how much he proclaims that it’s still the best, chances are it’s outdated. Do Dad a favor and school him on the latest and greatest; at the very least, it’ll give him a reason to take you on a cool trip.
Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph 3580 Series
“The only easy day was yesterday.” That’s the mantra of the Navy SEALS, the elite fighting force that undertakes missions in the world’s jungles, swamps and oceans. Your father’s job may not entail similar duties (or maybe it does), but he’ll still appreciate the inspiration behind their message, displayed on his wrist in Luminox’s recently-updated collection. The watchmaker designed the 3580 Series to take a beating, equipping it with a Carbonox case, scratch-resistant crystal and waterproofing up to 200 meters. It’ll go anywhere he goes with all the functions of a chronograph at the ready.
Buy Now: $495
Vasque Clarion ’88
This spring, Vasque took its classic Clarion silhouette from 1988 and gave it the time-machine treatment. The new version has a breathable and durable suede and mesh upper and a heavy-duty Vibram rubber sole, but it still looks like it came from “back in the day.” (So it’ll match well with the rest of your dad’s hiking attire.)
Buy Now: $150
OtterBox Trooper 20 Cooler
Outdoorsy dads like to do everything beyond the claustrophobia of the home, including kicking back with a cold beverage. To keep his drink of choice cold, OtterBox has added to its line of rugged coolers with a couple of more-portable soft models. But the Trooper isn’t “soft” at all — its nylon shell is impervious to abrasions, punctures and UV rays and its zipper is dust- and waterproof. Oh, and it comes with a handy bottle opener that mounts to a clip on its front.
Buy Now: $250
Patagonia Provisions Mussels
Sure, you could stock up for a father-son camping trip with a couple of packs of dehydrated beef stroganoff; prep means just adding water, and those chalky uncooked bits are all part of the experience. Or, you could supply yourselves with tins of organic mussels, grown by multi-generational fishermen off the coast of Galicia, Spain, and preserved with traditional recipes in olive oil and spices. To do that though, you’d have to be okay with dining in the wilderness like a pair of Spanish kings.
Buy Now: $8+
Muyshondt Aeon MKIII Flashlight
Remember the Noisy Cricket from Men in Black? That’s the Aeon MKIII. It’s just barely two and a half inches long but is capable of emitting a blast of lumens that’ll make a Maglite quiver. For the more subtle user, the Aeon has three available intensities. Its aluminum casing is also durable and water-resistant — to test that fact, Muyshondt sent one up into near-space and let it fall back to Earth. It didn’t have alien fingerprints on its tail switch, but it did still work.
Buy Now: $295+
Darn Tough Hiker 1/4 Sock Cushion
There comes a point in one’s life when it’s no longer acceptable to go about the duties of a day with a hole in the heel of a sock. Your dad knows this, and so does Darn Tough — the Vermont-based company makes some of the toughest socks available. And if he does bust through the big toe, Darn Tough guarantees each pair with a no-questions warranty that lasts forever.
Buy Now: $18
L.L.Bean Ultralight Sleeping Bag 35 Degree
L.L.Bean’s latest sleeping bag, the Ultralight, is (as its very straightforward name suggests) built for lightweight hiking and camping. The sleeping bag uses PrimaLoft Gold with Cross-Core technology, insulation that was developed for NASA and uses aerogel to increase warmth without adding weight. That means there’ll be more room in a backpack for the important things, like extra beverages, or your old man’s favorite ukulele.
Buy Now: $189
Sea to Summit Alpha Cookset
An outdoorsman knows that it’s the simple things that bring true satisfaction in life, like the late afternoon glow of a sinking sun moving up the face of a mountain, or a freshly-prepared meal enjoyed in the twilight shortly after that. For that, a reliable set of cookware is required. Sea to Summit’s new Alpha collection is super-light and comes with a locking handle to prevent spills, which is, to put it simply, awesome.
Buy Now: $35+
Yeti Hondo Base Camp Chair
To prove the macho-factor of its hard-sided coolers, Yeti released a series of Youtube videos showing them being gnawed on by grizzly bears and hurled off cliffs by a 500-pound strongman. It didn’t do the same for its new outdoor chair, the Hondo, but it did build it with reinforced aluminum and tensioned fabric so that it would be as tough as possible. Rumor has it the thing can support the weight of a small sedan. Your dad was an excellent driving teacher though, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Buy Now: $300
Mountain Hardwear Hardwear Denim Shirt
Giving Dad a new shirt is a safe bet; everybody needs shirts after all. But giving Dad a new denim shirt conveys spirit — it lets him know that you believe in him. That, despite his advanced age, he can pull off the hip panache of new denim with its crisp and deep blue, and that he’s got what it takes to wear it in until it develops the subtleties of a years-old garment.
Buy Now: $95
Gear Patrol Treeline Print
An outdoorsman’s mind becomes unsettled when confined between brick-and-mortar walls for too long, but we can’t be wayward all the time. Bring the outdoors inside and ease that restless yearning with a print from one of our adventures; in it Alaska’s coniferous skyscrapers stand tall, beckoning the viewer to join their wildness.
Buy Now: $29+
Gear Patrol Magazine Issue 6
We know that even though you love your dad, you probably can’t muster the resources to get him every gift on this list. That’s okay, we understand. We also understand that there’s no harm in coveting impressive and innovative items from afar. There’s no better resource for exactly that than the latest issue of Gear Patrol Magazine. Inside, there are plenty of stories that the woodsy dad will take an interest in — from an in-depth look at the materials used to create gear to a deep dive into how start-ups and Instagram influencers are changing the outdoor industry.
Buy Now: $20