Ask any dad what he wants for Father's Day, and you're likely to be met with a shrug and maybe a quick, "Hmm, I don't know. You don't need to get me anything." But don't let this classic dad move fool you: Like all of us, your father likes to know that he's loved and appreciated every once in a while.
Dads often introduce us to life-long passions like backpacking, skiing, fishing, camping, hiking, cycling, road tripping, and all sorts of other adventures. If you're stuck on what to get the outdoorsy dad in your life--and he's not giving you any hints himself--here's some gifting inspiration for Father's Day.
Perfect for backpacking, river trekking, mountain biking, or any other outing where Dad needs to be prepared for the elements, Houdini's Come Along jacket makes for an optimal--and incredibly thoughtful--Father's Day gift.
This windproof, water-resistant shell folds down to the size of a small granola bar, so it will take up almost no space in Dad's bag. Still, it will come in handy when Mother Nature decides to whip up some wind or rain while he's out on the trail. It's also designed to allow for a full range of motion, so he doesn't have to worry about it getting in the way of his adventures.
Suppose your dad's dream weekend looks like sleeping under the stars in a tent or hitting the open road in his RV. In that case, he needs a solid pair of camp shoes--shoes he can slip on and off easily and wear confidently around the campground.
Chaco's Paonia Clogs - Amazon, $84.00+
Chaco's Paonia clogs are perfect, thanks to their sturdy and supportive rubber sole and waterproof suede material. These are also practical for wearing to the crag for a day of rock climbing or to the slopes for a day of skiing--or any other activity with specialized footwear.
Whether he's into hunting, birdwatching, or just taking a closer look at distant objects while spending time outdoors, Dad will love a pair of Celestron's rugged Ultima Porro binoculars. With these binoculars, your dad can get an up-close-and-personal view of a deer, a baseball, or a rare finch more than 300 feet away.
Celestron Outland Binoculars - Amazon, $89.79
These even work in low light, and they're both lightweight and durable. Since they arrive in a soft protective case (along with a neck strap and eyepiece covers), you don't even need to wrap them--low-maintenance gifts for the win. We like this Outland option as well.
Functional Base Layers
Outerwear is excellent, but the base layers can really make or break a day spent outdoors. For big and small adventures, active dads need shirts and pants that will help them stay dry and warm (but not so warm that they overheat), like Corbeaux's Agent pullover for men.
It's made by hand in Saint Paul, Minnesota, from the brand's unique waffle-style fleece fabric, which traps warm air close to the body and speeds up the evaporation process for sweat and other moisture. It's lightweight, stretchy, and has a trim fit, so it doesn't feel or look bulky.
RELATED: The 7 Best Winter Hiking Boots for Men, Women, & Kids
Convenient Walkie Talkies
To stay in touch, even when out of cell service, gift your dad a pair of Midland X-Talker walkie-talkies. They're available at a relatively affordable price point. Still, they're not lacking in quality: These devices can help you stay in touch even when you're up to 28 miles apart, making them ideal for off-roading excursions. They're also equipped with helpful weather alert technology, and they're water-resistant.
Midland X-Talker Walkie Talkies - Amazon, $49.99
Whether sipping drinks around the campfire, relaxing on the beach while the kids play in the water, or transforming the bed of his truck into a cozy backcountry stargazing setup, Dad needs a heavy-duty blanket that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear while still being cuddly.
New England-based ChappyWrap's water-resistant outdoor blankets fit the bill perfectly: One side is made from a woven nylon fabric that repels moisture, and the other is made from a blend of natural cotton, acrylic, and polyester that's incredibly soft to the touch.
Afterward, dad can throw his blanket in the washing machine and the dryer to clean off any dirt and debris before his next outing. And the best part is these blankets come in all sorts of dad-approved patterns and colors, from classic navy and white stripes to a forest green golf-themed option.
Fathers who care about the environment and like to geek out on new inventions will love getting a pair of Duer's "pants from plants."
The company makes its clothes with fibers that come from wood chips, eucalyptus tres, and other natural sources--and when they incorporate synthetic materials, they try to use recycled polyester made from old plastic bottles. It doesn't hurt that Duer's pants are both functional and stylish, making them ideal for situations where your dad wants to look good and get after it.
Duer's No Sweat Men's Joggers - Amazon, $129.99
The brand's relaxed joggers are great for long travel days with lots of flights, while their Live Free Adventure pants can hold up to rainy-day hiking and other activities.
High-tech watches with all the bells and whistles can be pricey, but at around $300, Suunto's Core watch won't break the bank this Father's Day. With a built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass, it's specifically designed for outdoor adventures (vs. a watch that's made for tracking fitness stats and taking phone calls).
SUUNTO Core Outdoor Watch - Amazon, $299
It also shows the temperature, the time of the daily sunrise and sunset, and the underwater depth (for activities like snorkeling). It can alert its wearer to impending storms and even show the total ascent/descent for mountain biking and trail running activities. The chic all-black design will go with all of Dad's garb.
Vineyard Vines Pullover Dyed Hoodie Tee - Amazon, $65+
Dad wants to look his best for casual hiking days with his friends--or grabbing a pint at the brewery afterward. Get him this comfy Vineyard Vines pullover to pull on over his t-shirt for chilly spring mornings, brisk fall evenings, and nights on the patio. It's super soft and has a laidback fit with Dad's casual vibe. The crisp, modern fit is the perfect updated addition to his wardrobe.
Shoes Made for the Water
If your dad wears a pair of ratty old sneakers to go fishing or boating, help him upgrade with these Sperry Wave Rocker shoes built for adventures on the water.
The funky perforated neoprene design is futuristic and cool but also super functional. These activewear shoes repel water and dry quickly. They feature a molded rubber sole with a unique technology that makes them grippy, even when the dock or the boat deck gets wet. Choose white or black depending on Dad's favorite water-themed outfit.
Space-Saving Battery Pack
SuperMini Portable Power Bank and Chord - Amazon, $67.95
Your dad needs to keep his phone and other gadgets charged up to snap photos, navigate, and stay in touch with the family while he's off exploring. But out in the backcountry, there aren't any electrical outlets to plug into. Get him the small-but-mighty Zendure SuperMini portable power bank, which is about the size of a thick credit card but will give him enough power to recharge his phone until he's back in civilization. Its petite size is great for traveling, hiking, skiing, climbing, and other off-grid adventures.
Updated Overnight Bag
Sure, jamming his stuff into an old backpack works just fine for hitting the gym, but Dad's overnight bag could probably use an upgrade. Parker Clay's Omo overnight bag is pricey. Still, it will likely last Dad for years of adventures to come, thanks to its sturdy, full-grain leather construction. It doubles as a backpack and, as a bonus, helps provide jobs for people in Ethiopia. You can even have it monogrammed with Dad's initials for an even more personalized gift.
Sarah Kuta is a writer and editor based in Longmont, Colorado. When she's not writing about travel, food and drink, history, and other topics, you'll find her road-tripping in her converted camper van, hiking with her Rhodesian ridgeback Daisy, sipping whiskey, and making sourdough bread. She's also a big fan of downhill and cross-country skiing, museums, mountain biking, shopping at thrift stores, and playing board games. Instagram: @kutasarah
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