Few things are as satisfying as watching a tree fall that you know will keep your family warm for the winter. But when Papa does that himself with an axe, that’s the kind of thing that transports him back to his youth, when he was a strapping golden God and he made fun of people who whined about aches and pains. The Hults Bruk American Felling Axe combines classic American styling with Swedish steel that’s been made the same way since 1697 when papas of old used these axes to build America. And the leather sheath ensures it’ll be Papa’s favorite tool, guaranteed to be an heirloom handed down father to son (or daughter) with pride. Making this an incredible gift from dads from daughter.
Because Dad expects comfort when he car camps, get him the Exped MegaMat Duo 10. It’s a lot of fun to get out deep into the backcountry to go camping; but sometimes, it’s just nice to pull off a secluded road and sleep in the canvas, and you might as well take advantage of all the stuff you can bring. The MegaMat Duo 10 Sleeping Pad is just short of bringing a high-end full-size bed with you. The self-inflating open-cell foam core ensures pops can save his breath for that hike to the nearby fishing hole (with an Exped Mini Pump to blow it up fast). The old man deserves some comfort in his life doesn’t he? And when he maybe stays out a bit late with the homies, he has the perfect porta bed to sleep on in the man cave.
Because Dad’s always on the go but he’s not trying to buy plastic bottles every time he’s thirsty, get him the HYDAWAY Water Bottle. There he is, at the airport, about to board his plane and Dad realizes he forgot his water bottle. Meaning he can either get that dehydrated jetlag hangover or add to the Pacific Garbage Patch by buying a bottle of water. But luckily he has his collapsible HYDAWAY travel water bottle in his carry-on. Expand it to its 17-oz full capacity, then fill it up at the water fountain. Even more, it’s great as an extra water bottle for those backpacking trips when you get to basecamp and want to fill up as much as you can from the water source before hiking back to the site (but don’t want to carrying in half a dozen Nalgenes). And given its BPA-free, dishwasher safe, taste-and-odor-free, this has gotta be the winner for most likely to get dad to say “You know what? I really love this thing you got me.”
Because when you’re on that August camp, Pops loves to sleep looking at the stars, get him the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King Tent. It’s 1500mm PU fly and 75D 1500mm PU means it’ll be waterproof when closed. But where it really shines is its wide door and mesh walls that ensure the wildest wilderness views wherever you set it up. But at a little more than 6 pounds with 43-square feet of space, you and pops can either enjoy some spacious car camping or carry it for some mountaintop backpacking. And one more thing to tell the old man: scientists recently found that tent flame retardant is negligibly effective at keeping the tent from burning up but know what it’s tested possible for? Carcinogens. So Mountain Hardwear last year became the first brand to take fire retardant out of all its tents. Because you want the old man to be around long enough to provide free babysitting services like once a week, right?
Because dad does everything with style, from the way he walks to the way he lights a victory cigar back at basecamp, the Zippo Woodchuck lighter is that perfect final piece to his well-crafted life. Dad likes movies. He appreciates that guy with the plan, the good car, tight threads, who always knows the right thing to say. Dad is kinda like that guy. And when that guy goes to light a cig, a joint, or a cigar, what does he use? A bright yellow Bic? No – he uses a Zippo. The Woodchuck takes it one step further. Not only is it a Zippo. It is inlaid with cedar, to represent dad’s personality – that woodsman and craftsman. Classy but simple. Clean and elegant. It’s a simple accessory the old man can have with him at all times, from the summit of Everest to that rooftop smoking section in L.A. to your sister’s wedding. The perfect gift that he can take everywhere, without breaking your bank.
Because dad lives for the sun reflecting off the water and sometimes grabbing a few fish beneath, the Costa Del Mar Rinconcito is going to be one of his newest best friends. Costa has earned the reputation for being the sunglasses of choice for serious fishermen, because water can be tricky and the sun can blind you but you also gotta be able to handle that twilight. The hermanito to the Costa del Mar Rincon, named after SoCal’s legendary surf beach and styled on that Wayfarer SoCal beach culture.
Dad deserves cold beers and steaks when he decides to put up with the family for a week of car camping. Pelican’s 50QT Elite Cooler can handle it. The gasket, thick outer shell, and polyurethane superstructure keep ice cold for 8 days. Which is twice as long as it’ll take for Dad to have his first big explosion about everybody complaining about the family road trip. And it’s grizzly-proof so if that bruin tries to get into the 34-rack pops brought along, it’ll get rebuffed like a kid with a homemade fake ID. Dad’s a wildman but he’s nothing if not civilized. Like that dad from “Mosquito Coast” ranted, without the ability to keep our food and drink cold, we’re mere beasts.
I am Iron Man. A legendary lyric from super-dad Ozzie, a generation-defining bit of cinema dialogue from literal super-dad Tony Stark in “Endgame,” and what Dad yells every time he has to iron a shirt for some high-profile formal event. Iron is tough, it’s strong, it’s beautiful and, in Marquette’s No. 10.5 Skillet, it represents nothing less than perfection. Dad likes cooking over an open flame and this pan was made for searing fajitas and his morning steak and eggs over the campfire. But he also likes to talk about craftsmanship, about how they used to make things and specifically used to make things better: longer-lasting, better-performing, with more attention and pride. Marquette uses Investment, or lost wax, to cast their iron cookware, which ensures that this is literally the best pan he will ever own and even more, that it will eventually be the best pan you will ever own – this thing will last forever. I mean some serious family heirloom type ish. And every time you cook on it many years from now, you’ll be able to hear in your mind’s eye Dad screaming “I am Iron Man.”
Dad likes his gadgets, especially in the middle of nowhere. The GPS and the lights and the electric mosquito repellent and the DSLR. He really dreams of setting up that Dodge ProMaster, living on rubber for a summer … this is where Renogy’s Phoenix Generator comes in. It’s a solar system the size of a briefcase that can harvest the sun with 20 watts of built-in solar, capable of expanding up to 120 watts with additional panels. Bring it car camping, on those van life adventures, or even backpacking since at less than 13 pounds it’s pretty portable. You can load it up using AC or car power, and when you put it out in the sun it recharges pretty quickly, especially when you add a few solar panels. Get Dad the briefcase he really wants, not another sad “Falling Down” lunch holder.
You’ll notice throughout these options are references to some of Dad’s favorite tunes because, y’know, even the squarest Dad has fond memories of his wild youth. And music is the best way for him to trip back down memory lane or even let the tiger out to play. That’s why the Como Audio Amico is a perfect gift for pops – it marries classy “current dad” styling with high-end audio to rip out the tunes that made/make him feel alive. With its marine-grade wood substrate and a bass port that doubles as a carrying case plus a custom 2200mAh rechargeable LI-ion battery providing 8 hours of playback time, this audio temple is just like dad – as rugged as he is refined. Throw in some custom woofers with oversized magnets to really kick up the bass, standard Internet radio and full iOs and Android compatibility (plus a laundry list of cutting-edge specs) and you’ve got about the best audio tech Dad could ever want (even if he doesn’t even know that he wants it). Because Dad rocks real music, not that lame Bieber/trap rap/auto-corrected weak sauce you mislabel “good music.”