Overhaul His Camping Kit

The Best Outdoor Gifts for Dad


May 14, 2019 Buying Guides By

Remember that father-son camping/hunting/fishing/hiking trip that your dad took you on all those years ago? Those were the days. Those were the days when your old man taught you tangible skills, like pitching a tent or tying a bowline and instilled in you a passion for leaving the safety of civilization behind for the rugged wildness of the mountains and forests. Maybe your dad hasn’t refreshed his camping box since those days, and if not then it’s time for you to give him a hand. Any item on this list will impress him on Father’s Day; after he unwraps it the two of you can break out the maps start planning your first son-father trip.

Columbia OutDry Ex Reign Jacket

Dad has likely endured the loss of many rain jackets over the years, jackets that lost their Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating and “wetted out.” Columbia changes that dynamic with its OutDry EXTREME technology. This puts an abrasion-resistant membrane on the outside of its fabrics to provide a permanent waterproof layer, repelling moisture and rain more effectively. Microscopic perforations in the membrane and an interior lining made of wicking textile allow for breathability and next-to-skin comfort — details dad will appreciate out in the rain.

Yeti LoadOut GoBox 30

Yeti designed its newest item to help you keep your gear organized in one place. The LoadOut GoBox 30 is as ruggedly durable as the brand’s coolers — it’s waterproof and dustproof too — but offers ample space your camping gear and comes with accessories to help keep everything sorted.

Gerber Compleat

Does your dad have a box devoted entirely to campsite cooking gear? Gerber’s featherlight camp cookery multi-tool combines a fork, spoon, spatula, cutting edge, bottle opener, can opener and peeler into one compact modular form. Bye-bye bin.

Therm-a-Rest Hyperion Sleeping Bag

If you really want to impress your dad, show him how small Therm-a-Rest’s new ultralight Hyperion sleeping bag packs down. It’ll put his old bedroll to shame and lighten up his pack. You’ll probably catch him camping out on the living room couch just to get more use out of it.

Evergoods MQD 24 Backpack

Oversized aluminum frame bags and unsupportive satchels are both, thankfully, at rest in the backpack graveyard. Introduce your dad to the modern daypack: the Mountain Quick Draw provides fast and easy access with a locking cinch lid and side zipper and is plenty comfortable thanks to a curved back panel.

Garmin InReach Mini

The best satellite communication device is also the smallest. Garmin’s InReach Mini lets you send messages and automated location updates to loved ones back home (or call for a rescue with the push of a button). It’ll give the rest of your family peace of mind, and your old man can let you borrow it when you head out without him (along with his favorite kernel of advice: “Be safe!”).

Tecnica Plasma S Hiking Shoes

Gifting shoes can be tricky due to vast differences in foot shape, but Tecnica, a company best known for its ski boots, has found a solution in its line of custom hiking footwear. The Plasma is an ankle-height shoe with plenty of support, and it comes stock with an insole and upper that’s heat-moldable for a perfect, break-in-free fit.

Some Stories: Lessons from the Edge of Business and Sport by Yvon Chouinard

So the old man likes to tell adventure stories from “back in the day”? (They all do.) Maybe he’ll enjoy hearing a few from the same era from none other than Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia and one of North America’s original climbing bums.

Stanley Ceramivac Stein

Don’t give your dad one of those trendy enamel mugs that every brand that claims a loose affiliation to camping stamps with its logo. Give him a 24-ounce, vacuum insulated mug. Stanley’s has a no-slide base and a ceramic lining that won’t collect flavors from coffee, beer, whiskey or whatever else you pour inside.

Benchmade Puukko Fixed-Blade Knife

Typically it’s Dad’s job to gift a pocket knife as a ceremonial rite of passage. Buck that tradition. Add this survival-oriented fixed-blade knife to his collection; it has a useful drop-point blade made of tough CPM-3V stainless steel and a grippy handle. The quality is worth the price when you remember that in another decade or two he’ll pass it down to you anyways.

Topo Designs Tech Pants

Good sons don’t let their dads wear zip-off pants. It’s your job to convince him that yes, there are other options when it comes to hiking, like Topo Designs’s Tech Pants, which the company makes with water-repellant fabric and an adjustable belt.

The Best Items for an Outdoor-Friendly EDC

The best EDC items that can find their way through any standard day but have also been optimized for use in the outdoors. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.