Father's Day Gift Guide: 15 Ideas for the Outdoorsman Dad

1) Whiskey For (Just About) Any Budget

A glass of whiskey is a fine way to end a day of hunting back at camp, and a bottle is a fine Father's Day gift. I have two good options for you. First, is Barterhouse Whiskey, from the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company. Aged for 20 years and bottled in Tennessee, this 90-proof whiskey was a big hit with the few of us on staff who were lucky enough to enjoy a sample taste. The nose is soft and buttery, and the whiskey goes down supremely smooth with a bit of spice at the end. The cost is $75. If your pops is more of a Tennessee Whiskey fan, consider getting him a bottle of George Dickel No. 12. Also 90 proof, this blend has a deep, rich flavor with notes of vanilla at the end. It goes down smooth, and is great on the rocks or mixed in cocktails. The suggested retail price is a steal at $25.
--Colin Kearns

Nothing says Father's Day like burgers and beer at a backyard BBQ. But, if your Dad has worn the same khaki shorts for too many BBQ seasons to count, spruce up his wardrobe without hurting your wallet this year with Dickies wrinkle-resistant, moisture-wicking cargo shorts. At 13-inches, they're the perfect length and price for any respectable American dad. Any longer, and your Dad becomes a self-proclaimed hip-hop star. Any shorter, and he's better off in Europe.

2) Rubicon A200L Compact Lantern

The A200L from Bushnell is a multi-purpose camp lantern that will work for any type of outdoorsman. It features three folding legs that allow it to be used in an upright position, say on a picnic table for dinner, but it also has a built-in carabiner so the light can be hung from a tent loop. Hanging in place, a 21-lumen light on the bottom of the unit serves as a "cabin light." The main light has two brightness settings (maximum output is 200 lumens) as well as an auxiliary switch that activates the Red Halo Setting. In this mode, the lantern emits a soft red glow that won't interfere with night vision—or wake up your tentmate when you venture outside at 2 a.m. The A200L is powered by four AA batteries and weighs only 11.8 ounces. ($29.99; bushnell.com)
-–Slaton L. White

3) Cabela's XPG

Because the last thing your dad needs is another plaid flannel shirt, surprise him with something from Cabla's XPG line. I'm a huge fan of the Foothills Pants (every time I've worn these, people have asked where I got them) and the Cool Phase Tech Polo shirt, which is as comfortable of a shirt as any you'll find — perfect for summer bass fishing or (gasp) golfing. There's plenty more besides clothing in the XPG line, including boots, trail shoes, tents, and backpacks, so bookmark this gear for Christmas shopping, too. (Foothills Pants, $52.49; Cool Phase Shirt, $39.99; cabelas.com)
--C.K.

4) Abel Fly Nippers

Like everything Abel makes, their Nippers are pretty much bulletproof. And like everything Abel makes, they're expensive. I can't say that I ever would've bought a set of these for myself, but I sure was delighted when my older brother gave them to me this past Christmas. That's usually the mark of a pretty solid gift: Something you'd love to have, but wouldn't buy for yourself. So do your dad's fly vest a favor and give him these for Father's Day. They're small, smooth, and super sharp — and chances are they'll last long enough for dad to give them back to you one day. (starting at $50; abelreels.com)
--C.K.

5) Hunter XT

I think Swiss Army Knives are one of the great inventions of western civilization. But there are times when less really is more. That's the basic idea behind the Victorinox Hunter XT. It features a stainless-steel 4.3-inch-long locking blade that can be opened with one hand. The knife also features a bone saw, a gut hook that also can be operated with one hand, and a Phillips screwdriver. It sports has a "dual-density" handle. In other words, the composition of the handle includes hard and soft, tacky surfaces meant to improve grip, especially in cold or wet conditions. Available in two colors: olive or bright orange. ($64; swissarmy.com)
—S.L.W.

6) SOG Bladelight Fillet Knife

Until now, SOG has never dabbled in fillet knives, so they decided to come out swinging with their first one. The Bladelight has six LED lights built into the handle, and let me tell you, they're bright. Seem like overkill? Maybe, if you always clean your fish in a lighted garage or on sunny days. But I sure don't. If you've ever had to clean crappies or catfish on the boat after sundown, or take the flanks off a bluefish while night fishing for sharks, you'll appreciate the added glow. Even during broad daylight, the LEDS shed better light on the cavity of the catch you're working on, making it easier to see and follow the ribcage and backbone. One AAA battery powers the lights, and an 8CR13MOV steel blade honed to a razor's edge makes clean work of cleaning fish. ($92; sogknives.com)
--Joe Cermele

7) The Swiss Champ

For the dad who has everything, do him one better by giving him everything … all in one knife. The Swiss Champ is an icon, and a knife I've always wanted to add to my collection. The knife has 33 tools, but at 3 ½ inches is still compact enough to fit comfortably in your pocket. In 2008, David E. Petzal listed the Swiss Champ in his list of the 20 Best Knives Ever Made, writing: "The Swiss Champ is the ultimate evolution of the Swiss Army knife. I've carried one for years, and I have used just about all of its tools. People make fun of it until the day when they sheepishly ask to use it." There you have it. ($102; swissarmy.com)
--C.K.

8) Under Armour Sunglasses

We've all been relying on Under Armour base layers to keep us warm on the water and in the woods. Now the company is taking a shot at keeping our eyes comfy (and seeing more fish) with a new line of polarized shades. There are six models in all, but my favorite is the Captain Storm (shown). This particular pair has nice, wide-profile lenses and comfortable ear pieces that let the glasses hug my face without pressure or slippage. The lenses are touted as being resistant to oil, bug spray, and saltwater. I've yet to smear them with anything or dunk them in the salt, but in the times I've gotten them on the water, they do seem pretty smudge resistant. Lens colors vary by model, but mine were gray and provided excellent glare reduction and fish-spotting capabilities during a few spring carp sessions. ($125 - $160; underarmour.com)
--J.C.

9) Thermal Cloak

Here's something you don't see every day. Designed to offer protection from the elements while acting as a personal blind, the waterproof, insulated Thermal Cloak—essentially a hooded camo bag--helps keep a hunter warm, comfortable, and concealed while sitting on a stand on cold, wet days. To enhance mobility, the bag cinches up at the knees, making the walk to the stand, and the climb up or down, easier. Large, self-sealing arm ports allow you to move a bow or rifle into position without making noise. The cloak is cut large enough so heavy insulated clothing can be worn underneath, and a special flap allows the use of a safety harness. The length can be adjusted from 50 to 66 inches. Weight: 2 pounds, 15 ounces. (Slumberjack.com; $199.95)
--S.L.W.

10) Lowa Renegade GTX Boot

Give dad a gift card for a mani-pedi this Father's Day and he may think you sat out too long in the coffin blind last season. But that doesn't mean he has no concerns about his feet and knees, which don't exactly become more robust over the years. A pair of Lowa Renegade GTX boots will have him covering miles of fields and woods, without one wince, for years. Comfortable out of the box, lightweight but very sturdy, these highly engineered leather boots with Gore-Tex lining and grippy Vibram Evo soles are perfect for early season deer and small game hunting. While the Bavarian designers may not have been thinking of guys who chase deer, rabbits and squirrels when they designed this boot, that's exactly who will benefit from their skills. I've never worn a more comfortable upland boot. ($225; lowaboots.com)
--Mike Toth

11) STORMR Strykr Jacket

No, the Strykr jacket is not rain gear, it's "I don't care how hard it's blowing, I'm fishing today" gear. Constructed of neoprene and abrasion-resistant materials in high contact areas like the waist and stomach, this jacket offers comfort more like you'd find in a wetsuit than a PVC poncho, but its cut doesn't restrict movement. I've been wearing one this spring for everything from Great Lakes walleye fishing to striper fishing East Coast rivers. The two-way adjustable hood and fleece lining make the jacket super warm while stopping any hint of wind from hitting your skin, while the adjustable outer cuffs and interior neoprene cuffs keep water out better than any similar jackets I've worn. Granted, you wouldn't want to wear the Strykr on a hot day, but if the wind is chilling, the cold rain is falling, or the lake is churned up and kicking spray over the bow, it'll be your dad's best friend. ($300; stormrusa.com)
--J.C.

12) Esky Coolers

I'm a big fan of "extreme coolers," because they last a long time and take a beating. If you've gotten away from replacing cheap coolers every other season (or you're trying to break dad of the habit), the new Esky Coolers from Coleman are worth a look. Slightly less expensive than some other notable brands of die-hard coolers, Eskys are available in 4 models ranging from 55- to 205-quart. A unique touch that's nice for the angler is that each comes with an antimicrobial cutting board that slides into a slot under the lid. The heavy-duty rubber latches are built for rough handling, as are the "large-knuckle" hinges with stainless steel pins. I've kept ice in one for 3 days with very little melt, and I'm a big fan of the dual drain feature, which allows you to open the drain to two different widths; standard for a hose hook up, or wide to unleash the melt water in a fast, raging torrent. ($340 - $750; eskyseriescoolers.com)
--J.C.

13) Nikon Coolpix AW120

As someone who shoots a ton of video and stills on the water, I can tell you many a camera has met its end in my hands. That's why I always look for cameras that can go hard, and Nikon's Coolpix AW120 seems to be one that even I can't kill. It might be a compact point-and-shoot, but it takes stunning 16 mega-pixel images in all light conditions. Like to shoot video? The AW120 captures full HD footage and has the best stereo audio I've ever heard from a camera this small. It's dust-proof, shock-proof, and submersible to 60 feet, so you can literally slip it in a drenched pocket of your rain gear and not worry a bit. Of course, you can also score sweet underwater release shots of your trophy catches. Oh, and for you hunters, it's available in camo. ($349.95; Nikonusa.com)
--J.C.

14) Big Sky Fly Rod Boxes

Though they're not exactly the same price as a tie, if dad is a hardcore fly angler, you might consider getting him set up with a Big Sky Fly Rod Box. Trust me, he'll understand that it's an investment. These powder-coated, welded-steel boxes are made in Montana, and come in various lengths to fit on the roof of almost any vehicle with luggage racks or aftermarket bars. Longer boxes carry and lock up 4 to 6 9.5-foot fly outfits fully rigged. The shorter Sculpin box holds four outfits broken in half, and is ideal for pick-up trucks and smaller SUVs. Closed-cell foam inserts keep outfits from getting banged around and tangled. Use the box to hop from spot to spot without breaking rods down completely, or load it up and drive cross-country without worrying about damage or theft. ($580 - $700; flyrodbox.com)
--J.C.

15) Decked Storage System

The engineers who created the Decked pickup truck storage system would like you to “play with a full deck.” And you can do just that with this clever, no-drill system designed to securely store your hunting and fishing gear. Made from recycled high-density polyethylene molded to a steel subframe, it’s a robust system that features a pair of lockable slide-out drawers capable of holding rifles, shotguns, and fishing rods (as well as all your job-site tools). You can also add drawer dividers to create smaller storage spaces for smaller items. Heavier items can rest on the deck itself, as it can accommodate as much as 2,000 pounds. Fits bed lengths of 5 ½ feet and 6 ½ feet. ($995; decked.com) --S.L.W.