Once a year, every year, we have a day devoted to our dads, so we can thank them for all they’ve done, and all they continue to do, to make our better. (And in case you needed a reminder: Father’s Day in 2020 is on June 21.) To help you avoid turning Father’s Day into National Cologne, Aftershave, and Necktie Gift-Giving Day, we’ve assembled a string of hunting and fishing gift ideas—some new products and some old reliables—that any Total Outdoorsdad is sure to love.
GoPro Zeus Mini
GoPro Zeus Mini • Price: $70 GoPro
In just a few short years, the GoPro brand has become the Coca-Cola, Xerox, Kleenex of its category and has become synonymous with DIY digital video content. In 2020, the company is veering into a new market space, the world of illumination, with the Zeus mini light. Like a GoPro camera, you can mount a Zeus anywhere—your hat, backpack, work bench, or hood of your car—wherever you need a brighter view. It has a strong internal magnet, which makes it great for DIY projects. Throwing out 200 lumens, it’s rechargeable battery can last for up to six hours before needing refreshed, and it’s waterproof down to 33 feet. It’s a great addition to tackle boxes, tool kits, or hiking and hunting gear.
Coleman 6-person Dome Tent with Screen Room ⋅ Price: $140
Survivor Filter PRO X Electronic Water Filter ⋅ Price: $125
Orvis Trout Bum Quilted Snap Sweatshirt ⋅ Price: $60 to $100
Hobie 2020 Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak ⋅ Price: $5,000
Fenwick Aetos 5-weight Fly Rod ⋅ Price: $190
Gerber Folding Fillet Knife
Gerber Folding Fillet Knife • Price: $45 Gerber
Years ago, as a way of stepping back from the computer keyboard and celebrating summer weekends, my two young boys and I invented Fish Fridays—a weekly ritual where we’d either hit the water and chase smallmouths, snorkel with the minnows, tie flies, or even just watch employees feed fish in the giant aquariums at our local Cabela’s store. One of the highlights (aside from spending time with my boys) is keeping a few fish for the fryer. Late in the summer, on our way home from the water, we stop at roadside fruit and veggie stands and buy sweet corn, potatoes, onions, berries, and a string of other fresh offerings from family farms and orchards as side dishes to our golden-fried protein. It’s become our favorite summer meal, and it’s my job to get the fish from the livewell to the oil. For that, I’ve been using the same fillet knife I’ve owned since high school. But this year, a friend turned me on to the new folding filleter from Gerber, and it’s my new favorite. Out of the box, it’s incredibly sharp. In the hand, it’s well balanced, and the textured grip and hefty handle make it easy to hold, even with wet, slimy hands. If your dad is like me and is a fan of cleaning fish the “old school” way, this could be his best tool for the job.
Hardy Ultralite CADD Fly Fishing Reel ⋅ Price: $250
Man Crates Gift Box ⋅ Price: $50 to $150
FireDisc 36-inch Propane Cooker ⋅ Price: $350
BioLite 330 Headlamp ⋅ Price: $60
Snow Peak Takibi Stainless Steel Tabletop Fire and Grill ⋅ Price: $320
Snow Peak Collapsible Coffee Drip Cooking System ⋅ Price: $22
MEAT! 6-Tray Dehydrator
MEAT! 6-Tray Dehydrator • Price: $120 MEAT!
Seemingly in the blink of an eye, my young boys are turning into older boys…who eat everything. So this past year, I’ve become a student of DIY jerky. It’s lean, sugar free, healthy, and another excuse for the wife as to why I go hunting (yes, again this week too). Plus, it’s just fun to experiment. After some trial and error, I’ve zeroed in on some specifics for success, and a dehydrator is one of the keys. If you’ve never used one, they’re amazingly simple, and you can use it for more than jerky. MEAT! is a new brand that made its debut in the home-butchering circle this year. Their 6-tray unit is perfect for anyone who wants to begin building their own home-grown setup, and the cost won’t break your Father’s Day gift budget, especially if you do like I do with my siblings and partner up to evenly split the final bill.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter ⋅ Price: $20
Coleman Trailhead II Cot ⋅ Price: $40
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System ⋅ Price: $60
CORE 9-person Instant Cabin Tent ⋅ Price: $220
Tin Cup American Whiskey
Tin Cup American Whiskey • Price: $32 Tin Cup
For as long as I can remember, my father has enjoyed a cocktail next to a roaring campfire. He’ll blend vodka, loads of crushed ice, and orange juice or some other mixer he drudges up from the depths of the cooler, drain it into a tin cup, and sip until there is nothing left of our fire. He says it’s a good way to “toast” the day, and look forward to the next one. I admit that I mimic his ritual, but for me, it doesn’t get any better than the warmth of good whiskey, and good whiskey doesn’t get much better than Tin Cup. If your dad enjoys relaxing with an adult beverage on occasion while he’s sleeping under the stars or winding down from a day on the water, Tin Cup rye is suited for just about any ritual. I mean, it comes with its own tin shot cup on top—how perfect is that for hunt camp?
Yeti Roadie 24 ⋅ Price: $200
Filson Tin Cloth Packer Hat ⋅ Price: $55 to $75
Duck Camp Hooksetter Shirt ⋅ Price: $79 to $90
VSSL First Aid Compact Adventure Kit ⋅ Price: $125
Costa Del Mar Diego Polarized Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar Diego Polarized Sunglasses • Price: $235 Costa Del Mar
For years my father refused to buy a styled pair of polarized sunglasses. He’s near-sighted and needs to wear prescription lenses for everyday tasks, so he always opted to buy those oversized, bronze-colored, cheap plastic glasses he could slide over his eyeglass frames. He looked ridiculous, and I wasn’t shy about reminding him of that fact. If that sounds like your dad, remind him there are alternatives.
OnX Hunt Elite Membership
OnX Hunt Elite Membership • Price: $99 OnX
After numerous seasons of hunting with my dad, I’ve learned he has no inner compass. Even after I help him study a topo map, and offer advice on directions and landmarks, I can almost be sure he’ll go in the opposite direction because he thinks that’s the way to go, and later, he’ll blame me after he ends up in the thickest briar patch or on the steepest incline he’s ever hiked. That’s why I love OnX Hunt. Not only does it show him (and me) exactly where he’s standing, it keeps him legal and on public land, not private. What’s more, OnX Hunt is always refining the app and adding upgrades. There’s a prairie dog function that displays the known ground-squirrel towns on public land in North Dakota, so when I visit the in-laws, I always know how far I need to go to exercise the action on my .17 HMR. If your dad is “topographically challenged” like mine, or he’s entertained the idea of finding some new farms to hunt close to home, he’ll appreciate an elite membership.
CRKT Chehalem Folding Pocket Knife ⋅ Price: $40
Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Reel ⋅ Price: $40
Rhino-Rack Batwing Awning ⋅ Price: $550 to $700
Buck 110 Folding Knife ⋅ Price: $45
Solo Stove Ranger Fire Pit ⋅ Price: $230
Jeremiah Johnson Movie Poster
Jeremiah Johnson Movie Poster • Price: $18 Blueline
Long before I was born, my great grandfather took my father to see Jeremiah Johnson, Sydney Pollack’s mountain-man masterpiece, after it was released in 1972. It changed their lives. My great grandfather saw glimpses of his younger self growing up in the Appalachians, and my father realized he was born 150 years too late. From the time I was able to even contemplate what the movie was truly about, I’ve heard my father quote “. . . Saw it, right off,” and “That is all you need to know,” more times than I can count. My old man just loves that movie. So, when I said I’d get him a poster as a gift, he immediately reserved real estate on his bedroom wall, much to my mother’s chagrin. If your dad is a fan of classic outdoor films, a movie poster is never a bad way to go. I fear my wife will someday get me the poster from The Mountain Men (it’s such a bad movie, it’s good). But you can also find The Revenant, The Last of the Mohicans, A River Runs Through It, and Man in the Wilderness. When we find a good retail outlet for Escanaba in da Moonlight movie posters, we’ll let you know.