Chris Weiss's Blog

Father's Day 2010: Outdoor Gear Gifts for Pops

Father's Day is just a week away. If you're looking to make your old man really proud, you'll wait until about 10 a.m. on June 20, make a mad dash to the mall for a last-minute gift and card, get home, sign the card in the car and throw a piece of tape on the paper bag and call it wrapping paper. But, if you want to make pop really happy on Father's Day, you'll get him one of these gifts and let him own that frantic routine next Mother's Day.

Eton Scorpion Emergency Radio

created at: 2010/06/11

It's a little embarrassing to admit this on behalf of all guys, but I'll do it anyway--guys love multifunction. Even if there's not a single function in the mix that we actually need, the ability to do 5 things with one product is just awesome--it's kind of James Bond-ish. And that's what the Eton Scorpion brings to the table--USB charger, audio input (e.g. speaker for your MP3 player), LED flashlight, digital radio, NOAA weather radio and bottle opener. Your dad may not need that when feeding ducks at the park, but he'll be happy to have it anyway. It also offers three ways of charging: solar, crank and DC adapter. And it looks pretty damn core too. Call it the Swiss Army knife of radios, and dad will call it the coolest gift of the summer. Available for pre-order at Amazon.

Quirky Switch Multi-Tool

created at: 2010/05/21

What's cooler than multi-function? Customized multifunction. I can't vouch for the durability, outdoor worthiness or quality of this Switch Modular multi-tool, but I can vouch for its cool factor. Essentially, a build-your-own multi-tool, the kit includes 18 individual implements and the hardware to attach them with. Your old man can configure exactly the knife he needs for the adventure or project of the day and leave the excess weight at home. This one is so new that it's still in production and won't actually be available until fall. But you can put your order in today for $79 and give dad a gift from the future.

Wenger Mike Horn Ranger

created at: 2010/05/21

Okay, since I included an unverified knife from the cool-but-questionable category, I thought I'd offer a little something for those that want quality over novelty. The Mike Horn Ranger has won plenty of recognition around the outdoor world including a vote in as "Must Have Gear" by National Geographic Adventure. Oh yeah, and the guy whose name is on it: he's currently on a four-year expedition around the globe. I think he knows a thing or two about tools. The knife features nine implements including a one-handed blade, one-handed locking serrated blade, perpendicular screwdriver bits and needle-nose pliers. You can find it for $140 on Amazon.

Grand Trunk Ultralight Travel Hammock

created at: 2010/05/21

Whether in the brush or hiding from mom's chore list behind the shed, dad will get hours of breezy shut-eye from this light, easy-to-set-up hammock. It weighs just 12 oz., packs down to the 10 x 4 inches and, best of all, this portable nap costs just 20 bucks.

Zippo Emergency Fire Starting Kit

created at: 2010/05/21

Guys love Zippos and they love surviving. Package both themes into one gift with this Zippo kit. It may look and feel like a standard Zippo, but it's no butane lighter: it's a kit with flint and tinder. The Zippo look just sets it apart from every other fire-starting kit on the market. Only $14 at Amazon

 Coleman Signature Series All-In-One Cooking

created at: 2010/05/21

'MacGuyver of camping stoves' might sound like pretty heavy praise to pour down, but this stove adjusts on the fly like big Mac himself. Whether your pops wants to grill, griddle or slow-cook his dinner, the Coleman All-In-One delivers. It includes a standard burner and grill and griddle inserts for all his cooking needs. A slow cooker is sold separately. From the parking lot outside of the KISS concert (yes they're still in business) to the Yukon backcountry, he'll be eating well this summer. Buy him the $100 stove/grill/griddle combo and he can add the $40 slow cooker when it's time to make chili.

MSR Exo 2 Cook System

created at: 2010/05/21

Everything dad needs for a camping getaway with mom in one collapsible package, the MSR Exo 2 offers a large, titanium pot, two insulated steel mugs, two bowl/plates and a strainer lid. MSR cookware also comes in a variety of other sizes and configurations that all fit handily into the biggest pot. Find the Exo 2 one for $120 at Backcountry.


Wend Mag for the iPad

created at: 2010/05/21

There's a good chance that your father would love to ski-mountaineer in the path of the 10th Mountain Division or surf amidst black bears in British Columbia. Perhaps he even planned an adventure like that. Then got tied to the dock with a whiny, needy anchor. Yeah, that's you.

Wend Magazine will cut the chains and bring his mind on some of the most epic, inspiring adventures since Magellan took a boat ride. If your dad has an iPad, it's still brand new enough that he's probably looking for any excuse to use it. Wend Magazine's brilliant photography and masterful storytelling are excellent reasons. Best of all, just sign him up for a free account and you're done without a penny spent. Get it done here.

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