In two weeks, another Father's Day arrives. For some dads, the gifts could put a new meaning to the word "Surprise."
Having sons and/or daughters who hunt and fish or least have some experience in the outdoors can make Father's Day gift receiving a little more interesting.
There might be a few wives, daughters or sons who need a few suggestions for proper gifts for the outdoorsman in their life, so I have compiled a brief list of excellent ideas.
Often, it is the little gifts that can be the most treasured. The gift doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive, just a little something that says, "Thanks for being my dad." A framed photo of you and your dad in an outdoor activity is something he will always treasure. It might have been a fishing or hunting trip, or maybe a campout in the back yard.
This brings to mind gifts that can be used by outdoor guys throughout the year. Flashlights — a nice LED with a case, not the cheap $3 brand from the drug store — are always handy. If your dad likes to take along some hot coffee, then a quality stainless-steel thermos bottle is a good present. Each of these gifts can range from around $20-$40.
Knives are an item that any man would appreciate and use on a regular basis. Top brands include Buck, Gerber, Bear MGC and Boker to name just a few. Some hunters might prefer a fixed-blade, while other outdoorsmen will opt for a folding, lock-blade style. Some companies offer engraving. Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $150 or more for a name-brand knife, depending on the size.
That old fishing hat might be broken in for comfort, but a new one would sure look better — and probably smell better, too.
While we are on gifts for any type of outdoorsman, a mutli-tool can be useful anytime and anywhere. The tools unfold into a combination of pliers, cutters, knives, screwdrivers, scissor and a multitude of other tools. Prices range from around $30 to more than $100 and include the carrying cases.
A gift that can pull double duty hunting or fishing is a NOAA weather radio. Weather radio stations across the U.S. broadcast local forecasts and weather updates 24/7. Also included are current weather conditions consisting of air temperature, dew point, wind speed and direction. Certain units can even sound an alert when severe weather is imminent.
There are several different styles and types of portable weather radios, and some are incorporated in standard broadcast radios, flashlights or the two-way walkie-talkie. Prices can range from around $29 to $99 and up, depending on brand and model.
Also, certain brands of hand-held GPS units contain NOAA weather radio channels. These gadgets can be used when traveling to that secret fishing or hunting spot, when camping and when on vacations. A few of the newer models of GPS can be used in boat or car.
Keeping dad safe
Anglers and boaters alike would appreciate a quality personal flotation device (PFD). Improvements with auto-inflate technology and compact sizes allow the PFD to be worn at all times in comfort, even while fishing. These PFD's are available in various sizes and colors, including camo.
If an angler or boater were to fall overboard, the automatic models inflate within seconds to provide plenty of buoyancy to keep the person face up. Mustang, Stearns and SOSPenders are a few of the top brands and range from around $90 for manual models to about $260 for fully auto.
A premium pair of quality sunglasses helps protects dad's eyes from the UV rays of the sun. Look for the ones with a 100% UV protection and, if for an angler or boater, make certain they are polarized. Some top brands of sunglasses offer interchangeable lenses for different weather conditions.
If the glasses don't come with a lanyard or some kind of strap, consider purchasing one separately. Some straps are adjustable to assist in keeping the sunglasses in place on those speedy rides across the lake or to allow for a quick removal. Most importantly, they keep the glasses on board.
Some name brands to consider are Costa Del Mar, Solar Bat, Oakley and Cocoons. These are not cheap sunglasses — expect to pay from around $100 to more than $300, but the quality is well worth the price.
A gift any dad would flip over is a fishing or hunting trip. These excursions can cover a wide array of options, from a simple personal trip to a full-blown guided affair with all the amenities. There are hunting and fishing trips available in the state or to a far-off destination.
Depending on what dad might want and what the giver is willing to spend, the trips can range from a few hundred bucks to a couple of thousand. Retailers such as Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's can point you in the right direction.
Or, you can contact the Chamber of Commerce in the area of the trip. Keep in mind, that dad might take you along to share the experience.