Breaking News

22 Gifts That’ll Get Your Dad Outside

Do you owe your love for outdoor adventure to a dad or dad-type who took you outside in your youth? On June 20, you’ll have your chance to pay that appreciation forward. Whether you’ve got a grizzled old man who can solo-survive in the woods, a burly papa who likes to scale mountains, or a dude-like dad who simply digs chilling in the backyard, we think you’ll find something fitting for him here.

Been meaning to get that great pic of you and your pops off your phone and into giftable shape? Fracture is a carbon-neutral operation that allows you to upload your favorite digital photos and have them printed directly onto durable glass (now you can upgrade for a sleek, matte finish), then shipped in an environmentally conscious package (along with the single screw that Dad’ll need to mount it to a wall). Plus, there’s no frame required—thus sparing wood, plastic, and metal. Pricing starts at $20.

Is your dad also the proud papa of a beloved canine? Does he start his day with coffee? Enter Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.—20 percent of all profits from these small-batch, organic Arabica coffee products fund a variety of innovative and impactful rescue endeavors throughout the United States. The company’s new Camp Out Essentials Bundle ($75) includes a 12-ounce blend of the good stuff, plus a diner mug, insulated thermos, dog bandanna, and sticker featuring the brand’s lovely “Escape With Your Sidekick” logo. It’s a doggone great gift for any caffeine-appreciating, outdoorsy dog person.

Fact: All dads dig relaxation. Serve some up al fresco with the gift of a deluxe double hammock from the creators of those oh-so-Instagrammable tents that you suspend over the ground, Ewok-village-style. Tentsile’s new DUO ($229, pictured in cover photo) features underfloor storage nets (so Dad can keep his gear clean and dry) and is reinforced with seatbelt webbing and heavy-duty ratchets. Plus, there’s a built-in antiroll strap system, which creates two separate sleeping bays (meaning Dad can relax with one of his kids in comfort without crashing in the middle). And if Dad already has a two-person Tentsile tree tent (pictured above), this piece will fit perfectly beneath it, allowing him to rig up a multistory haven of a campsite.

Come bonfire o’clock, you’ll want to get Dad into prime storytelling mode. Not only does the glow of a campfire provide iconic lighting for intimate stories, but also resurrected family yarns are among the most meaningful ways to connect with a parent. For tale fodder, look no further than the Campfire Stories Deck ($15) from Mountaineer Books. Billed as “prompts for igniting stories,” each of this set’s 50 cards features, well, a prompt (“Tell a story about your first national park visit” or “What was your first encounter with a wild animal?”) designed to help massage cherished memories into life.

As long as we’re shuffling decks, here’s a different spin on that same idea: Survival Playing Cards ($14). Created by the crafters of unique outdoor goods at Gentlemen’s Hardware, these waterproof illustrated cards come in a gold-accented tin and each contains a priceless tip or fact touching on everything from black signal fires to surviving bear attacks. There’s never been a more playful way to keep Pops safe and sound.

There are game dads, and there are puzzle dads: If your old man jigsawed his way through the pandemic, he’ll dig the artful options from Cloudberries. They’re designed to be wall-decor-worthy, and the company sources sustainable materials and plants a tree for every puzzle sold (75,000+ to date). We’re fans of the dreamy, plant-packed 1,000-piece Backyard Puzzle ($25).

Is your old man one with the sea? Last week, in honor of World Oceans Day, Fjällräven gave its iconic (and famously durable) Kånken backpack a marine makeover. Swedish illustrator and animator Linn Fritz designed the limited-edition new pack ($100)—available in two lovely oceanic patterns, a deep navy (pictured) and a whimsical pink and blue—to “bring awareness to one of the biggest concerns facing our oceans and planet today.” That would be plastic pollution. So, it’s fitting that the bag is made from recycled polyester and organic cotton and comes with a trash bag (to encourage Dad to clean up his neighborhood, thus preventing more trash from entering our oceans). What’s more, some proceeds benefit conservation organizations including Leave No Trace and The 2 Minute Foundation. Dad’ll love the fact that Fjällräven has been a carbon-neutral operation since 2015.

In case Pops is in the market for a bigger pack, the outdoor mavens at Gregory Packs recently launched the first-ever Plus Size Pack Collection. Designed in partnership with social media influencer Jenny Bruso, founder of Unlikely Hikers, it includes 14 hiking packs, backpacking packs, and daypacks in the 2x-to-6x range. We’re particularly excited about the new Katmai 55 model ($260), which is made from recycled materials, comes in both standard and plus sizing, and bears a groovy ventilated, suspended mesh back panel for maximum comfort. It’ll get backpackers, plus 45 pounds’ worth of their stuff, deep into the backcountry and beyond.

He’ll also need some trusty boots out there! Vasque’s new Breeze LT NTX Low model ($150) allows Dad to be light on his feet and light on the planet—its mesh upper and waterproof membrane are made from recycled materials. Designed to carry dads from the trails to the backyard barbecue, these boots boast impressive grip and eco-friendly durability bona fides. 

Keep blisters at bay with the gift of a trusty hiking sock. Good news—the performance sock-crafters behind Swiftwick have recently added to their limited-edition National Parks Collection ($20 each). What’s Dad’s favorite park? If it happens to be Denali, Joshua Tree, Grand Teton, Arches, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Zion, Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite, or Grand Canyon, he can wear a vibrant 360-degree homage on his tootsies. Oh, and Dad will love that these socks offer moderate compression, regulate temperatures, and are made to keep feet dry and blister-free.

Dad will also want a trusty windbreaker for the trails. Which works out well in the sense that Act’teryx recently launched ReBird—a line that prioritizes circularity by upcycling, repairing, and reselling existing gear. The limited-edition Stowe Windshell ($179) is crafted from end-of-the-roll (yet top-quality and eminently breathable) fabric. Sufficiently stylish for city streets, it also provides lightweight, packable protection for windy, misty weather. Talk about a performance anorak with a conscience!

How about a great place for Dad to park it while trekking and camping? Nemo Equipment recently released the only closed-cell foam outdoor seat made entirely from off-cut foam waste. The inch-thick Chipper ($20) provides protection, warmth, a clean spot to hose off, and, best of all, has removed 8.8 tons of scrap and 48 tons of CO2 in its first year of existence.

For the dad who’s been really good this year, how about an upgraded—and eye-catching—new shelter? Snow Peak’s Entry Line of tents boast several Japanese-inspired, ivory-hued three-season models, each specially designed for backpackers, car campers, and/or day-trippers. Bet your dad will adore the family-friendly and nostalgia-evoking Alpha Breeze ($500). Reminiscent of traditional A-Frames and Adirondack cabins, it accommodates four campers and features entry points on all four sides, ample living space, and extra ventilation.

For the gearhead dad who could use a little organizational support for his stuff, check out the customizable UTTy. This simple, portable solution for organizing and storing outdoor recreation gear starts at $45, weighs but a few ounces, and comes with heavy-duty two-prong hooks that’ll help Dad keep all his camping (and/or fishing or skiing or van-life or climbing) wares—of up to 75 pounds—in one place. It requires only a one-time set-up and was designed to help outdoorspeople extend the life of their favorite gear.

For the backpacking dad who’s all set on gear, consider the gift of The Long Trail Food Kit ($135) from the gourmet backcountry chefs at Good-To-Go. In our opinion, GTG is truly la creme de la creme of the dehydrated meal aisle, offering a wide range of unusually tasty and healthy options (its chicken pho, New England corn chowder, and Indian korma can’t be beat). And with five different breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, this extensive gift allows Dad to sample a full range of menu options on his next adventure. 

Is your dad more of a trail runner than a backpacker? Nathan just launched its Pinnacle Series, designed to be lighter, better-fitting, and more breathable than his current hydration vest. We’re partial to the Pinnacle 12 ($200), which holds 1.6 liters of water in its built-in bladder and includes 13 total pockets for maximal storage (seriously, this puppy can accommodate trekking poles, a smartphone, keys, snacks, and meds all at once). Designed to keep Dad moving in total comfort, this vest features a tapered back panel to keep moisture out and a longer-than-typical shape to keep contents efficiently dispersed.

Or maybe your pops is one of those rad dads; i.e., skateboarder dudes. Level up his board game with the gift of a very attractive skateboard from Lander ($149). Founded by architects and designers, Lander is made from recycled materials and engineered for serious strength. Its perforated deck comes in five colors that, well, pop. Time to ride!

Dad’ll need a cool pair of shades too. Earth-loving adventurers tend to adore Costa sunglasses, which are wholly reincarnated from recycled fishing nets. Their frames are fully recyclable, and their polarized lenses make colors come alive (while also providing full-spectrum UV protection and anti-fogging tech). What’s more, the brand just dropped two stylish new models: the Rincondo (pictured) and Maya (each $259). And if your dad likes to fish, he’ll appreciate that Costa’s roots are in performance eyewear for anglers. 

Get a load of this fishing cap—watercolor artist Katherine Homes designs headwear to bring attention to threatened species (like the Colorado greenback cutthroat trout, pictured on this $35 trucker cap) and wildlands. Her brand is a member of 1% for the Planet, and her wares will keep Dad’s noggin artily shielded.

How about pairing that hat with some waterproof slides that carry another unique environmental message? While traveling in Indonesia, shoe designer Kyle Parsons got clued in to the unique problem posed by the globe’s millions of used tires and upon return launched Indosoles so he could repurpose some of those tires into stylish, functional, and durable footwear. Dads will love a pair of Indosoles ESSNTLS Slides ($55)—and the story that comes with them too.

Royal Robbins’s men’s Hempline Short Sleeve Shirt ($75) offers an earthy twist on a classic dad look. Hemp and recycled polyester have combined forces to create a soft, wrinkle- and odor-resistant, durable performance shirt marked by clean lines. Its single chest pocket has a slot for storing shades, because after all, your old man isn’t a regular dad; he’s a cool dad.

For the father who likes to sit back after a grand adventure and absorb stunning art, here’s a different type of coffee-table book. The latest offering from No Starch Press is an illustrated adaptation of Italian chemist, poet, and Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi’s short story, Carbon: One Atom’s Odyssey ($18). In it, graphic illustrator John Barnett traces carbon’s 14-billion-year-old life story—as well as the many molecular manifestations of a single atom of the element that gave us the basic building block to create the nearly 10 million known elements populating the natural world. This book boasts an enchanting narrative detailing carbon’s role in everything from stars to wine as well as incredibly detailed art. In our humble opinion, it has the power to inspire any dad with a general interest in the science of the universe. Just take it from one dad you may have heard of, Bill McKibben, who describes this book as “engrossing—a biography of one of the most important subjects on Earth (and everywhere else).”