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By Margie Anderson
AZGFD 2021 Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame Recipient 

Father's Day Gifts For Outdoor Dads

Enjoy Shopping For The Many Types Of Dads


Survival Shovel

And the best gift of all is your love and your time.

If you're like me, your dad probably had a lot to do with your love of the outdoors. A dad who hikes, fishes, hunts, camps, or goes off-road is so easy to buy for! Basically, when I bought stuff for my dad I just bought stuff I'd like to have myself. If that doesn't work for you, I've got some ideas for you. Here's a bunch of stuff I bet your outdoor dad will love.

Ideas For The Off-Road Dad

John and I go exploring a lot, so I know there are some things that you really need to have in your vehicle. One is a great first aid kit. You can find a wide range of kits at at a variety of price points. Another great place for outdoorsman first aid kits is I've got several of their kits, including one for our French Brittany, Mochi. They are ideal – compact and comprehensive.

A Sturdy Shovel

Another thing an off-road dad needs to have is a shovel.Nowadays there are shovels that are actually multitools, and that's the kind we have in our Jeep. With it, you can dig yourself out of a bind, smooth out a spot for your tent, put your fire out, etc. Just search for survival shovels online and you'll find tons of them. Make sure to get a sturdy one – read the reviews. A cheap shovel that breaks when you try to use it is worse than useless.

A Small Satellite Phone

One of the things that gives us the most peace of mind when we're in the boonies is our Garmin In-Reach Mini. It's a small satellite phone that lets us call for help when there is no cell signal. There are lots of different brands of these phones, and ours was around $300, plus about $13/month for service. So – not cheap, but invaluable if we ever really need it. I got an email from Jeep the other day and they have one of their own now.

A Membership

Here's a cool idea for your off-roading dad: Get him a premium membership in AND This will allow him to not only find great off-road trails to explore, but also it will allow him to upload those trails from traillsoffroad to his Gaia app, which means he can see where he is in real time so he knows he's staying on the trail. Our Jeep is even equipped with a screen that I can show the Gaia app on while we're driving, so John can see the map too. It is so cool. The premium Gaia membership is $39.99 and the Trails Offroad All-Access is $25 – each of them is good for one year. I guarantee Dad will love it!

For The Camping Dad

How About A Tent Cot?

Is your dad getting a bit long in the tooth and finding it harder and harder to exit the tent for those nighttime calls of nature? If you don't mind spending a couple hundred bucks, you can get him a tent cot. These are just what they sound like – a cot with a tent that attaches to it. You can get singles or doubles, and comfy inflatable mattresses to fit. So much nicer than sleeping on the ground! We got ours at They have a compact model that is just around $163.

Another Good Idea: A Pump

If dad likes to keep things comfy but compact, a 12-volt pump that also deflates is an ideal gift. Since I pack our bedding in Space Bags, that 12-volt pump is the perfect way to get them back to their tiny size for packing in the morning, and it also works wonders on those inflatable mattresses that are almost impossible to get back in the carrying bag if you deflate them by hand. Trust me, I know. I got ours for around $25 on Amazon. Just search for 12-volt pump and make sure you check that it also deflates. A 12-volt has more power than a battery-operated pump so it really deflates those pillows and mattresses beautifully.

A Favorite: The JetBoil

One of my absolute favorite pieces of camping gear is my JetBoil. It runs on canned gas and boils water in about two minutes. Their Flash Java Kit model only takes 100 seconds! I use it for making coffee, boiling water for our Backpackers Pantry meals, and for heating up water for doing the dishes in camp (if we have any). They have a variety of models now – I got mine years ago and it is still going strong. It even has a button that lights the gas so I don't need matches. You can see them at

Waterproof Matches Are Handy

If you like to have the kids make something for dad, why not repurpose a prescription bottle and old candle stubs to make dad some waterproof matches? You'll need to help, but all you have to do is dip wooden matches in melted wax one at a time. They don't take long to solidify, and then you can put them in the prescription bottle. I've also seen people do it with clear nail polish instead – which might be better if dad is going to leave the bottle in the truck. The wax might melt. Another idea for those prescription bottles is a small sewing kit for emergency tent/clothing/backpack repairs in the field.

The Hunting Dad

A Map Of The Hunt Unit

Does your dad have a favorite hunting unit? You can go to and get a map of that hunt unit, and you can also buy them at Sportsman's Warehouse. At mytopo you can actually make a custom map of any favorite area and they aren't very expensive at all. Or pick him up one of those DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer booklets at your local outdoor store – it has detailed topo maps of the whole state, including back roads, recreation sites, and GPS grids. The Arizona one is $24.95 and you can get them at Wide World of Maps You could also get him a map of his favorite National Forest – these are excellent because they have all the forest roads labeled. I love them.

Outfit The Man

Hunting dads also need camo hats and shirts, game bags, rubber gloves, etc. A visit to Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, or Sportsman's Warehouse will blow you away when you see the variety of stuff you can get for a dad who hunts.

Try A Jerky Gun

If dad loves to hunt deer but the family isn't too keen on venison, why not get him a jerky gun? He can turn ground venison into delicious jerky that everyone will love, just by adding spices and drying it in the oven. The jerky gun lets him get perfect strips of jerky every time. You can get one as low as $25 at Walmart.

Hiker Dad

Ideas For On The Trail

I advise against trying to get your dad boots or a backpack – those are things you really have to pick out for yourself. But how about a nice light set of hiking sticks? I really love mine, especially because I have one ankle that has been weak since I hurt it in high school. Those sticks have saved my ankle from a bad turn many times. You could also get him a Pro Membership in

Hiking Sticks

The membership lets him download maps to use even when he doesn't have cell service, use real-time map overlays, use off-route notifications so he doesn't accidently wander off the trail (they can be hard to find sometimes!), and keep friends and family informed with Lifeline. It's only $29.99 for a year or $59.99 for three years. All Trails has so many hiking trails you wouldn't even believe it, and it lets you search by name or area, or even just find out which ones you happen to be close to at the moment. It's one of my favorite apps.

The Best Gift Of All

You don't have to spend a fortune to give your outdoor dad a great Father's Day gift, and the best gift of all is your love and your time. Enjoy Dad this Father's Day!


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