By Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer
For those who’ve put off their annual quest for a Father’s Day gift until the last possible minute and are now casting about for a solution, a few simple strategies can easily solve the problem.
Fathers can present a special dilemma for gift-buyers because most tend to focus on a few specific hobbies, and buy whatever they really want along those lines as they go, but there are a number of universal options that always ring true.
If you’re determined to avoid the gift certificate route – which is a great option itself, by the way – you can still shop at a store with a broad variety of offerings. If Dad can take back the boots you gave him and trade them in for lawnmower parts or plumbing supplies for example, you’ll have done well. Gifts he won’t cast aside or exchange are the goal, however, so these suggestions are a good place to start:
- Ever handy, always ideal, the trusty pocket knife that goes anywhere short of the airport is a great and handy gift, and it’s one sure item that’s always welcome, no matter how many he may already have. Even the most Spartan of dads enjoy receiving pocket knives, and they’re available in such a variety that it’s pretty unlikely you’ll give him one exactly like one he already has.
They’re one of the few treasures most male members of the World War II generation allowed themselves from time to time, largely because of their universal practicality, and they’re a gift that continues to stand solid today.
Fishing rods and reels
- For dads who fish at all, there’s no such thing as enough rods. If you can tell the people in the store whether your gift recipient fishes for bass, bream, crappie or catfish, they can point you in the right direction, and a rod alone need not be expensive.
Reels are interchangeable and don’t have to be paired with the rod when you buy either one, and either makes a great gift.
- Whether you’re buying the genuine item or a good replica, the Leatherman Tool and its descendants all make great gifts. The original Leatherman Tool is a pair of pliers with a variety of other tools and attachments that fold out of its handles in a fashion reminiscent of the Swiss Army knife. This sort of do-all pliers tool is available with a universal set of attachments, or can be found with more specific sets of accessories for certain jobs.
ThermaCell Mosquito Repellent
- Most outdoorsmen have seen every sort of better-mousetrap-style gadget and gimmick in the world and, I freely admit, the first time I saw the ThermaCell I thought I was looking at another one, but I have long since seen the light. I’ve never been a fan of marinating myself in traditional mosquito repellent, and this item is the perfect solution. It uses a tiny butane flame to heat a pad of repellent, whose vapors repel mosquitoes – and everything else I’ve encountered in the irksome insect family.
It’s totally self-contained and, what’s more, it’s always struck me as the sort of thing most of the dads I know wouldn’t buy for themselves, at least not the first time. Once they’ve tried it, though, they’ll likely become quick converts. There are times of the year when I’d rather leave my gun, bow or fishing equipment home before I left my ThermaCell.