As an outdoor writer, I test hundreds of outdoor items a year. I’m going to list out some items that have caught my eye for some good Father’s Day gifts. Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to light up his eyes. We use everything from a $1.49 package of crappie jigs on up to a $75,000 boat. So whether you’re a kid on a 50-ce-per-week allowance or the Queen of Sheba, you can make his day if you choose wisely.

First off, investigate. With a little work you can figure out what he wants or needs. Just because he is a fisherman doesn’t mean he wants a bag full of red and white bobbers. If he only fly fishes, then you might as well give him a bag of rocks as a bag of bobbers. Get my drift? Let’s get started.


  • 5.11 makes some cool tactical pants that are great for hunting, fishing and hiking. They also offer great shorts.
  • Heybo makes some sporty fishing shirts.
  • Irish Setter offers great hiking boots. Right now I’m testing their Canyons hiking boots.
  • Hiking socks. These are like a gift from heaven for your feet.
  • Base layers. I use XGO First Aid/Survival.
  • Aquimira offers a lot of filtered water bottles and straws.
  • Adventure Medical Kits offers a plethora of first-aid kits and accessories.
  • Fire starting gear. Waterproof matches and a pack of cheap Bic lighters work great.


Outdoorsmen use daypacks, backpacking packs and packs to pack out game. Make sure you buy the size he wants and with the desired features.


(This could be a whole list by itself since we use so many different knives.

• Knives of Alaska Pronghorn, Elk Hunter, Cub Bear or Legacy.

• Spyderco folding knives, Native Chief, Endura, Endela.

• Stones, Smith’s Consumer Products makes the best. Fine Diamond stones, Trihone stone etc. They also offer a lot of folding knives and a boning knife.


(You can buy a lot of small inexpensive items here.)

  • Lures, flies, weights, fishing line, jig heads, plastics, Pautzke Crappie Fireballs, Field & Stream fishing rods
  • Dip net
  • Fly vest
  • Polarized sunglasses


  • Tents — I’ve got a few Alps Mountaineering tents.
  • Lodge Dutch oven.
  • Camp Chef backpacking stove.
  • Grizzly makes some great coolers. They’re durable, bear rated and hold a lot of food.
  • Cook set. If you’re on a tight budget, go to Goodwill and put together a cooking set. Pots, pans, plates, silverware, glasses, etc. — and put it all in a large Tupperware container.
  • MyTopoMaps makes the best maps on the market.
  • For fun around camp get him a Daisy P51 slingshot or a throwing knife or hatchet.
  • SneakyHunter BootLamps for hikers. These are like headlamps for your feet.


  • Get him a Umarex air rifle. He’d have a blast plinking Ruger 10/22. I love these little rifles. They are the most popular .22 on the market.
  • Brick of Federal or some CCI .22 ammo.
  • Riton Optics scopes and binoculars.
  • SwabIts makes some cool gun-cleaning swabs.
  • NRA magazine subscription.
  • SneakyHunter BootLamps. They have three light options, one of which is a blood-tracking light.
  • Targets. He’d love the Birchwood Casey ShootNC targets.


Tell him you don’t have much but you’ll go fishing/hiking/camping/hunting with him. I love it when my wife or daughters go with me. That means more to me than any gift in the world. That way I’m doing what I love and with the people I love the most.

Tom Claycomb lives in Idaho and has outdoors columns in newspapers in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana.He also writes for various outdoors magazines and teaches outdoors seminars at stores like Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop.