This isn’t your usual Father’s Day Gift Guide. This is the Ron Spomer tested and approved (’cause I use these) Best Dad Outdoor Gifts. You can trust it because (A.) I’m not just a Dad, but a Grand Dad. (Ain’t that grand?!) And (B.) I’m an outdoorsman. A been-there-done-that, no-nonsense, forget the gimmicks, get-the-job-done-even-if-it’s-not-perfect, school-of-hard-knocks outdoorsman.
So trust me: We outdoor dads don’t want flowers, pajamas or neck ties. If you want to make your outdoor Dad glad, get him some of these Dad-Tested-and-Approved Best Dad outdoor gifts:
Even if your father’s name isn’t Rod, you’ve got to get him this two-ounces of salvation. If you’ve ever been put out of commission with a gun barrel poked full of mud or snow, you know the frustration of trying to shove a stick down it to clear the block. Rapid Rod to the rescue. Multi-jointed and less than 5-inches long, Rapid Rod can be pulled and tightened into an aluminum pole for clearing 27-inch rifle barrels and 32-inch shotgun barrels. Can be used for light cleaning, too. Every pack and Pop should have one. $22.08 from ATSKO.
If your Pop likes to shoot with a bipod screwed to his rifle, he should find the new Swagger bipod the ultimate in versatility. Because its legs sit atop strong coil springs, they can bend to wild, crazy angles (unlike your Dad,) enabling a level, steady hold on virtually any terrain in any field shooting position. I’ll post a video review demonstrating the Swagger next week, so stayed tuned to Ron Spomer Outdoors You Tube Channel. Then position yourself to be the apple of Dad’s eye! $176.38 on Amazon or $209.99 for the Treestand Model, which I find most versatile.
No need to worry about Dad freezing his toes off if he carries this fire starter. This is the Abrams tank of fire starters. A machined aluminum tube holds the tinder, the striker and the ferro rod. A notch guides the striker perfectly over the ferro while the tube funnels all of the sparks — and there are a lot of them — like a cannon. One strike usually ignites the supplied tinder. Two or three strokes light up dry leaves, grasses, and twigs. This foolproof fire starter can be operated with one hand. Available in two sizes. $67.75 on Amazon.
No strain, no pain, no money down the drain! This simple, belt-mounted gun holder will take a load off the Old Man’s arms and shoulders. The two-piece device includes a polymer base that straps onto Dad’s belt. The other piece is a small post or “knuckle” that Dad wraps around his “gun of the day” via its Velcro pad. He slides the knuckle into the groove on the belt unit, slips his sling over his shoulder in the traditional way, and adjusts the sling to put some or all of the gun weight onto his hip. Aaaah! Relief. The gun slips out as easily as it slips in, yet stays in place despite aggressive hiking, jogging and mountain climbing. There’s a tactical plate version for AR-platform rifles, too. You have to see this thing in action to appreciate it, so check out the Stratus in Action video here. $26.68 on Amazon.
I wonder if the Swiss Army actually carries these? If not, they should. This is the perfect Dad-tool for every day use. I take mine off my belt only to sleep and fly, and not always then, which means TSA has plenty. Don’t make the mistake of getting a knife with every tool including a spot welder. The unit must remain small enough to fit the hand, balance and function. The Huntsman does. Yet it has an incredibly useful saw (tree limbs, elk legs); scissors (trim beard and nose hairs, notch tags): two screwdrivers, two blades, awl, tweezer, toothpick, corkscrew, can opener, beer bottle opener and more! ‘Nuff said. Make Pops an honorary member of the Swiss Army. $28.99 on Amazon.
Here’s an odd little item that might leave you scratching your head, but could Save Pa’s Life. Born from our Fighting Forces, A-PALS are All Purpose Adhesive Light Strips, mini-lights used to mark trails and places. Each waterproof strip weighs 1/10 ounce, yet flashes bright enough to be seen from 1/4-mile, as this video shows. Stick one to a tent site along a lake to find it after dark. On a treestand. Near the buck you need to return to pack out. On your dog’s collar. Your horse. Or your kids. You’ll find anything you need to find if you stick an A-PALS on it. Runs as many as 40 hours. $39.99 pack of 10 multi-colors on Amazon.
Your Dad’s a sharp cookie, but his hunting knife might not be. If he’s the kind of outdoorsman who’d rather be using a knife than sharpening one, get him a blade that will cut a lot of time out of his sharpening chores. Diamond Blade Knives have been tested against more than a dozen other kinds of knife steels and proven to hold an edge the longest. They are advertised “scary sharp,” come scary sharp and stay incredibly sharp for a long, long time. When they finally need to be re-sharpened, they come back to life remarkably fast. Such quality doesn’t come cheap, but neither does your Pops, right? Get him quality to match his own. A Diamond Blade for a diamond Dad. I find the Summit style the best all-round shape and balance for hunting. The Pro Series with Suregrip handle goes for $179.10. If you really want to lock in your inheritance, get the stag handle model for $269.10.
We don’t want to stray into “men’s cosmetics” here, so think of this as the Manly Man’s Invisible Glove for cracked hands. Kids, your Pa isn’t out in the woods playing Patty Cake. He’s putting his mitts in water, catfish maws, deer guts, mud, wet dog fur and you don’t want to know what else. Buy him a jar or two of this non-oily, non-scented, manly beeswax concoction and he’ll clap you on the back and say “Here, take the truck keys and this $100 bill and go get yourself an ice-cream while I shake hands with your mother.” $9.95 on Amazon gets one of the least expensive best dad outdoor gifts.
Dry. Just plain dry. That’s what Pop’s will be in an incredible Simm’s Gore-Tex wader and rain jacket. We hunted and fished in these for 10 days in soggy Alaska. Drizzles. Downpours. Lashing winds, splashing salmon, marauding bears, missing moose. We stayed dry and warm, but not comfortable. Wading swamps in the rain can’t ever be called comfortable. But it can be effective, and with Simms rain gear, Dad’ll be happy to stay out where the action is. $499.95 for G3 Guide waders or Slick Jacket from manufacturer for one of your most expensive best dad outdoor gifts sure to lock in that favorite offspring ranking.
Ask any mallard you happen to see and it will probably tell you the old Sure-Shot Yentzen duck call sounds no better nor worse than four dozen other duck calls on the market. But that’s okay because no mallard is going to blow it. Your Dad is. And if he has any appreciation for his hunting heritage, he’s going to love the classic look, feel and sound of the Yentzen double reed. It’s a World Champion call for your World Champion Dad. $59.98 from manufacturer.
This bench is magic. It’s stands there on four steel legs, as sturdy as concrete when you shoot. Then you can pick it up and carry it home. Anyone who likes to test guns and ammo for pure accuracy — minus human error — can get a big boost toward motionless perfection with one of these benches. Made by a genuine Wyoming Cowboy perfectionist, a Stukey bench isn’t cheap , but you won’t have to replace it, either. Simply the best portable bench on the market, probably the best on the planet. $685 from the manufacturer. You can see a Stuckey Bench in “action” in my 6.5 Creedmoor Bergara Rifle video review. Notice it doesn’t wiggle a bit.
There are a lot more best dad outdoor gifts, so I might compile another pile next week for last minute shoppers.
Father Spomer has all the best dad outdoor gifts he needs, so he suggests semi-sweet dark chocolate and lots of it for his best dad outdoor gifts this year.