The Wild South

Sporting Gifts for Father’s Day

Ten neat ideas for dads who love the great outdoors


Fear not the last-minute Father’s Day frenzy. It’s not too late to be a hero to your hero with these ten gift ideas for dads who love spending time outdoors. Whether he’s partial to the woods, the boat, or the beach, from smaller items to the slightly extravagant, these gifts will make the day for sporting pops.

Seafood Bar

You can tell the folks at Southern Wildlife Company have elbowed their way to an oyster table or three. This table designed for oyster roasts features a raised center island that holds the grub above the table’s surface to allow plenty of room for drinks, oyster knives, and condiments. It’s made of powder-coated aluminum, so it’s surprisingly lightweight, and fitted over a standard thirty-gallon garbage can or fifty-five-gallon drum, it’s a stellar setup not only for oyster roasts but also for Lowcountry boils or as a bar for an outdoor party. It makes a superb dove- and duck-cleaning table, too. White is the basic color, but the tables are also available in a ton of athletic team colors. (From $290; souwild.com)


Keen Idea

No more spending a weekend at a pal’s hunting camp or a rented cabin and suffering through crappy knives in the kitchen drawers. This Rolling Knife Sharpener from Work Sharp requires no batteries, no funky grinding belts, and relatively little knowledge of how to hone a knife. It’s about the size of a hamburger bun, so it’s easy for Dad to tote along on hunting, fishing, and camping trips. ($150; worksharptools.com)


Spirit Saver

Plenty of flasks are designed for duty at the duck lodge or campfire, but this one from High Camp Flasks is a pour above. For starters, the vacuum-insulated, stainless-steel bottle will swallow an entire fifth of brown water or another favorite spirit. The wide mouth allows for funnel-free filling. And the pair of integrated magnetized tumblers are a slam-dunk finish. ($129; highcampflasks.com)


Grill Booster

A simple device such as this Weber Smoker Box can be a game changer on gas grills. Fill it with wood chunks or pellets, ignite one end, and let it pump out as much smoke as desired. It’s a nice little gift that gives big flavor. ($34; weber.com)


Fish Blades

Benchmade has launched a new line of knives built for the water, and the collection’s two fillet knives—in seven- and nine-inch blade lengths—take a bold approach to a standard design. The Fishcrafter blades are built of CPM MagnaCut steel, giving them an extra dose of strength and backbone while retaining the flex you want in a knife designed to separate fish bones from every morsel and mouthful of mahi or pond bream. A lot of fillet knives feel sort of disposable. These feel sort of indispensable. ($240–$260; benchmade.com)


Waist-High Wader

To be honest, I’ve considered pant waders kind of…goofy. Not anymore. Chêne Gear has played a big part in the revolution of wader design over the last few years, and its 2S Wading Pant features the same upgraded materials and smart additions like a removable harness. Not everyone needs or wants chest waders, especially when hunting impoundments and other shallow waters. ($850; chenegear.com)


Sand Lounger

Pops may or may not like to chill at the beach for hours, but he likes surf fishing and sandbar parties. But Pops’ back isn’t a fan of a typical beach chair. The Strongback Low Gravity recliner comes to the rescue with a pre-curved lumbar support that’ll keep the cramps away from low tide to high tide. It collapses into a tidy boat-stowable package, and it’s built to handle a grown man’s grown weight. ($70; strongbackchair.com)


Better Box

Keter’s new Signature line of deck boxes stand out for three good reasons. 1. They’re made of a warp- and rot-free resin with wood-like finishes rather than white plastic. 2. They come in two sizes, one that will stow boat chairs and life jackets and a larger version that could almost hide that canoe Dad couldn’t resist. 3. They are not stupid expensive. Perfect for decks, docks, backyards, and beside the grill. ($250–$370; keter.com)


Stay Found

It’s not the sexiest Father’s Day gift, but the Spot X satellite messenger could be the one you’re most grateful you gave. The device allows Big Daddy to text family, friends, or communicate with search and rescue agencies when he’s off the grid. Like when he’s in bluewater after mahi. Or deep in a timber hole scouting for ducks. The Spot X requires a data plan, but those are available for as little as $12 per month. ($200; findmespot.com)


Slick Topper

Not every jacket needs to be Everest-ready. The Howler Brothers Seabreacher is a handsome solution to break the morning chill or shed a drizzle. A DWR finish turns back the dripsies, and the thing packs away small enough to stow. It’s a hip windbreaker that won’t make Dad look like he’s on a Scottish golfing trip. ($99; howlerbros.com)


Follow T. Edward Nickens on Instagram @enickens and find more Wild South columns here.

Listen to The Wild South, G&G’s new podcast hosted by David DiBenedetto and T. Edward Nickens and featuring conversations with sportsmen and sportswomen in the South and beyond.


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