Gift Guide

Between graduations and Father’s Day, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be looking for the perfect gift for that outdoors enthusiast in your life.  While you can rarely go wrong with a finely crafted knife or precision tool, this year’s hottest devices are GPS units you can wear on your wrist or toss in your backpack,  and record your hike or ride. Of course, quality outdoor gear for cooking and camping never goes out of style either. The IO staff have compiled a list of their personal favorites as well as wish list items, conveniently broken down by price.

$50 and under

Rumba watches – every color, including favorite colleges, every activity from swimming to formal, and they start at just $14.

Gerber Tools has you covered if you need to dig a latrine, rescue your car from snow that’s a bit too deep, or whack a mobster. The compact folding Gerber Gorge spade can even be personalized with laser engraving or an embroidered sheath. Or both!

Back in February, we mentioned the PocketToolX line of handy tools, priced from $19 and up.

CRKT Guppie – a 1/2″ adjustable wrench, knife, LED, and screwdrivers, in a handy carabiner design.

Eagles Nest Outfitters offers a hammock that holds up to 400 pounds, yet is nearly compact enough to fit in your pocket! Check out the Eno Single Nest.

Tool Logic is known for handy items like credit card-sized multi-tools with a knife, tweezers, and compass. But they also offer clever knives like the SL Pro 2 that incorporate a whistle, magnesium fire starter, and LED flashlight, in addition to a partially serrated 3″ blade.


$100 and under

Monatauk makes some great camping gear. Check out their titanium and aluminum Gnat Stove, which at 1.6oz, is the world’s lightest camp stove.  And shed a little light on your campsite after sundown with their Proton Lantern – 5.8oz, 70 lumens and only 2″x2″x4″.

SOG has a knife to suit every pursuit. Here are just a just a few:  The Aegis – a tactical folding lock blade with open-assist, the Aura – a sturdy camping knife with built-in sharpener, Blink  Black TiNi – the “gentleman’s” pocket knife, Field Pup – sporting a fixed blade with a sheath, and the Pocket PowerPlier – pliers, wire cutters, blades and more, plus the Compound Leverage™jaws.

Light up the campsite with the Warrior 400 LED light from Eureka! Durable, multifunction lantern includes area lighting and directional work lights, all provided by efficient LEDs. Goes great with their Catskill folding table, which is  seats four, and has plenty of clever storage solutions, like dual bottle holsters and a paper towel rack.

Recharge small electronics anywhere with the Pocket Power Pack from Tech40. Great for charging or running small portable devices, it includes a variety of universal charging tips, and recharges in under two hours by USB, or 8 hours of sunlight via the included solar panel.

Brunton offers the Get-Back GPS – a digital compass with GPS that stores up to three points. Never get lost again.

Travel light with the Flash from Jetboil, a compact and efficient 1 liter cooking system. Boils a liter of water in two minutes, and it all packs back into the cooking cup when done.



If the Flash isn’t enough capacity,  step up to Jetboil‘s Helios, with a standard 2L pot, or optional three liter. Besides great features like a push button igniter and snap-on windscreen, the lid and bottom covers can be used as plates, and their designers went to the extra trouble of making sure that the lid flies as true as any flying disc, for a little extra fun after meals.

Although it’s not available until July, the Discover GPS from Tech40 promises to be very popular. Speed, distance, and heart rate data can be viewed in real time right on your wrist, then downloaded to a PC for analysis with the included software. The two-way interface also allows users to upload routes, watch settings, and workout profiles.

High Peak has backpacking needs covered with their lightweight 65 liter Trango 65 backpack, and Meadow sleeping bag.

New from Bushnell, the BackTrack D-Tour is a personal location device that allows you to find your way back to the campsite as easily as finding your parked car. Also records up to 48 hours of data, (downloadable to PC or Mac) including time, temperature, altitude and latitude/longitude readings.

It’s really a gift the whole family can share – Eureka!‘s Mansard 8 tent. Near vertical walls, a curtain to divide it into two rooms, and large front and rear vestibules are just some of its innovative features. Sleeps 7-8 in comfort. Fill it with Euraka!‘s Dual Temp sleeping bags and Dualis ST sleeping pads, and everyone will get a cozy night’s sleep.

The newest tool from PocketToolX, the titanium WREX is an adjustable wrench, wire stripper, knife, and bit driver. So light you’ll carry it with you everywhere.

Brooks – Range mountaineering gear includes their durable laminated duffel bags, priced from just under $100 to a bit over, depending on size. Their Canadian Goose Alpini Mountain Vest makes a bold fashion statement while keeping the wearer warm. If you’re feeling extremely generous, the Rocket Tent, weighing only one pound, six ounces, is sure to be appreciated.

Whether traveling around a state park, or across the globe, ScottEVest can carry electronics, documents, and more in discreet style. Favorites for dad are the Tropical Jacket/Vest and SeV Sport Coat.

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