Looking for a gift suggestion for my Father
October 16, 2013 7:17 AM   Subscribe

I am hoping to get him something EDC (Every Day Carry) related as he is always prepared and likes to have little tools and gadgets for when something pops up. I am searching for suggestions.

I am looking for a birthday gift for my Father. He is the sort of guy that has everything and doesn't want anything. He has specifically told me that he doesn't want anything for his birthday (besides the family meal we are hosting), and he will get offended if I spend a lot of money on him.

He is a super organized person and is ALWAYS prepared. He always has enough clothes (baselayers) and lots of extras for people who might get cold when outside at a sporting event or walking, etc. He is the guy that carries three small, portable pop-up chairs in his trunk, in case he is somewhere and you need to sit down (and you have two other friends with you). I can't count how many times I needed something and he had it.

Anyway, he gets the most joy from his "tools and gadgets". He likes practical things and is always prepared (he went through the scouting movement and was a leader for many years). So over the years, I have given him pocket knives, multi tools (Leatherman Wave), mini flashlights, mini screw driver sets, etc. He seems to derive the most enjoyment from these sort of gifts.

He has the basics - he carries a knife and multitool on his hip, he has at least 12 mini flashlights that he has collected (cheap free ones) over the years, etc, and I gave him a keychain organizer a couple of years ago that he loves.

He isn't into high end items and he isn't brand-impressed (so if I bought him a $60 prybaby from Atwood, he wouldn't be impressed). I used to read a lot of the EDC blogs daily for years, but have not followed them in a little while (in case anyone points me to those popular sites; I do know they are exist and I am looking at them now for ideas).

He doesn't camp anymore (or fish or hunt), so those items are not practical. But he does spent a lot of time outside hiking (and golfing), and in our Canadian climate, warmth is the key.

He basically likes anything that will keep him warm, organized or a tool/gadget that is practical.

Anyway, thought I would toss it out to see if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
posted by dbirchum to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (35 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I found a compact microfiber towel to come in way handier than I thought it would. Check your local camping or travel store for the supersmall ones that fold down to the size of a deck of cards but work as well as a full-size towel. Tell him to keep it in his glove compartment (and wash frequently if in use).
posted by Etrigan at 7:23 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Perhaps a hand warmer? Plus some spares for hiking/golfing buddies.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:24 AM on October 16, 2013

Compact towels and hand warmers?? EXACTLY the type of stuff he would appreciate. Seriously!

Thanks. And keep anymore suggestions coming...
posted by dbirchum at 7:29 AM on October 16, 2013

How about a really good First Aid kit for his car?

I took a Red Cross First Aid class and it made me want one so I could save lives.

There's a survival backback, which is amusing and useful.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:36 AM on October 16, 2013

This is hardly a big gift, but this may be the sort of present where you end up with a bundle of smaller things, so it might be great.

A tiny nalgene bottle. At 16 ounces it holds just the right amount for a short trip without taking up too much room. Small enough that you can caribiner it to a belt loop without it pulling down your pants.
posted by phunniemee at 7:40 AM on October 16, 2013

My father really enjoyed getting a moisture meter. Probably more useful if your father uses firewood on a semi-regular basis (fireplace, outdoor firepit, campfire, etc.). My next plan is the laser-sight thermometer. And if he doesn't already have a headlamp, put that on the list; my father loves his.
posted by pie ninja at 7:53 AM on October 16, 2013

I have one of these teeny tiny keychain "peanut" lighters. It doesn't hold enough fuel to be useful as a regular lighter, but it's good for emergencies. They also have bigger ones, brass ones, etc.
posted by theodolite at 8:06 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

How about a gift certificate to someplace like Brookstone or REI?
posted by easily confused at 8:09 AM on October 16, 2013

I'm a big fan of Streamlight pen lights, they're a big upgrade from dinky free ones. One option here. (what I use)
posted by Wulfhere at 8:30 AM on October 16, 2013

Also, Zipkas are cool little headlamps if compactness is something he values.
posted by Wulfhere at 8:32 AM on October 16, 2013

posted by judith at 8:41 AM on October 16, 2013

Thanks guys. EXACTLY the type of stuff he is into. I am actually looking for something small, as I know he would appreciate it more.

He loves a headlamp (he had 4, and gave me 2), so he is always on the lookout for good one. And he actually appreciates a good water bottle. He has been using a Sigg one since 2008 that he just loves. He appreciates how it keeps his water cold while on the golf course.
posted by dbirchum at 8:42 AM on October 16, 2013

bullet shaped fisher space pen . small, writes on everything ever. plus then he gets to learn and use the word Thixotropic which is how the ink works...
posted by chasles at 8:54 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

bullet shaped fisher space pen . small, writes on everything ever. plus then he gets to learn and use the word Thixotropic which is how the ink works...


dangit. i keep posting too fast!!! the bullet especially because its small, and you can have it personalized if its a milestone birthday or just add a personal note etc...
posted by chasles at 8:55 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Gorilla Torch is a great gift for anyone who loves flashlights and doing odd jobs in dark places around the house (also good as an emergency car light if you have to look at the engine at night, etc.).
posted by mikepop at 9:01 AM on October 16, 2013

Not mini, but I have the Glow LED Flashlight. You can use the handle to store things, it's light weight, and the base can be lit up to glow red, flash red, or different colors for use as an emergency light (if you get a flat tire, etc.). It also turns on automatically if it falls into the water (not much use on a hike, but you never know!).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 10:25 AM on October 16, 2013

I like this little guy
posted by bq at 11:09 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

LED Road Flares is something he can carry in his trunk. Road flares are one of those things you don't need until your car is disabled on the side of the road.
posted by JujuB at 11:57 AM on October 16, 2013

Lifehammer seatbelt cutter for his car (although I bet he already has one).
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:55 PM on October 16, 2013

Since he golfs, what we got my in-laws are water-bottle cozies to keep their water cool when they're golfing, and, when we went to the UK for a vacation, a set of one each of every denomination of coin, as they like to use them to mark where the ball landed.
posted by telophase at 1:02 PM on October 16, 2013

My dad was that guy. I am at his house. I will look through his drawers....

Teeny LED headlamps.
Velcro ziptie things
Glasses repair kit or tool (if he wears glasses and mini-screwdrivers don't do it)
Mini tubes of superglue
Survival matches (or maybe this?)
Teeny magnets
A cool wooden or metal tube that holds toothpicks
These retractable cables (you can get sets of them in various places) were like his favorite thing ever, after his labelmaker. Your dad does have a labelmaker, right?
posted by jessamyn at 1:37 PM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Bagel screwdrivers.
posted by mr. digits at 2:38 PM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have a Klean Kanteen (insulated with a cafe lid) and I love it - I put three ice cubes in it and fill with water and take it to work and when I get home 9 hours later it still has ice cubes.
Best drink container I have ever had...

posted by just asking at 6:35 PM on October 16, 2013

There's a great blog called Every Day Carry where people submit pictures of pocket dumps. I've gotten a lot of good EDC ideas from there. My personal favorite piece of EDC paraphernalia is my Atwood Prybaby from Atwood Knife and Tool.
posted by Demogorgon at 4:34 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Gerber gdk zip knife?
posted by rmd1023 at 7:11 AM on October 17, 2013

SUGRU! Not really an EDC item but a very cool invention that has 1,000,000 uses and counting.
posted by barnone at 1:39 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also the SwissTech 6-in-1 knife and tool is great, but maybe redundant if he always carries a swiss army knife.
posted by barnone at 1:41 PM on October 17, 2013

A nice thing about the 6-in-1 key-shaped tool is that you can put it on a keychain with other keys and then pass through TSA checkpoints without a problem since it looks like every other key on your keychain. And yet still be able to open blister-packs and cut yarn during the flight.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:52 PM on October 17, 2013

Not so tiny but an awesome coffee mug or thermos can be a gift that will last a lifetime. I like the Nissan models. Also, I have found stuff sacks of various sizes to be infinitely useful for organizing stuff whether I'm traveling, hiking, or whatnot.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:04 PM on October 17, 2013

Oh! Mr. Bento! A handy way to keep on-the-go meals hot, portable, and organized.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:05 AM on October 18, 2013

Thanks to EVERYONE who added in responses to this question!

It sounds like a lot of your know what my father likes! I am guessing most of you have someone else in your lives that also appreciates these types of items!!

I have had a great time going through ALL of the suggestions and I am bookmarking them. I have some great gift ideas and I am also going to buy a lot of these items for myself!!

Of of the things that I REALLY liked was the personalized pocket toothpick holder! My father loves toothpicks and I think a personalized one would be just perfect. I checked that website, and noticed that the reviews are very poor (the top/cap seems to come off). Does anyone know of a better quality one that can be purchased online?

I also LOVE the bagel/pocket screwdrivers. I need to get these! I am searching for other places online to buy these, while I wait for a shipping quote from Lee Valley.

Thanks again!!
posted by dbirchum at 9:33 AM on October 20, 2013

If your father loves toothpicks, may I recommend Tea Tree Therapy brand? They're the most popular ones in my toothpick-loving household. Maybe a few cases to go along with the holder, if you find a good one. (And if you do please update this, as I'd like to get one.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:37 AM on October 20, 2013

Thanks for the toothpick recommendation!

And yes, I will update, if I find one that is suitable. Thanks again,
posted by dbirchum at 3:49 AM on October 22, 2013

My father loves toothpicks and I think a personalized one would be just perfect. I checked that website, and noticed that the reviews are very poor (the top/cap seems to come off). Does anyone know of a better quality one that can be purchased online?

Then he is definitely my dad. The ones that I think are nifty either have screw tops (like this one which was a personal project and not, I don't think, for sale... oh wait here is one!) or have like cork inserts that make the lid fit tight like this one. Neither of those are fancy/monnogrammed. These are expensive but pretty neat looking. The US version of this may be what you are looking for. And yeah, second the Tea Tree toothpick suggestions.
posted by jessamyn at 5:51 AM on October 22, 2013

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