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The best camping and backpacking gear for dads

Winter during a pandemic probably means that dad has been feeling a little cooped up. Now that the weather is getting warmer, he’s probably itching to get outside ASAP. If your dad or father figure is the type to wander off into the woods — perhaps for days at a time — we’ve got some suggestions for Father’s Day gifts. Whether he’s an ultra-light backpacking maniac or a car-camping comfort seeker, we have just the thing.

JetBoil MiniMo

The Jetboil Flash is basically inescapable on the trail. Its lightweight, easily packable design and fast boil times make it attractive to backpackers. But the MiniMo is worth the extra money and weight. It’s only one ounce heavier, but the MiniMo’s wider, shorter cook cup is easier to handle. Plus it can actually simmer things, unlike the Flash. And let me tell you, dehydrated eggs are bad enough as is, even without burning them in what amounts to a coffee tumbler mounted on a jet engine. Trust me, this is one of the best upgrades you can make to your dad’s setup.

Leatherman Free series multitools

The Leatherman Free series has been a staple of Engadget buying guides ever since it debuted in 2019. There are plenty of options out there when it comes to multitools, and many of them are great. But, the Free series was a serious game-changer with its one-handed access to every tool. Plus everything, including the knife, locks into place so you’re less likely to pinch or cut yourself. It even requires less regular maintenance and cleaning than older Leatherman like the Juice series which, while great, tended to collect lint and dust in every nook and cranny at an alarming rate. Your dad might not need every tool while hiking the Appalachian, but he’ll appreciate having options other than a knife or a rock.

You can find Terrence O'Brien's complete list of camping & backpacking gear for dads here.

LAST UPDATED

December 3, 2023

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