Boys are notoriously hard to buy for. There are plenty of luxe products out there for guys, but just thinking about what my brothers would do to a cashmere scarf is enough to make me not want to buy anything that doesn’t come with a lifetime warranty. Many of these gift ideas are things that my family has actually owned and used for years, and if it can survive my Dad and brothers, it can probably survive anything you can throw at it. I tried to pick things that are useful and fun, so that hopefully they’ll find a spot on your family’s must-have list for camping trips.
Eno hammock – While this Tauntaun sleeping bag would definitely win you awesome points, unfortunately it isn’t made for going outside. Sad, I know. But Eno hammocks were HUGE when I was at Covenant, and if the weather was nice you could almost always see one or two hammocks hung up in the trees by the chapel lawn. One guy would bring his Eno on caving trips (I’m not sure where he would hang his Eno, but anyway), so if it works for him, I figure it’s good.
Roasting Forks – Who doesn’t love roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the campfire? If you don’t want to use random sticks from your campsite (not that I’ve done that before…), these roasting sticks are perfect. You can get the perfect toastiness on your marshmallow without getting too close to the flames.
Popcorn Popper – Popping your own popcorn always seems so rustic and homey. This popcorn popper would be great for popping popcorn over a campfire or in a fireplace. Even if you don’t have your own fireplace or back yard, this would be a great excuse to borrow a friend’s. And then invite me over.
Kershaw Clash Drop Point Knife – A Swiss Army Knife is also a great classic option, but if you’re looking for something different, this Kershaw knife would be a great pick. My brother collects pocket knives, and he loves the Kershaw brand. He says that they come in a wide range of prices, but are always really good quality. So no matter which one you pick, you know it’ll be a good knife. Which is great if you’re as clueless about pocket knives as me (luckily you don’t have to take my word on this one).
Campware Nonstick Pan – I always picture cowboys cooking chili in a cast iron Dutch Oven, but if that’s too big and clunky, this nonstick pan would be great. The handle is detachable so you can save space when you’re packing (always a plus when you’re camping) and it weighs 4 pounds less than a cast iron pan. You can’t argue with that.
SmartWool Tech-Compatible Gloves – If your brothers lose gloves as often as mine do, you don’t want to spend tons of money on fancy ones. These look nice and warm and are Tech-Compatible too, which is especially great for the price.
Stanley 16 oz. Thermos – My Dad has had the 1.4 quart Stanley Thermos for years– and he can actually drink that much coffee by himself, which is kind of ridiculous. If a thermos has managed to survive a decade of camping trips, it’s definitely a good buy. Although I would definitely get the 16 oz., unless you’re making coffee for a crowd (or a caffeine addict– I’m looking at you, Dad).
Buffalo Plaid Trapper Hat – At first $88 seemed a little expensive for a hat that you’re giving to a boy who’s going to wear it out in the snow, but then I read that it has real rabbit fur. So now I’m a convert, and I would ask for it for me if I didn’t live in Texas. This might be a splurge, but I think it’d be totally worth it because I would wear it for years. Maybe you can buy this for your brother and then “borrow” it later. I won’t judge you.
Boys are definitely hard to shop for, but there are some things out there that can survive the most rough and tumble brothers out there, which is important if your brothers would shred up that nice sweater from J. Crew. I don’t know if mine would maul a cashmere sweater, but I’m too scared to try. I’ll stick with the non-stick pans and unbreakable thermoses, thanks!