Gift Guide Part #3: Your Hilarious Dad Who Taught You How to Drive a Stick-Shift and Calls Everything—Even Grocery-Store Runs—an “Adventure.”

180 Degrees South, $11.49, a gripping documentary about adventurer Jeff Johnson, who sets out to retrace the footsteps of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins’ 1968 excursion into Patagonia. Sailing! Surfing! Shipwrecks! Plot twists!

Big Sur Backpacker’s Cologne, $55, made with real plants, bark, moss, mushrooms and tree trimmings found hiking the backcountry. Their motto? “We put the mountains in a bottle.” Right on.

Herb Lester’s super cool illustrated city maps, chock full of insider recommendations. Four pounds each.

Grippy pad, $11.49, so he can stick his phone onto the dashboard for GPS and tunes.

Monogrammed cocktail muddler for mixing up stiff drinks for friends. $18.

Simon Pearce whiskey glasses, $58, handblown in Vermont, and with a wide-ish rim so he can smell the peat.

Humans of New York with funny and poignant interviews of people around NYC, $14.99. (Here’s the amazing blog of the same name.)

A donation in his name to World Bicycle Relief, which provides simple, sustainable bikes for people in the developing world, where the power of bicycles can change lives and transform communities. $25 for a set of wheels, $50 for a mechanics toolkit, $134 for one bike, $670 for five bikes and $1340 for ten bikes. (So inspiring!)

Musical Christmas crackers! $21.20. Each of the eight crackers contains a tiny whistle pitched to a different note, and you follow the song sheets to play carols together. Would be funny to attempt around a tipsy dinner table.

A heartfelt card saying how much you love him.

P.S. The rest of the 2013 gift guide

(Documentary via Momfilter, second photo from top by Glen Denny)

  1. I can recommend the crackers. We got them one year and I’m not sure we’ve ever laughed as much.

  2. Hi Joanne
    I think by this list you adore your father so much
    I am interested in the book about the trip to Patagonia.
    I actually live in Patagonia, surrounded by mountains, snow and lakes and also dry desert plains.
    I live here with my aussie partner, my aussie born kids (age 3 and 6) and my parents who are Argentinian.
    I think my father might like that book too and so would I.
    Speaking of gifts, I need to get my partner a cheese making gift as here in Patagonia, Argentina we can not get the same varieties of cheeses as in Australia (we really crave fetta cheese). He already makes us sourdough bread made from our own yeast, ginger beer and yoghurt.
    take care
    Happy holidays

  3. These are the most unique and best gift guides I have seen for guys… Thank you!

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  5. I, too, love your gift guides. As a relatively new reader of your blog, I delved into guides of recent years to buy my husband’s Chanukkah gifts. (It’s really early this year.) I couldn’t possibly have thought of giving him an ice-cube tray with big ice cubes (I got the spherical one, also–he’s worth it.) He’s as giddy as a little kid with a big Lego set. Thank you–he is impossible to buy for–usually. :)

  6. Love the last photo!!! I’m also a twin ;)

  7. The Herb Lester illustrated maps would be my dad’s favorite, I know it. He likes to become an “expert” on things that he doesn’t even really have anything to do with, like random cities and such. Haha.

  8. That World Bicycle Relief is the perfect gift for my boyfriend! He never wants things, but often asks to make a donation in his name, and he loves biking. Thanks so much for sharing! They’ll probably get a lot of donations just from being featured on your site. Happy Holidays!

  9. Made the dried figs dipped in chocolate & maldon salt yesterday and we where in Heaven! I made 12 and now we have 3… I’m going to make this as Christmas gift as you suggested :)

  10. I have two month old twin girls and any time we leave the house- even just to the coffee shop down the street- I call it an adventure. But, really, it is. I guess he had the same inspiration!

  11. I heart your dad. That last picture of y’all is precious.

  12. That is so very true Joanna….everything is an adventure these days. Love it.

  13. jm says...

    absolutely awesome gift guide.

  14. Thanks, Joanna. Great gift guide!

    Monogrammed cocktail muddler on its way to our Xmas Eve party host.

  15. Thanks, Joanna. Great gift guide!

    Monogrammed cocktail muddler on its way to our Xmas Eve party host.

  16. These are great ideas!!! Makes me miss my dad, as I’m sure he’d love quite a few of these!

  17. Awesome gift guide! Truth be told, my dad is not the adventurous type, but this fits my husband perfectly!

  18. Thank you for all the fab ideas– I especially appreciated Word Bicycle Relief. Instead of spinning my wheels for gift ideas that aren’t quite hitting the mark for my amazing Dad, we can help someone spin to work or school or the market! How cool is that?

  19. Loving the gift guides! I like to shop early, so I’ve been itching for these for months. You’re always so good! Also, I just watched the last Mindy Project and thought about you when I saw Danny’s hip-hop and gingerbread skills. Not always qualities I look for in a guy, but so crushable on him!

  20. These are all really great picks! Dads are always the hardest to shop for!

    xo Megan,

  21. Your gift guides are my favourite! I can’t say I’ve ever gifted any of your recommendations to my family (they’re weird when it comes to gifts), but I love the descriptions and you have awesome suggestions nonetheless! I only wish my bushman husband would wear cologne. Deodorant is enough of a struggle…baby steps I suppose.

  22. My husband refers to every outing as “an adventure” as well, it makes running errands seem fun for our little ones.

  23. Love the backpacker’s cologne! Most colognes and perfumes in general tend to have a chemical-y after scent when you first spray them that turns me off immediately! I love the idea of a natural, plant-based cologne for my backpacking mister (and I think I’m going to spoil myself and try their incense!)and I know he will too. Awesome find! Great guide, Joanna. Thanks so much.

  24. oh my oh my! Simon Pearce is the greatest. I spent my summers as a kid in that town in Vermont. My dad cherishes his whiskey glasses, and even as a grown up i’m stil scared to drink out of them!

  25. These are brilliant ideas; so different from other “what to buy your Dad” lists I’ve seen. My Dad insists every year that he doesn’t want a Christmas present, and I insist every year that I will buy him [at least] one. Of course that puts the burden on me to find something that shows it was worth my insistence! I think those individual city maps will do just the trick for our travels in America next year. So thank you! :0

  26. Very nice picks! I love the grippy thing for your phone. I may have to get that one for myself :P
    atelier zozo

  27. This selection is much better I think, and not just for Dads. The Mom gift guide was either cleaning supplies or cooking supplies..

  28. Joanna, You really have the best guides. When I’m looking for a creative gift your blog is my go-to!

  29. I love the idea for the documentary. I used your idea for a video gift last year and my dad and father in law loved it! Thanks for the tips. xo m

  30. The titles and descriptions are my favourite part of these gift guides- but the presents aren’t bad either! ;)

  31. Excellent ideas, Joanna. In fact, I see two gifts in this list I may get … my mom. Humans of NY book and musical crackers. (Not the Mt Man cologne!)

  32. My husband got me Humans of New York for our anniversary. I think its a great gift for anyone.

  33. I look forward to these gift guides every year, you never disappoint!!

  34. Documentary: ordered! I know he will love it. Thanks for the great suggestions :)

  35. Lovely suggestions! Thanks for giving an option for a charitable gift.

  36. I LOVE your gift guides! They are very practical for this college student! I just saw a few others that made my eyes bug out. I would love to spend that much on my loved ones, but…I also loved the addition of a charitable gift. It’s so easy to get caught up in the purchasing frenzy of Christmas, but its a good reminder that there are people out there who are in need of the basics and we can definitely forgo a few luxeries. Love your blog!