I felt self-conscious asking Kauai-based pro surfer and off the grid child-rearing guru Aamion Goodwin what gear he wanted for Father's Day. After all, getting back to basics and uncluttering your life while raising kids is, like, his thing. “I want to wake up, eat a couple of eggs, and have time with my family. My wants are pretty simple really,” Goodwin responded. With no gear suggestions on the horizon, we spoke about what it means to "gift" time. His suggestions for actually giving and receiving are simple, but poignant. "Do real things, be outdoors, and be with your family," Goodwin said. "And leave your cell phone at home." Joe Jackson
Polar Explorer Eric Larsen's soon-to-be spouse told him that he's the hardest person in the world to get a gift for. "All I would want is outdoor gear and I get it from my sponsors," says Larsen. "It's kind of a double edged sword." One gift that he would suggest for fathers who are explorers is Delorme's new inReach SE two-way tracking device. "It's like Spot on steroids," Larsen said. Larsen can use the new inReach to write messages to his fiancé Maria Hennessey and 8-month-old son Merritt from anywhere—allowing him to stay in constant contact. "When I am gone for two months on a trip I can be like, 'hey, how was breakfast?' instead of having to set up a satellite phone for a conversation," which is often impossible when trudging through the arctic.
Davis Phinney—two stage Tour de France winner and Olympic medalist—laughed out loud when I asked him what gear he wanted for Father's Day. "I have never actually expected a gift for Father's Day, my kids have given me a lot of fatherly joy," he said. "Because of my background an my son's status as a pro [cyclist], I am well swagged out as a dad." Phinney was excited to talk about memorable rides with his 19-year-old daughter Kelsey and 22-year-old son Taylor, but really wouldn't budge on gear. While reluctant to self promote, Phinney did mention that the Davis Phinney Foundation is raising money to help people live well with Parkinson's by selling his signed 7-Eleven cycling jersey on e-bay. To save him the self promotion, I am going to go ahead and suggest it. If you still haven't gotten your father a gift yet, go get that 7-Eleven jersey for him—and bid high, damned high. Once that's gone you should donate to the Davis Phinney Foundation in honor of your dad.
Eric Porter, pro mountain biker and father of three-year-old Milo and one-year-old Owen, is all about teaching his kids how to bike and ski in a way that won't make them burn out. He stars in this insanely adorable video on the subject. Porter, an avid fly fisherman, suggests the Orvis Guide Sling pack as a Father's Day gift. "Small, out of the way, and still has everything you need when you need it. You can even stash a can of beer in there," Porter says. He also suggests signing the outdoor father in your life up for a Wilderness First Responder Course. "As a dad and husband, the most important part about any adventure is making it home safe," says Porter. "I feel like a Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid course would be great to help me always get myself and my crew back."
"I am a device guy," said 17 time Tour de France competitor George Hincapie when I asked him what was on his wish list for Father's Day. He's excited about the forthcoming Jet Recon head's up display glasses. They're basically a sportier Google Glass. They use sensors like an accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, magnetometer, and thermometer to deliver real time information. "I am biased," Hincapie said about his partnership with the company, "but it is really cool." For a non-device gift, Hincapie suggests getting your father an entry to a Gran Fondo—extremely popular "long ride" (in Italian) races. The rides have a dual purpose, explains Hincapie, "it gets your dad out there working out, but you also knock the present out of the way."
Aaron Mulkey is like a dirtbag mountain sports Bo Jackson. The Rab sponsored professional ice climber is also an accomplished expedition kayaker. This weekend, the Cody, Wyoming, resident is going to take time off from training for a hopeful Olympic spot to go rafting or tandem whitewater kayaking with his 13-year-old son, Esra, and 11-year-old daughter, Afton. He just got the number one item on his father's day list, the DJI Phantom Quadcopter "It's an expensive gift, but it is so fricken cool," Mulkey says about the personal remote controlled drone with a GoPro mount for aerial shots. For a cheaper option, Mulkey suggests Blue Buds wireless earphones that he loves to train with.
I caught up with Eric Jackson while he was driving his RV with his wife and youngest son KC from the Lyon’s Outdoor Games—where the family swept the podium in freestyle kayaking—to the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado. His daughter Emily, who's eight months pregnant, and middle-son Dane were following behind in their own Sprinter vans. "Emily is far enough along that I would be pretty pumped to have my first grandson this Father's Day," EJ says. Besides another vote for the DJI Phantom Quadcopter—"I am a remote control freak," EJ explained—he wants to compete on Father's Day in his new Rockstar model kayak that will be available for pros only. EJ noted how odd this sounded. "You're probably thinking, you designed it and your company made it," he said. But he explained that it will take his wife and two oldest children, who help him run the family company, a lot of leg work to get him in that boat on Father's Day. For a cheaper and more conventional option, EJ would like a couple of Ruffwear Dog Lifejackets for his two dalmatians.
Professional endurance runner Timothy Olsen loves balancing his last-minute training for the Western States 100—where he currently holds the course record—with spending time with his 10-month-old son, Tristan. The Ashland, Oregon, resident doesn't want gear. "Being a sponsored athlete, I have pretty much anything I could want," Olsen said. "I am a pretty simple dude." So, I asked him if there was anything he would suggest other people buy for father's. "A new pair of shoes is the perfect gift," Olsen says. New shoes make the ideal gift because they set a father free from feeling selfish about getting the new shoes he needs (or at least wants).
Professional climber Matt Wilder stepped outside from the Spot Boulder Rock climbing gym where he was training for the World Cup at the GoPro Mountain Games to take my call. Predictably, the recent Ph.D. graduate said he has everything he wants, but he had a few suggestions for people shopping for the fathers in their lives. "The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer is one of the lightest jackets out there," says Wilder. "It's the perfect piece of gear to throw into a pack, it's hardly noticeable and offers great wind protection." Wilder plans to spend his third Father's Day with his son Bayes climbing or hiking, but making sure it is something his son will enjoy too. Based on this photo we saw on Wilder's blog we think you should go for a climb. Nice line Bayes.
Big mountain skiing legend and Backcountry.com athlete Chris Davenport was privileged by his youngest son, 5-year-old Archer, that he will be getting a barbecue grill this Fathers Day. While Davenport seemed happy with the gift, the time he spends with his three boys is the most important part the day. "I travel so much during the winter, all I really want is to spend time with my family," says Davenport. What gear does the first man to ski all 54 of Colorado's 14ers in a year want? "I am getting more into ultra distance trail running," says Davenport. To keep it easy, Davenport would ask for a Patagonia running outfit. He mentioned the Nine-Trails Shorts by name and would like a Patagonia running shirt to go with it. I think the Fore Runner short-sleeve shirt would look nice with those shorts, Chris.
Next Up: The Dream Gifts Rad Dads Want for Father's Day