Gift Ideas for that Hard-to-Shop-for Guy: Your Husband

holiday gift bowsSometimes dads can be the hardest person in the family to shop for (aside from teen girls, of course…), and because I’m one of those hard-to-shop-for dads, I thought I’d share a few gift ideas that I think are cool gadgets that may work well for the man in your life. You can also find little gems online sell Family tree Gifts that look amazing!

Sugru: Sugru is a dream material for life hackers, gadget fixers, prototype builders, fixit gurus, and anyone who’s ever thought “I could make this even better.” This hand-formable rubber is highly adhesive, air-curable, waterproof, strong, flexible, and durable, and is stable in temperatures ranging from -50°C to +180°C, making it the perfect material for hacking just about anything. Price: Starting at $10.

Backblaze: Nowadays, we store most of our memories and important documents in digital format, which is great for accessibility and shareability, but not-so-great when your hard drive takes a crap and corrupts or destroys those files. So it may be in your best interest to back up your data offsite, and Backblaze offers continuous, secure, and efficient backups of all of your files. If you’d like to give the gift of backup to the man in your life, readers of Natural Papa can take advantage of a 10% discount from now until December 31, 2012 by entering the code “BZPAPA10” at checkout. Regular price: $50 per year.

Carhartt: Who wears the pants in your family (ducks to avoid flying shoe…)? The absolute best pants (and shorts) I’ve ever owned (they’re all I wear) are made by Carhartt. Made in the USA, and built tough, these pants can not only stand up to pretty much anything, but they’re priced as low or lower than most any other ‘fashionable’ pants or jeans. They come in many colors and various cuts and weights, from standard dungarees/jeans to full-on coveralls and heavy duty versions, and they have plenty of pockets (one of my favorite features). My suggestion for work-type pants is to get the double-knee version, because they last a really long time, even with hard wear. Price: From $35 at

Pocket Desktop: If your family shares a single computer, your own private personal computer might seem like a a dream to have – if it wasn’t for the cost to purchase another machine. But with this little gadget, dad can have his own, right on a tiny little USB drive. Pocket Desktop is a Linux-based self-contained system that boots to its own secure closed environment, containing more than 40 popular apps and software files, such as Skype, Open Office, and Firefox. It keeps web history private, encrypts files, offers virus protection, and more – and it works with both Mac and Windows machines. Price: $19.95 to $59.95, depending on memory storage size.

Cast Iron: The king of cookware, cast iron pans are not only safer than all of those other non-stick options, but they also cook evenly, will stand up to all sorts of abuse (except for soaking for long periods in water…), and are potential heirlooms. There are plenty of options for cast iron cookware, but the best are made right here in the USA by Lodge Cast Iron (steer clear of cheap imported cast iron pans). My advice is to only choose ‘bare’ cast iron – not enameled or coated versions. Start with a basic skillet or griddle, and when you’re ready to make a bigger investment, pick up a large Dutch Oven for making stews or larger portions. The only drawback to cast iron cookware is that it’s heavy – but that means that you can also consider it as a home security device… Price: Starting as low as $15 for a small skillet.

Shaving Gear: I don’t always shave, but when I do, I shave with an old-school double edged safety razor – mine’s a Merkur. I stock up on Feather razor blades, as I believe them to be the sharpest and the longest lasting blades (a dull blade is a recipe for both frustration and a bloody face). My favorite all-natural shaving cream is from Pacific Shaving Cream, and I like to follow it up with a dab of their Daily Moisturizer.

Beard Gear: Check out the Beard Comb, Beard OilBeard Balm, and other manly facial hair gear at BeardGains to help him keep his whiskers tamed, conditioned, and tangle-free.

Carving Knives: One day, your favorite guy is going to be an old man, and he’s going to need some practice before he joins the Spit and Whittle Club, so help him out by giving him a tool that he can depend on, such as one of these high-carbon carving knives from Hock Tools. A sharp carving knife with a big, comfortable handle will enable him to easily make piles and piles of wood shavings while crafting something wonderful from wood. Price: $30

iPhone Case: He knows he’s finally made it when he gets an iPhone… So what better way to show him you love him than by helping him to keep it safe? Consider an iPhone case made from a unique, ebony-like, FSC® Certified paper composite from Twig, or a “luxury” hardwood case from Rosingly.

A Dream Ride: Spending the day, or perhaps even the whole weekend, tooling around in a hot and exotic supercar can do wonders for a guy’s morale. Let him leave the station wagon, the minivan, or the grocery-getter in the driveway by renting him a supercar at for one of the best gifts he will ever receive.

Longboard: Help him recapture his glory days with an iconic longboard from Grow Anthology. These beautiful skateboards are made from paper sourced from sustainably managed forests, and a tree is planted for every board sold. Price: Starting at $189.

Soap Box: If he won’t stop talking, and you don’t want to hear it anymore, convince him to start a blog and share all of those opinions with the world by buying him his own domain name and hosting plan. I recommend HostGator, although there are plenty of other options out there for cheap or free blogging options, such as, Posterous, Tumblr, or Blogger.

Massage or Yoga Gift Certificate: Most men that I know are really horrible at caring for ourselves, except for when something breaks or hurts really badly. Consider giving him the gift of self-care with a session with a good massage therapist or yoga instructor.

Yourself: Get a babysitter, turn down the lights, put on some music and light some candles, dress up in your favorite outfit, put a bow on your head, and give him the gift of you and your undivided attention for a couple of hours.

Another way to celebrate the man in your life is by considering the purchase of some gift baskets for men.

[Note: My jokes may not be that funny, but hey – it’s my blog, and I’ll make bad jokes if I want to…]
Image: cuttlefish

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

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