The daddy in your life wants order for Father’s Day
I’ll tell you a secret: the daddy of your life doesn’t want to things For Fathers’ Day. Yes, golf clubs are cool, and if you’re thinking about getting him a new mountain bike, you absolutely have to. But what he really wants is some order in his life. Because fatherhood is chaos. There are shoes all over. My basement is basically a sea of Legos, stuffed animals, and Nerf guns. For some reason, someone put a hairbrush and scrunchies in the fridge. And don’t get me started on the car, which is a superfund site. My family consists of two children, a dog, a geriatric cat, a woman with an affinity for kitchen gadgets, and we are all crammed into a house that is about the size of a cubicle in American businesses. That’s why I dream of books sorted alphabetically on shelves and a robot butler following my kids picking up all the half-eaten sandwiches and dirty glasses they put down throughout the day. Bringing order to parenting chaos is an uphill battle, but there are a handful of products that can help organize certain aspects of a dad’s life, from the garage to the campsite.
Organization for the car: D-Bag bridged (175 $)
Don’t think about D bag like an expensive duffel bag. Think of it as a backpack for the funniest parts of your life. This expandable hard shell / softshell carrier was designed to be stuff-packed, with a 42-liter outer bag loaded with interior organization features, like a tool roll with slots for keys and screwdrivers, and two Zippered bags for loose items like batteries or snacks. The tool roll snaps onto the hard shell panel, but can detach and roll up to be carried separately. There’s also a smaller travel bag that fits in and out of the bag, like organization Russian dolls. The D-Bag is designed for people who have jobs that require tools, but I have found it to be perfect for holding all of my mountain biking gear (helmet, shoes, gloves, extra layers, snacks, tools , pump and tubes). The flat and rigid shape of the bag makes it easy to stow in your truck or trunk, so that it can just live inside your car.
Garage organization: Front Runner Wolf Pack ($ 40)
People have been using the “bin system” for garage organization since the days of cavemen, so the concept at play here is not revolutionary, but the Wolf Pack by Overlanding brand Front Runner is a top trash can. It’s made of plastic that’s tough enough to stand upright with lids that lock securely. The bins stack on top of each other like Legos, making storage and packaging more tidy. At 31 liters, I think it’s the perfect size – big enough to accommodate an entire camp kitchen, but not too big that you start to overload it with crap you don’t need. I have two: one to hold all my camp cooking supplies and the other for my fire kit, kindling, matches, a small ax, and work gloves. If I could, I would have a dozen stacked in my garage, each one perfectly containing a different aspect of my outdoor life.
Backpack Organization: Peak Design Packing Cubes ($ 30 and up)
Not all packing cubes are created equal. The Peak Design is packed with smart features and is made from ultralight, weather and abrasion resistant recycled nylon. It has the typical main compartment for stuffing shirts or socks, but the back of the cube has a second expandable compartment that separates dirty clothes from clean rooms. It also has an expansion zipper that doubles the size of the cube, but then closes to compress the contents inside. The small version is suitable for nine liters of clothing (about 10 shirts), and the medium is twice as large. There is also a shoe-specific pouch that rolls up nicely when not in use. When I travel again, I’ll organize my backpack or wheeled luggage with these nifty cubes. (I can say nice because I’m a dad.)
Organization of training sessions: Garmin fēnix® 6 Pro Solar ($ 799.99)
If your dad is the best, his watch should be too. The fēnix® 6 Pro Solar premium multisport GPS watch features a solar charging lens with a customizable power plan to keep you performing for weeks.
Organization of the campsite: NiteIze Gear Line ($ 20)
My family brings a lot of things to the camp. I somehow manage to wear the same shirt and shorts for six days in a row, but my son burns an entire wardrobe before breakfast. For some semblance of organization, we hang dirty clothes on the tent poles on the outside of the tent – not a good look. And then there are water bottles, lanterns, cups, toys, and other random items thrown around the camp. Enter the NiteIze gear line, a four foot long control tape with integrated D-ring and snap hooks. It allows me to hang clothes, hats and all the little things that clutter up a campsite. I wish the GearLine was twice as long, but as is, it’s the perfect length to hang inside your tent or between two trees.
Main photo: Mick Haupt / Unsplash