Get those last-minute Father’s Day hints in now

Father’s Day is this Sunday. Hopefully it’s not too late to drop some subtle hints about what you want this year. I have some ideas of how to avoid winding up with another necktie.

Father’s Day is day after tomorrow. If you want something good, it’s a little late to start hinting, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Or better yet, take your kids out to the woods and show them first-hand what you need.

My own dad employed this method. He didn’t just confine it to the weeks leading up to Father’s Day, though. He spent the entire summer demonstrating the flaws in his outdoor equipment. He never needed to say a word about what he’d like for Father’s Day, his birthday or any other gift-giving holiday.

I’m convinced he sabotaged his gear, or he intentionally neglected to bring necessary pieces of equipment on campouts just to hammer the point home.

Like the time we hiked 14 miles into the Bridger Wilderness, then tried to set up a tent that was missing one pole. When Dad bought the tent, it came with four poles. But when we got to the place we intended to camp, we only had three.

So Dad sent me out to cut a branch that would serve as a make-shift pole. I tramped off into the woods, and when I found a suitable stick, I started cutting it with Dad’s folding camp saw.

I got three strokes into the cut, and the blade snapped. So I walked back to camp and got the hatchet. It lasted two chops before the handle broke right where the head attached. I finished cutting the branch with my two-inch pocket knife.

On that same trip, I realized all the utensil sets were missing a fork, a spoon or a knife. Some were missing a couple pieces. There was even one utensil bag in the cook kit with nothing in it at all. We had enough pieces for two complete sets, with two spoons and a fork left over.

We took that trip about a week before Father’s Day. When we got back to town, I went directly to the sporting goods store. All I could afford was a set of camp utensils, but at least it was something Dad could use.

Go camping this weekend. Give your kids a few ideas for a great Father’s Day gift.