So you’re going to be a father. Congrats! You’re about to enter the most awesome and most terrifying stage of your life! Starting today, your life is going to get complicated; there’s so much to think about, so many things to buy, and so many things you’re going to need to baby-proof.
But enough of that baby talk. You need some gear – that is, non-baby gear – to make fatherhood easier. And while we can tell you about the coolest crib sheets, best baby monitors, or the bottles that won’t give your kid gas, we’d rather have a man-to-man about all the things you haven’t yet considered
Want to know about all the gear us 8BitDads use to transform themselves into superheroes? Then read on.
As summer creeps in and people plan their family camping, hunting and fishing trips, a dad’s got to assemble a Batman-like utility belt. Recently, knife wizards Gerber sent me a couple of their Bear Grylls line tools to
play with – the Survival Tool and Pocket Tool. These two tools are great for the camper, fisherman and hunter – but also really handy for weekend warriors and suburbanite dads alike.
Oh, and before you’re left wondering – this is the Gerber Legendary Blades company…not that baby food subdivision of Nestlé. We know: you’re a dad, you hear “Gerber” and all you think of is mashed peas.
So – if you are indeed the outdoorsy type, boy do these Gerber tools fit the job. But a guy like me that gets out only once a year for a fishing trip and spends most of the year as an indoorsy, tech-inclined dad still can get a whole lot of usage out of them.
Ask a dad what he wants for Father’s Day, and he’ll tell you “oh, anything” or “nothing, I’m happy just spending time with you.” Lies. What that guy wants (and needs) is a Turtle Beach headset for his gaming pleasure. Specifically, the Turtle Beach Ear Force X32 (XBox 360) are a great gift for a gamer-dad. I mean, sure, you could just buy him a gift card to Best Buy (or Future Shop for our Canadian readers), but the dude’s just going to end up buying these for himself.
And if you’re a dad, stop playing coy and just tell your family that you want to ear-hump these headphones so bad that it’s effecting your kill-death ratio.
Now, before we get into it – Turtle Beach does indeed have many headsets – and in fact, many headsets above the X32 in quality. But if you’re looking for a good balance between price and power, the X32 is what you’re looking for.
Is your dad still using his 5 year old point-and-shoot to take vacation pictures? Or has he abandoned it for his iPhone because it’s small enough to fit in his pocket? It’s time for you to pull your dad aside and tell him to father-up and get a camera that can record some serious family memories. If you’re looking for a camera that’s lightweight but not underpowered, check out the 12.3 megapixel Olympus PEN E-PM1.
With interchangeable lenses, a small form factor and beautiful image quality, the PEN E-PM1 is perfect for dads that aren’t looking to go headlong into professional-level dSLRs. With a price tag of $499, this camera may not be on your radar for a solo purchase, but if you’ve got a couple of siblings, it’s an awesome group gift. And if you’re the father we’ve been talking about and need an impressive camera for your own vacation pictures, this is it.
Many families have made the jump to dSLR cameras; the prices have come down on the entry-level models, and the “Micro Four Thirds” (MFT) class of cameras have driven body size down even more. As a result, you’re able to find really capable cameras at affordable prices.
One of the things that we decided as parents early on was that it was important to us to continue to do the things we love to do (in our pre-baby lives) and to socialize our kid(s) into “our lifestyle” rather than completely restructuring our entire lives around them. This meant finding a way to continue to go out for meals at some of our favorite restaurants without being the parents with the screaming kid that everyone wishes would just leave (fodder for another post).
Our Highchair Dilemma: one of the first things we noticed was that a lot of our favorite places didn’t even have high chairs, and the ones that did were pretty nasty. So step 1 was to buy a fabric cover so that our son was at least sitting in a clean chair (not that we are freaky about germs or anything, but I wouldn’t sit in a chair if it were as dirty as what they offered us for our son). This worked fine, doubled as a shopping cart cover, but was bulky to carry around and no help when the establishment didn’t have highchairs.
For all you fathers that travel for work and spend time away from your kids – here’s the best creepiest way to remember your kid while on the road: …