Get Up, Get Out, Get Wantful.
Around this time every year, as afternoons grow long and hemlines shorten, my inner self abandons me and ambles towards the sun. I daydream of picnic baskets and frosty steins, of roiling rivers and meats on a grill, of outdoor adventures both rustic and urban. I start pondering things like bikes, and will I finally get one, and if I do, will it have a basket that can hold a six-pack or two? Nothing tells me spring has sprung quite as clearly as my own subconscious.
Thankfully, the Wantful buying team has been hard at work supplying my daydreams and yours with plenty of fodder. Inspired by heritage design and quality craftsmanship, they’ve brought a slew of extraordinary outdoor gifts to Wantful, for everyone from the casual adventurer to the expert explorer.
For some old-fashioned fun right in your own backyard, The Original Tree Swing company channels your inner troublemaker with this handmade buckthorn slingshot, complete with natural latex tubing and a leather projectile pouch. If you’d rather play well with others, Jacques London offers a set of six, metal alloy boules for a pick-up game of petanque, a game similar to British lawn bowling or Italian bocce. Let yourself get competitive; these balls—pardon, boules—are designed to withstand even the most aggressive play.
If a quiet day of fishing sounds like an idyllic escape, chances are you already know about Meriweather Field Gear. Made in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, their beautiful and durable Maple Fly case is inlaid with dyed wool and snaps shut with inset magnets—no fumbling with latches or hooks out on the water. Another option for anglers is a Classic Willow Creel from Stone Creek Ltd. Lacquered for long lasting protection, it absorbs water without deteriorating and preserves your freshly caught fish at the peak of their flavor.
When it comes to outdoor gear, few things are as versatile as a good knife. This traditional folding knife from Baladeo has a rosewood handle and it’s lightweight enough to take anywhere. Walking. Hiking. Roller-skating? Their suggestion. Maybe the Odel knife from Helle is more their style. Hand-forged in Norway, Helle knives go through forty-five different manual operations before being approved for sale. The Odel has a birch, leather and staghorn handle and a triple laminated steel blade built to withstand stress.
But perhaps you seek something…heftier? For example, I don’t know, an axe? In operation since 1902, the blacksmiths at Gransfors Bruks hand-forge each blade and initial it upon completion. Their Small Forest Axe is small enough to fit in a backpack but powerful enough to chop firewood. Anyone up for some axe-throwing? They have a helpful diagram, free of charge, on their website.
Our friends at San-Francisco based PUBLIC Bikes would never produce a bicycle they wouldn’t ride themselves, so it goes without saying that their bike accessories reveal an expert attention to detail. Their Classic European Bike Bell, or “Federico” as he’s known to his friends, has a loud but “elegantly civil” tone, and their Woven Bike Picnic Basket, created in collaboration with Peterboro Basket Company, is roomy enough to fit both your groceries and the aforementioned six-pack of my dreams. It looks like I’m getting that bike!
These are just a few of our favorite options, but there’s so much more online. From elegant tools to rugged camping gear, we’ll help you find the perfect outdoor gift.