Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and homestead men are notoriously difficult to shop for. We have simple needs and most of the things we desire in life already on the farm. No wonder women fret around gift-giving time.
Your best bet is to go the accessory route, if you’re stuck for gift ideas and want to keep the price tag modest. Look around the house (and better yet, the garage) for a guide to what your man would most appreciate as a gift. Look at what is hanging on the walls, laying on the workbench, or riding around in the back of his truck for clues.
Mrs. Cunha swears I will die with a pair of pliers in my pocket, and she is probably right. I’m constantly fussing with fencing, and a pair of these pliers from Crescent has made the chore easier. Cost: $20
I have several of these Cold Steel hatchets around the homestead in various configurations. Come to think of it, I have one in every vehicle because you never when when you might have to break a trail or fight off an Indian attack.
The straight bit kind shown is my favorite for dispatching fowl at butcher time. Cost: $20
What good is an axe or hatchet, if it isn’t sharp. Sure, a progression of files will set the edge, but for refining it into wood chip flinging sharpness, it needs a stone. This dual grit sharpening stone is just the ticket. Cost: $10
I go on the assumption that homesteads have firearms and men proficient in their use. It doesn’t hurt the gals to have a working knowledge of their use, too. The 1907-pattern leather rifle sling will work on virtually any rifle with two sling loops. I prefer the brass fittings, but they can be had in steel, as well.
Even if he’s unfamiliar with how to use it, five minutes on the Youtube will give your man improved accuracy and the steadiest off-hand shooting position he’s ever had. Just trust Uncle Carlos and five generations of American riflemen. Cost: $23
Any homesteader worth his heirloom tomatoes has a post hole digger and several shovels lined up neatly in his tool shed, but what happens when the thumb-sized stones turn into fist-sized rocks? Enter the Bully Tools digging bar. They are heavy and tiring to wield, but no more so than a post hole digger. With the added benefit of cracking through rock, they can move a surprising amount of soil fast. Cost: $33
When it temperature outside drops and your man forms snot-sicles in his mustache, he needs something to help retain his body heat. He needs a good hat, and nothing beats natural fur to keep his noggin warm. I have a raccoon cap that I can only wear when Old Man Winter is really trying to kill me. Otherwise, it’s too hot. This rabbit fur trimmed variant is more useful, more often. Cost: $43
I have a confession to make. Mrs. Cunha got me a pair of these ear protectors for Christmas. When she pointed out they are Bluetooth enabled, I thought, “What kind of sissy-man listens to music from his phone while riding the tractor?”
Turns out, this kind, right here. The only downside to my mind is the volume turns down automatically to allow me to answer a phone call without taking them off, so I have no excuse to miss calls from the wife. She likes that. Cost: $43
You don’t have to fell trees for a living to appreciate a good set of logging chains. Much like the front bucket on a tractor, the number of uses for these guys is limited only by your imagination. Mrs. Cunha favorite use is to hook one end to the tractor and yank out shrubs or small trees that no longer please her.
Three-eights inch thick links and coming in at twenty feet long, this two-pack of logging chains is less than I paid for one at my local home improvement store. I’m so pissed. Cost: $74
On the farm, we live and die by our knives because we use them for so many chores. The Puma fixed blade Bowie, while smaller than what I think of when I hear the term, has taken everything I have thrown at it. The knife shines at skinning and butchering chores.
And lastly, a shameless plug: If your man is a reader, try a copy of my novel, L’homme Theroux. He’ll love it. I promise. It’s got Indians, gun fights, trappers on the Canadian frontier, and all sorts of manly adventure. Cost: $2.99 – A bargain!
Happy Valentine’s Day.
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