Modern Nomad is a weekly column dedicated to mobile gear, must-see world destinations, tips for life on the road, and traveling better through technology.
Your dad doesn’t need another tie, drill kit, or kitschy bit of golf memorabilia. Why not think far outside the gift box this Father’s Day? If your pop is the no-nonsense, beer-swilling outdoorsman type, here are three extreme vacations you can bond over.
#1: Bear Grylls Survival Academy
Bear Grylls has become the de facto face of survival for an entire generation of young men. He’s a skydiver, an SAS military commando, and he’s summited Mount Everest on multiple occasions. In short, he knows how not to die. Through his Bear Grylls Survival Academy, his hand-picked team of experts impart the same skills on aspiring survivalists. The school is available on four continents though we’d personally opt for Africa. Survival in the Falls takes students on an extensive five-day journey around Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls. The course culminates in a grueling, 36-hour test of skills including tracking, animal skinning, and crossing some of the continent’s most difficult terrain. Their motto? “It may hurt a little.”
Related: Our Ultimate Father’s Day Guide
#2: Thirsty Swagman’s Round-the-World Pub Tour
No tour company on the planet mixes beer and travel quite like Thirsty Swagman. Their upcoming Round-the-World Pub Tour is an all-inclusive world tour that crosses four continents and promises “zero boring sightseeing”. It all starts in the Australian pubs of Sydney, then crosses to the tiki bars of Hawaii, and onward through Vegas, Reykjavik, Düsseldorf, and Phuket, Thailand. The €6,000 entry fee is a small price to pay for a trip that includes airfare and three- and four-star accommodations. Like many of Swagman’s epic trips, seats are limited and it’s a one-off itinerary guaranteed never to be repeated.
#3: Grand Canyon Rafting
Of course, there are plenty of amazing outdoor adventures right here in North America as well. For something truly epic, Western River Expeditions offers once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list-worthy, seven-day rafting trips through the Grand Canyon. Over the course of a week, you’ll traverse nearly 200 miles and more than 60 rapids in the company’s purpose-built motorized rafts. Additional daily excursions take guests to the area’s most breathtaking scenery, including pristine streams, remote waterfalls, and thousand-year-old Anasazi ruins.