What's in the Box? A Closer Look at Cairn, a Monthly Subscription Box for Outdoor Adventurers

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A whole bunch of awesome getting ready to ship.
(Photo courtesy of Cairn.)

Shopping for outdoor gear and learning about new products can be fun, but what if there was a way you could get a collection of products delivered right to your doorstep every month geared specifically toward your recreational habits and activities? Thanks to Rob Little, CEO and Founder of Cairn subscription boxes, there is.

How does it work? If you're familiar with subscription boxes like Birchbox, Craft Coffee and the like, the model is essentially the same. For $25 per month, subscribers receive a box of outdoor fun. Though you don't get to choose the products you receive, as with other subscription services, part of the fun is not knowing what's coming. It's a chance to try items from brands you might not be familiar with, and it's akin to getting a surprise gift in the mail every month.

Five Mistakes I've Made in the Great Outdoors

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Mistakes in the backcountry, or anywhere outdoors - we’ve all made them. Whether it's bringing lip balm without SPF, packing the wrong kind of sleeping bag, or something truly dire,  we can all learn from the mistakes we've made and the mistakes others have made. From my experience, mistakes in the outdoors fall into or in between three categories:
  1. "Haha" - These little, inconsequential mistakes are laughable soon after you realize you've made them. They cause minimal short-term harm, if any, and no long-term harm.
  2. "Uh Oh" - You might not be happy about these kinds of mistakes, but you'll survive, and after you've recovered from any minor bodily harm or embarrassment, they make great stories.
  3. "Oh Sh*t" - This self-explanatory category is one I hope I never find myself in. 
Though I've made my fair share of mistakes in the outdoors, for the purpose of this article, I'll share a handful of those that make the best stories from the above categories. For example, forgetting to bring enough tampons on a backpacking trip and having to turn around would fit into the "Haha" category while the first story I'll share could've easily been an "Oh Sh*t" mistake.

Guest Post: Amy Hatch on the Launch of Garage Grown Gear and Pursuing Your Dreams

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Amy and her daughter in a packraft. (Courtesy of Amy Hatch.)
I first spoke to Amy Hatch for an interview in 2012. We finally met in person at a small cafe in Idaho this winter over breakfast with her daughter. It was a perfect day to ski and she had plans to take her two year-old out daughter with her.

That day was just one example of how Amy balances motherhood, marriage, and a passion for a variety of outdoor sports all while running, as of today, two businesses. I'm excited to host a guest post from her about all of those things, and to announce the launch of Garage Grown Gear!

Gear Review: Columbia Women's Millennium Flash Shell Jacket

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Snowshoeing in the Tetons. (Photo by wmrjr.com)
A sure sign I'm in love with a piece of outdoor gear or apparels its appearance in photo after photo, in my backpack when I pack for adventure after adventure, and when I can't count the number of compliments I've received on it.

The Columbia Sportswear Women's Millennium Flash Jacket was a key piece of my layering system on a variety of adventures this winter. I didn't expect to fall so hard for what looked like just another shell jacket when I pulled it out of a box Columbia sent me prior to the #OmniGames, but man, I fell.

After trying on the Millenium Flash, aside from the blindingly bright "Red Hibiscus" colored waterproof fabric, I realized it's decidedly not just another shell.   It's easily one of the mot versatile pieces of apparel I've tried. I wore it snowshoeing in the Tetons, cross country skiing in Yellowstone, dogsledding in Utah, and alpine skiing in Pennsylvania for testing, and (spoiler alert) it passed with flying colors.

Six Lesser-Known National Parks I'd Love to Visit and Why

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Sanctuary River, Denali National Park.
Spring is just around the corner, and though I love exploring North America's national parks any time of year, the promise of warmer weather and easier travel has me jonesing for a big trip. Given trips to the Tetons and Yellowstone were high on my to-do list, this winter's been particularly memorable. But I've got a long, seemingly ever-growing list of national parks in North America I'd love to see. Whether it's remoteness, historical significance, or just pure, unadulterated beauty, these national parks are all places I'd love to visit on my next big trip.