Gear Review: Cairn Subscription Box

Product: Cairn Subscription Boxes
Normal Cost: $21.67 to $25.00 per box monthly, depending on subscription
Where we got it: Ordered at with code, received through US Post
Our Cost: $0.00 per box, one for each of us
Conclusion: Was fun to try, but ultimately not for us

One of the benefits of being a part of Epic Social Adventures and Hell Hike & Raft was getting to test out all kinds of new gear. One of the first items we received was a Cairn subscription box.

I am a big fan of subscription boxes in general. I have sampled several beauty boxes, like Ipsy, and Thom and I are ardent fans of Plated, that delivers pre-portioned ingredients and recipes for dinner. Subscription boxes are an amazing way to discover new things and sample the best of whats out there.

Cairn is no different. Our boxes contained several goodies that included new snacks (ooh Bricks Grass Fed Beef & Bacon Bar) and gadgets (Bruton Pulse looks like it will be incredibly helpful on our short weekly hikes) that I am sure we will put to good use. It is a wonderful way to treat yourself for $25 or less.

I don’t think its a good fit for us, however. I was a beauty box subscriber for 3 years, but largely because I was clueless about makeup. I learned all kinds of stuff from my boxes and have gone on to use products that I discovered as samples. We love Plated because we’re empty nesters, and enjoy restaurant quality recipes without any of the hassle. We aren’t, however, out of touch with the hiking scene. We have a lot of our essential gear, and are *very* picky about what we buy.

Now that our kids have moved out of the house, we’re purging all kinds of stuff we no longer need. I am uninclined to accumulate small odds and ends that we don’t have a purpose for. If there were an outdoor box made up purely of hiking snack items, I would be more likely to consider an ongoing subscription. We’re always on the lookout for quality snacks and it is such a diverse market that it’s hard to know what is available. We certainly aren’t getting the full range of options at our local grocery store.

Links: Company: Cairn Outdoors LLC
How we got it: We applied for the Epic Social Adventures (ESA) trip called Hell Hike and Raft 2015 and became part of the crew. ESA leaders, Scott and Adam, found sponsors, including Cairn, to provide products for the crew to try and review. We each received one box.

Aquaclip Gear Review

We researched long and hard to find the perfect solution for carrying a water bottle on the trail. While we have water bladder systems, we wanted to be able to carry electrolyte drinks as well. There are many pouches and straps available, but all were rather expensive and seemed limited by size and accessibility. Arbor discovered the Aquaclip and we ordered a few to try.

They ended up being a perfect solution. They are inexpensive at $3 each and the simplicity of the design allowed us to hang them in a variety of places on our packs. This ended up being especially important as we decided to carry multiple water bottles. They are also super light at .38 ounces, which is important for anyone trying to keep pack weight low. (something we need to get better at!) Getting to the bottle on the move is a breeze and just as easy to reattach without breaking ones stride.

The only downside is how easy they are to leave behind. Because they don’t attach permanently to a pack, like a velcro pouch would, its not hard to set a bottle down and forget to bring it along when you get up and leave. Arbor lost three bottles with Aquaclips on the River to River Trail this way. 😉

All in all, I highly recommend the Aquaclip to backpackers and day hikers alike.