My Favorite Things – January 2018

As a backpacking gear tester and outdoor writer, I often get to experience and play with some rad products and tools. Each month brings new surprises, so I’d like to take time every thirty days to share and discuss some of my favorites…because let’s be real: As minimalistic as we all aim to be, we can’t help but like the new stuff.

Let’s get to bragging on my favorite goodies:

Trail Soak and Badass Peak Bagging Soap from Ethics Supply Co.


I’m easily suckered into luxury products made for the outdoor minded, but that doesn’t mean these spa tools are anything short of awesome. The activated charcoal soap bar is carved to look like Mt. Rainier while the Trail soak is an extra minty, luxurious way to decompress your day.

Cotopaxi 3L Fanny Pack


Who doesn’t love a good fanny? It’s safe to say I am obsessed with how much shtuff I can shove in this 3 liter pack without it feeling droopy or affecting my day. Wear it to the ski slopes, to the airport, or show off your package on a stroll through your favorite mountain town.

Voilá Coffee Subscription

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As seen in my Best Instant Coffee of 2017 article, Voila is a new brand which offers speciality coffee subscriptions tailored to your tastes and preferences. This stuff is top of the line, real deal and pretty expensive. Still, I can’t deny that it’s great coffee packaged in a simple, hipster package that will elevate any backcountry camping experience.

The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo


I read probably four books at a time and transition through them throughout the week. The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo is the one that’s really been stuck in my thoughts lately. Carmine Gallo is a business communication expert who analyzes why some businesses worked and some didn’t. The usual thrivers? Those who can share and express a relatable story while simultaneously filling a need in the market.

The book covers all the legends, from Starbucks’ Howard Shultz to Steve Jobs to Oprah Winfrey and Sting. Whether you own a business, want to start one or love what you do now, you should consider this a quick, necessary read on how business works.

K-Tape Repair tape from Kenyon


It’s campfire season, which means I’m unintentionally setting all my favorite vintage puffys on fire. This particular patch has made its first official trip around the sun without problems. If you burn things as often as I do, the kenyon repair tape is a gear saving investment.

Schmitts Bergamot and Lime Deodorant


Just before thanksgiving, my brand name deodorant that I’ve used for years gave me a rash. Obviously, that inspired hours of late night research into how toxic deodorants will kill me one day. Much to the mortification of several friends and family, I stopped wearing deodorant all together to let my skin heal. I thought that I felt and smelled great. Others disagreed and gifted me Schmitts Bergamot and Lime deodorant, which has proven to be awesome and one of my biggest talking points as of late. It’s not sticky, stays on all day and smells very strongly of lime, a plus in my dirtbag book.

Hydroflask Wide Mouth Straw Lid


I mean, we’re all suckers for hydroflask. To anyone who didn’t get one of the best stocking stuffers of all time this Christmas, I’m sorry. My cousin and NOLSie Kristen recently got me hooked on this straw lid attachment for my hydroflask. No more unscrewing the lid and no more ice attacking your face while you sip from the cutest, most durable branded water bottle this side of the outdoor industry.

Have feedback? Comments? Curious about particular gear? Shoot me a message at

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