4 boxes for the price of 3!! Get your Summer Adventure Package here!

4 boxes for the price of 3!! Get your Summer Adventure Package here!

Cairn Blog: Discussing Outdoor Gear

Article image

Stretch it out: Killer Stretches For Rock Climbers

August 03, 2017

As with any sport, mobility plays an important role in overall performance and recovery. Climbing is no exception. For climbers, mobility can help with ease of climbing, climbing endurance and recovery after climbing multiple routes.

If you are a Cairn subscriber and have designated rock climbing as one of your top outdoor activities, you likely received our July Climbing Collection. The collection contained some innovative climbing gear, and we thought we’d follow it up by sharing some industry-vetted tips on staying loose so you can hit up all those routes on your summer bucket list...injury free!

We sat down with Nicholas Hagen, a licensed physical therapist at Rebound Physical Therapy in Bend, Oregon, to pick his brain about useful stretches, ideal for climbers of all levels. Check out these awesome exercises, endorsed by Nick, and give them a try before or after your next climb! 😊 👍🏻

Mobility Exercises

1. One-Leg Pigeon Pose: “Due to how much most of us sit during the day, this exercise allows for improved reach during climbs and more access to glute control, while freeing up the posterior lateral hip or the back-outside part of the hip. Maintain a neutral pelvis, sternum, and shoulders as you sink the hip into the ground. Hold 2 times on each side for 10 deep stomach breaths.” - Nick

2. Bretzel Stretch: “Go through this stretch one segment at a time to mobilize your thoracic spine, glutes, hips, hip flexor, and quads. Start with the top knee bent on the ground and above hip height. Keep the top knee fixated on the ground, then grab the bottom leg ankle and twist your trunk while relaxing your head and neck. Hold 2 times on each side for 10 deep stomach breaths.” - Nick

3. Downward Dog: “The key is to perform a hip hinge motion, bending from the hips and not the spine, to elevate your butt into the air. This will mobilize your thoracic (mid back) hips, and shoulders. With your arms, think about pushing the ground away from you moving your weight backwards to elevate your hips. Shoulders should be activated and your mid-spine dropped to the ground. Hold 2 times on each side for 10 deep stomach breaths.” - Nick

4. Quadruped Thoracic Rotation: “This stretch allows you to free up your ankles, knees, mid-back, and chest. Sit on your heels to prevent your low back from getting involved in the stretch. The key is to purely rotate--there should be no side bend or shift in the stretch. Perform 2 sets of 5 repetitions on each side.” - Nick

5. Hip openers: “This is the ultimate hip stretch, combining all motions available in the hip. The hips stretch in a position where the thigh to trunk, ankle and knee angle on each leg is at a 90 degree angle. Rotate to reverse your position without allowing your back to round or collapse. Perform 2 sets of 3 laps of the motion.” - Nick

Stability Exercises

6. Wall High Step Hold: “This stretch activates your trunk and leg in a functional position. The point of emphasis is to keep a straight leg from the back of the head to the heel, and no bend in the knee or trunk. Drive your hip toward the wall at the top of the motion while attempting to load the big toe. Perform 2 sets of 8 reps on each side.” - Nick

7. Face Down W Hold: “This is an exercise to stabilize the core of the shoulders and work on trunk stability. Attempt to get into a W position with your wrists higher than your elbows. The motion should come from the shoulders -not the spine. Avoid arching of the low back where the belly should stay unloaded off the ground. Once ready, progress to a reaching motion. Perform 2 sets of holds until fatigued.” - Nick

8. Core Activation to Bicycle: “This exercise works on activation and stabilization of the core. Get into a position to challenge your core to work, and once you feel core activation, do a dynamic motion to challenge your body even more. Be sure to have the neck slightly elevated and chin tucked throughout and the tail bone elevated off the ground. The force on the knees is upward and should be maintained throughout this exercise. Perform 2 sets of 12 reps total.” - Nick

9. Spiderman Mountain Climbers: “This is a progression of a traditional mountain climber. You are doing a more end range hip motion with this stretch, while also doing a push up motion. The goal is to bring the knee outward and up to hit the same side elbow. It is important to maintain a spine alignment without a sag in your low back or rounding of your mid back. Perform 2 sets of 12 reps total.” - Nick

10. Towel Grip Row: “It is necessary for climbers to have good grip. Grip strength is determined by both forearm/finger strength and shoulder/neck strength. This exercise works on all those components. The key with the row motion is to keep your spine neutral, the chin tucked, and pull the shoulder blades down and together. Perform 2 sets of 12 reps total.” - Nick


Thanks for allowing me to share my expertise with you.

Happy (and safe) climbing! -Nick

*If you have concerns about your health and these exercises, consult a physician before practicing any of these stretches.

Get to know Nick Hagen

If you thought having two professional titles was a lot, try having five. Nick gets to sign his name as follows: Nicholas Hagen, PT, DPT, SCS, CFMT, CSCS. Now that’s a title and just a bit of training experience! 😱  🙌🏽

A licensed physical therapist since 2009, Nick is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (2009) and a Certified Sports Clinical Specialists (2011). He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder in Integrated Physiology and completed his doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) at the University of California San Francisco.

After PT school, Nick finished a sports physical therapy residency in Vail, Colorado with Howard Head Sports Medicine Center. Following residency training, he was selected to participate in a traveling sports medicine fellowship. He recently finished his functional manual therapy certification (CFMT) from the Institute of Physical Art. As of Fall 2016, he is a member of the Oregon NSCA advisory board. Nick has consulted for the Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets, US Ski Team, and several NCAA teams--to name a few.

He’s also been published in the International Journal of Physical Therapy and APTA online journal. Nick has spoken at national conferences (Combined Sections Meeting, APTA) and local conferences (NSCA state clinic, Portland State Athletic Performance Summit). He has taught courses in ACL rehabilitation, hip arthroscopy rehabilitation, and power training in athletes. Nick currently is the clinic manager and performance director at Rebound Physical Therapy in Bend, Oregon.


Where are your favorite spots to climb and which one of these stretches will you use most after a day of climbing? Share with us on our Facebook page!

Read More
Article image

Box   Brands  

What do honey bees and sunglasses have in common?

July 27, 2017

Who doesn't love a good pair of sunnies--are we right!? We all know, or should know, that it’s highly important to protect your eyes from the bright, harsh sun--and of course look good while we do it!😎 👍🏻

A business with purpose, the folks at Nectar Sunglasses are making waves in the eyewear industry, and for good reason. These glasses are the BEES-KNEES (see what we did there 😉 ). Not only are they rad sunglasses, but by wearing them you’ll help to protect something that is just as important as your eyes--the HONEYBEES! We had the chance this month to catch up with Meredith Mathias, Director of Sales at Nectar Sunglasses to pick her brain about this special company.

Why sunglasses?

Let’s face it, we live in a world full of material things that we’re all accustomed to having in our daily life. Things that we think make our life a little better. Out of all the possible business venture ideas in the material goods industry, what drove the choice to start a business in the sunglass industry?

“At the time, there were only a handful of brands that were seen as “cool” with quality eyewear at an affordable price. In the last few years, people have been spending more money on experiences rather than luxury goods so we wanted to offer a product with a style and personality that embraces the best experiences life has to offer.” - Meredith

Nectar’s incredible mission to repopulate the honeybee population is enough to make us want to purchase ALL the pairs of Nectar sunglasses, but standing out in the sunglass industry can seem like quite the challenge. How did you approach this challenge?

“Our price, quality and lifetime warranty are some of the many ways we stand out from our competitors. Over the past five years, we’ve become more than just a name – we represent a lifestyle and a community that connects people from all over the world.” - Meredith

Looking into the future

No one can know for sure what the future holds; but Nectar’s future is so bright, they have to wear shades, literally! 😎  🙌

“Because we’re a dynamic brand that is constantly evolving and adapting to new needs in the market, we see great opportunity for growth and expansion. We currently offer merchandise outside of eyewear including phone cases, wristbands, hats and more, and we will continue to feature new and exciting products down the line.” - Meredith

Setting out to save the bees!

Honeybees, huh? How did the good folks at Nectar get behind honeybees as a cause to support and why are bees such a big deal?

“We had a chance to meet the owner of Savannah Bee Company, who is a big surfer as well. He explained the story behind The Bee Cause and that they were looking for more support to raise awareness of the declining bee population, which pollinates 80% of our crops. We’ve always been environmentally conscious and we truly believe in this cause and the impact it carries. There’s also a nice parallel between the cause and our brand name, which made it a natural fit. Since the partnership started last July, we’ve helped repopulate over 400K bees!” - Meredith

Over 400 thousand bees and counting! We told you this brand was the BEES-KNEES! 🙌🏽


Where will you sport your cool new Nectar Sunglasses this summer? Share with us on Facebook or Instagram by tagging @getcairn in your photos and using #cairnrocks!

Read More
Article image

Box   Brands  

Changing the Rock Climbing Game

July 20, 2017

One thing every climber knows--even those who just dabble in the sport from time to time--is that chalk is your best friend. You won’t get too far up a route with slippery, sweaty hands, which is why climbers have those handy dandy chalk bags attached to their hips.

Our friends at FrictionLabs know climbing. It’s in their DNA, which is why it comes as no surprise to us that they are changing the chalk game with their Secret Stuff chalk cream, included in this month’s climbing collection. Whether you’re an avid climber, or just like to take on an occasional route and call it a day, you’re gonna wanna get your hands on this stuff--literally!🙌🏽  Secret Stuff is no joke--  it will have you climbing longer distances with less chalking up along the way. It is the future for climbing chalk, and what climber doesn’t want to be able to hang out a little longer, with a little more grip and a lot less worry!

We had the chance to catch up with Keah, co-founder, of FrictionLabs, and learn more about the secret behind the best chalk in climbing.

The Idea Was Born

Most ideas tend to first start with a problem, and the need for a solution. For Keah and FrictionLabs, that problem was generic climbing chalk--it just wasn’t doing the job anymore.

“As climbers ourselves, we were disappointed by the quality and consistency of generic chalk. It didn’t seem like anyone out there had really tried to find a better way, which was crazy since grip-strength and skin health are so critical to a climber’s success. After collaborating with a few scientists to learn more about chalk and how it works, we were convinced that there was an opportunity to make a high purity product, manufactured responsibly in the USA, that climbers would actually love! Fast forward 3 years and our chalk is now the choice of most professional climbers and is on the shelves in climbing gyms and leading retailers all over the world.”

Launching the Business

Starting any business is always going to be nerve racking/slightly terrifying.

After putting hours of time and effort into an idea that you poured your blood, sweat and tears into, you never know if your business idea will actually take off--risk taking at an all time high! Luckily for Keah and FrictionLabs, their idea was solid and started making waves in the climbing industry. Today they are leaders in climbing innovation and show so sign of slowing down.👊🏻

“The first order is obviously always memorable. Getting a message that someone, somewhere, actually bought something you created is surreal and thrilling. Ours was a stranger in Ohio buying a bag of our chalk after somehow stumbling on our website that was still in development!

Really though, the first BIG moment was when a Japanese distributor emailed us after testing our chalk to say “Good feeling we have!” and placed an order. At the time, we both still had full-time jobs and we were doing everything FrictionLabs out of Kevin’s(FrictionLabs Co-founder) basement at night. That was probably the moment we knew it could be a real business. And we’re thrilled that we still work with that distributor today to make our chalk available to climbers in Japan.”

Big Wins

Any little success as a small company trying to get off the ground is a HUGE win.🙌🏽 For FrictionLabs, one of their biggest wins was learning to collaborate with the big dogs of their target market--professional climbers.

“Pro climbers are these incredible athletes who have committed themselves to developing our sport. They are the source of so much inspiration and growth in the climbing community. One of our biggest wins has been learning how to support these pros in a way that helps grow their individual brands, and our brand, as well as psych up the climbing community. Some recent examples of this are Rooftown Volume 1 and Volume 2, where we follow Matt Gentile as he roams the badlands of Arizona developing these unbelievable boulders he discovers inside caves, along canyons, and on remote rivers..

Not JUST For Climbers

What may have started out as a product for climbers quickly developed into a product for any athlete (climbers are good at sharing, too!). After all, climbers aren’t the only ones who need a little extra grip on what they do.

“ We think of our users as High-Care Athletes. Whether they are brand new climbers or seasoned pros, they care about performing at their best. They demand a lot from themselves and they expect their gear to live up to that standard, too. It’s such an honor to be part of their success.

An unexpected surprise has been seeing the adoption of our chalk by High-Care Athletes outside of climbing. We get great emails and reviews from gymnasts, weightlifters, high intensity athletes, basketball players, track and field athletes, and even golfers and tennis players telling us how our chalk has helped them succeed. Climbing is our core and it’s awesome to see that chalk designed for the needs and demands of rock climbers can give the best grip to all High-Care Athletes.”

If you are a rock climber and received our climbing collection this month, then you’re probably pretty stoked on life right now--we know we are! From the Trango Cord Trapper Rope Tarp that dually functions as a tarp AND a bag to keep your ropes untangles and clean, to the  So Ill Finger Massager that will provide your hands with the attention they deserve after a long climb, and of course the delicious Buddy’s Nut Butter to give you a little extra fuel along the way! 😄

We love finding unique, new and emerging gear for our subscribers, and we’d love to hear how you are using yours! Where are you climbing this summer? And how are you using your Cairn collection gear? Share with us on Facebook or Instagram!

Not a subscriber yet? Don’t miss out on next month. Sign up now!

Read More
Article image

Our Team  

The running man: Tips for Running a 50+ Mile Race

July 13, 2017

Long distance runners know all too well the time commitment and the stamina it takes to train for and complete a distance race. But, if you’re just starting out with training for a full marathon or longer race, you may be wondering, “how will I ever get to the finish line?” Luckily, our Cairn Crew has the pleasure of working with one of our very own distance-running junkies! When he isn’t translating data for our team into plain English (no small feat), Ryan Manies is running. If you thought 26.2 miles was a lot, well try 50+ miles--that’s more Ryan’s style. This summer he’s gearing up for the Cuyamaca 100k held this October near San Diego, California.

Ryan let us dive into his world to find out just what it takes to accomplish these long distance runs, and how to get ready for a big race.

Diet Tips

Fueling up to run any distance is crucial, but when you're running distances as far as Ryan is, your diet is equally important as all of the training you did. Eating the right foods before, during and after a race supplies your body with enough energy to go the distance and also recover. Know what works best for your body, and stick with those foods before a big run 👊🏻.

“Gels, Bars and Salt!  Use your long training runs to figure out your own nutrition game plan.  Having this dialed will help you execute on race day.” -Ryan

Whatever your favorite carbs are, fill that plate up the night before your race and don’t be afraid to have seconds--your body will need it to take you to the finish line 😉  🙌🏽.

Training like a pro  

Training to run 50+ miles is almost like having a second job--a very sweaty, exhausting, and REWARDING second job. These long distance races are a HUGE commitment for anyone who decides to sign up, but will give you mad bragging rights once you cross that finish line! For Ryan, training is all about the quality vs quantity.

“ My preparation is usually centered on the quality of my miles versus quantity of miles.  When my schedule is tight during the week I try my best to simulate running on tired legs. This comes from a combination of things such as:

  • Trying to run twice in one day.  Even if the distance is short on both runs (3-4 miles) the second run is on tired legs which simulate how you feel towards the end of an Ultra run. 
  • Make the weekends count by doing two long runs (10+) back to back.   I can’t spend the entire weekend running on trails so this usually means starting at early hours, but the cooler morning temps and quiet trails make up for the lack of sleep.
  • There is more than one way to tire your legs!  I use a standing desk at work all day.  Build up by trying 20 min. increments if you use to sitting at your desk!” - Ryan

We can’t promise your friends won’t call you crazy, but at least you’ll be able to out run them in a foot race! 👊🏻 🎉

Pre-race regime

What you do the night before a race, or even two or three nights before a race can drastically impact your race day performance. As you know, getting adequate rest every night is important for overall health, and is even more so when preparing to push your body to it’s running limits. 👍🏻 😴

“Aim to get your best, uninterrupted, night of sleep 2 nights before a race.  There are too many variables the night before a race that can make it difficult to sleep well.” - Ryan

Take yourself back to middle school and set a strict curfew and bedtime and stick to it for the days leading up to your run--your race day mind and body will thank you 😊  🙌🏽.

Beating the burnout

With anything you do for hours upon hours, there is always going to be the challenge to beat the burnout. Running is no exception, but Ryan has figured out what needs to do to keep running fun!🏃🏼 🙌🏽 

“Mix it up! I always try to explore new trails to run at even if this means driving a little longer to the trailhead or by camping in new areas. I also try to mix up the race distances I do.  At the end of July 2017 I will be doing a 1 mile race that I think will go by very fast (no need for music on this one)” -Ryan

It also helps to have a favorite trail nearby to go to when you need a little extra motivation. 😄

“One of my favorite loops in Central Oregon is the Green Lakes to Soda Creek loop.  It has a nice climb on the way to Green Lakes that gets the heart rate up. However the views of the surrounding area and the combination of varied terrain you experience within the 12 mile loop (11.8 to be exact) make it worth the extra effort.” -Ryan

Whether Ryan has inspired you to go out and run 5 miles or 50 miles, we think you are ALL running rockstars! 🙌🏽

“You can do it! Sign up for races that will help you build up to that distance before you sign-up for the 50+ mile race.  Find local runners in your community to run with – having a running buddy depending on you to show up will motivate you to get out more often.  I also recommend volunteering at a longer race.  You get to see first hand what the racers have to endure and it will be easy to see the issues that are exposed by 50+ mile race – blisters, bonking and dehydration! -Ryan

Everyone is different, so before running any long distance race please consult your physician, trainer, health coach or whoever it may be to make sure your body is in good condition to start training. It’s also helpful to have a training buddy, so find a friend who likes to run and sign up for a race together! And for Ryan, well you just keep doing your thing and we will be cheering you on every step, or thousand of steps, of the way!

Are you training for a race this summer? Share with us on Facebook or Instagram!

Not a Cairn subscriber yet? Don’t miss out on next month. Sign up now!

Read More
Article image


Car camping 101: tips for your next road trip

July 06, 2017

Are you planning to hit the road this summer for an outdoor adventure? No tent? No problem!

Car camping has become one of the top ways for us outdoor enthusiasts to pack up, take off and enjoy a nature-focused adventure. For anyone who loves to camp, anyone who loves a road trip and even for those of us who love the outdoors but want our excursions to be easy peasy, car camping is totally for you! Camping usually requires some hefty gear essentials, but car camping gives you the awesome gift of requiring one less thing to worry about packing-- a tent! Your car can double as your transportation AND your shelter, making it easy to set up camp wherever you want, whenever you want (where it’s legal of course😜).

So you’ve got a car and a plan, but before setting out on your next car camping adventure, there’s some essential gear you’ll want to bring along. Here’s the ultimate car camping 101 for your next road trip...and all other adventures to follow!

Kitchen and Cooking Supplies

Whether you are setting out to chase some waves on the coast or explore the nearest national park,  you can’t always count on accommodations that include a stove or proper cooking facility. If you’re anything like us, you actually seek out the secret outdoor spots that put you right into nature, and away from the hubbub of the city. Wonderful? Yes. Accommodating? No.

That’s why it’s handy to bring a camp stove with you. Roasting sticks are another essential item to have packed in your cooking gear bin, in case you feel like roasting some hot dogs or marshmallows over an open fire. Aside from these essential cooking items, a pot and pan, cutlery, and your new DrinkTank 16 oz. Vessel  for hot and cold beverages, will keep you and your crew fed and happy throughout the car camping expedition😊.

Gear Tip: Before using your DrinkTank for an an evening beer after previously using it for coffee, make sure you throw a Hydropak Bottle Bright Tablet in there to flush out that coffee flavor so it doesn’t taint the flavor of your IPA. The only thing worse than a warm beer, is a beer that tastes like leftover coffee👎🏼.

First Aid Kit

When is it not a good idea to have a first aid kit? Seriously! Car camping may get you off the grid (and we hope it does!), but we also want you to be prepared in case of emergency. Bee sting, poison ivy, cut hand, sprained ankle, etc...whatever the unexpected injury, you’ll be glad you have a first aid kit with you to hold you over until you can get more help.

Plenty of Food and Water

This goes without saying for some, but you’d be surprised how often bringing enough edible and drinkable supplies gets overlooked. Friends don’t let friends set out for exploration without the basics! If you're planning to be out exploring for two days or less, still pack enough food for four days--just in case your trip gets extended. With your dinner menu, make sure to bring some snack food that’s packed with good stuff and won’t go bad right away. We’re big fans of the ReGrained Sustainable Supergrain Bars that were included in our June collection! These delicious, sustainable snacks will be a lifesaver in a hunger pinch, and are chalked full of flavor and nutritious ingredients harvested from the grains of craft beer. For all you chocolate lovers out there, make sure to throw in some Treehouse Drinking Chocolate in for a delicious beverage at the end your day, or to start off your day--we’re not opposed to chocolate in the morning!😉

Water--bring lots of it, always! It’s the one thing you do NOT want to run out of on your trip. Plan to pack enough water to drink for the duration of the journey, because you can’t count on finding fresh drinking water wherever you go. You’ll need it to cook, drink, and bathe (that is if you’re into keeping good hygiene up while camping--just an option 😜).

Sleeping Bag, Pad and Pillows

Although you won’t need a tent if you’re car camping, you’ll still want a sleeping bag and pad. Your car is not insulated like a house, so when temperatures drop, it is is going to get cold. Check the weather before you go so you know just how cold it may be at night, that way you can pack the right sleeping bag and enough layers to avoid freezing your you-know-what off at night. Another item that will make a huge difference in your overall car camping experience is a sleeping pad and or pillow. Cars are normally comfortable to ride in, but when you fold down the seat cushions to sleep for the night, you’re going to be thankful to have a little extra padding. Everyone is more fun when they’ve gotten good night’s rest!

Of course, you can always bring more gear, but as long as you have these essentials, your weekend car camping trip will be a success. Now it’s time to pull out a map and start planning your next adventure!

Where are you planning to go car camping this summer? Share with us on Facebook and Instagram!

Read More
Article image

Box   Brands  

Live Sustainably with DrinkTanks

June 29, 2017

If you haven’t already jumped on the sustainability train, now is the time. Sustainable, ethically sourced and reusable products are popping up all around us, and there’s a good reason why consumers now look for these traits in a company before purchasing a product. We have decided to make more conscious decisions about what we buy and support, because we care about how things are made and how that process affects our environment.

Our friends at DrinkTanks know a thing or two about sustainability and have developed killer products that focus on being sustainable. This month,  some of our lucky Cairn subscribers received DrinkTanks’ new 16 oz. vessel, which is the perfect addition to your daily routine, whether that’s coffee or tea in the morning, kombucha in the afternoon or a refreshing cocktail in the evening--it is there to keep your beverages hot or cold. And, help the planet by creating less waste. How can you go wrong!

How it all began

Founded in 2013 by Nicholas Hill and his father, DrinkTanks is rooted in Bend, Oregon (also home to the Cairn Crew 😊). With a plethora of local breweries and access to outdoor activities, Nick and his father saw an opportunity to capitalize on those two things by creating premium stainless steel, double-walled, vacuum insulated growlers. The DrinkTanks motto to “Live Vast” encourages its customers to get out and explore, with your drink of choice in hand. Now, four years later, the growing start-up has over 30 employees and is showing no signs of slowing down.

The science behind the product

Born and raised in the USA, DrinkTanks are designed and assembled in Bend, Oregon. They are made with double-walled vacuum insulated technology, which prevents annoying condensation from seeping off your bottle and getting all over your hands. It also keeps your liquids the temperature you want them to be--hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. Hooray! Using food grade stainless steel that doesn’t retain flavors, you’ll never have to worry about your coffee from the morning ruining the taste of your evening beer. 🍻 to that!

Culture of DrinkTanks

Start-up culture varies from business to business, but there is one thing that small businesses and startups all have in common; they are determined to succeed in their respective industries. DrinkTanks set out with a mission to create a cutting edge product that allows people to live vast and buy responsibly without losing their roots--and that is exactly what they have done. At the same time, the DrinkTanks team is committed to investing in the community and creating an image that is highly respected. “We work with local groups to employ individuals with a wide range of disabilities to empower and assist in reaching personal independence and inclusion within the community. DrinkTanks also contributes to Scotch Foundation which focuses on vets with PTSD. By keeping the majority of our labor in house, we’re able to support the local economy with 30 employees’ - Jackson Esselman, Marketing Director

Why go sustainable

Or better yet, why not go sustainable? “At Drink Tanks, we strive to practice social, sustainable business operations through creating products that have a life-time warranty and developed to reduce waste in landfill contribution. Our products are easy to clean and durable, creating a life-time vessel that’s reducing disposable waste” - Jackson Esselman

Using sustainable products positively impacts our environment by reducing the overall waste we are putting out into the world. If the technology of DrinkTanks hasn’t sold you already, the sustainability of the product should have you hooked. Besides, who wouldn’t want to help save the environment by sipping a cold one from a DrinkTanks vessel--seems like a win win to us.😉

A few more tips for supporting sustainable purchases.

No matter how you slice it, we can all make better and more conscious decisions about what we purchase. There has been no better time to stand your ground as a consumer. With the vast information available on the web, and the social media sounding board, customer care is at an all time high. So choose products and companies that have sustainable and ethically sourced goods!

Here’s how you can be a conscientious customer:

  • Do the research - As an option, before making your next purchase, check out the ‘about’ section on the company website and read about their sustainability practices.
  • Share the love - Social media is powerful. One of the best ways to support sustainable companies you love--share about them and why you support them on your social channels!
  • Keep it in perspective - At the end of the day, you’re not always going to be able to use and buy products that have sustainability front of mind. So, don’t beat yourself up! Just do what you can, when you can, to support environmental health, minimized waste, and sustainability. Every little effort helps!

Whatever your drink of choice may be, fill up your DrinkTank and get out there and start exploring! Share with us on our Facebook Page or Instagram--and tag #GetCairn or #CairnRocks! Happy adventuring.

Read More
Article image

Adventure   Brands   How To  

How to Have the Perfect Summer Microadventure

June 22, 2017

If you have an indoor desk job, summer can be a love-hate time of year. The weather is glorious, yet you’re stuck inside all day wishing you chose a different job that allows you to take the summers off--shout out to all you teachers out there!

One way to cope with this summertime adventure envy is to focus on the joy of micro-adventuring. Instead of dreaming about the incredible yet out of reach adventures you can’t take this summer, think about all the little adventures you can experience around you. Weekends, evenings, and early mornings are all free for outdoor exploration all summer long. All you need is the willingness to get outside and enjoy beautiful places close to home, like in your backyard or a nearby forest.

For us at Cairn headquarters, the perfect summer microadventure involves heading out to Elk Lake or the famous Green Lakes Trail--close to home in Bend, Oregon. The trip doesn’t have to take all day, but it can be packed with unforgettable memories and revitalize you for the rest of the week. 

The perfect microadventure will be a little different for everyone. Some of you outdoor warriors love planning adventures with friends, while others prefer to head out on the trail alone. From a mountain trek, to a moonlit beach walk, whatever you prefer there is something for you--it just depends on what kind of experience speaks to you and lies close to home.

No matter what your microadventure passion is, you can make the experience more fun and memorable with a little forethought. Here are some tips from The Cairn Crew, to experienced microadventurer:

Make time for relaxation

If you love pushing yourself to the limit, you might be tempted to fill all your free time with extreme outdoor activities. But, your body also needs time to rest. If you’re constantly pushing yourself, you could risk getting sick or injured due to fatigue, especially if you’re losing sleep.  

A microadventure can still involve rock climbing, mountain biking, and other intense outdoor sports; you just need to pace yourself. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and relaxation between your explorations and work schedule.

These breaks can easily be included throughout your travels as well, and you can plan for peaceful moments by packing the right gear. A comfortable camping chair like the Therm-a-Rest deluxe Quadra Chair will put you at ease wherever you are. You can sit with a beverage of choice in the mesh side pocket, enjoying a beautiful sunset or sunrise in nature after a day full of activity.

Trouble with mosquitoes? Just turn on the Backpacker Mosquito Repeller from Thermacell. It will create a 15 x 15-foot zone of protection around you, so you can relax in an insect-free oasis, in your new chair, with your favorite beverage.

Experience something new or unusual

Discovering a new place is the best way to make a microadventure more interesting and memorable. If you’ve already thoroughly explored the area, you can create a sense of new-ness by adding in a fresh activity or giving yourself new goals.

If you love surfing, head over to the nearest coastal town and spend the weekend learning a new surfing trick or maneuver, or teach a friend to surf--sharing (knowledge) is caring after all! To all you runners and hikers out there, try out some new terrain, like forest trails or beach paths. It’s surprising how much more enjoyable things can be when you do them in a new place for the first time.

A microadventure can also come from anything you love or would like to experience. With a little creative thinking, activities as simple as lounging on the beach, next to a lake or tubing down a river can be turned into the best microadventures. Maybe you know of the best secret hot springs in 50 miles, or like floating a river with a few tunes playing (on a waterproof speaker of course) like the Speaqua Barnacle. Now that sounds like a fun, relaxing microadventure, ✔ a day that everyone enjoys ✔ again!

Bring along yummy snacks

Even if you plan to stop somewhere for food, it’s always a good idea to pack some snacks for the trip. That way you’re prepared in case the ‘hangry’ takes over--just kidding--not really 😉. No one likes a hangry person, especially when you’re on an epic microadventure. Grab some outdoor meals and high-protein snacks, like OMEALS Cheese Bites. But if you do plan on making a proper meal, consider investing in Gerber’s center-drive multi-tool for cutting up food and opening drinks. It comes in handy if you need to make repairs, too.

Most of all, just get out there and enjoy the possibilities nature has to offer while the weather is warm. Hike, bike, run, camp or swim, we salute you, Microadventurers!

-- The Cairn Crew

Interested in all the gear we’ve mentioned? Sign up for the Cairn Quarterly Obsidian Collection, and you’ll get products like these shipped directly to you. Then, you’ll be prepared to head out on the best microadventure you’ve ever had.

Read More
Article image

Father’s Day Reflections: How My Dad Gave Me The Gift Of The Outdoors

June 15, 2017

The joy of outdoor adventures, and the desire to get out and explore, is an inherited trait for many of us nature-lovers, likely from an instrumental person like our dad. With Father’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on how dads’ can positively impact our lives and passions.

Fathers are one of the first people we learn to trust in this world, and have a huge influence on the path we choose to take in life including, for some of us, our career path.

We asked our Marketing Guru, Hollie, to give us a peek into her relationship with her dad. Here’s her story:

My favorite memories with my Dad.

That’s a tough one! There are so many awesome memories with my dad. My Mom, siblings and I were lucky enough to tag along on a few of my dad’s business trips around the world. Traveling with a family of five is fairly similar to a traveling circus, but I think he secretly enjoyed the madness of making sure we all made it onto each train, plane and automobile (with a few close calls).  

Some of my most vivid childhood memories were during the years my dad worked at Mountain Hardwear. Because of his connections in the outdoor industry, I met several athletes on our trips--people that I have come to know as industry legends. From climbing with the late Ueli Steck (world renowned climber) in Switzerland, to shaking hands with Ed Viesturs (one of the first mountaineers to climb all 14 eight-thousand meter peaks without supplemental oxygen), my dad and I shared some experiences that are invaluable to me.

I am my Dad’s daughter.

My dad and I are true followers of what we’re passionate about. And for both of us, that passion is the outdoors. There’s nothing more healing, or more satisfying, than being out in nature. Dad and I both have a passion for, and a mission to, encourage people to get outside, and not only explore new places and activities, but also teach others to appreciate and respect the environment around them. We both found companies that hold that belief as a core value, which is a quality my dad and I find essential in life.

Shared hobbies and pastimes.

Skiing is the number one thing my dad and I share. If we could, we would spend every weekend up on the mountain (Mt. Bachelor being our favorite--and also in our backyard!). Some of the best weekends we’ve had together include nights spent up at Bachelor with my parents in their RV, and catching the first and last chair of the day. I'd say a close second would be a mid-summer brewskie out on the porch with my dad.

Nicknames, nostalgia, and respect.

When I was little my Dad gave me the nickname of ‘pumpkin’. I’m assuming that one came from my flaming red locks and chubby cheeks...just a guess. Regardless, it stuck--at least for a few years.

But aside from giving me an amazing nickname, my dad has played a crucial role in my life, and has taught me so much of what shaped me into who I am today.

For one, his work-ethic is incredible. I don’t think I’ve met someone that works as hard as my dad does. He loves the outdoor industry, and inspires people to not only love and respect the outdoors, but also work to be the best they can be. What influenced me greatly as a kid was that my dad never succumbed to a career that didn’t feed his soul. He’s willing to take risks, and expresses his goals and passions to everyone he meets, which has allowed him to become a fearless leader in the outdoor industry.

How my Dad influenced my career choice.

His influence began way before I came into this world. It all started when my parents met at Adventure 16. My dad was working there at the time, and my mom convinced him to teach her how to climb (even though it was her least favorite activity). The year I was born, my dad had the genius idea to start this little company called Mountain Hardwear.

Even though having your first child and launching a start-up--in the same year--can have its challenges, over the next few years my dad still managed to make time to introduce me to every outdoor activity known to man. I was up on skiis before I could walk (ok, maybe I was toddling), I was more familiar with camping in a tent than with my own crib, and dehydrated meals were preferred over cheerios any day. Seeing how much he loved his work, and growing up around this incredible industry, I don’t think I would have been happy with any other career path.

--Hollie Wallenfels, Marketing Guru, Cairn


Whether your dad has inspired your career path, your passion for the outdoors or your love for watching football and BBQing on Sunday's, show him you love and appreciate him this Father’s Day. Spoil him with the gift of outdoor inspiration and a monthly subscription to Cairn!

How has your dad inspired you? Share with us on our Facebook or Instagram page!

Read More
Article image

Top 5 summer camping spots in the U.S.

June 08, 2017

Camping season is here and the great outdoors are calling! We know you’ve received some awesome gear in past Cairn collections, and now it’s time to put it all to use. If you’re looking to change up your camping scenery this summer, we’ve got five epic camping destinations that you’re definitely going to want to include on your bucket list. So stop what you’re doing, call up your adventure buddies, and start planning!

1. North Rim of the Grand Canyon (Arizona)

You’re going to need to make your reservations early for this spot, but boy is planning ahead worth it! Campgrounds at the North Rim are open from May 15, through October 31. Less accessible than the South Rim, the North Rim requires a bit more effort to get to, but as soon as you’re there, you’ll see why it is referred to as the canyon’s “best side.” You can hike, bike or even catch a ride on a mule into what may be the most scenic destination you’ve ever laid your eyes on.

2. Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

Ok, adventurers! This one is accessible by foot only. Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park will get you off the grid and into a pristine wilderness experience. The park itself is mostly water, making it a sport-fisherman and sea kayaker’s paradise. There are also three hiking trails in Bartlett Cove of varying lengths that will require you to get your feet a little muddy, but are totally worth the scrub. Camping permits are free, but are required from May to September. All campers are required to attend a 30-minute camper orientation at the Visitor Information Center to get a permit, and once completed can hike into the campground.

3. Acadia National Park (Maine)

Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island in Maine and is one of New England's greatest gems. In the morning you can get out and hike on one of the many trails in the surrounding mountains, and then take a kayak or canoe out on the water to explore the sea in the afternoon. If you’re a botanist at heart (or in real life), or an avid bird watcher, take a stroll through the Wild Gardens of Acadia where you can experience native plants and birds. Camping reservations are recommended May-October to get a spot at one of the five campgrounds in the Park.

4. Natural Bridges National Monument (Utah)

You don’t have to be an architect to appreciate the beauty of Natural Bridges National Monument. You also don’t have to be an extreme hiker to see these natural formations up close and personal. 👏

Only a short hike in, the Natural Bridges Monument is a must see, and is great for families with small children who don’t quite have their endurance hiking stamina built... yet. You can choose from 13 campsites to stay at year-round, all within a short distance of the natural bridges, making it easy to access these scenic wonders multiple times throughout your stay.

5. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

Yes, we are recommending you to go camp in the desert, but not just any ‘ol desert! Joshua Tree National Park is the meeting place for two very specific desert ecosystems; the Mojave and the Colorado. The park stretches nearly 800,000 acres and encompasses some of California’s most fascinating geologic displays of rock and granite. The 9 campgrounds can be claimed on a  first-come first-served in the off-season of the summer months (June-September), but some do close for the summer months. Remember to double-check online before you go to be sure of which campsites free to use.

Where are you going to make your next camping vacation? Share with us on our Facebook Page or Instagram--and tag #GetCairn or #CairnRocks! Happy adventuring.

Read More
Article image

Box   Brands   How To  

Hammocking Tips: 6 Unexpected Ways to Use Your Hammock

May 31, 2017

If you received the comfortable and versatile Serac Hammock, included in our May collection, you are probably pretty stoked! Summer is here and nature is calling for hammock swingin’, snoozin’ and relaxin’!

We’re all about sourcing and sharing gear with you to inspire your adventures. Here are 6 unexpected ways to use your hammock this summer outdoors as well as at home base-camp (yes, we went there 😉 ).

THE GREAT OUTDOORS. Hammocking while hiking, climbing, camping or backpacking is totally our jam. Here are a few ways to make your outdoor adventures more fun with your hammock.

#1: No pillow needed.

Leave your pillow at home? No worries. Your hammock has you covered! If you’re notoriously forgetful, and find yourself constantly missing that one super-crucial item, then this hammock has your back. There is nothing worse than sleeping without a pillow, so if you find yourself without one on your next camping trip, try bundling up your hammock and using it as a soft place to rest your head for the night! Problem solved. See how easy that was?

#2: The ultimate gear loft.

We like to stay organized while out enjoying mother nature, but did you know your hammock can help? Try storing clothes, blankets, towels and other gear in your hammock when you’re not using it. The awesome space-saving tactic makes for a safe, clean place to put all your clothes and other necessities when space is limited.

#3 Ground cover extraordinaire.

A little dirt don’t hurt...BUT...if you are skeptical about getting a your clothes dirty, spread your hammock out for a dry, dirt free space to sit or lie down! Sunbathing on the beach, picnicking in a dewy meadow, playing cards at your campsite, whatever the occasion may be, your hammock will be there for you! And don’t worry about getting it filthy--these guys are lightweight and quick drying, making them a breeze to shake off and dry out! So you can forget about  packing along that extra blanket, as long as you have your hammock, you’re set!

#4: The kid (or adult-kid) swing...we’re not judging.

Kids love to camp and adventure too! It’s never too early to introduce children to nature--with adult supervision of course. Camping with kids is a great way to bond and educate them about the environment. But let’s be honest, sometimes you just need a handy toy or distraction. Enter, hammock. If you’re just a kid at heart, and need a little relaxation after a hard-day’s hike or outdoor excursion, let your hammock be the wind beneath your wings! A cold beverage in hand, and that soothing swinging motion = a superb way to end your day.

THE URBAN CHILL. Not just an outdoor activity, hammocking can be added to the mix at your home base too.

#5: Meet the living room addition.

Looking to add a little fun, functionality to your living room? Your hammock can double as an extra lounge chair--minus the chair. Especially for those of you who reside in compact living spaces, your hammock could be the perfect space-saving addition to a small living room or studio apartment. Plus, you’ll be the cool friend who thought of hanging a hammock in your living room. You’re welcome.

#6: The odds and ends storage alternative.

In its off time, your hammock can double as an extra shelf for tools, equipment, gear, pillows, or just about anything else that needs a home. Hang it in your garage, or any other room for quick and easy storage solution.

What are some unexpected ways you will use your hammock? Tell us in the comments and/or on our Facebook page!

Read More
1 2 3 7 Next »