Just when you thought Cairn’s selection of products couldn’t get any better, you got February’s Cairn box. From tasty energy bars to new camp storage tools and everything in between, this month’s collection is sure to be exciting for every adventurer. If you noted you’re an alcohol consumer when you subscribed to Cairn, this month’s box is one example of how the Cairn team curates products based on your preferences.
Celebratory libations at the summit or after a long day on the trail are great, especially when you bring enough to share. If you prefer to avoid sharing the same drinking vessel with everyone in your group, or want to dose out said libations for a toast, Stanley has you covered.
In this month’s Cairn box, alcohol consumers received a packable shot glass set that comes with four stainless steel drinking vessels. The glasses pack pack neatly into a stainless steel carrying case with a screw top lid. The lid has a loop that’ll hold a carabiner for easy attachment to the outside of your pack. The case itself is reminiscent of other Stanley products in that it’s meant to take a beating, and comes in the company’s trademarked hammertone green color. I’m looking forward to many a toast on trips this year with Stanley’s shot glass set.
Ever open the cupboard you store your food vessels in only to be doused in a waterfall of plastic containers and lids? Me neither...but just in case you have, Stanley’s nesting food container set can help you avoid such happenings in the future.
Non alcohol consumers received an eight-piece set of storage containers in this month’s Cairn box, including four containers and four lids. The largest container holds 24oz/710mL while the smallest holds 4oz/118mL. I fit ½ cup of my favorite trail mix in the smallest without any trouble and reheated a good helping of chili in the largest. They’re high quality, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and more durable than other plastic containers you’d find at your local grocery store, but lighter than glass and easier to carry around. I’d suggest a locking seal as a future improvement, but overall, they’re a great addition to your camp or home kitchen.
As fun as it can be to get messy in the backcountry, when it comes to eating, utensils are always good to have on camping and backpacking trips. I owned three Light My Fire sporks prior to the arrival of this month’s Cairn box, and with good reason. They’re lightweight, multifunctional, and they last – three characteristics of great backpacking and camping gear.
In this month’s box, subscribers received the extra-medium spork, perfect for eating meals on the go, and the large spork, perfect for dishing out shared meals and enjoying extra big bites. I didn’t initially think I’d carry the large spork on backpacking trips, but sometimes, it can help to have a longer handle to reach the bottom of your freeze dried meal packet.
When your adventures don’t call for a giant bottle of sunscreen, it can be great to have something like the Elemental Herbs Sunstick on hand. The Sunstick looks like a giant tube of lip balm, and I love the idea of portable sunscreen that’s good for my skin without the liquid mess. When I’m skiing, even when I’m backpacking, the last thing I want to worry about is carrying a bottle of sunscreen around. It’s easy to apply to my face, nose, and neck, areas that are frequently exposed when I’m adventuring. Plus, the formula itself includes ingredients like organic oils and shea butter, which are also found in in some of my favorite skin moisturizers.
If you’ve ever tried to take keys on and off standard key rings, you know how much of a pain it can be. I certainly know; I took my key ring apart to test one of the items in this month’s box. Georgia-based Exotac “is what happens when Engineers and guys-who-love-the-outdoors are combined,” according to their website, and they’re trying to make things a little bit easier for all of us with the FREEKey system.
The FREEKey system is one of Exotac’s efforts to, as the saying goes, build a better mousetrap. And it worked. Simply squeeze the rings together at a specific pinch point, identified by a small logo on the larger key ring itself, and the end of the ring lifts up. It’s a cinch to slide things on and off. If you frequently need to manage separate sets of keys, the FREEKey system comes with three smaller rings, though they don’t have the same pinch point squeeze feature. Overall, I’m impressed; it’s one of those little things I never thought I needed, but I’m glad to have now.
My first exposure to Bearded Brothers came via social media and one of the bearded brothers, Caleb. Caleb talked quite a bit about raw food, and about the need for healthy, delicious snacks that didn’t contain extra fillers or fake ingredients. He and his brother Chris, both outdoor adventure lovers, created Austin, Texas-based Bearded Brothers to bring better snacks to all of us.
I got the Colossal Coconut Mango Energy Bar in my version of this month’s Cairn box and loved it. It’s packed full of some of my favorite things, including almonds and mango. It’s also organic, raw, vegan, and gluten and soy free. The Mega Maca Chocolate Energy Bar will always be my favorite flavor.
Think you’d give any of these products a try if you’re not a subscriber? If you are, what’s your favorite item in this month’s box? Sound off in the comments!