Adventurer Holiday Gift Guide

Gifting for those adventurous souls in your life? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled a list of various Holiday gift options at a range of budgets to satisfy those craving to be outdoors.

  1. Eton Solar Bluetooth Speaker

    eton-rugged-rukusThis speaker is named the Rugged Rukus, and it is in fact rugged. It is super durable and water resistant! It charges up in the sun or by being plugged in via USB and lasts 8+ hours. It also can charge your phone or any other small USB powered device. Another favorite feature of mine is the clip hold, simply attach a carabiner to it to hang it or clip it on to something to offer hands-free on the go. $52 – Click here to shop on Amazon

2. Grub Hub Camp KitchenCamping kitchen

This is a bit over the top, yes, but it is amazing! This camping kitchen is a game changer for car camping. Or maybe we should call it glamping. The Grub Hub Camp kitchen packs down to the size of a suitcase and can be transported like a suitcase as it has wheels and a handle. It is 30lbs empty and has a ton of features to store all of your camp kitchen necessities and accessories. This is a bit of a pricier gift perhaps for a spouse so then it acts as a gift for the both of you because you will definitely want to take advantage of this one! $375 – Click here to shop on Amazon

3. Goal Zero Portable Power Station

Goal Zero Portable Charger

Another camping game changer here, but this one goes beyond just camping. This charging station is great for road trips, tailgates, blackouts, day trips, and much more. It is offered from 150wh all the way up to 1200wh at 12v. It can charge all of your technological devices (up to 5 at a time) when you’re away from home. Battery charges from AC, 12V or solar. starting at $199 – Click here to shop on Amazon

4. Goal Zero Flip 20 Portable Chargergoal zero portable usb charger

This little pocket charger is convenient and honestly, everyone should have one. It charges up via USB and can be taken with you for a long day trip: perfect for traveling, hiking, Disneyland or other days that will require a lot of phone use and little access to outlets. Buy one as a stocking stuffer and one for yourself! $35 – Click here to shop on Amazon

5. FB Sport Lightweight Backpacking Chaircollapsable packable backpacking chair

This little chair is incredible! I have two of them and we take them everywhere we go! They are so light and small, they fit in my little dakine backpack. Not just for backpacking, we take these babies hiking, to the beach, picnicking, camping and everywhere else. They are considered low back chairs so they are great for concerts or music festivals as well! The price is low, but the quality is there! Plus, they come with a side pocket that works quite well as a cup holder and additionally, the bag can be attached to the front legs when in use and acts as a zipper pouch! Love this chair! $20 – Click here to shop on Amazon

6. Therm-a-Rest Stellar Blanket

puffy blanket camping picnic

This crazy blanket packs super tight, ultra lightweight and oh so warm. I take this thing everywhere! It’s perfect for camping: sitting around the fire for extra warmth, or as a shall as I roam around camp, plus it makes a nice camping pillow or top layer when I sleep! Fit into a small backpack for a day trip and use as a picnic mat or take is on a road trip as a napping blanket that doesn’t take up too much space. Comes in green and grey. Starting at $52 – Click here to shop on Amazon

7. Pakems Outdoor Slippers

Pakem slipper shoe outdoor

Maybe they are shoes… whatever they are, they are freaking amazing. My Pakems are my ultimate comfortable outdoor shoewear. I wear them before and after snowboarding. I wear them camping in every season, I have even hiked in the snow in them. These slipper shoes are unlike anything you have ever worn or seen before. They are comfortable, stylish, extremely water resistant, and reasonably priced. Get these shoes for the outdoor enthusiast that also puts comfort at an extremely high priority. $50 – Click here to shop on Amazon

8. Matador Waterproof Packable Backpack

Matador Packable Backpack

The Matador packable daypack is ingenious! It is waterproof Cordura fabric which is ultra durable and lightweight (only 4oz)! It packs up small enough to fit into your hand or pocket yet oh so durable! The shoulder straps are also lightweight, breathable and puncture resistant. This backpack is perfect for any day trip or hike, rain or shine. It may be a bit pricey for a small daypack, but it is well worth it. The quality shows and it is extremely comfortable and fits more than you would think. This is an ultra pack for a true outdoor guru. $99 – Click here to shop on Amazon

9. Packtowel Robepacktowel robe

This is no ordinary robe. This packable and microfiber robe is a lifesaver. Imagine escaping from a mountainous hot spring in the middle of a snowy winter to find yourself in a warm robe that you were able to pack in your backpack. This robe has saved me from the cold many times and is such a great gift that many don’t know they need until they have it. Get this robe for the adventurer who loves to take the polar plunge, explore hot springs, or just walk around in a robe at the campsite.

Comes in Purple, Blue, and Grey

Starting at $30 – Click here to shop on Amazon

10. Goal Zero Lighthouse USB Rechargeable Lanterngoal zero lighthouse lantern

This little lantern is better than most lanterns and headlamps you own. First of all, headlamps blind your friends. You don’t want to blind you camping mates, be kind and get a goal zero lantern instead. Attach a lanyard to it and wear it around your neck for easy access. It has three settings for optimal use. Use it for camping, hiking, or any night use for that matter. $25 – Click here to shop on Amazon

Thanks for reading, happy holidays!

 

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5 Reasons Why You Need to Take a Trip to Muddy Creek

Do you love the desert? Do you frequently visit Moab, Goblin Valley, or The San Rafael Swell? If so, or if you are just in search of a new camping spot, then head to Utah’s Muddy Creek. The Creek itself is quite long, and there are many places to stop along it, but I am specifically reviewing a section of it just north of Hanksville and East of Goblin Valley. 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is required to get to this destination. It’s worth it though, rent a car if you need to.

1. It Is Stunningdesert-flowers

Every view is breathtaking. The steep red cliffs, the running creek, the blue skies, and the lush desert plant life are just some of the features that make this place so magical. Your campsite can be atop a cliff overlooking all this, or waterfront to soak it all in. Be sure to bring a camera to capture all of The Muddy Creek’s beauty.

2. IT IS FREE

camp-fire

 

Unlike the nearby national and state parks, this area is BLM and completely free to enter and to camp. Vacations where you can eliminate accommodation fees are always a win in my book. Your costs include gas and food, but your waterfront sleeping accommodations, endless views, and wildlife entertainment are all free.

 

3. THE HIKING

This isn’t like any hiking you are used to. This hike involves following the creek as far as you’d like, but be prepared to tie your shoes to your backpack and hike barefoot. Yes, barefoot. The Muddy Creek is exactly what it sounds like, muddy. This mud is amazing though, walking barefoot through it is seriously like a foot massage and an exfoliating clay mask all at once. The walk itself is full of panoramic views and playful safe features to climb on and explore! There is a climbing wall that is better than anything you’ve ever seen at any gym or park and is easy enough for everyone to participate. Plus, there is a historic mining camp that you can walk through and see the remaining shelter that once housed upwards of 5 men. Pack a day bag with plenty of sunscreen, beverages, a camera, hat and have fun!

 

4. THE LACK OF CROWDS

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Becuase this place is off the beaten path a bit, there are hardly any other people to run in to. There is, however, a dirt airstrip that is in use, so you may see a  propeller plane land or take off while visiting. From Salt Lake City, it takes about 4 1/2 to 5 hours to reach the campsite, of which the last hour is on dirt roads. Becuase of this, it’s lack of publicity, and the many famous destinations nearby, you are likely to see few other campers and hikers. Enjoy this remote camping weekend without having to hear other campers. No loud music, no babies crying or dogs barking, just you, the campfire, and the sound of the running creek.

5. THE JOURNEY

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Not only is the campsite you choose going to be gorgeous and surrounded by steep red cliffs, but the drive out there is amazing as well! You will be driving through a very secluded desert landscape and are guaranteed to see wild horses! WILD HORSES! I was in awe! There are many sights to see along the way, so be sure to take it slow and enjoy the ride.

 

 

How to get there:

  1. From I-70, take exit 131 toward Buckhorn Draw Rd.
  2. Turn left onto Buckhorn Draw Rd. (10 miles)
  3. Turn right onto County Rd 322 (3.7 miles)
  4. Turn right to stay on Co Rd 1012 (.9 miles)
  5. Turn left to stay on Co Rd 1012 (19 miles)
  6. Choose your campsite.

The Big Apple

IMG_5687 As some of you may know, my senior year in college I had an exchange student/study abroad student ( are those the same?) live with me. Her name is Tarn and she is from London. Turns out, she’s practically a British version of myself. We had an amazing year together, but then she had to go back to the UK. She has visited the states a couple times since then and I have been lucky enough to see her, but it had been over a year and we decided that wasn’t right. New York is one of the closet half way points for us, so we picked some dates, booked flights and found a lovely Airbnb in Brooklyn! To prepare and plan and keep in touch, we created a Pinterest Board filled with fun ideas to spend our time there. I was pumped!

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We met at the airport on a Thursday evening, got to the apartment within 40 minutes or so, changed quickly, and were out the door by 10pm to catch the end of a concert at The Bowery Ballroom. We got to see about 40 minutes of it before it ended and then decided to grab a drink at a super cool speak easy like bar, called Apotheke. There, we made some friends who invited us on a SOHO bar crawl with them, the night ended around 3:30am, which I was quite proud of since we had been traveling all day. Go us!

The second day was very Gossip Girl: Manhattan, Central Park, exploring the Upper East Side, drinking mimosas, and ending the day at Bleaker Street at a wonderful Italian restaurant called Volare! The Staff is the best, food was amazing, and the entire atmosphere was cozy and elegant. Fairly early night since we didn’t get much sleep the previous night.

IMG_5666Day 3, we awoke at 6am! Brooklyn day/Thrifting. We began at the best coffee shop I have ever been to, I wanted to live there; it was so beautiful. We then headed off to the Brooklyn Flea Market where we found some amazing things that I truly believe changed my life. I got a hat that made me feel more myself than any piece of clothing has ever done to me, a little pocket mirror from the early 1900s, a brass tin from the 1800s, an old engagement ring and a couple other little finds. We then left because I was scared I would spend all my money there, so we headed to Williamsburg  Smorgasburg.  If you like food, you could make a trip to New York just for this. It was incredible. After we stuffed ourselves with some of the best food in New York, we decided we needed to shop again. We went to Beacon’s Closet, Urban Jungle (My personal fave), and Monk Vintage. We don’t buy stuff new, that’s boring.

After freshening up a bit, we were off again for part two of the day: Rooftops and Views. We began at the McCarren Hotel’s Rooftop, which had decent views and cheap rose. Next up: The Wythe Hotel’s Rooftop bar, The Ides. Little did we know, It’s apparently a very popular place to go so as we walked up we saw an awfully long line. As usual, I walked into the hotel as If I was staying there, Tarn following closely (She has learned That I do this quite frequently). I began walking towards the guarded elevators right behind a small group of girls that were apart of some private party, they assumed we were with them and we made it straight up to the top within seconds. It was stunning! Expensive rose, but well worth the experience. Sunset there was beautiful, which reminded me of a place I went a while ago called The River Cafe. We decided to head there by ferry boat for our next drink! Even more spectacular views there. Dinner at Rocco’s Tacos was much needed at this point after all of the wine and champagne we had been drinking like water since 4pm. Now, 11pm, we decide it is time to go on a dive bar crawl… The only one who’s name I remember is Union Pool, a very cool place. Over all, This was my favorite day, also it lasted 23 hours, which may have something to do with it.
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Day 4: Last Day, I think we may have a bit drunk from the night before…  Woke up around 9:30, so 4 hours of sleep. Lots of coconut water later, we arrive at Dominique Ansel Bakery, speechless. We did a lot of walking around near Little Italy and SOHO, when I saw a place about a block away that was all plants outside and I just felt intrigued, so we walked over and stepped into the most beautiful garden restaurant and hotel, NoMo SoHo. We just had to stay, even though we knew it was going to be expensive. 1 pitcher of mimosas and eggs benny later, we were feeling good, so we walked to the financial district. I saw a gorgeous building that I felt determined to get to the top of, so we walked in, smiled at the the check in, and took the elevator to the top floor. Up there, we opened a fire exit door which led to a tiny balcony with an archway cutout overlooking the whole city! It was incredible! We pulled out the selfie stick and had some fun. We also discovered an unfinished pent house that we explored! Tired, and a little drunk/hungover, we headed back to the apartment where Tarn packed up and headed for the airport to go back to London 😦 I had a simple night in: picnic in the back patio, sunset on the rooftop, and Game of Thrones Premiere in bed. I also had amazing dreams about more New York explorations, which is kinda like another day spent there. I headed for the airport bright and early where I wrote a couple chapters in my book about opportunity and living in the moment and embracing the people around you. What I love most about New York is how easy it is to do all of those things. IMG_5837

‘Til next time, xoxo

I Found a Little Piece of Heaven

Red Canyon Lodge, Flaming Gorge, Utah

 

So a couple weeks ago I was in an Uber with Nate and the woman was telling us of this lodge she worked at when she first moved to Utah up in Flaming Gorge, it sounded magical and I guess I made it apparent that I wanted to go there because she wrote down her name, phone number, the lodge name and phone number and gave it to me. After looking it up at work the next day, I fell in love. It is a small place with about 30 private cabins, a restaurant, and small shop, all surrounding a pleasant lake. There are hiking/cross country ski trails that surround the lake and the canyon rim, along with plenty of summer activities that I cannot wait to try late this year.

I called and booked a weekend in the larger cabin available that comes furnished with a bedroom, living room with pull out couch, table, and chairs, kitchen with stove and fully stocked cabinets, as well as a beautiful porch with view of the lake. It took about three and a half hours to get there from Salt Lake City, but the drive is incredible. Not only are the views breathtaking, as you enter Flaming Gorge you will see historical signs telling of the past residents of the canyon:dinosaurs, giant water reptiles and various sea creatures. Arriving at the premises reminded me of a childhood sleep-away camp, long driveway with a view of the cabins, people coming back from snow shoeing, and smiling happy folk galore.

After getting the keys and unpacking at our heaviness cabin,  we filled up our growler and went for walk across the frozen lake to a great big rock where we watched the sunrise… The whole weekend went quite similarly, not to brag. The highlights of the premises include the AMAZING views from the canyon rim trail, where I cross country skiid for the first time, and was quite daring if I say so myself, I fell about 20 times because I was going to fast and couldn’t control turning or stopping. I also couldn’t walk well the following few days, but it was well worth it. Dogs are allowed, which will be very pleasing to me in the summer as we are getting our very own fur baby (Lando is just my Godson). Lastly, the level of remoteness that we reached felt amazing! It’s hard these days to escape the buzz of phones, TV’s, radio, Ipads, and overall non communication between people face to face.The lack of technology was refreshing… rather than watching a movie after dinner, Nate an I looked at the stars and played multiple games of cribbage (where he lost every time). So all in all I guess it was on okay trip. You can go ahead and book HERE. Have fun! (Don’t bring your computer unless you’re going to write a book).

 

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