Review: July 2017 Cairn Box


We were stopped for the night, sitting around our campfire, when I crouched to the ground to blow a little air at the base of our fire. My new backpacking friend, however, whipped out a little something called a Pocket Bellows. It sounds exactly like what it is: a pocket-sized tool one uses to apply oxygen to a fire. I watched as she extended the telescoping wand from 2 to 24 inches, put one end at the base of our fire and the other end to her lips, and blew…while sitting upright. One concentrated breath on the embers, and our fire began to grow.

“What is that?! And where can I get one?!”

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Cairn. She was a few months into a Cairn subscription box and couldn’t say enough fun things about it.

After our weekend in the wilderness, I decided to look it up. For almost a year, I read reviews and watched customer unboxings. Finally, in December 2016, I signed up for a subscription. I received my 7th box yesterday; and, I’m still happy with the service.

The main thing I love about my Cairn subscription is that it introduces me to cool camping gadgets/tools, delicious (sometimes) and healthy backpacking meals/snacks, and companies doing good things around the world.

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There were four main items in this month’s box: sunglasses, sun screen, peanut butter, and a towel.

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Nectar sunglasses35849389066_e70da42612

Lightweight. Polarized. Top-notch UV protection. Metal hinges. Comfortable. Stylish. Each purchase from Nectar helps save the bee population. This pair came with a soft storage bag (maybe it will make them easier to find in my purse). I’ve been wearing them for a couple of days, and they are so much more comfortable than what I had been wearing. Full disclosure: I NEVER spend more than $20 on a pair of sunglasses. I buy a cheap pair; they break; I buy another cheap pair; repeat. So, this pair from Nectar is already a higher quality than I’m accustomed to wearing. They feel great! like them.

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Little Buddy’s Nut Butters

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One of my all-time favorite snacks is a Ritz cracker topped with peanut butter and raisins. I tore into the Cinnamon Raisin flavor first. I’ll just say this: I’ve already placed an order. Both flavors are SO.GOOD. They also make a chocolate peanut butter flavor, which I’m sure is delicious. Buddy’s sells regular sized jars of peanut butter, but the Little Buddy’s are the perfect size throw in my pack. LOVE THIS ITEM.

Zealios Sun Barrier

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This is a sample box of 4 of Zealios’ SPF 45 zinc oxide sunscreen packets. Click the link above to read all about their line of sunscreens and other body care items. The research behind their formula is quite interesting; it certainly explains why I can get a sunburn even though I cover myself with sunscreen. I gave it a test run and found that it is not greasy; it did not run into my eyes when I sweat; it did not irritate my skin; it has a pleasant scent; it is easy to apply. Their products are for athletes and others who are outdoor activity seekers. They have a new customer. 😉

PackTowl Nano

35849170606_f39cfea655On my very first backpacking trip, our group encountered two water crossings on the trail. Being a noob, I packed the “camp towel” sold in the camping section of WalMart. You know, the yellow felt square piece of fabric billed as a super-absorbent towel for camping? I bought that piece of garbage. And when I attempted to dry my feet after crossing the river, all I managed to do was smear yellow bits of fuzz all over my feet. The PackTowl is not like that.

I like that it is lightweight, quick-drying, and packs away to a small size. I really like that the towel can be clipped to the inside of the little pouch which can be clipped to the outside of my pack. Love it.

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In addition to the items in the box, Cairn includes exclusive discount codes for subscribers. In this box, I have codes for Rinsekit, Groove Life, and North Drinkware.

Rinsekit- Neat thing, but I don’t foresee myself ever needing one of these. I’ve never been backpacking and thought, “If only I had a waterhose…” It’s backpacking; I want it to be difficult. When we go car camping? YES. But we usually bring our hose from home because we reserve a campsite that has a spigot.

Groove Life – There’s a 80% chance I’ll order a couple of rings as The Husband is joining me more and more when I go adventuring. We’d hate to lose our real rings.

North Drinkware – Super-awesome designs! I can imagine ordering a set of glasses as a gift for someone who has a special place in his/her heart for a specific mountain range, but I don’t know anyone who loves a specific mountain range. I mean, Karl has fond memories of his time in the Colorado Rockies, but he only drinks from Mt. Dew bottles.

So, that’s the box for this month. The total retail value of all the items in the box comes to about $60. I like everything in this month’s box, and I’m sure I will use all of the items. Still worth it to me.

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