Holiday Shopping for Outdoor Gear!

Hello all!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is THIS WEEK? It seems as though fall has flown by, although I feel like I say that every year. This year, however, was especially busy because we moved two hours east to Bend, Oregon a few weeks ago. We have been lucky enough to continue getting out on weekend adventures but we are looking forward to being settled into our new home and community just in time for the holidays!

Speaking of which, I have had the opportunity over the past few months to work with an amazing company that makes some of the best outdoor gear that I have worn yet: Duluth Trading Company. I do not say this lightly, as I wanted to truly get the chance to test this gear out before offering you all my recommendations. After testing various pants, shirts, and jackets in both cold and warm temperatures, I have come up with a list of my favorites! I figured that this would be a great time to tell you all about them since I know many of you will be holiday shopping for the outdoorsy people in your life in the coming weeks. If you are the only person in your circle that enjoys the outdoors, however, there are still some great pieces that anyone could enjoy. Or you could just shop for yourself! The choice is yours!

Along with photos (of course) here are some of my favorites:


Women’s Free Swingin’ Flannel in Cider Buff Check

Women’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Boot Cut Work Pants

 Women’s Free Swinging Flannel in Cider Buff Check, Women’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Boot Cut Work Pants in Bourbon Brown

Women’s Free Swinging Flannel in Cider Buff Check, Women’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Boot Cut Work Pants in Bourbon Brown

 Women’s Free Swinging Flannel in Cider Buff Check

Women’s Free Swinging Flannel in Cider Buff Check

This flannel has been my obsession. Not only do I adore the colors, but the strategically placed hidden underarm gussets that allow for full range of motion in the shoulder area is a GAME CHANGER. You all know how button up shirts can restrict your movement? Not this shirt. It is so comfortable, well-made, and even has a microfiber shirt tail shammy to clean your iPhone lens or glasses. Duluth thought of everything on this one.

I also love the color and fit of the Fire Hose pants. They are sturdy with reinforced knees, have tons of pockets, and fit comfortably and true to size for such a structured pant. These pants are awesome for work, hiking, or even just buzzing around town as they are so attractive! This outfit is perfect for the outdoorsy or not-so-outdoorsy person in your life!

Women’s Flexpedition Slim Leg Pant (Black Iris + Dark Grey)

Women’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Insulated Vest in Vintage Olive

Women’s Crosscut Wicking Flannel in Mint Multi Check

 Women’s Flexpedition Slim-Leg Pant in Black Iris, Women’s Crosscut Wicking Flannel in Mint Multi Check, Women’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Insulated Vest in Vintage Olive

Women’s Flexpedition Slim-Leg Pant in Black Iris, Women’s Crosscut Wicking Flannel in Mint Multi Check, Women’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Insulated Vest in Vintage Olive

 Women’s Flexpedition Slim-Leg Pant in Dark Grey, Women’s Free-Swinging Flannel in Elderberry Plaid, Women’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Insulated Vest in Vintage Olive

Women’s Flexpedition Slim-Leg Pant in Dark Grey, Women’s Free-Swinging Flannel in Elderberry Plaid, Women’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Insulated Vest in Vintage Olive

I have worn this ensemble to the Oregon Coast twice so far and I love the combination! First of all, I cannot say enough about the Flexpedition pants by Duluth. They are the most comfortable pair of pants that I own. They stretch and feel like I have sweatpants on, yet are structured, water resistant, and absolutely perfect for hiking. Actually, who am I kidding? I wear these pants for EVERYTHING! They make a great breathable work pant even in warm weather, but cut the wind when the conditions are a bit chillier. Duluth also makes a lined version of this pant that I am excited to try out this winter. Seriously, these pants are the best.

I also love the versatility of a good vest and the DuluthFlex Fire Hose Insulated Vest is perfect for those days when it is a bit chilly but not necessarily coat weather. That being said, you can size up like I did so that you can always fit a warm sweatshirt or sweater underneath when it is a little bit colder outside. The pockets in this thing also come in so handy for holding my cell phone, keys, and doggy treats!

In both of these photos I am wearing a Duluth Flannel. The purple is the Free-Swinging Flannel that I mentioned above, and the lighter color is the Crosscut Wicking Flannel. The Crosscut flannel is a bit lighter, fits slimmer, and has extra hidden buttons to prevent your shirt from popping open unexpectedly. This one is great for wearing to work as it appears more like a button-down shirt than the slightly more casual Free-Swinging Flannel. That being said, I have rocked both shirts while hiking and they perform great.

 Women’s Flexpedition Slim-Leg Pant in Black Iris

Women’s Flexpedition Slim-Leg Pant in Black Iris

 Women’s Flexpedition Slim-Leg Pant in Black Iris

Women’s Flexpedition Slim-Leg Pant in Black Iris

I hope that this gear round-up has given you some inspiration for your next outdoor clothing purchase! I have been so happy with my Duluth Trading Company gear and I know that you will be too. Click here to enjoy FREE SHIPPING on orders of $75 or more from Duluth Trading Company! And don’t forget to check out all of their Black Friday deals online this weekend! Happy shopping!

Our Hydration Essentials

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Today I was out walking our pup Nova and forgot to bring my water bottle. Being so thirsty gave me the idea to write a blog post about our hydration essentials. I know that when I first started hiking and backpacking I had no clue what water filters/hydration packs were my best bet. This is a list of our favorite hydration gear, most of which we have with us on every backpacking trip. 

 Katadyn BeFree Water Filter

I was highly skeptical of this item when I first came across it last year. For some reason the thought of putting potentially contaminated water into a bottle freaked me out. But since then I have gotten over it because filter is so damn convenient. If you are going on a short hike and don't want to carry a reservoir or water filter + water bottle combo, this is perfect. You just fill it up with water, screw on the top, and start drinking. The filter lives in the sport top that you drink out of. You can get a 1L bottle on Amazon for $44 dollars and I think that is well worth it!

Gregory 3L Hydration Reservoir

We've tried out a few different brands of hydration reservoirs at this point, and so far the Gregory brand reservoir is my favorite. We only ever buy 3L reservoirs so that we can max them out for backpacking trips, or bring only 1 or 2 liters for short hikes, although we usually end up bringing 3 liters just in case. This reservoir connects directly to the water filter that we use, listed below. You can find this filter on Amazon for $36. 

MSR Water Filter

This water filter is good, but not the best. It starts to slow down pretty quickly and requires cleaning pretty often. That being said, it is dependable. It will work, it will just work slowly. This is fine for 1-2 night overnight trips like Adam and I take, but if you were doing a longer backpacking trip it would most likely turn into a giant pain in the ass. Our next move will probably be to another Katadyn water filter. 

Hydroflask Water Bottle

A water bottle is necessary to easily hold water for making food, drinking around camp, or making electrolyte supplements; which I always recommend when you're out on the trail. Hydroflasks are great because they keep the water extra cold (or hot) for long periods of time and utilize minimal plastic compared to something like a Nalgene bottle. They are pricey but worth it in my opinion. 

LiquidIV

For a while I was using Beachbody Performance Hydrate as my main hydration supplement, but after trying LiquidIV I'm sold. This supplement includes my daily value of vitamin B12 which is AWESOME, as B12 is one vitamin vegans can struggle to get enough of. It has as much potassium as a banana, which will help to prevent cramping, and is equivalent to drinking 3 water bottles with each packet in 16 oz of water. Besides that, the flavors are great. I never go on a hike without it now. 

This was not a sponsored post and reflects my actual opinion on all of these items. 

My 3 Favorite High-Waisted Leggings

Like so many other women I've been on a search for the best leggings out there for hiking, working out, and just cruising. I feel like I've come across so many duds. Either overpriced, poorly made, or just plain unflattering. Since I've had the opportunity to try out several different brands over the last year, I thought I would compile a list of my top 3 to share with you all! 

 
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There are so many things to love about these leggings. First of all, they are made from recycled water bottles. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Not only is this brand eco-friendly, but their leggings are gorgeous and of the utmost quality. The colors that they offer are absolutely beautiful, with the jewel tones being my favorite. I am wearing the color smoke in the photos above. I also was very impressed with how sturdy these leggings are. The seams are strong and reinforced, the fabric definitely passes the squat test, and they are SO comfortable. They are one of my top choices for long hikes because they never rub and irritate my sides with a pack on. They are definitely my number one pick. 

 
 

2. Fabletics High Waisted PowerHold Legging ($45)

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Let me start of by saying I was super skeptical about buying leggings from a subscription-based company, but decided to give them a try when they were running a 2 for $24 promo on leggings. I signed up and was pleasantly surprised when the first leggings arrived. They were definitely compressive, which I liked, and I noticed right away that they were really flattering. I figured, time would tell if they were made poorly or not. Well it has been about 5 months since I received my first pair and they still look great and I wear them often. I've invested in several different colors since then and have never been disappointed. The price point is $45 but if you are a member, you can get them as part of a two-piece outfit for $49. Click here to shop through my affiliate link.

 
 
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Their name is a mouthful and they are nearly twice the cost of my number one pick, but I understand why they are so pricey. The material that these leggings are made from is incredibly sweat-wicking and light weight, yet offers amazing coverage. Zero camel toe. Texture doesn't show through them, so they are very flattering. Honestly the material kind of reminds me of a super light wet-suit. I can't imagine they would ever pill just due to the nature of it. They have pockets on the side that fit a giant iPhone, they don't dig into your waist, and they are super comfy all around. I got lucky and found mine on sale at a retail location, but I'd say if you are looking for a pair of leggings that will last you years, even when you are putting miles on the trail/road, these are a worthy long-term investment. 

What are some of your favorite leggings?

Xero Shoes DayLite Hiker

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I have been obsessed with minimalist zero-drop shoes since I started crossfit seven years ago. It was at this time of experimenting with the paleo diet and functional fitness that I was exposed to the idea of wearing barefoot style shoes: shoes that allow the foot to move more like it would without shoes on. It made total sense to me: allow our feet to move freely and they will become stronger, our balance will improve, and our posture will be better. I was hooked. 

Fast forward to 2018 and I went from being a meat eating cross-fitter to a vegan hiker that exercises from home. What hasn’t changed is my obsession with barefoot shoes. 

Enter Xero Shoes. 

I first heard of this company when the owners were on Shark Tank several years ago. If you haven’t seen the show, entrepreneurs come on and pitch their business idea to several fabulously wealthy entrepreneurs (sharks) in the hopes of having them as business partners or investors. I’ve always been fascinated by the premise and apparently other people are too, because it is always on cable. So on this episode, a healthy, intelligent, well-spoken couple came on pitching their shoe company that made barefoot style sandals for trail running. They spoke about the value of this type of footwear and showed the sharks their shoe designs.
They received a few offers but ultimately walked away from the show with no new investors, because they disagreed on the value of their company. The owners of Xero shoes felt their company was worth way more than what the sharks were willing to offer. I loved their confidence and I loved their shoes. 

Now, years later, they have many different shoes available ranging from the original sandal to running shoes, trail runners, and hiking boots! And to my absolute delight, they are vegan friendly! 

YES! 

That is why when I saw the DayLite hiker I couldn’t help but feel a little giddy. A hiking shoe that is zero drop, meaning your heal is not raised up like a normal shoe, yet provides ankle support and is super flexible. What?! They are as awesome as they sound. 

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I tried them out on two separate hikes this weekend and I am in love. The toe box is wider than any hiking boot I’ve owned and allows me to spread my toes and flex my feet. This means that it is easier for me to feel the ground and balance when I’m climbing on slick surfaces and up hills. There is no lift in this shoe so your foot is making closer contact with the ground, yet you are protected enough to be able to walk over sharp rocks without hurting yourself. The shoe allows for natural movement of your foot as if you were walking around barefoot. This is so much better for our posture and muscles all throughout our body. 

I also love that this shoe has a 5,000 mile sole warranty so I know they are built to last. Plus they are super light for packing. Be advised, they run a little small so it is necessary to size up from what you’d normally get in a shoe. But when you get that perfect fit-oh baby. They are magic! Plus they are available in both men’s and women’s sizes!

 

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Here’s the link to check them out!

Women http://amzn.to/2nPghd9

 Men  http://amzn.to/2FTS3pg