What's in the Box? December Highlight Reel

If you’ve been a Cairn subscriber for any length of time, you’ve likely had the chance to try some new food items and some unique pieces of gear and apparel. This month’s box includes unique twists on energy bars and nut butters as well as a few handy tools for your adventures.

Omnibar Energy Bars

These days, there are so many energy bars that can give you enough fuel to take the edge off when you’re out for a long day. But when it comes to finding energy bars that give you balanced nutrition, the team behind Omnibar believes there’s more to energy bars than nuts and seeds. 

The Omnibar concept was born over coffee, as most great inventions are, in Missoula, Montana. Cooper Burchenal wanted to find a way to use the beef from his family’s ranch in a unique way while fellow co-founder Brent Ruby wanted a more functional source of energy than traditional energy bars. Now, Two Creek Monture Ranch beef and a host of other natural, whole-food ingredients make up the company’s line of snacks.

I got the Chipotle Barbecue flavor to try out in this month’s Cairn box. The bar isn’t crunchy in the slightest and resembles a nutty version of fruit leather. And it’s delicious. The Chipotle Barbecue version tastes hearty, filling, and doesn’t remind me of candy or chocolate bars like some energy bars can. If you’re looking for a savory alternative to traditional trail snacks, Omnibars are a great option.

Yumbutter Organic Superfood

In keeping with the Omnibars as a source of energy on the go, nut butters are a great way to get protein and quality fats when you’re on the trail. But Yumbutter’s nut butters are a little bit different from your average peanut butter or almond butter.

Matt and Adrian, Chief Revolutionaries at Yumbutter (best title ever, right?), share a passion for good food, health, nutrition, and making the world a better place. The company mission is to “craft mouth rockin’, world changing nut butters for one reason: to improve people’s lives.” Yumbutter operates around the concept of Holistic Responsibility, which essentially means the company considers the impact of every aspect of their business. Matt and Adrian also hope to help stem malnutrition with the company’s BuyOne:FeedOne™ model.

I gave the Organic Superfood Sunflower Butter a try as part of this month’s Cairn box (note: some of you may have received the organic Peanut Butter in your box). It’s sunflower butter with a twist; Yumbutter dropped organic chia, hempseed, goji, and all sorts of other goodness into the mix. It’s creamy and incredibly tasty. I tried it alone, but it would be easy to spread on a bagel or bread. The GO-Anywhere pouch makes it easy to carry around, and with six servings in one pouch, I know I’m going to have enough for a day or two’s worth of adventure.

Nite Ize 3” Gear Ties

Nite Ize reusable rubber twist ties have a rubber shell around strong wire inside that holds its shape no matter what you put it through. In addition to protecting the wire, the rubber shell helps ensure the ties don’t slip off. I got control of a pile of wires with one of the Nite Ize ties, and was able to attach a full Nalgene bottle to the outside of a pack. They’re versatile, and they come in a variety of colors.Traditional twist ties are ideal for everything from attaching stray items to your back to taming the giant mess of cord we all know we have behind our computer desks. But traditional, disposable twist ties wear out and they’re not ideal for situations where you know you’ll be tossing your pack around.

Gerber Bear Grylls Basic Kit

The Gerber knife alone makes this kit worthwhile to have, and it’s a great collection of things I know I always need to have with me. The knife is small, but sharp and ideal for tasks that don’t require a huge tool. Whistles always come in handy, as do fire starters and waterproof matches. The snare wire loop is small, but keeping track of it is easy as long as it stays in the pouch until you need it. An emergency kit with essentials for emergencies is something no adventurer should leave home without. The Gerber Bear Grylls Basic Kit takes a handful of items that could come in handy in a variety of situations and packs them into an easy-to-carry waterproof pouch the size of my hand. It includes a Gerber Paraframe mini knife, whistle, fire starter, waterproof matches, snare wire, cord, and a cotton ball to use as fire tinder.

The pouch has land to air rescue and SOS instructions sewn on the back, and the kit includes a Priorities of Survival pocket guide, both of which are great resources. The pocket guide describes everything from the different types of shelters to how to build a fire using a car battery as well as how to find water and build snares. At only 4.2 oz, the kit is great to carry on any adventure.

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! Additionally, be sure to visit the Cairn shop for a Cairn t-shirt! But ladies, I recommend going a size up; I ordered a large over my normal medium and it fits perfectly.