Shredded Aspen – A Most Sustainable Mess

Ever opened your Cairn box and wondered, “What is this stuff? It gets everywhere!”


Those were our first thoughts too. And we know it has a tendency to make a mess. But the nature of shipping awesome outdoor gear to your doorstep demands that there is a nice soft bed for the items within to lie on. The journey of a box through the USPS to your door is a rough one full of knocks, falls, shuffles, kicks, and a handful of tumbles; and the last thing we want is for your monthly delivery of awesomeness to arrive any less than awesome.

So we’re left with a conundrum: use shredded confetti like what you’d find in the bottom of an Easter basket or at a Chuck E. Cheese’s birthday party or keep looking for a better alternative…

Enter: Excelsior Wood Fiber!


Excelsior (or wood wool) is sourced from Great Lakes all natural aspen, grown by members of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative program, and then shredded into thin, curled wood strands becoming the perfect solution to ensure all of your curated items have a safe passage.


(Aspen photo courtesy of Scott Brill at


It is biodegradable and came to us from the world of archery (yes, Robin Hood) where it is banded into bales and used as targets.





And in addition to its many fine qualities, it’s incredibly practical as tinder for the campfire!





We hope you’ll agree that a little mess is a small price to pay for a sustainable fire starter that keeps your outdoor gear intact.

So keep an eye out for your next Cairn delivery and remember to pack out a little excelsior for your next camping trip!