September '15 Highlight Reel

It’s September, and the first few weeks of autumn are finally here! Whether you’re sad to see summer go, eager to get fall adventures underway, or both, this month’s Cairn is full of little treasures that’ll help you make the most of whatever you’re getting into.

BlackStrap Daily Tube Face Mask

Face masks are, in my opinion, among the most underrated pieces of outdoor apparel available. You can protect your neck from the sun, keep out a chill, keep stray bugs away, or, if you’re hot, dunk it in water to keep your skin cool. They’re ideal for all sorts of adventures. And this month, Cairn subscribers get to try out a face mask featuring art submitted by a fellow subscriber.

Founded in 2008, BlackStrap Industries initially sold only three products aimed at snowsports enthusiasts. Now, the company employs seven people and with products like beanies, balaclavas, hoodies, and face masks, among other products, in an incredible array of patterns and colors. This version of BlackStrap’s Daily Tube is breathable, quick drying, and provides UPF 50+ sun protection. It’s the perfect way to keep the fall chill of your neck.

Epiphany Outdoor Gear V3 Pocket Bellows

Ever tried starting a fire with wet wood, or in less than ideal conditions? Oxygen is the key to getting and keeping a fire going, but it’s not always easy to get enough of it where you need it. Thanks to Epiphany Outdoors, it might be easier than you think.

File this addition to the September Cairn under, “stuff you didn’t think you needed, but won’t leave home without in the future.” Epiphany Outdoor Gear’s pocket sized bellowing tool helps you funnel oxygen directly into a fire while staying at a safe distance from the flame. The Pocket Bellows is a new and improved version that extends out to 20 inches, then collapses down to 3.5 inches for easy storage. Take it with you the next time you need to start a fire with wet wood, and take a look at the packaging in this month’s Cairn for a coupon in case you need a backup.

Skout Organic Raw Pumpkin Seeds

When it comes to finding good trail snacks, there are plenty of options, but not everything you can eat on the trail is necessarily good for you. The family behind Skout Organic decided they were fed up with trail snacks packed with artificial ingredients and decided to create their own collection of munchies born from healthy, organic, natural ingredients.

Named after co-founder Jason Pastega’s yellow Labrador, the company’s been making delicious trail snacks since 2008. I got to sample the jalapeno salsa raw pumpkin seeds, and they’ve got the perfect balance of crunch and spice to make snacking on the trail interesting. They’re also great to drop in salads, on pasta, and on top of a nice, warm bowl of soup. The best part? They’re certified organic, gluten free, non-GMO, and pack a high protein punch with 10 grams per serving.

Whiskey Run Butter Stick Lip Balm

All lip balms are the same, right? Not exactly. Some lip balms contain ingredients that can be harmful, some don’t protect your lips from the sun, and some just plain don’t moisturize your lips.

The team behind Whiskey, Ink & Lace, the parent brand of Whiskey Run, believes in creating products using carefully researched ingredients that don’t contain harmful chemicals. The company sources ingredients from organic and sustainable suppliers. The result? A line of personal care products for active people you can count on being full of good stuff. Despite a light white residue left behind after application, the Butter Stick Lip Balm will keep your lips moisturized and protected from light sun while you’re playing outside.

UST Brands Compass Carabiner

Keeping track of where you are in the woods is essential, and even if you’re in familiar territory, getting lost is always a possibility. Having tools that will help you navigate in an emergency, or just in general, is always a good thing.

UST Brands has manufactured and sourced survival equipment for nearly 80 years; you could say they know a thing or two about emergency preparedness outdoors. The Compass Carabiner included in this month’s Cairn, a liquid filled compass the easily attaches to your backpack or belt loop, is one of many small, but vital survival tools the company has available. But a compass isn’t any good if you don’t know how to use it. Be sure to brush up on your navigation skills and take your Compass Carabiner on your next adventure.

Mike Putnam Photography Greeting Card

A little bonus item from Cairn this month! Photos are one of the ways we capture memories, remember moments, and ensure we never forget a particularly special sight or place. A picture is worth a thousand words, as the old adage goes, and in some cases, a picture is worth much more than that.

Photographer Mike Putnam has a passion for capturing the glacier covered mountains, alpine lakes, forests, rivers, and wildflower meadows of Central Oregon on film. Based in Bend, he specializes in capturing the beautiful backcountry and wilderness areas that surround Bend and creating artisan large format fine art prints of the region’s stunning landscapes. In addition to fine art-quality prints, Mike also shares his work on greeting cards like the sample in this month’s Cairn.


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! And subscribers, don’t forget to look in the box for an envelope full of coupons.