Gear Essentials for Northwest Adventures

Smith Rock State Park

Our April collections have landed! This month, we focused on getting you ready to have fun out there, whether it be spring hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking, road tripping… the opportunities are endless. While our box contents vary according to your interests, our Pacific Northwest roots inspired us to curate the ideal compilation of gear for exploration at home and beyond. We’ve included five of our favorite Northwest adventures here, along with just a few of the many products that landed on your doorsteps this month.

Hike + Climb: Smith Rock State Park, OR

Just a 40-minute drive from our Cairn HQ, this picturesque pocket of jagged rock walls towering over a meandering Crooked River never fails to take our breath away. Hiking the renowned Misery Ridge, climbing the Monkey Face multi-pitch, and watching daredevil highliners against the backdrop of the Cascade Mountain Range in the distance are classic pastimes in the spring after the High Desert sun has melted the snow away.

What gear should you bring?

Arcade Belt

Arcade Belts

Say goodbye to the dirtbag shoelace once and for all! Pro skier Cody Townsend created Arcade Belts after realizing that there really were no other comfortable, versatile belts to keep yer pants up in the outdoors. Unlike standard stiff leather belts, these are made for scrambling up big rocks and belaying climbing partners.

Think Jerky

Think Jerky

Take your jerky from gas station food to healthy food! It’s a little-known fact that most jerky products are pumped full of sugar, so the founders of Think Jerky set out to create a snack that is both healthy and delicious. By partnering with some of the world’s best chefs, consciously minimizing sugar and salt, and only using the healthiest ingredients, they’ve created the perfect post-hike fuel!

Fly Fishing: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Olympic National Park’s rainforest rivers support the healthiest stocks of winter steelhead in the lower 48 states, as well as an abundance of Chinook and coho salmon. 20-pound wild winter steelhead are common in the spring. Although they are called winter steelhead, the best fly fishing for them usually occurs between February and April when the rivers are low, clear, and warm. Learn more here.

What gear should you bring?

De-Fishing Soap

De-fishing Soap

Fish stink, but you don’t have to. This essential-oil based formula actually lifts that foul fishy smell away instead of masking it. It’s all-natural and completely biodegradable, so rinsing off in the wild isn’t going to hurt a thing!

Hot Springs: Portland, OR

Portlanders are lucky. Aside from craft beer, bikes, and beards, they get the excitement and opportunity of a big city, while still having access to the plentiful scenic areas Oregon has to offer. Rain or shine, hot springs are a quick, fun, and easy escape from the city into the woods. From Bagby to Breitenbush, Terwilliger to McCredie, you’ll get a unique and relaxing experience anywhere you choose--regardless of the weird names they come with.

According to the ranger station, while the access roads to many of these hot springs are now open, be prepared for snowy conditions on the drive and hike in. Check current conditions here.

What gear should you bring?

JTree Camp Soap & Packtowl

JTree Camp Soap - Packtowl

In typical Oregon fashion, many of our hot springs don’t require clothing. If that leaves you feeling a little dirty, clean up with the Joshua Tree Citronella Camp Soap--an olive oil-based soap loaded with bug-deterrent essential oils. Then, dry off with the quick-drying Packtowl. Both items were featured in one of our April collection variations!

Mountain Biking: Sun Valley, ID

The trails are slowly breaking free from the snowy grip of winter, meaning it’s about time to dust off that mountain bike! Early season can be a tricky time for single track riding. Snowy, muddy conditions tend to keep the trails a bit of a guessing game as to what is rideable, and you don’t want to be that guy who ruins the trails for the rest of us before they’re dry.

That said, there is still great biking to be had at lower elevations. The Blaine County Recreation District Summer Trail Link does a fantastic job of delivering up-to-date reports on trail closures and conditions. Check it out before you go.

What gear should you bring?

EK Eyewear Retainer

Ek Eyewear Retainer

Many of us have lost count of the number of sunglasses we’ve lost in the outdoors. But this fate doesn’t have to be inevitable! Not only does the EK Eyewear retainer keep your sunnies in place, but it’s versatile and comfortable, so you can focus on the trail ahead.

Road Trip + Ski/Snowshoe: Crater Lake National Park, OR

It’s called one of the “7 Wonders of Oregon” for a reason. When Mt. Mazama decided to erupt 7,700 years ago, it left us with America’s deepest lake and one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see. Beat the summer crowds by venturing to Crater Lake in the springtime: Highway 62 and the road to Rim Village are plowed and open all year, so download your favorite podcast and let the winding road take you straight to the lake. Be prepared for potential snow and ice on the roads, even in April! Snowshoe and ski trails will lead you to gorgeous views from there.

What gear should you bring?

SugarSky Headband

Sugarsky Headband

SugarSky’s gear is handmade by highly-skilled and well-paid American sewers, and constructed with fabric printed in the USA. Since the headbands included in our Cairn collection have different National Park maps on them, it’s only fitting that you take them to--you guessed it--a National Park! Wear them 4 different ways (turban or flat, thin or thick) for the perfect adventure accessory.

Shwood Sunglasses

Shwood Sunglasses

In 2005, Shwood founder Eric Singer brought the first pair of wooden sunglasses to life using the limb of a Madrone tree, rusty cabinet hinges and lenses from corner store sunglasses. What transpired is a company driven by a relentless passion to experiment with nature, pushing the boundaries of traditional eyewear materials. Shwood sunglasses are not only made from nature, but to withstand it. Ten lucky Cairn subscribers won a pair of Shwood Sunglasses this month, and they’re great for any road trip excursion.

No matter which adventure you choose, get out there and enjoy spring with your new Cairn gear!


Where will you take your April Cairn collection? Tell us in the comments, and share your photos with #cairnrocks!