O.F.F. Oakiwear Winter Gear

**We’re bringing it back!!**

O.F.F. = Outdoor Fashion Friday. 
Our (almost) weekly segment featuring our favorite styles for the season. Everything I share are pieces that can be worn all day long and stand up to the “use and abuse” of serious adventures. As a family, we appreciate clothing that is worth our hard-earned money. It’s what we wear and trust!

 

Late this winter, Oakiwear just came out with their new line of snow gear, including boots, snow pants and insulated jackets. Oakiwear is a brand we have learned to trust, and their snow line is no exception. Plus their prices are really hard to beat – perfect for families. I’ve included Amazon affiliate links – thanks so much for clicking through them and supporting us (it doesn’t cost you a dime!)

Plus, the gear is exceptionally made with real, outdoor kids in mind.

O.F.F. Oakiwear Winter Gear

 

 

Winter Snow Boots – on sale for $39.99

Available in sizes 7 Todder – 4 Youth and 4 different colors. While Oakiwear recommends waterproofing the uppers to avoid the leather changing color, we haven’t had an issues with them at all and don’t think it is entirely necessary. They keep his feet super warm and we both love how they cinch closed for a great fit. Finally – excellent traction. Great, great boots, especially for their price.

O.F.F. Oakiwear Winter Gear

O.F.F. Oakiwear Winter Gear

 

Kids Snow Pants/Bibs – on sale for $39-$45 (depending on size)

Available in sizes 3T – 12 and 3 different colors. The suspenders are adjustable to allow for a great fit. We love how they are super bright (also available in a grey and black, though) and super durable. Plus they fit over ski boots, have lots of pockets and are very waterproof.

O.F.F. Oakiwear Winter Gear

Kids Ski Jacket - on sale for $39-$65 (depending on size)

Available in sizes 3T -12 in three different colors. Powder skirt to keep the snow out, lots of pockets, great hood that is also removable, and adjustable wrist cuffs to allow for growing kids. Again, very durable and keeps them warm!

O.F.F. Oakiwear Winter Gear

O.F.F. Oakiwear Winter Gear

 

Oakiwear generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here.  Some of these links are affiliates – thanks for clicking through them and supporting us just a tiny bit! If you’ve found this review helpful, you always appreciate you supporting us (see the top of the right sidebar for directions on how to make a donation for our efforts)! Thank you!

© 2016, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Backyard Snow Cave Camping + Solo Stove Review

One of the things I love most about my husband is that he isn’t afraid to get the kids out – in fact, he thrives on it. Right now I am getting out as much as I can, but it really isn’t much. I am counting down the weeks until I get back after it, but also know that right now I just have to do what is best for Baby. In the meantime, Mtn Papa is taking up the slack and doing a great job at it.

All winter the boys and him have been working on a snow cave in the backyard. In all honesty, we “cheated” a little this year in the hopes of having more of a chance of the cave actually working out well enough to sleep in. They threw a tarp over the climber dome, then packed the snow around it. They also built a “igloo tunnel” for the doorway and then packed snow around that too. It’s most definitely insulated by the snow, but doesn’t take quite as much to keep it’s shape.

Backyard Snow Cave Camping + Solo Stove Review Backyard Snow Cave Camping + Solo Stove Review

This past weekend we finally had a free evening with nothing planned the next morning, so they took advantage. To be honest, I am much too pregnant to even get IN the snow cave, so got to experience it via photos. And that’s ok – it’s important that the boys have something to do just with their dad sometimes. They put a tarp down on the ground then piled up winter sleeping bags and backcountry quilts. Apparently if anything they got hot. It’s fun science to see them make the connection to how much warmer the cave really is than the blustery winter weather outside of it.

Backyard Snow Cave Camping + Solo Stove Review

In the morning, they fired up the Solo Stove (review below) to boil some snow down to water (sister joined in). And made plans for a even more adventurous outing next….beyond the backyard.

Backyard Snow Cave Camping + Solo Stove Review

 

Solo Stove Campfire:

Over the past few months we have been testing out Solo Stove’s largest stove, the Campfire – built for 4+ people to use comfortably. While our camping and stove-use isn’t nearly as often in the winter than the summer, it’s been fun to use it in the snow and will update this with summer use later in the year too.

The Solo Stove is built for camping, survival and backpacking. It’s light and portable and doesn’t require special fuel besides wood. While the Campfire is a little more bulky than I would like for backpacking, it works great for car camping and backyard snow cave camping. The larger size also allows for larger pieces of wood, which is convenient too. The smaller Solo Stove or Solo Stove Titan would be better for backpacking.

Backyard Snow Cave Camping + Solo Stove Review

How it works: “Designed with a double wall, the Solo Stove Campfire is a natural convection inverted downgas gasifer stove. The air intake holes on the bottom of the stove channels air to the bottom of the fire while at the same time, channels warm air up between the walls of the stove. This burst of preheated oxygen feeding back into the firebox through the smaller holes at the top of the stove causes a secondary combustion. This allows the fire to burn more complete which is why there is very little smoke during full burn. A more efficient burn also means you’ll use much less wood compared to an open camp fire. The Solo Stove Campfire doesn’t just burn wood. It actually cooks the smoke out of the wood and then burns the smoke not once, but twice!” 

Therefore it’s super efficient, has a small footprint and uses the natural resources that are often readily available when camping. It also has the following features:

  • Heat shield at the bottom protects the ground from scorching (or snow from melting excessively)
  • Angled cooking ring “lip” directs heat right to your pan to increase efficiency
  • AND it acts as a wind shield

We have used the Campfire in some downright blustery days and had no issues, which says a ton about the engineering of the stove.

This graphic (from Solo Stove) helps show a little better about how it works:

Backyard Snow Cave Camping + Solo Stove Review

Why use it (opposed to just an open campfire)?

  • More efficient
  • Hotter burn
  • Less of a footprint
  • More directed heat for cooking

 

Complete the Set:

If you want to have everything contained (opposed to using pots and pans you already have), the Solo Stove 2 Pot Set works perfectly with the Campfire. The stove nests inside and then everything fits in the carrier bags. The stainless steel pots are 3L and 1.5L sizes, so really big enough to cook for a substantial group of people.

 

Buy it:

The Campfire + 2 pot set is available on Amazon right now for just under $170 – which is a huge deal (over 25% off). <– affiliate link

 

 

Solo Stove generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here.  Thanks so much for clicking through our affiliate links (via Amazon) – they help us out a tiny bit and don’t cost you a dime. If you’ve found this review helpful, you always appreciate you supporting us (see the top of the right sidebar for directions on how to make a donation for our efforts)! Thank you!

© 2016, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Are you a WILD MAMA? {Book Review + Giveaway}

Confession – I am REALLY bad at reading books all the way to the end. In fact, I am working on it constantly and paying special attention to it this year. I always just don’t make the time. Or I fall asleep. Or I just can’t get into it. So, when I DO actually finish a book, you know it’s a good one!

So, it may have taken me a good month to finish Wild Mama by Carrie Visintainer, but I’m so glad I did. And be assured, it wasn’t because it was boring in any way – pregnancy just makes me want to sleep. A lot. I also wanted to be sure I was really recommending a book that was in line with my own values. Whether I like it or not, this blog is such a reflection on what we believe as a family, and I can’t recommend something I didn’t stand behind.

Are you a WILD MAMA? {Book Review + Giveaway}“Wild Mama” is a personal account of one woman’s struggle to embrace both motherhood and her adventurous side. It’s what we talk about in almost every post here. And, if you’ve done it (or attempted it), you know it’s just not easy, plain and simple. Parenthood brings you to your knees, quite literally. In more ways than one.

It’s frustrating, empowering, humbling, and brings out every single raw emotion you didn’t know you could feel. But, many women (me included, and many of you too) were not made to just stay quietly at home. We yearn for something more than that…but want to bring our kiddos too (at least some of the time). We need to know that our kids don’t equal an automatic ball and chain. We need to know that we are strong enough, smart enough, brave enough and adventurous enough to step out, even just a little.

While I have different dreams than Carrie, I could relate to her feelings and writing on so many levels. I understand the need to have my “tribe” of people that love the same things I do, and put great value on them too. Motherhood is lonely enough – worse when you feel like you have no support from the community around you.

Here’s where this gets a bit more personal for me – I have an issue with parents that are always trying to get “rid” of their kids to do what they want to do (usually for selfish reasons). It’s my own thoughts, and I am ok wth that – judge away if you will. I was honestly worried that as I read I would get the feeling that Carrie was one of “those moms” that saw her own children as more of a hinderance than a joy. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely struggle with being a parent and balancing my own needs. But, we are about families here and I believe very strongly in that.

Long story short, I LOVE how throughout her book I was quite sure of the fact that she loves her family to the moon and back…and struggled with leaving them behind while she followed some of her own dreams. While I am quite certain that Carrie can attest to the up and down struggles of parenthood, I feel as though she found (and continues to find) a great balance of being a mama and knowing herself. It’s not an easy task.

“Carrie Visintainer’s children haven’t inspired her to settle down. They’ve emboldened her to more daringly explore the world. Visintainer’s memoir, Wild Mama, is a reminder that society doesn’t get to define what motherhood looks like; mothers do. 

Leigh Ann Henion, Author of Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World”

The truth is changing – motherhood is changing. It isn’t black and white. And it’s up to mamas like Carrie, like me, like you to be ok with that and live boldly.

Yes, I recommend you read this book. If you have a bit of a wandering spirit or a drive for getting out of the house, read it. If you struggle with fitting in the traditional box of parenthood, read it. If you just want to relate to someone who knows how hard it is to love so fiercely as parents do, read it. You can purchase the book on Amazon here (affiliate link).

Note: there is some language in the memoir. Not something I love, but also obviously the truth from her heart, no sugar-coating.

Find more of Carrie here: http://www.freeyourwild.com

 

Win a copy of Wild Mama

Thanks to Carrie and her editors, we are giving away 5 copies of Wild Mama.

As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help!  This giveaway is open to the U.S. and  Canada.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

© 2016, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.
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