Must-Have Gear items for Summer Adventure with Kids + Giveaway

Must-Have Gear items for Summer Adventure with Kids + Giveaway

We keep getting teasers of warmer weather coming, but I am all too prepared for snow in June – it happens almost every year around here.  And while the west coast didn’t get hammered nearly as hard as the east coast, I can safely say that most people across the country are ready for a little change of season.

While many of you are already doing this, we’re just now starting to evaluate the gear we have and what we need to get out as a family. I’ve listed some of those below in case you need to jog your memory too.

It’s also led to a lot of discussions between Mtn Papa and I about how incredibly important it is to have what you NEED to just get out. I’m not saying you need the best or the newest or the cutest or whatever, but a little financial or time investment really goes a long way towards overall family adventure success.

Spending a little extra money to get a pack that fits your child (and you) well or a bike that they can be successful on (good geometry at the very least) and clothing that lasts and protects them can honestly mean the difference between a successful outing and one that just plain bombs. Plus, happy kids means less whining and that’s good for all of us, right?!?

 

Gear to consider for this summer:

  • Sun hats – we love Sunday Afternoons
  • Sun glasses – we recommend Real Kids Shakes, Babiators, and Julbo
  • Sun/water clothing (shirts, etc.) – we recommend DucKsday USA
  • Rain suits and boots – we recommend DucKsday USA and Oakiwear
  • Hiking Pants – we recommend ones from REI or Columbia
  • Hiking shirts – REI has a bunch right now (the ones in the photo below are Columbia fishing shirts)
  • Quality framed backpack carrier or quality ergonomic baby carrier <– don’t skimp on this one! (follow links for recommendations)
  • Lighter-weight wool socks for hiking to help wick sweat and moisture
  • Good hiking shoes. We recommend KEEN and Adidas hikers for kids.
  • Life jackets

Must-Have Gear items for Summer Adventure with Kids + Giveaway

 

Fun extras:

  • Explorer vests
  • Bug nets
  • Bug boxes (for catching and studying)
  • Bubbles
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Buckets and shovels
  • Magnifying glass

 

Where to find it:

  • Friends and Family
  • Consignment shops
  • Discount stores like Sierra Trading Post (Affiliate link)
  • Smaller local shops
  • REI (affiliate link)

 

What are other must-have items you recommend?!?! Help us add to our list!

 

And here’s some must-read posts about summer adventuring with kids that we wrote over at the HUB at Sierra Trading Post (a wealth of information!):

 

Must-Have Gear items for Summer Adventure with Kids + Giveaway

 

Get started on your shopping from Sierra Trading Post:

First of all, use code  SHUB0415 for 30% off when you click through HERE. (good until 4/30)

Many thanks to Sierra Trading Post for offering the chance for TWO of you to win a $100 gift card to start your summer-gear shopping! Here’s some recommendations of items they have currently, but these are always changing so check back often! Again, thanks so much for clicking through HERE (affiliate link – no cost to you, helps us out a ton!)

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

 

Thanks so much for clicking through our affiliate links. They don’t cost you a dime, but they do help offset the cost (both monetarily and in time) of the blog. 

© 2015, 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.

O.F.F. All-Seasons Down Clothing from Stio and Big Agnes

O.F.F. = Outdoor Fashion Friday. 
Our (almost) weekly segment featuring our favorite styles for the season. Everything we share are pieces we love and love to share. As a family, we appreciate clothing that is worth our hard-earned money. It’s what we wear and trust!

 

What? You thought it was SPRING? Don’t let the name of the month fool you – we had a full-on blizzard here this week. It’s all because I attempted to put the snow clothes away and the sleds away and even bought seeds to plant.

I was going to share some spring styles, but since it is currently 25 degrees outside, I just can’t make myself do it. AND, the good news (for those of us that actually do like being snuggled up in winter clothing), down is an exceptional choice for mountain camping where night temperatures almost always hover around freezing.

Down = even better when treated with DownTek. If you haven’t read that post, go do it now. It’s the future of down and, as a mom, is making me so much more at ease about how long our gear is going to hold up for us even in wet conditions.

The following three pieces are filled with DownTek and were NOT put away in the “winter clothes” bin because they will keep us warm in the tent this season too, should the need arise. We recommend all three and have even worn them in the past few days. In April. In that snowstorm that may just come again in June. You never know!

This is the time to buy these because they are on sale! 

 

For the kiddos: Sti0 Kids’ Hometown Hooded Down Jacket ($159, on sale right now for $111)

We LOVE this jacket. It’s like a sleeping bag for their torso. It is not only super warm (which is great for the kid that tends to run really cold), but also has a functional hood, feels good to them and has zippered pockets. The DownTek fill coupled with Pertex Microlight Minirip means that this jacket is going to be passed on from kid to kid (and not torn the first time worn!) A little bit about the outer fabric: “Pertex® Microlight is a downproof minirip with good tear strength and matte finish, providing the perfect balance of lightweight, softness and durability. The 30d nylon has a DWR finish to enhance water resistance. The tightly woven construction is well balanced, preventing excessive heat loss through the fabric while offering significant weight reduction and excellent strength.” 

While it’s not as small and packable as other down jackets on the market (like the Patagonia Puffball), I appreciate the fact that it is just that much more functional and durable. It’s “puffier” but still light and packs down well. Available in three gender-neutral colors.

O.F.F. All-Seasons Down Clothing from Stio and Big Agnes

 

For him: Stio Men’s Hometown Down Jacket ($225, on sale right now for $157)

All the great things about the kid jacket, but in an adult version too (or was it the adult ones came first??!). This one does NOT have a hood, which makes it a great layering piece. 600-fill DownTek with that great Pertex outer. Packs surprisingly small, keeps him warm and will be ready to go all year long, just in case! The right amount of loft to do its job very well without inhibiting motion or packing!

O.F.F. All-Seasons Down Clothing from Stio and Big Agnes

 

For her: Big Agnes Zirkle Circle Down Skirt $129.95

I love my skirts. Not only because I appreciate a little femininity in my layers upon layers of clothing in the winter, but also because they just keep me warmer! The Big Agnes Zirkle Circle skirt is great because it has that DownTek fill and a wind and water resistant ripstop shell.

My favorite feature is the snaps at the waist so you can easily adjust the fit to work with what you’re wearing underneath. Let it out a bit to fit over bulkier snow pants and cinch it in when all you need is a pair of leggings under it. Other down skirts don’t do that.

It also has a zippered and angled front pocket (so no bulk at the hips)

Finally, down anything makes a GREAT camping pillow.

O.F.F. All-Seasons Down Clothing from Stio and Big Agnes

 

Stio and Big Agnes generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. A few of these  links are affiliates.  Thank you so much for clicking through them to make your purchases – it helps offset the cost of this blog in a (VERY VERY) small way! You can find my full disclosure here.

© 2015, 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.

For the Love of Mom Event: Taking Submissions!

Pssttt – Mother’s Day is coming up in just a few short weeks. And since around here we have a lot of hard-working, deeply passionate MOMS, we love to take advantage of a reason to celebrate.

Last year we did some epic giveaways and loved hearing you brag up the moms in your life. This year we’ll be doing some of the same (but you’ll have to wait to hear more about those until later!)

However, my favorite thing about this community is that it is in fact a community. And my voice is not the only one to be heard. I want to give a few of you a chance to be featured on the blog AND be rewarded for it.

 

WHAT: Submit a blog post to be featured on Tales of a Mountain Mama following the (very loose) theme: For the Love of Mom. I am looking for posts that are well-written, engaging, interesting and from the heart. Ideal length is 300-800 words. I will also be asking for 1-3 photos to be included. Entries can take ANY spin off of our theme. In fact, we’ll be on the look-out for the ones that many people can relate to. Email entries to mountainmamatales@gmail.com with the subject line “For the Love of Mom” by April 27th @ 8 pm MST.

WHY: To be heard by our 20,000 readers, to celebrate moms, AND win a fun prize (there always has to be something great like that, right?!?!)

WIN: Out of the submissions, I will be choosing 3 grand prize winners and 2 runner up prize winners

 

Grand Prizes:

  • A pair of Ahnu Sugarpine Boots (winner chooses size and color)
  • A pair of  Injinji Outdoor Socks (winner chooses size and color)
  • A pair of Switch Sunglasses (winner chooses style)
  • A sampler pack of Salazon Chocolates.

Second Prizes:

  • A pair of Switch Sunglasses (winner chooses style)
  • A sampler pack of Salazon Chocolates

For the Love of Mom Event: Taking Submissions!

 

A few notes:

  • When you send your submission, I will respond with an email verifying I received it within 24 hours.
  • I will be responding to our winners by April 30th and posts will start running on May 4th

 

Please do not be intimidated or think this is “not you”. The BEST submissions always come from the least-likely sources and you have nothing to lose (and a lot to win!)

Questions? Happy to answer them. Feel free to email me or message me and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

 

© 2015, 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.

O.F.F.: Sunrise Girl Shirts

O.F.F.: Sunrise Girl Shirts + Giveaway

O.F.F. = Outdoor Fashion Friday.  Our (almost) weekly segment featuring our favorite styles for the season. Everything we share are pieces we love and love to share. As a family, we appreciate clothing that is worth our hard-earned money. It’s what we wear and trust! Meet Sunrise Girl. A new company just for celebrating (all) girls […]

Introducing WOOM bikes for kids

Introducing WOOM bikes for kids

If you have been reading our blog for a while now, you know we love biking. We do it on a daily basis and encourage our kids from a young age to ride. So far (knock on wood), they have taken to biking well and share our love for it as a family. Our rides […]

O.F.F. Sunday Afternoon Hats for Kids + Giveaway

O.F.F. Sunday Afternoon Hats for Kids + Giveaway

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 […]