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The Outdoor Wife's Gear List #1

Over the past few weeks, I've gotten emails, messages and tweets asking me what jacket to buy, what my favorite pair of shoes are to hike in, where to buy a good tent... the questions have seemed endless! It seems needed and helpful, so I'm happy to start listing off a few of my favorite things to use when I'm in the outdoors.

Let me first say that when I invest in gear or equipment to use in the outdoors, I do a LOT of research, I buy from companies that I trust and enjoy, and I always spend more money on gear than anything else. I prefer to make a bigger initial investment in something that will last me a long time, rather than buy something on the cheap that I'll have to replace by the next upcoming season. So, while some of these items seem a little steep in price, I can guarantee from my end that I have never regretted making the purchase, the item I purchased is great quality and I'll be using it continually in the years to come.

Without further ado, here's the first installment of
The Outdoor Wife's Gear List:

1. Patagonia Women's Integral Jacket (on sale for $91)
This jacket has proven to be a great purchase. My mom bought this one for my birthday. I was on the hunt for a new lightweight, partially-windproof soft shell jacket that I could use on the cool mornings and evenings on the river in southern Oregon this summer. I wanted something durable and functional, but I didn't want to give up style or appearance, either. So many jackets are bulky and very unflattering on a woman's body. Not so with the Integral Jacket. Patagonia nailed it with this one. It's incredibly flattering with darker-colored darts on the ribs, a feminine cut, and it's a bit longer, so it covers your belt loops and the tops of your jeans. It's comfortable with good use of pockets, and it's been great in the wind and rain here in Portland. There are zippers on the cuffs of the sleeves to draw in the sleeve closer to your wrist if needed, and there are wrist guards on the interior of the cuff, which is great for wearing gloves. Overall, I can't recommend this jacket enough. It's currently on sale at Patagonia, too! Click here to purchase online.

2. Chaco Z2 Sandals ($95)
If the weather is halfway decent, chances are, I'm wearing my Chaco's. These sandals are hands-down the greatest footwear investment I've ever made! I've had my pair of Z2's since my freshman year of college and they are still going strong! These shoes are great to hike in, wear on the river, or cruise around downtown. They offer great support, which is good for those who have back problems and can't wear flip-flops; they even stay on while paddling gnarly rapids. Chaco offers a great variety of different strap styles and designs, but the Z2 has always been my favorite. I really like the single strap design with the toe loop. As someone who remains very active in the summer, the toe loop is crucial - it keeps my foot from sliding too far forward when walking downhill.  Everyone has their own personal opinion about which strap style is best, but every foot is different. I highly recommend going to your local REI and trying on a pair. You'll probably walk out with them snugly strapped to your feet. And you won't ever regret the purchase. Click here to purchase online.

3. REI Camp Cup with Clip Grip ($19.50)
If there was ever a travel coffee mug to demolish all other mugs, this one would be it. REI has made a great mug that can take a real beating! Erik and I both have one of these and they have been down multiple rivers, in multiple cars and in multiple camps. They have been thrown, dropped, scraped, and nearly run over. Yet, the mug remains and only the outside is scratched. The double wall stainless steel keeps your coffee hot longer than any other I've owned. That's a huge plus for me. The other nifty factor is the carabiner handle. There's a clip at the bottom which allows you to clip the mug onto your backpack, laptop bag, or drybag with ease. It makes it readily available at anytime! There's also a no-slip grip on the bottom which keeps it from sliding off the table... or the top of your car... wherever this bad boy finds itself. Click here to purchase online.

4. Sigg Lifestyle Water Bottle ($21.99)

I've always been a Nalgene fan. I had four in my possession at one time, I think. But then, I was introduced to this water bottle from Sigg, a Swiss company specializing in lightweight aluminum bottles. And when they say lightweight, they aren't lying. After packing one of these instead of a Nalgene, I swore I'd never go back. They're crafted from a single piece of aluminum and the interior is finished with an eco-friendly liner that is resistent to every type of beverage. Which means, you can put hot coffee in this water bottle, then rinse it out, and it won't taste like coffee at all in your next drink. Backpacker Magazine recently named this product the "World's Toughest Water Bottle." That was enough to get me excited! Not only do they have multiple sizes and lids, but they also make water bottles specially-designed for kids! Go check them out, you'll never use a Lexan product again.
Click here to purchase online.

Alright friends, that should tide you over for a little while, right? :) I'll post more of my favorites next week! 

DISCLAIMER:  I was not compensated in any form for reviewing the products above. I also receive no compensation for the links provided for your purchasing convenience! 

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