Outdoor Gear / Travel Gear

Fun Summer Finds – 12 Things for Travel and Outdoors

I’m always on the search for innovative products for the outdoors and travel that are multi-functional and packable. These are some fun summer finds I’ve recently discovered.

Be a Bandit with a Better Bandana

I instantly fell in love with Bandits Bandanas when I found them on Instagram. Each bandana features designs created by artists around the world, 10% of proceeds go to a cause chosen by the design artist, and Bandits are ethically hand-made from 100% organic cotton in a fair-trade certified facility in India. When I was perusing their website I had tough time choosing as they are all fabulous designs. In my first order, I purchased “Stay Steady” which was designed by Emily Kelley and proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen and “Remember You are on Stolen Land” designed by Helday de la Cruz and proceeds benefit Pueblo Unido in Portland, Oregon. When you get your Bandit, you get a tie guide too.

Give Yourself A Hug

When I saw Gigi Seasons’ Puffer Hug, I thought the cozy wrap would be perfect for summer mornings and evenings. It has deep pockets and designed to feel like a warm hug. I tested it out at a trailhead before an early hike. It was a great extra layer to stave off the early morning chill in the mountains. It would be great for camping, tailgating, or even a plane when you want an extra layer. This is a product that gives too as 15% of all orders’ retail value goes to help strengthen communities through Gigi Cares, the philanthropic arm of Gigi Seasons.

Put A Jacket On Your Drink

I found Puffin at Outdoor Retailer in early June and immediately loved the cute twist on a koozie with Puffin life jackets and coats for cans. Two of my favorites are the wine bottle sleeping bag and red adventure vest. The silver inside keeps your beverage container cold while the outside makes for a fun statement piece for your drink.

Cover Your Ankles While Hiking

I love Kahtoola EXO Spikes for winter and was excited to try Kahtoola RENAgaiters Low and RENAgaiters Mid this summer to protect my ankles and keep dirt, debris, and rocks from getting into my hiking shoes. I got the low and mid versions. The green and purple colors happen to match my favorite hikers! These are easy to get on and off with the side zipper and instep strap. There’s a small hook on the front to attach to your laces. The stretch-woven nylon fabric is heavy-duty, yet comfortable. There’s even an elasticized draw cord to ensure an snug fit around your lower calf. These are one of those gifts you get for yourself too! I like the low ones for hiking and will put my purple mid height ones to use snowshoeing in winter.

Walk With a Big Stick

The older I get, the more I like hiking with poles. While hiking up and back to Whitney Lake near Vail, I tested out TSL Move Carbon 3 trekking poles and loved them. These are not collapsible, but they are great for day hikes and road trips with hiking on the itinerary. You can easily make them shorter when needed for steep uphills. I was super glad to have them on a precarious water crossing.

Solid Moisture

This moisturizer was given to me as a birthday gift and I love. I’ve tried solid moisturizers in the past and most of them would work a couple of times then dry out quickly. Not the Daily Stone by Kate McLeod. It’s luxurious and all natural.

Chic and Sun-Safe Clothing

ZAGS sunwraps, ponchos, tops and pants are UPF 50+, moisture wicking, stain/odor resistant, and anti-microbial. These pieces takes sun savvy style to a bright and colorful new level. ZAGS is designed and manufactured in Charleston, South Carolina. I bought the Blissful Dots Party Poncho ($118) and Jet (Away) Black Coolin’ It Cardi Coverup ($148) for multi-purpose travel pieces. The poncho packs down small and the long cardigan is perfect for travel. Both pieces went with me on the first trip after purchase. I even bought two ponchos as special gifts for two friends.

Top It Off

I’m a hat gal for sun protection and travel chic attire. Finding ones that are packable and not pricey can be an issue though. These are two you can through in your carry-on or beach bag without worrying about wrecking their shape. I got a Trailheads UV Protection Running Hat ($25) for sun protection while hiking and walking. The hat comes in a bunch of colors. Mine is tropical teal. Trailheads was started by a couple in Kent, Connecticut. I first tested the hat during a day on a boat in Charleston, SC. It stayed put and gave me great sun protection and even rain protection in a few afternoon showers. The hats have UV protection of 50+ UPF rating and are moisture wicking. A really unique feature in a cap is the 2 3/4” visor of a dark under brim to reduce glare. That’s an especially great feature if you play tennis or golf. The other hat I recently got is J. Crew Packable Straw Hat ($59.50). I got it on sale. It’s currently 35% with code FLASH. It’s made of malleable raffia fiber that retains it shape. Mine is straw color with regular brim, but it also comes in wide brim and black ivory options. Unsnap the black band, fold the hat, roll, and wrap band several times for packing perfection.

Keep Your Smile Fresh and White On the Go

FunkkOFF! Teethrefreshers has a fun name. It’s a 2-in-1 toothbrush and toothpaste that’s the size of a lipstick and it’s reuseable 30 times. You just twist, brush, and rinse to refresh your smile while on-the-go. The toothpaste is 100% made from natural ingredients and is BPA, SLS, and fluoride free. The brush has soft bristles. It has an aerated cap, easy twist bottom, and even a secret mirror. It’s great for coffee breath or red wine teeth!

Carry a Canteen

The Canu Canteen is a 22 fluid ounce bottle in a Yulex Neoprene Case with an upcycled carrying strap. It solves my issue of wanting to carry a water bottle on a short walk or while at a festival or event.

Wipe Off in Style

I often want to take a small towel when hiking to wipe my arms and/or legs post hike, but was having a hard time finding a really small, ultra light, and quick drying towel to up my rag game. PackTowl ultralight towel is my solution. It’s microfiber material absorbs up to 4 times its weight in water, yet dries in a flash. The loop with snap makes it easy to attach to a bag, hang, or to wrap around the tiny folded towel. It comes in several colors. Mine is called grass meadow. It also comes in several sizes and mine is the face one. It’s the smallest size.

Buy Guide Books

I have several friends who have written wonderful guide books for hiking and adventuring in Colorado. My friend Jon Kedrowski, who guided my Everest Base Camp Trek, recently released his newest book titled “Classic Colorado Hikes.” This is a great gift for an intermediate+ hiker. For families, my friend Heather Mundt just released her book “Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure” and is filled with fun hiking, camping, and outdoor activities across the the state. My friend Mindy Sink wrote the third edition of “60 Hikes within 60 Miles.” It released in 2020 but filled with great hikes within 60 miles of Denver and Boulder.