Gift for outdoor adventurers: Cairn subscription box review

I adore subscription boxes. Maybe it’s the thrill of getting regular packages in the mail, or the fun of never knowing exactly what’s going to be inside, but we’ve tried several varieties, from kids’ craft boxes to snack boxes. By far the best we’ve seen, however, for our crew? The Cairn box

cairn box


Named after one of my favorite sights along mountain trails, the trusted rock cairn, Cairn boxes contain goodies of the outdoor adventure variety. Subscriptions are $25/month, and even at a glance, I can tell the items sent have a value of at least that, or more, every time. You never know exactly what you’ll get, which is part of the fun, but Cairn does guarantee they’ll include things from the following five categories:

  • Gear: this could be a headlamp, a backpacking food container, a carabiner, etc.
  • Apparel: wool socks, a beanie, lightweight gloves, etc
  • Food/Energy: maybe a new hydration supplement, an energy bar, or a dehydrated snack
  • Skin care: perhaps a tube of sunscreen or lip balm
  • Emergency/Medical: think first aid items, fire starters, and the like

Could I go out and buy these types of things for myself for $22/month? Maybe, but I wouldn’t know what to get. This, to me, is the point of subscription boxes like Cairn: it will introduce you to new products and cool stuff you didn’t know existed. For me, Cairn is a teaser…a chance for me and my hiking sons to say, ‘Whoa, I didn’t know they made battery packs like this,” or, “Now this is an energy bar I’d actually eat.” Or, perhaps we find an item or two we’d never use again. Either way, it’s fun, it’s experiential, and it’s adventurous.

Here’s what we found in our first Cairn box:


  1. LuminAID PackLite 16 ($25 value): I’d actually been eyeing this lightweight, waterproof, solar-powered LED light for some time now. It easily clips to backpacks and inflates to be a great lantern for backpacking trips.
  2. Pocket Outdoor Survival Guide ($10 value): I haven’t looked at this yet, because my 16-year-old took it immediately and began reading. He’s an avid hiker and backpacker, and I’m glad he’s brushing up on his skills.
  3. Kate’s Real Food Grizzly Bar ($3 value): I’ve reviewed Kate’s Real Food bars in the past, and have recommended them ever since. I know this product well, and can vouch for the quality. Well done, Cairn!
  4. Mancha by Nazqiz ($2.50 value): this corn snack made with heirloom chulpe corn is completely new to me. In my opinion, this is what Cairn is all about…being introduced to new products.

In our most recent box, we received:

  1. Uco Leschi Lantern and mini flashlight
  2. Urban Gear tool (the kind you can put on your keychain)
  3. HumanGear GoTubb (those little water-resistant containers perfect for packing small items)
  4. GoToob (the squeezable kind)

As noted above, I was already aware of several of these outdoor gear products, but as a reviewer, I’m more in touch with the outdoor industry than most consumers. I imagine Kate’s Real Food, UrbanGear, and LuminAID is new to most people.

We learned about new gear from Cairn in time to outfit our son for his PCT trip last summer. It’s easy to gift a Cairn box, perfect for holiday giving!

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.




  1. I love subscription boxes too! I’ve not heard of Cairn before but love all that there is a subscription box for those that love the outdoors. I have two kids (big kids) who would really find this useful.

  2. I’d love it because I love to go hiking and spend time outdoors! No one else in my family does.

  3. Love subscription boxes and this idea in general!

Leave a Comment