I recently was turned on to the Cairn Box from my friend Brett Simpson. Similar to a CSA box, which we tried last year, it’s a box that arrives monthly with goodies. Here’s the catch though, it’s stuff to be used in the out of doors! A little gimmicky? Maybe, but I was interested anyways.
The monthly cost is $25 for a grab bag of useful items. Why was I sold? I’ve been wanting to get a Luminaid light for quite some time, but kept putting it off. Guess what was included in May’s box? If you guessed free nudie mags you’d be wrong. If you guessed a Luminaid, then you would be right. Pat yourself on the back. Also included was a Spork with it’s own case (fancy), Powdered Peanut Butter (Hmmm), Biodegradable Soap (ok!) and some hipstery gourmet oatmeal (laxative?). Pretty much all things that I will use on my next trip.
Basically you get a couple rad things and some extra things to try that you would probably never buy. With the help of some referrals you can even get a free monthly box (hint hint-tell them I sent ya!). It’s worth trying for a little while. Kinda wish I got that sweet hammock from April though.
I’m not a big coffee drinker. Yeah, yeah. Coffee goes with camping I know, but I’ve never really enjoyed it. Sometimes it works for me, but most of the time I skip it. I do however enjoy a nice cup of tea. Even better if there’s some honey in it. If’n you’re a fan of tea though, you have probably graduated to loose leaf teas. None of that paper bag Lipton shit, or even the Tazo teas. I want my green tea leaves to open up and bloom damnit!
Here’s the problem though. When you’re camping or on the road, loose leaf tea is not the most convenient. Coffee might be easier to make on the trail. Although, I’ve camped with some guys that make an art of their cowboy coffee too. Up until now I’ve been slummin’ it with the tea while camping. I’ve been using the tea bags because they are easy to pack and easy to clean up. I don’t have to worry about crushing an infuser or where to carry the tea.
That has all changed. I’ve found a game changer for mobile tea. It’s called the Tovolo TeaGo. One piece of gear that can handle all of the issues of making some loose leaf tea on the go. I don’t get anything for this. I’m just passin’ it along.
Here’s how it works. It’s made up of 2 pieces. The outer piece is a tube with a metal infuser at one end. This holds your tea when it’s in your cup. It has a plastic cover for the infuser for when you’re traveling. The inner piece is an airtight container to store your loose leaf tea. It holds about 3 cups worth. If you reuse your tea a few times you could easily get 10 cups out the container.
When you are ready to make your tea, you remove the inner piece and the bottom cover. Unscrew the cap and pour in the desired amount to tea to the outer piece. Then you reinsert the inner piece. This acts like a plunger and keeps the tea down towards the bottom. Then you set the entire piece in your mug, clipping on the tab to your mug to keep it in place. Steep for the desired time and you are good to go! When you are done, just replace the bottom cover and throw it back in your bag or backpack. Pretty simple and very clean.
I’ve used this quite a few times now and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with it. It does make enjoying a good cup of tea while outside much easier. One thing I noticed is that a tea that “blooms” might be a little constricted in the infuser due to it’s size. I think you could put less and steep longer to avoid that issue. I’ve been using a chai tea which does not “bloom” and I’ve had no issues with it.
I hope this is useful info to someone out there. If you’ve got some other ideas on how to carry your tea please leave a comment. In the meantime, get out there and drink some #teaoutside!
The best part of planning trips is pulling out a map. Sometimes many maps. ‘Puters are great for a quick overview, but nothing beats paper maps. The real deals.
I’ve got a couple routes that need plannin’. One north and one south. Both exciting. Gonna be tough to choose between the two. Probably will have to do both.
Prototypin' some gear. A handlebar sling for drop bars.
It worked!! Pretty awesome. I was able to bring some water just about to a boil. I just didn’t have enough fuel in the can. Nothing better than making something yourself AND it works!!
Making the Super Cat Stove.
Third time's the charm. Frame Bag #3 for the Salsa Mukluk.
Check out the new Klymit Inertia X-Lite Sleeping pad.
Tour Divide is one week away! A huge thanks to the people that have helped out. Want to buy a t-shirt too?