Favorite Sierra Products – A Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the best products local to Tahoe. Now, I’m going to expand my range a little further and talk about my favorite things from my favorite mountain range – the Sierra Nevada! Plus, there will be a giveaway at the end that I think is pretty awesome.

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Klean Kanteen:
Klean Kanteen is based in Chico, California (home to another favorite – Sierra Nevada Brewing). I’ve mentioned my love for Klean Kanteen in other product round ups, but I just have to mention again how much I like them! I definitely think their insulated Kanteen are superior to their competitor Hydroflask. I am notoriously bad about forgetting to wash out my morning coffee, but the Klean Kanteen doesn’t have ANY lingering coffee smell. Klean Kanteen partners with organizations to co-brand their merchandise for fundraisers, and my organization is currently selling Sierra Nevada Alliance Klean Kanteens if you want to buy one!

Klean Kanteen manufactures their bottles in China, and has this to say about that

“Klean Kanteen has always shared many of the concerns you, our customers, have expressed about manufacturing the bottles in China. Before a single bottle was ever produced, Klean Kanteen set in place checks and balances to ensure that our bottles are produced safely, sustainably and that the people making Klean Kanteens are treated well and paid fairly. By manufacturing in China, Klean Kanteen can provide a handcrafted bottle of exceptional quality at a reasonable price.”

Klean Kanteen bottles are made from stainless steel, and the bottles are unlined and don’t contain any BPA. You can even get some of the Kanteens made entirely plastic free with stainless steel and bamboo lids.

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Photo by Greyson Howard

Yuba Expeditions: 
Not exactly a product, but more of a service – Yuba Expeditions in Downieville, California provides shuttle service, bike rentals and everything else you need to ride the classic Downieville Downhill mountain bike trail. I was able to ride the Downhill twice this summer, and both times we used the Yuba Expedition shuttle. Their service is great – on one trip, our group was too large to fit in on the existing shuttle routes, so they did a special shuttle trip at 7 am just for our group! It’s totally affordable ($20 per person), and their profits support Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, an awesome trail building organization that builds and maintains the great trails in the Sierra Buttes area.

When you finish the ride, hot and exhausted, Yuba Expeditions has cold, local beer waiting for you, AND it’s next to a swimming hole made by the confluence of the Yuba and the Downie Rivers, just waiting for you to jump in. Yuba Expeditions also sells really great shirts/hats/bike gear etc.

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I wear my Yuba Expeditions hat all the time, and Greyson has this “Another Shitty Day in Downieville” tank top. (Not him in the picture)

Juniper Ridge:
Technically, Juniper Ridge is based in Berkeley, California, but many of their products are distilled from plants collected in the Sierra Nevada.

“All Juniper Ridge products are 100% Wildcrafted and produced using old perfume making techniques including distillation, tincturing, infusion and enfleurage. A hundred years ago, all perfumes were made this way. Today we’re the only ones who handle every step of the process ourselves, from beginning to end. These formulas vary from year to year and harvest to harvest, based on rainfall, temperature, exact harvesting location, and season. The exact formula depends on what we find in the wind, a conversation with the living, wild ecology…

All of our plants are wildharvested with the utmost sensitivity and respect for the existing wildscape. We return to the same stands year after year to carefully monitor regrowth. We never use alien or invasive species and are actively involved in native plant restoration projects from San Diego to Seattle. 10% of all of our profits are annually donated to a portfolio of Western Wilderness Defense organizations. We revel in the intact forest habitats of the West, and tirelessly work to promote education as to how best to protect them.”

The amount of Juniper Ridge I own is a little ridiculous, but I just love all of their stuff so much! I can’t handle a lot of perfumed or scented products, but their stuff never bugs me. I would much rather smell like a cedar forest than a fake scent created in a lab. (A lot of the scented products on the market contain phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors and bad for the environment.) I first learned about this company from a friend at work when they donated several gift baskets worth of stuff to an auction. I won one of the gift baskets and have never looked back.

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My current favorite products are the Steep Ravine Organic Soap, Douglas fir spring tips tea, Sierra Granite Trail Soap, and the Christmas Tree Cabin Spray. Oh, and also the Siskiyou backpacker cologne! I got it for Greyson, but he’s not a cologne guy, and, hey, it’s unisex!

Chico Bags
Many cities in California (including Truckee and South Lake Tahoe) have a plastic bag ban, but I was using re-usable grocery bags long before it was compulsory. In fact, my mom recently sent me a re-usable bag we made together for an elementary school project. It’s got some sweet glitter paint designs.

At this point, I’ve accumulated a TON of reusable grocery bags, but by far my favorite is the ChicoBag Sling rePETe tote. The rePETe bags are made from recycled material, mostly 100% post-consumer bottles. The sling bags have a cross body strap (making them great for hauling beer and snacks to all day music festivals) and can hold up to 4o pounds. I was telling the checker at Safeway that, and she was curious so she weighed my bag – it easily carried 30+ pounds. I’m not sure how you’d get up to 40 without weights, but I trust them!

Living Wild by Alicia Funk and Karin Kaufman
I love this book by Alicia Funk and Karin Kaufman. Living Wild: Gardening, Cooking and Healing with Native Plants of California is so much more than a cookbook – it’s a great reference for the native plants of California, with a special focus on the Sierra.

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Photo from livingwild.org

“An invitation to celebrate California’s heritage and culture weaves through LIVING WILD, an essential guide to the uses of native plants. This expanded second edition offers a deep awareness of the landscape with advice on cultivating more than 100 native plant species and enjoying this natural abundance for sustainable wild food cuisine and herbal medicine remedies. LIVING WILD is the only sourcebook that provides a simple path to fundamentally shift the way we eat, garden and heal.”

Giveaway!

I’m giving away an awesome Sierra Nevada Gift Pack valued at $132.50 containing – a 16 oz insulated Sierra Nevada Alliance Klean Kanteen ($32.50 value), Juniper Ridge Sierra Granite Trail Soap ($30 value) & Cabin Spray ($40 value), and Living Wild: Gardening, Cooking and Healing with Native Plants of California by Alicia Funk and Karin Kaufman ($30 value).

Enter here and by commenting below: a Rafflecopter giveaway. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, February 15th.

Disclosure: All of the giveaway items I purchased with my own money. None of these awesome businesses paid me to advertise for them. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN GIVEAWAYS. A PURCHASE WON’T IMPROVE AN INDIVIDUAL’S CHANCE OF WINNING. ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES ASSOCIATED WITH THE RECEIPT OF ANY PRIZE ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER I’m only able to ship to the US and Canada, so only entries from those countries.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I receive a small percentage of the sale as compensation – at no additional cost to you. I promise to only recommend products that I use and enjoy!

Gifts for Beer Lovers

It’s getting to be that time of year – that season where every blogger and website publishes at least one gift guide. There’s been some great ones that I’ve already found. I really like Scallywag Sprints’ A – Z of Active Christmas Gifts, Bearfoot Theory’s 33 Outdoor Travel & Adventure Gifts, Just a Colorado Gal’s Gear of the Year, and Jezebel’s Gifts to Make Your Life Seem Better on Instagram (fully tongue in cheek!). If there is one thing that I like almost as much as outdoor adventure, it’s beer. I’ve bought enough beer related gifts over the past couple of years that were loved by the giftees that I thought I’d share them with you. Here are my recommendations for the beer lovers in your life.

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Klean Kanteen Pint Glasses
There are two great versions of Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel pint glasses – the Vacuum Insulated Pint Cup and the regular Stainless Steel Pint Cup. I have a bunch of the regular stainless steel pint cups now, and they’re my favorite thing to drink out of – water and beer. You can also get the regular pint glasses in a 4 pack for $26 – a great deal! I’ve used a lot of insulated Klean Kanteen products, and they’ve always been awesome. The insulated pint glass is perfect for keeping your beer cold on a hot summer day.

Pats

Photo from ActionHub

Pat’s Backcountry Beverages Carbonator Bottle Starter Kit
Sometimes after a long day of hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, biking, etc., nothing sounds better than a cold beer. But often, beer ends up being left behind due to weight concerns. That’s where Pat’s Backcountry beverages comes in. Using the Nalgene-sized carbonator bottle kit, and beer syrup, you can brew your own beer in the backcountry. It’s a little heavy if your goal is a lightweight set up, but light enough to bring along on shorter trips. I bought this set up (beer syrup ordered separately, see Pat’s Backcountry Beverages website for ordering) for my dad and Greyson last year, and the beer is good!

Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Growler
One of the coolest things I learned from visiting breweries in Oregon and Nevada is that they’ll fill any growler (in California, the majority of breweries will only fill their own branded growlers). Between that and the rise of beer/wine/liquor stores with growler fill stations, an insulated stainless steel growler is a great gift. I have the Hydro Flask 32 oz growler, but they also come in a full size, 64 oz version.

Alibi Ale Works Pale Ale on Nitro

Brewery Gift Certificates
If you know their favorite kinds of beers, you can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to that brewery (or breweries!). Even if you don’t live near a cool brewery, consider getting a gift certificate for one in one of their favorite vacation destinations. A couple of my favorite breweries include Alibi Ale Works in Lake Tahoe, NV, Crux Fermentation Project in Bend, OR, Mountain Rambler Brewery in Bishop, CA, and June Lake Brewing in June Lakes, CA.

A Trip to a Beer Destination
If you have a slightly larger budget for this gift, consider a beer-related trip. There are some great beer related destinations out there that also double as great outdoor adventure locations. You could head to Bend, OR and do the Bend Ale Trail. Also in Oregon is the microbrew capital of the US, Portland. Just close your eyes, point, and walk in that direction for a few blocks. You’ll be sure to run into a great brewery. You could head for the very northwest corner of the continental US – Bellingham. It’s got a bunch of great breweries and amazing mountain biking. If you have a HUGE budget, there’s always Belgium or Germany! Note: I haven’t tried the Belgium or German beer tours, but they look awesome.

Solo beer touring in Portland this fall.
Solo beer touring in Portland this fall.

Those are just a few of my gift ideas for beer lovers! Beer drinkers – what would you like to get? I would love this Akinz “I Just Wanna Ride Bikes Drink Beer & Cuddle” tank top!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I receive a small percentage of the sale as compensation – at no additional cost to you. I promise to only recommend products that I use and enjoy!

Sierra Fall Essentials

The leaves are changing, the weather has cooled off, and I’ve started craving pie at every meal. It’s fall!Boots, scarves, tea, pumpkin spice lattes, etc – there are many things that people consider essentials for the autumn season. Here’s my list of must-haves for a perfect fall in the mountains.

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  1. Boots that can handle rain and a little bit of snow:During a normal year, most of the precipitation that falls in Tahoe comes down in the form of snow. The last few years have been anything but typical, and, fall is our rainiest season. I have these amazing Sorel Women’s Winter Boots for heavy snows, but I wanted something a bit lighter and more puddle proof for fall. A bunch of my New Englander friends clued me in to the wonder that is the Original Duck Boot by LL Bean. More commonly known as “Bean Boots”, these things are amazing. I have the 8 Inch Women’s Bean Boots. They keep my feet dry, are way lighter than my snow boots, don’t make my feet swampy like previous all-rubber boots and can handle a few inches of snow with ease. Since mine are unlined, I got mine a little big (I normally wear a 10.5, got the 11) and wear them with fluffy wool socks and sweater pants. I couldn’t be happier!
  2. Wool clothing: See above. I have a bunch of Smartwool Socks – including biking, running, hiking,skiing/compressionand fluffy, a pair of Smartwool footless tights (aka sweater pants), and a Smartwool Sports Bra.

LL Bean Boots and Smartwool Leggings

Bean Boots and Sweater Pants

I also have a great soft shell jacket from Icebreaker and a wool base layer that I got at the Patagonia outlet years ago. Why wool? According to Sierra Trading Post, “Wool is one of nature’s best insulating fibers and has been used to make clothing for centuries. Not only is wool extremely good at holding in warmth, it also wicks moisture and dries faster than cotton.” Wool is definitely worth the cost, and it smells way better than synthetic fabrics after sweating. Just a warning – I dry my socks in the dryer, but all of my other wool products get laid flat for drying.

  1. Something to keep my tea and coffee hot. I have and use a double walled, stainless steel bottle from both Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen. I slightly prefer the Klean Kanteen, mostly because I think the lid holds on to less smells/flavors that the Hydro Flask Both do an excellent job keeping my tea and coffee hot for hours – up to 6!
  2. A raincoat: Living in Bellingham and Seattle for 6+ years, I’ve worn a lot of raincoats. I think that I finally have a favorite!

Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket

The Patagonia Torrentshell is slightly visible in this picture of Yosemite Valley last October.

While not the lightest or the most packable, the Patagonia Torrentshell raincoat keeps me totally dry while still looking pretty cute. I was at a mostly outdoor work training last week, and it poured for much of Saturday. The Torrentshell kept me dry, warm and comfortable the whole time. This time, I wore it over my Patagonia Half Zip Fleece, but I have also worn it over a puffy vest or down coat for wet snowboarding days.

  1. A seasonal drink: While Negronis might be the drink of the summer, come fall, I’m drinking something different. I crave darker beers (like Great Basin Brewing’s Outlaw Milk Stout) and I start enjoying my ales over nitro – like thisAlibi Ale Works Pale Ale. When it comes to something a little harder, I like the Boulevardier(aka a Negroni that replaces the gin with rye). I bought a huge thing of Bulleit Rye at Costco, and we are enjoying slowly going through that.

Sierra Fall Essentials // tahoefabulous.com

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I receive a small percentage of the sale as compensation – at no additional cost to you. I promise to only recommend products that I use and enjoy!

 

Tahoe Summer Essentials

The weather is warm, the pine pollen is in full swing, and I’ve started checking items off my Tahoe Summer Bucket List – summer is here! I thought I’d share my list of my essential gear for an amazing summer in Tahoe (or anywhere warm with a water body and unlimited trails!)

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  1. A swimsuit you can actually swim in! I have a few of these, ranging from a one piece Tyr for open water swims to cute and functional bikinis. My current favorite thing to do is to pair this Patagonia top with these prAna Ramba bottoms
    . I also have a Calavera suit(lifeguard top and bottom), which I really like. I like how their sizing tool lets you put in measurements for your optimal size. Note – the bottoms I got fit me well, but don’t have as much coverage as I was expecting. They stay in place and look great though!
  2. Healthy sunscreen and a hat. While I care about protecting myself from sun damage, I also worry about the potentially harmful effects of certain sunscreen ingredients on our waterways. I try to choose sunscreens that are mineral based (as opposed to “chemical”). If you’re looking for a healthy sunscreen that is activity, sweat and water-proof and works, my friend Kristen at Wayfare Collective did a great round up of environmentally friendly sunscreens to help you find one that will hold up to hard use: Part OnePart Two,Part Three. I’ve been using Beyond Coastal 30 SPF and, while I don’t love the smell or the way it feels – I can’t deny that it stays put. Greyson’s beard sometimes still smells like sunscreen, even after all day outside and washing his face.

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Another great way to keep sun off my face (and prevent scalp burns – thanks, fine hair!) is a hat. While there are a ton of cute and stylish floppy hats out there, my favorite is an old baseball cap I got in a thrift store in Bishop, California. Baseball hats seem to work well when I’m active, keeping my hair and sweat off my face and covering up the second or third day of camp hair.

  1. A way to keep your drink cold. Having a cold beer or icy Negroni on the beach or dock is one of summer’s true joys. If the sun is beating down on you, keeping your drink refreshing can be a challenge.

Beer coozie

You can always go with a standard beer koozie, but if you need your ice to last longer, I like the 16 oz insulated Klean Kanteen. It keeps cold drinks cold for up to 12 hours, and never gets a gross smell, no matter how long you leave old lemonade festering in there. (Not that I know from experience or anything.)

Negroni photo by Greyson Howard

Negroni from Reno Provisions. Photo by Greyson Howard.

  1. A bike to ride around town. While I own several bikes, I’m most attached to the one I ride the most – an early 2000’s Cannondale hardtail in Sobe green. While this bike is still great on the trails (I rode it on the Flume Trail this spring), it’s the bike I generally ride around town. Really, there’s nothing more fun than throwing a towel & sunscreen, a great book, some chips and a water bottle into my backpack and pedaling down to the beach. I also love riding to the bar to meet friends for a happy hour beer, and racing home as an adult bike gang.

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  1. For night rides and camping – a headlamp. I can slip mine (the Petzl Tikka 2 Plus) under my helmet when I’m bike commuting home after dark and it’s light enough (no heavy battery pack) that I don’t really notice it when I’m reading in the tent.
  2. Adventure sandals. I know that adventure sandals have their specific place – and, in my opinion, that place is almost everywhere. Ha! I personally love Chacos (I recently bought my 4th pair) and the Z-tanline is pretty much permanently ingrained in my foot at this point. Other great brands are Keens, Teva and Sanuk.

Tahoe Summer Essentials // tahoefabulous.com

These are just a few of the things I love for summer. What’s on your summer essentials list?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I receive a small percentage of the sale as compensation – at no additional cost to you. I promise to only recommend products that I use and enjoy!