Gear Review: The Self Care Edition

I spend a lot of showerless days and uncomfortable nights in the mountains, playing hard and getting dirty. In honor of the hard work my body puts in, I like to treat myself in the mountains and when I get back home. These are a few of my favorite products and services to do just that*!

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1. Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes

I take these lightweight wipes into the backcountry to keep my face clean and happy while I get after it! Bonus points: they smell AMAZING!

2. Chuao Chocolates

Don't be fooled by the label, these are actually little squares of joy! Tuck a few in the snack pouch of your pack for a pick-me-up on the trail, or save them for dessert. I always keep a few squares around for a sweet break!

3. Alpen Organics Mind & Body

Whether I’m looking for a cream to rub on bruises and sore spots or something to calm my mind and help me fall asleep when thoughts of bears dance through my brain, these are my go-to products! Use code “MISSMEGHANYOUNG” for a little discount when you check out!

4. Backpacker’s Pantry Crème Brulee

This has become a mountain tradition for long days in the alpine. Nothing says “GOOD WORK!” like tucking in to some delicious creme brûlée after a successful (or unsuccessful) summit with the crew! You’ll go to bed with a full tummy and smile on your face!

5. Feathered Friends Down Booties/Pants

When the weather gets cold, I don’t leave home without my down pants and booties. Lightweight and compactible, they easily fit in my pack and keep me toasty warm when we are snow camping or hanging around in super cold environments.

6. West Seattle Chiropractics

Heavy packs and strenuous days wreak havoc on my body. I’m especially prone to lower back issues ever since a snowboarding accident left me with some herniated discs and a fractured tailbone. The combination of chiropractic work + professional massage therapy keeps me feeling good and going strong during mountain season. I can’t recommend the amazing folks at West Seattle Chiro enough!

7. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I’m a sunscreen fanatic and after a few days in the backcountry, you can’t miss the layer of sweat, sunscreen, bug spray and dirt all over my face. This gentle scrub takes it all off and leaves my skin soft and glowing. Let’s be real: no one wants pimples in the backcountry or after an epic trip and this scrub helps keep me breakout free for all those IG stories ;)

8. Marketspice Cinnamon Orange Tea

Whether I’m in the backcountry or at home, this fragrant tea warms me up with it’s bold spices and cinnamon flavor. Pro tip: it’s equally delicious by it’s own or with a little bourbon thrown in for a nighttime toddy!

Do you have self-care favorites for the backcountry or home? I would love to hear about them!

*I have not been paid for these endorsements in any way.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Norvan VT GTX

I'm the kind of person who resists wearing boots whenever possible. I prefer the weight and feel of trailrunners as I cruise up and down the trail. They offer stability, sticky rubber, and the breathability I want when I'm outside. Nevertheless, finding something comfortable for my wide foot has been tricky. Enter the Norvan VT GTX.

Taking in the views from the summit of Black Peak.

Taking in the views from the summit of Black Peak.

Lightweight yet supportive, they have become my go-to for everything from day hikes to summit scrambles! I wore them on the summit of Shuksan, all the way up and down Glacier Peak via the Gerdine Ridge, and even out and about in town!

Pros: 

  • lightweight
  • adjustable lace system for extra support on the downhill
  • super rad colors
  • supportive and comfortable, even for my wide feet

Cons:

  • not available in metallic colors
  • better suited for lighter pack loads
  • mesh side vents are susceptible to tearing in heavy scree

All things considered, this is a great shoe that I will wear until they give out, and then get another pair!

 

Gear Review: Katadyn BeFree

I drink a lot of water when we hit the trail and I'm always looking for the easiest, fastest, and tastiest way to fill up from alpine lakes and streams.

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Enter the Katadyn BeFree water filtration system. Lightweight and super easy to use, they consist of two parts: a bottle or "flask" and a filter that's built into the cap. 

Remove the filter, fill the bag at your favorite lake or stream, pop the top back on and away you go. As an added bonus, the filter is super easy to clean. Just pop it off, swish it around in the water, then pop it back in. I have been using mine for several months now and it has saved us so much time on the trail!

The Pros:

  •  lightweight and very packable
  • incredibly easy to use
  • incredibly easy to clean
  • comes in a variety of sizes

The Cons:

  • bacterial filter only; check out some of their other products if you're traveling to an area with known viral contaminants
  • not the best option for large groups
  • not suitable for freezing weather

All things considered, this is a great option if you're hitting the trail in the Spring, Summer and Fall and you want to go fast and light. 10/10 would recommend!

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Cerium SV Hoody

Imagine for a second that you're standing on the summit of Prusik Peak, the wind blowing through your sweaty hair as you take in the views. You pull on your Arc'teryx Cerium SV Hoody and next thing you know, you're cocooned in soft, downy warmth as you watch the sun slowly sink over the distant hills with you friends. It's the stuff of dreams and I'm not talking about the sunset!

I have had my Cerium for a year and it has taken me from freezing temps in the Cascades to blustery days in the Swiss alps. It's my go to down piece and I don't go on any big adventures without it. It's lightweight, highly compressible, and works as a standalone piece or a mid layer, depending on temps and conditions.  The hood fits over my helmet and the slightly longer cut hits my hips, with extra length in the back for added warmth. As an added bonus, it's my favorite shade of blue and reminds me of an alpine lake in summer! If you're looking for a new down piece, I highly recommend this one. Pop into Arc'teryx Seattle if you're local or check out their website for all the options, then get after it!