The Essential Gym Bag Items for After Work Workouts with Kam of Campfire Chic

So Katie from The Morning Fresh is sharing her training secrets in her series #couchtocrush and I’m trying really hard to improve my climbing and overall fitness so I’ve been hitting the gym a lot more than ever in my life.

A little background: my undergraduate degree is in Kinesiology with an emphasis in fitness and health promotion. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in the field (especially once my advisor told me that nobody would hire in-house health promotion positions…yet we have those kinds of positions at my current workplace?) and I wasn’t particularly active. Sure, I took my required fitness courses (weight lifting, fencing, volleyball, rock climbing, swimming, badminton, etc.) but other than that I wasn’t hitting the gym or hiking very much. I knew the mechanics and could put together a fitness routine based on your goals and 1RM but I wasn’t interested in working out at all.

So here I am,  several years later, finally interested in being a gym rat and using my degree to help me improve my overall strength and aerobic fitness.

I try to keep my after work gym bag pretty lightweight and only holding the things I totally need. I sometimes stow my bag under my desk at work and I don’t want to lug a heavy bag with tons of extra stuff up and down the stairs. I keep my smaller essentials (hair ties, tampons, etc.) organized in a small pouch so I’m not digging into the bag looking for one damn thing.

I don’t have my bag down to a science and I’m probably missing something truly important so please don’t be shy and let me know what needs to be added to this list in the comments.

My climbing bag has evolved a bit to include a handful of extra things to make going to the workout area of the climbing gym more comfortable and less of a bore. Some of the things in my gym bag are more for comfort/vanity purposes and not things that are required to have a good workout*.

In my “after work” gym bag: 

Foot Notes™ Athletic Shoe Charms

I shared a photo on Instagram a couple of weeks ago of the Foot Notes™ on my climbing shoes. There are a few people at my gym with the same pair of shoes so if I leave my shoes in a common area, I sometimes forget which pair is mine (not really, mine are pretty tiny) and I’d rather not have somebody else try to fit their feet into my shoes! These “shoe charms” are cute and lightweight and seem to catch the light right when I need a reminder to not give up and to keep climbing. Since then, I moved the Foot Notes™ to my Nikes to keep me motivated in the gym…especially as I go through some of the #couchtocrux workouts and foam roll at the end of the night. I’m planning on grabbing a pair for my hiking shoes (custom: just wander) and switching these back to my climbing shoes so I can pick out something more running related like 1 more mile and just breathe.

You can get a pair of Foot Notes™ from Momentum for yourself with coupon code: CAMPFIRECHIC for 15% off (good through April 13, 2015). Momentum sent the first set of Foot Notes™ to me for a possible review and I’m glad to share this company with you. I know that Campfire Chic readers set goals and put in the work to achieve those goals…these little reminders are a nice physical reminder that you’re a badass.

Shoes – Nike Lunarglide

Those bright babies in the photo above are Nike Lunarglide 5s. They were from the Nike Factory Store in Portland, but the newer model can be found here (you can find the 5s on Amazon). I need a little extra stability with my shoes and I like a lighter weight shoe, so these are perfect for my current needs. The bright color is a little out of my comfort zone but I fell in love with them (and the price tag!) so now I’m more motivated to put them on and spend some time on the treadmill. I’m a strong believer in wearing things that make you feel good while you’re at the gym so while I technically had a perfectly good pair of shoes at home, these are the ones that are motivating me to keep up my workouts!

If you’re not sure what kind of shoe would work best for you, try finding a running shop near you that offers consultations for customers. You may pay a premium for the service, but you’ll notice the difference right away when you put on the shoe that best works with your movement. My parents would drive me out to a shop during high school so I could get new shoes for cross-country and track and it was such a difference between getting those shoes rather than the cheapest pair from a sporting goods store.


My “Essentials” Outfits from Fabletics

My workout clothes have gotten out of control thanks to Fabletics and their wonderful leggings…okay, so most of their items are going on my basics list. Salar leggings, Suva Run shorts, Aventura and Oula tanks, Vaasa bras, and the Forward Tee style shirt are in constant rotation and are the first pieces I encourage women to try when they are submitting their first Fabletics order. I’m a Fabletics ambassador so if you have questions about the different types of clothes, ask away…I probably own one or two! Also, if you are new to Fabletics, there may be a great deal going on right now, like getting your first look for 50% off when you become a VIP. This is my referral link (helps me get more clothes!).

Figure out what types of clothes make you feel the most comfortable. I know I prefer to wear a pair of quality leggings with an oversized tank top most days so I have plenty of leggings and aventura tanks to keep me happy. I love the Forward Tee so much that my black tee is the first thing I pack when I travel and will sometimes be worn to work when I’m running low on blouses (aka always). When you’re comfortable with what you’re wearing, you’ll be able to focus on the fun you’re having during your workout.


Hairties & Headbands

My gym sometimes has a basket of cheap hairties in the locker room but they seem to disappear quickly (along with the tampons, who is hoarding tampons??) so I make sure to have at least 2 spare hairties and a headband in my bag. I’m slow on the trend, but the tie style hairties are my current favorite because they come with different designs and they’re gentler on my thick hair. The Fabletics ones are a great buy and I also have a set from Loft that have a more Safari theme going on (similar from Loft, similar from Charming Charlie, similar from If you’re just looking for headbands, look for types that say they are “no slip” so they don’t fall off mid-stride. You can find generic brands at the drugstore or Target but honestly, the ones from Fabletics are pretty awesome (similar from The North Face) and stay in my hair even if I’m a little on the grungy side.


Wet Wipes…because sometimes a shower can wait 

There are showers in the locker room, but sometimes I need to freshen up quickly and get out the door so having some baby wipes to get the chalk off of my face is really helpful. I buy a small travel size pack of baby wipes or stow a Paper Shower in my bag so they don’t take up too much room in my bag.


Fueled By: Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate from Guayaki is energy drink of choice. It’s not like some of the overly sugary energy drinks that may be associated with late drives or long gaming sessions, which puts it toward the top of my list. I also have the regular tea bags at work (in mint and green tea) to keep me awake at my desk. I like these drinks because they don’t make me jittery and they don’t make my stomach feel funny after drinking them. Sometimes the sugary drinks available make my stomach upset and that’s the last thing I want to feel when I’m in my harness and up a 50 foot wall. Try the mint flavored one, it sounds a little off-putting but it’s delicious!

Yurbud Headphones

My Yurbuds are my go-to headphones. Alex borrowed (and never returned) my yurbuds a few years ago so I bought a lower model in sea green/mint and I love them. My ears are a little too small for traditional ear buds so the cone shape to these are perfect! I’m able to listen to podcasts or workout mixes (I currently use the RockMyRun app for mixes because I’m too lazy to make my own) while lifting or foam rolling.

*As with any other activity, consult your doctor before hitting the gym or trying a new workout.

This post has a few affiliate links to Amazon. Using these links helps support Campfire Chic — during 2015, I will use the Amazon Associates credit generated from sales made through these links to help buy supplies for the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County. If you’d like to help make that happen, simply visit this post in the future and click on one of the links before shopping on Amazon. Every little bit helps. 

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in Active, Review

Roundup of helpful articles, blog posts, and videos from around the net


Expect some more outdoor gear testing to creep up on the blog for the next few months. I’m hoping to establish myself as qualified ‘media’ for Outdoor Retailer so I do not need to rely on a brand bringing me out for support or whatever. My goal is to focus these reviews on what Campfire Chic readers are interested in…entry-level gear needed to do awesome things (climbing, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, etc.) and the necessities that make travel and microadventures fun and comfortable. I will always try a product before I share it here and I’ll do my best to make sure that the price-point is something that matches what Campfire Chic readers are willing to spend.


in Essential Reading

Establish Authority with Pinterest - Social Media Marketing with Kam of Campfire Chic

As a blogger, you know that Pinterest is full of inspiration to be a better blogger, have a better home, and be a better person. You also know that it is a great way to get your work in front of more eyeballs.

Pinterest is the #1 social media site driving traffic to Campfire Chic on a regular basis. After I saw the trend that Pinterest is a big deal for my site, I changed up how I make images for the site and am more proactive with getting my posts onto Pinterest for others to see. I now try to use vertical images (once a big no-no for lifestyle bloggers as horizontal photos fill the content space so much better) and started using stock photos more often instead of stressing about getting the perfect shot for each post on my own.

I am sharing some ways to establish authority in your niche on my LinkedIn to help bloggers, freelancers, and small business owners get the most out of the platform as they can.

While I may not have a million followers on Pinterest, my boards attracted the attention of Pinterest and I’m in a private community of “Outdoor Pinfluencers” who help the folks at Pinterest learn more about their users and beta test some of the upcoming features on us. It goes to show that you do not need to have a thousand Pinterest boards or a million trillion followers to have “social proof.” I help my freelance clients update their Pinterest accounts to not only tell their brand story but to also have a positive impact on the Pinterest community as a whole…making sure Pins all lead someplace (and hopefully to the original creator!), meaningful descriptions for Pins, and well-organized boards so the Pins showing up in your ‘related pins’ feed are, in fact, related.

I would love to hear what tips you have for developing Pinterest boards, you can comment directly on the LinkedIn post or here on this blog post.



in Better Blogging, Social Media

Around Here Currently List


Today’s post is inspired by the Currently List cards and challenge from Kristin of rukristin. Find out more here.

I am currently…

Watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey, a little rewatch of Grimm, and a whole heck of a lot of March Madness recaps.

Reading our new Sunset Magazine (essentially the original Pinterest), some Dungeons & Dragons stuff I won’t bore you with, and plenty of blog archives from new-to-me bloggers. I went on a hunt for some fun work-appropriate fashion bloggers who work in a more business casual environment and got some great inspiration to help refresh my work wardrobe. Most of my cardigans have seen better days and a few of my pants are “hemmed” using safety pins so it’s time I grow up and wear some appropriate clothes.

Listening to the Being Boss podcast. Some episodes speak to me more than others, but I think the routine of listening to podcasts is helping me stay sane as we move, plan big trips, and deal with my car (it was in the shop for the third time in 6 months but this should be the last time!). I’m also trying to sneak in some Welcome to Nightvale in the mornings when I’m at work before anybody else because it makes me laugh.

Making progress on moving into our apartment. March has been much busier than we anticipated so we didn’t start moving things into our apartment until 5 days after we got the keys. We need a new mattress so we’re camping out on the floor in front of our fireplace for now (this sleeping bag is my everything right now. You can get 5% off if you use KamAltar at checkout through the end of the month. I don’t get a kickback, but The Sierra Club will get a small donation from your purchase). I’m using our TV as my monitor as my computer screen because I’m not entirely sure where my monitor or my desk are at the moment…and I need to hire movers to help us get our bigger furniture (coach and dressers) up three flights of narrow stairs.

Feeling…exhausted BUT now that I’m not waking up at 5am to leave the house by 5:50am to get to work by 7am, I’m sure that feeling with change. I have my car at work with me now so I anticipate a few lunchtime naps coming my way.

Planning what to wear this weekend. I’m heading out to the Red Rocks Rendezvous outside of Las Vegas and normally the weather would be chilly this time of the year. The current weather forecast is looking to be closer to the high 80s and possibly low 90s. I need some shorts I can comfortably move in, so I’ll be heading to REI to use my dividend this week. I’m also in the beginning stages of planning a quick getaway to Sedona/The Grand Canyon for sometime in April but our weekends are filling up fast. I just need a quick change of scenery.

Loving: The Quiet. Yes, caps. It’s so quiet at our new apartment that I need to remind myself that we’re living in a pretty dense area. We don’t share any walls with our neighbors and everybody here seems so chill compared to our last community. We didn’t bring Rintu with us quite yet because we didn’t want to worry about him escaping while we move things into the apartment so the quiet is also making me miss him a lot.




in Around Here.

Roundup of helpful articles, blog posts, and videos from around the net


Around here: It’s been really hot for the past couple of weeks (I’m talking high 9o*s) and I’m wondering if we’ll ever see clouds again. I’m in Southern California and the entire state could use some rain right about now. // We’re in the final stretch for this edition of 30 Days of Lists! It’s so interesting to see how the community grows each year and how open folks are about what is going on in their lives as they document their “right now” with lists. // I’m spending more time in the workout room of our climbing gym trying to improve my upper body strength and cardio. It’s pretty boring most of the time, but if I want to climb better, I need to work at it. // I’m in the middle of moving (yes, again) and so please hang tight if I don’t respond to comments/emails/tweets super quickly.

This week’s Essential Reading:


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in Essential Reading

Spring Sale on Campfire Chic

With Spring upon us, now is a good time to take a look at your website and blog to see what needs a little bit of a Spring cleaning. Personally, I am going through the About You: A simple guide to writing about yourself with confidence ebook and going through the Spark ecourse daily emails to help me stay on track with the small details that come with running a blog.

The ebook and ecourse below are currently 20% off! You don’t need a coupon, the discount will be included when you check out.

Write about yourself with confidence
If you notice that your bios and About Page could use a quick update but you’re not sure what it is you should say, the About You ebook (and ebook + workbook) can help you out. Just go ahead and click through to check out and you’re on your way to writing about yourself without it feeling icky. Both the ebook and the ebook+workbook are on sale now.

Know somebody who could use this sale? Click here to tweet.

If you’re still thawing out from Winter and need a pick-me-up to get back into blogging, the Spark Ecourse is for you. I’ll send you an email every day for 30 days with one thing to focus on that day…it may be tackling your I-oughta-do-this list or having a dance party in your kitchen…simple emails that will get you on your way and out of your post-Winter rut. Find out more about the Spark Ecourse (and get your discount) here. 

Know somebody who could use this sale? Click here to tweet.

This sale runs through March 31, 2015. The sale only includes the items featured and linked above. No coupon code is necessary, your discount will be automatically applied at checkout. 


in Announcement, Sale

Creative and beautiful ways to document your travels and adventures - Campfire Chic

Thanks to social media, we’re all memory keepers. If you’re on Instagram, you’re sharing photos and words with your friends and family and if you upload vacation photos to Facebook, you’re totally documenting your adventures. Welcome to the wonderful world of ‘memory keeping.’

This goes beyond photo albums full of 4×6 photos and maybe a small caption here or there. This is about documenting your experiences in meaningful (and beautiful!) ways. While I could go on for days about how wonderful it is to preserve your memories, I’m going to share different ways other folks document their adventures near and far.

Awesome ways to document your travels

  1. You may need to start with some basic tools, especially proper adhesive
  2. Elise Blaha Cripe shared a video on how she made a mini-album for a weekend in Palm Springs and a quick tutorial on how she made the cover for that awesome album
  3. Want to scrapbook while actually on the road? Kelly Purkey shows you how to do just that…including how to print your own photos while on-the-go
  4. You can see how Kelly made an album to show off a trip to Portland, Oregon here
  5. Amy of Lemon and Raspberry launched a website dedicated to travel scrapbooking called TravelScrap HQ, gives tips on creating your own travel journal,
  6. Amy Tan of Amy Tangerine has beautiful mini books showing her travels to Australia, Palm Springs, Bangkok, and a road trip she took from Chicago to Los Angeles
  7. If you’re looking for a class, I’m obsessed with the On The Road self-paced class from Ali Edwards
  8. You really don’t need to spend a lot of money on supplies…you’d be surprised what you can use to make mini album covers
  9. Want to go a more traditional route and make actual scrapbook pages? Ali Edwards has a great video on how she made the 8.5×11 album from a trip to Disneyland…
  10. …in fact, Ali has great posts highlighting what she brings to scrapbook on the road and documenting travels with photo books
  11. Kristin of rukristin has a HUGE list of mini albums she’s created for her travels and microadventures
  12. Allie of Alexandra Rae Design has a really cute digital scrapbook page for a beach getaway
  13. Caylee Grey shared the beginnings of her travel journal from a trip to Spain
  14. Pocket scrapbooking makes things simple and when you come home for a nice vacation, the last thing you want to do is face a difficult project. Check out my travel album for last year’s trip to New York City
  15. How to make your own daybook
  16. Tips for documenting a vacation in your Project Life album
  17. Here’s how you can make the easiest 3×4 album
  18. How to art journal using your iPad. Wouldn’t it be great to send your pages to be printed before you leave for home?
  19. Create your own Smashbook
  20. Keep your photos visible with this accordion picture holder. It’s a nice way to share your travels without making your family click through a million trillion photos on your Facebook
  21. Give an old book a new life by turning it into an album
  22. Take Kristin’s Fold It In workshop…it’s self-paced and fantastic
  23. Make a tiny travel album in a box (perfect for kids!)

Want more? Follow Kam on Pinterest for scrapbook and mini album ideas and inspiration for pocket scrapbooking.


in DIY, Inspiration, Memory Keeping, Scrapbooking