Kam at 30 - Campfire Chic

A quick update from my side of the screen:

  • I am planning on working on some scrapbooking and travel albums before the end of the year and I plan on sharing them here. I have a bunch of pocket scrapbooking to catch up on and a bunch of trips to document.
  • 30 Days of Lists is going well and I’m loving the conversations going on in our private community. I have used a travelers notebook for the last few editions and I think I am going to take a break from them next time around…maybe back to a mini album? art journaling?
  • I was traveling a lot this summer. I was in Michigan, Seattle, Vancouver, Mt. Hood, Big Pine backpacking trip, Portland, and we went up to Malibu for what we planned to be for a weekend but it was just for a long day. I turned down two additional trips (a backpacking trip in early August and a trip to New Hampshire) because I really like being home and I being away so many weekends in a row isn’t what I needed in my life.
  • I was a guest designer for the monthly theme over at Awesome Ladies Project for August and the theme was Outdoors! It was a great fit and the supplemental pieces that Kristin makes for these monthly themes are so solid. I created a mini-album, pocket page layout, and a layout in a traveler’s notebook based on the prompts/inspiration in the workbook associated with the theme for the month. It was really cool to see the other projects being inspired by the work in the forum and to interact with other Awesome Ladies at the same time. Check out Awesome Ladies Project VIP Membership Page for more information.
  • I am playing entirely too much Overwatch and Stardew Valley (affiliate links). They are both a lot of fun and if you’re looking for a team-based shooter game give Overwatch a try. If you’re looking for a cute simulation game, Stardew Valley may be up your alley. While Stardew Valley looks like it would be great for little kids, I do have to give you some mini-spoilers that the game does have some more mature interactions like alcohol abuse and mental health issues.
  • The weather is starting to cool off in Southern California and that means we’ll be welcoming the Santa Ana winds in no time so I’ll hold off on getting too excited about Fall weather. It’ll cool down Halloween weekend and have a heatwave around Thanksgiving. It’s like clockwork.
  • I’m currently reading What Happened, The New YorkerThe Last of August (affiliate links), and the Stardew Valley guidebook

And finally, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram.

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in About Kam, Other

My friend Alyx of Shoestring Adventures coordinates fantastic trips and wants to make sure that adventurers are prepared to tackle what comes their way when outdoors.

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is a great opportunity for you to learn more about how to handle the unexpected and keep you and your party safe when adventuring.

Wilderness First Aid Course Southern California - Alyx of Shoestring Adventures

Next chance for you to take your WFA course AND experience a Shoestring Adventure weekend is coming up in early November. I have a discount code for you at the end of this post for $50 off your registration for this experience!

This course will take you on a 4-mile backpacking trip into the San Gabriel Mountains to historic Sturtevant Camp where the Wilderness Leadership Institute will host the 2nd annual Shoestring Adventures Wilderness First Aid and CPR Certification Course.

Wilderness First Aid Course Backpacking Weekend in Southern California - Alyx of Shoestring Adventures

Fast paced and hands-on, the 16-hour WFA Course covers a wide range of wilderness medicine topics for people who enjoy or work in the outdoors. The curriculum designed Wilderness Medical Associates is recognized industry-wide, and the CPR Certification is valid for 3 years. Classroom lectures are combined with realistic scenarios where mock patients will challenge you to apply your knowledge.

This course is not just for outdoor professionals. No previous first aid training or backpacking experience is required.

Limited spots available for this potentially life-saving weekend, so sign up today!

INCLUDED WITH EVERY SHOESTRING ADVENTURE

  • Earn your Wilderness First Aid and CPR Certification in the field
  • Learn from WLI instructors with significant patient care and backcountry experience
  • Explore the San Gabriel Mountains under the nose of Mount Wilson

To find out more and register, visit the event page and use code CAMPFIRECHIC for $50 toward your tuition for the adventure.

I am a Shoestring Adventures affiliate and will earn referrals for those using my link. If you do not wish to support affiliate sales, simply visit shoestringadventures.com. I have support Alyx since before becoming an affiliate and strongly support the work she does and the community she has built. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me. 

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in California

30 Days of Lists Returns This September

My favorite way to document my ‘right now’ story is through 30 Days of Lists, a creative journaling challenge that I co-host with my friend Amy.

We started 30 Days of Lists in March 2011 and love hosting this fun challenge three times a year.

September is an interesting time to capture stories as we transition between seasons, some Listers are sending kids off to kindergarten and others are shipping off kids to college! We have first-time Listers joining us, long time Listers returning for more fun, and lurkers who enjoy the challenge but don’t want to engage with others…and we’re so thankful for each one of them.

If you’re looking for an easy project to start that can be as low-commitment or hardcore as you’d like, check out 30 Days of Lists. You can visit our website to learn more or you can register directly here.

Join 30 Days of Lists – September 2017 Today!

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in 30 Days of Lists

Looking to add some adventure inspiration to your Instagram feed? Here are some of the outdoor Instagram accounts that are inspiring me to get outside lately.

20 Outdoor Instagram Accounts Inspiring Me to Get Outside - Kam of Campfire Chic

I shared a post a few years ago featuring a few of my favorite outdoor lady Instagrammers and I want to expand on that original list and hopefully introduce you to an account that inspires you. Some of these accounts are individual people, communities, and a handful of brands.

This isn’t a complete list, there are plenty more I could feature and people are always recommending more.

20 Outdoor Instagram Accounts
Inspiring Me to Get Outside

Outdoor Communities

These accounts are focused on sharing images and stories from the communities they are building. I love folllowing these types of accounts because I’m always finding someone new to follow and places to visit. It’s great to see how excited folks get when they see their friends featured and when they can recommend a community to someone. I hope you find a new-to-you community to love.

Somewhere far away the wind is blowing in your favor. Soft dirt waits to cling to your tired feet. A curve in the earth waits to cradle your buzzing head. Some unassuming shade waits to cool your burning skin. When you get there, worship the anticipation with which the world longed for you. For your steps and sweat and sighs. You will arrive to the infinite generosity that is nature. It is hard earned but it is generous. Smile. Because this is it. Tired joy. The kind that reminds you, you don’t deserve anything you didn’t earn. . . Will you help diversify our public lands? Tag your photos #BrownPeopleCamping . #findyourpark #goparks #rei1440project #optoutside #fypyes #fatgirlshiking #DiversifyOutdoors #unlikelyhiker #thegreatoutdoors #getoutside #wildernessculture #exploremore #outdoorasian #adventuregap #nationalparkgeek #sheexplores #livewylder #alltrails #womenwhohike #wehiketoheal #everytrailconnects #ourwild #itsallyours #hikingculture #forceofnature #radparks #RialtoBeach #Olympicnationalpark #LetsCamp

A post shared by Ambreen T (@brownpeoplecamping) on

Bethany runs the @browngirlsclimb account which features photos from #browngirlsclimb and #colorthecrag to encourage diversity in the climbing community in addition to her own photos from the gym and crag.

Ambreen from @brownpeoplecamping is on a mission to diversify the outdoors. You can see her recent Airstream and Alaska Airlines adventures throughout the Pacific Northwest in her recent photos in addition to regrams from the #brownpeoplecamping hashtag.

Jenny is behind @unlikelyhikers and shares photos from her #unlikelyhiker / #unlikelyhikers hashtag to increase diversity, inclusion, and visibility in the outdoors. Jenny recently announced that REI asked her to be a part of the #ForceofNature campaign, which is a great opportunity to expand her message!

My local chapter of Girls Who Hike is @girlswhohikela and I’m glad to see so many women hitting local trails and hosting meetups to bring women together to serve the community (trash cleanups!), learn new skills, and hike. You can also find international adventure trips hosted by the group, which is great if you’re looking to do some traveling with other active folks.

Nicole and Savanah started @womenwhohike and it’s spread throughout the country to numerous chapters (like Girls Who Hike). Their focus is to empower women to get outdoors and your membership helps them with that mission.

A newer account, @womenofcolorinnature, is dedicated to increasing representation of women of color in the outdoors. You also get to see lots of yoga in nature photos because Sasanna is a yoga instructor!

What I love about @outdoorafro is that they not only share photos to inspire Black leadership outdoors, they also have a fantastic website with resources that connect help hikers connect with leaders in 28 states…and if there isn’t a leader in your area, they are reviewing applications to be a leader this month so apply today.

Need more photos of women on epic adventures? Check out @alpinewomencollective! Two friends came together to put together a community to inspire women to get outdoors and they are doing just that. You can find trips on their website, sign up to go hiking with other women in the community, read about past hikes and retreats on their blog, and get tips from their resource section.

Kick-ass Ladies Who Seek Adventure

How can I resist a kick-ass lady sharing her adventures? I think it’s really important to see people who look like you in media, and social media has made it much easier to be like, “omg she’s like me!” and feel more connected to different hobbies/activities. There are so many athletes and active women sharing their stories on Instagram that this was hard to narrow down, but these women are who I point to first when I’m recommending folks to follow online.


I love Carrie’s illustrations and when I saw that she has a travel Instagram in addition to her main @cisforfrenchfry account, I was so excited. She shares her travel photos on @carriemeowtravels but I suggest following both accounts. I love when she includes her illustrations in the landscapes she’s in, which she shares on her main account. Her travel account is wonderful and beautiful and I’m using it to get ideas for trips.

Whenever Kathy’s posts show up in my feed I think, I need to get back to the gym so I can crush it like @inheadlights. She also runs the blog For the Love of Climbing.

I grew up going to Mammoth Lakes for at least a week every summer and it’s one of those places where I can draw a map of the town from memory but I can’t remember how to get to my favorite Thai restaurant near my apartment. Jenica (@jlawberry) lives in Mammoth and shares her 4-season love for the place. It’s nice to be able to live vicariously through her between trips.

Cindy is a local hiker who is (what I would consider) a selfie-stick queen. She shares her nearly daily hikes on @sinparts and she created her own cottage brand Ramona Gear based on her experiences outdoors. I love how she’s always hiking and sharing great spots in the Los Angeles area.

Irene is better known as @ladylockoff. She is a climber and photographer and I love her feed. She shares photos she takes at the crag, and it’s great to see so many different women featured in her photos. Her photos are all bright, colorful, and dynamic. You need to check out her work if you’re looking for some climbing inspiration.

Melise shares her climbing photos as @meliseymo on Instagram. She’s from Seattle, so you’ll see plenty of beautiful views in addition to training videos and beautiful bouldering photos. She recently wrote a post for Outdoor Research about the 5 myths about bouldering.

Ready for beautiful views from Montana to go along with adventure photos? @mariahkan has got you covered. When she isn’t at work, you’ll find Mariah SUPing, backpacking, biking, kayaking, skiing, and relaxing around Montana.

I started following @nic.antoinette‘s Life Less Bullshit many moons ago and I love that I’ve been able to watch her grow her audience and find what seems to be a great post-LLB groove. She is the host of Real Talk Radio podcast, is

Brands and Bloggers Encouraging Less Couch Time

You should already be following Teton Sports on Instagram and their #YourLead hashtag is full of close-to-home and far away adventures that if you aren’t following, please stop what you’re doing and fix that.

With that, I am not on Instagram to be bombarded with ads all the time, so I love it when I find brands and bloggers who are doing more than showcasing a product. These accounts are encouraging followers to head outside, even if it’s just in your backyard.

This wouldn’t be a complete list if I didn’t include @rei on it, right? REI’s focus this year is to put women front and center when it comes to telling stories and building gear. They are sharing photos of #ForceofNature on their account of women who are exploring the outdoors in different ways and it’s extremely cool to see that they are not just sharing catalog-ready photos of people in their feed.

Alyx from @shoestringadventures is one of my favorite always-ready-for-something local outdoor friends. She now coordinates backpacking and group camping adventures in some of the best places and works to get beginners outdoors and comfortable. I love that she encourages others to get outside during the workweek (she hosts Meetup hikes during the week) and to get training in things like wilderness first aid and navigation.

Do you subscribe to @misadventuresmg? It is an outdoor and adventure magazine for women! There are two issues and year and you can tell a lot of heart and soul go into putting the issues together. In addition to the print magazine, there is a website full of posts from their writers and contributors.

Are you ready for Pinterest-worthy photos of food being cooked in the outdoors to take over your feed? Because @freshoffthegrid‘s got your back. Their recipes are easy to follow and take different needs into consideration like vegetarian and gluten-free meals. There are ideas that you can use for your next backyard BBQ, backcountry adventure, family camping trip, or mid-week dinner plans. In addition to recipes, they share travel guides for different cities and have information on how to make cooking outdoors easier.


I could keep going. There are so many fantastic accounts on Instagram that are inspiring folks to get outside and to protect the outdoors. I hope you find a new-to-you account here to bring something fresh and new to your feed.

What Instagram accounts are inspiring you to get outdoors?

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in Active, Inspiration, Social Media

Are you ready for a Summer of Adventure?

Before you head out on your next day trip or weekend getaway, add these items to your backpack.

Summer Adventure Gear for Microadventurers - Kam of Campfire Chic

 

This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links. Purchases made through these links will result in a small commission for me at no extra cost to you. If you do not wish to use affiliate links, simply copy the product names in this post and paste them into your favorite search engine. Thank you!

I was looking back on this list of gear I was trying out two summers ago and thinking about how I’m still using several of the products and what I learned from them. The sandals are still a staple in my wardrobe, I have some of that chocolate (new! I promise!) in my freezer, there are oatmeal packs on my desk…you get the point. I’m still using things that I tested out two years ago and I’m happy to talk about them if you have questions!

That post motivated me to share a few things I’m using this summer that I think you’ll dig, too.

The adventure gear I think you’ll want in your pack this summer:

SoftFlask™ Collapsible Water Flask by Hydrapak

I wasn’t too sure about this “flask” showed up in the mail…It didn’t seem like it was very big and I wasn’t sure how I would include it in my life. It won’t stand up on its own after you start to drink from it, so it’s not ideal for the gym.

The small size does make it good for when you’re out for an evening walk and don’t want to carry a big Nalgene-style bottle with you. It’s easy to hold and the valve on the 250ml SoftFlask auto seals so you’re not spilling on yourself. The website says this flask is also good for gels and other drink mixes, so I imagine this would be a good size if you prefer to have electrolyte drinks or coconut water.

 

Buckshot 2.0 Wireless Speaker by Outdoor Tech

This small but mighty wireless speaker is a great option for active individuals or if you need something around your house that can survive a little attention from your tiny adventurers or curious cats. Please respect other people and the wildlife while exploring by not blasting your music in crowded.

They are also nice to have around the house since my husband and I are podcast junkies. Since the Buckshot 2.0 is waterproof, this is a good option if you are looking for a speaker for your bathroom so you can listen to podcasts while in the shower!

Alex snagged the Tags 2.0 wireless earbuds (not an affiliate link) before I knew the package arrived and he likes that it was a fast pairing, easy to charge…and the logo. He slapped one of the stickers that came in the box on his laptop and is holding onto another so he can add it to our bear canister.

 

Go With Your Flow Mini Pack by Animosa

I backed the Go With Your Flow pack by Animosa on Kickstarter this year and I’m so glad I did. Having your period shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the outdoors. Animosa created an adventure kit with periods in mind. I received the Mini Pack, which was designed for day adventures, plus a refill pack as my backer gift and I’m really impressed! I like that the main pouch (pictured above) was designed to fit a variety of period supplies and a removable pouch to keep your used supplies from your fresh supplies.

The other great part about this product? It’s made by adventurous women for adventurous women! They are all about empowering women and I’m looking forward to seeing this brand grow. You can reserve your pack and learn more about their mission on the Animosa website.

 

Brilliant Reflective Strips

When you think of reflective strips, you probably think of the silver or red strips that are super helpful but maybe a bit…blah. I received a set of Brilliant Reflective Strips and what is so cool about these strips is that they come in different colors so they can match my gear! The strips come in iron-on (permanent) and stick-on (removable) so if you’re like me and have commitment issues when it comes to putting stickers or decals on things, there is an option for you!

My plan is to put these strips on some of our camping gear and my backpacks so it’s easy to see obstacles around camp once the sun goes down. I think these will be great on the side of camping chairs near the fire pit and on the base of lanterns.  It’s also nice to have a way to know where my site is when I’m in a crowded campground.

Trailfoody Monthly Subscription for Day Adventures

One of my least favorite things about packing snacks is how everything seems to be centered around peanuts and peanut butter. I like the idea of trying new snacks and having a variety of things in my pack, but sometimes it is hard to pick out what to try when I’m faced with dozens of choices at the store. When Trailfoody approached me to see if I would like to try May’s regular box (which includes at least 9 treats plus the stuff sack) I was curious to see how many ways peanut butter would be featured in the box. Fast forward to packing for a long weekend in Michigan and wanting to have enough snacks for the plane and driving around the state. I loaded the stuff sack full of snacks into my carry on for easy access. We were so happy to have these snacks essentially handpicked for us so we didn’t have to worry about stopping at the store to pick anything up. It gave us the opportunity to try new products and make notes of what we would buy in the future.

I like that the Trailfoody blog includes individual posts for the different featured foods throughout the month to give readers an idea of what is in the boxes and shows that somebody is trying the food before they get into the box. You can check out the different ways to get a Trailfoody (not affiliate) delivered to your door on their site. The cost of the box is worth the try considering the cost of the products if you bought them individually at the store and buying the stuff sack. For those gear heads wondering about the stuff sack: this 6L bag weighs 0.9 ounces. Yes, I totally asked for you. 

Have a great summer!

The items featured in this post were sent to me for possible review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. I only share items I try myself and believe Campfire Chic readers will like and find useful. As mentioned earlier, there are affiliate links used in this post. Thank you for your support by shopping through those links. 

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in Active, Adventure, From a Beginner, Gear Review, Hiking, Microadventure, Review