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Outdoor Tech’s Guide to Electronic Recycling

Many of us are familiar with recycling. You likely do it daily with plastic bottles, cans, or boxes. But how often do you recycle your electronics? 

When an electronic item of ours dies, the natural response is to replace it. If and when you choose to replace your worn out electronic item, what do you do with the old one? It can be tempting to simply throw it in the trash bin or set it out on the curb — out of sight, out of mind, right?

As a part of the outdoor industry, we are responsible for protecting and preserving the outdoor spaces we love. When producing electronic products, having ethical and sustainable sourcing of materials is part of the process. The product afterlife is also a big part of waste mitigation and sustainable product production. 

Everything we produce and buy has an impact on our planet. So, if we can lessen that impact by turning our waste into something new, we are moving in the right direction. 

Without proper recycling and disposal practices, electronic components like batteries, plastics, and other mechanisms can heavily burden the environment.

Basics on how to recycle electronics

First things first, never throw your electronics in the trash. 

Most people don’t realize that if electronic waste makes it to the right place, almost 100% of it is recyclable. The materials in electronics – plastics, glass, copper, silver, metal, and other resources – can be recovered, repurposed, and reused. 

The EPA estimates that only about 12% of electronic items are recycled properly, although most e-waste is recyclable. Why aren’t we reusing electronics if companies built them using so many reusable materials?

The simple answer is that electronic recycling is not always easily accessible. Also, e-waste recycling isn’t often done properly, and it isn’t always affordable for companies to use recycled materials. 

As a consumer, we urge you to get to know your local recycling programs so you can be a part of the solution. The more you know about where to recycle e-waste, the more likely those electronic items will be reused. The first step is getting them to the right place. 

3 ways to recycle electronics 

Before we jump right into how to recycle electronics, remember that sometimes broken things are fixable. If an electronic device stops working and there is no visible damage, there could be something wrong that you’re unaware of. Take a moment to look up electronic repair shops in your area before you decide to get rid of a device. 

Try one of the following three ways to recycle electronics if your device cannot be repaired.

1.   Find a tech company that recycles e-waste

While pop up recycling programs are becoming more common, most of them are only located in major cities. However, most tech companies will accept e-waste and recycle it for you. 

You can go to most chain locations of these tech companies and have them recycle many e-waste items: 

  • Apple
  • Best Buy 
  • Dell
  • HP
  • Gateway 
  • LG
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Staples
  • Verizon
  • VIZIO

This list is not all-inclusive for tech companies that recycle items. In fact, most tech companies offer product recycling programs as long as it is one of their electronics. For example, companies that produce a specific product, like Verizon, will only accept e-waste related to cell phones. If you have an HP computer, you should bring it to HP for recycling. 

General locations like Best Buy or Staples offer a wide range of tech trade-ins, general electronic recycling, and haul-away e-waste recycling. 

2. Locate an e-steward or e-recycling program near you 

Most e-waste recycling is either municipal, private, or national. 

Suppose you live in an area that has a general municipal e-recycling program. Find out if they recycle electronics in the United States or if they export to developing countries where e-waste is put into landfills. 

To ensure that the recycling program does not export electronics to other countries, use an e-steward program. All e-steward programs have strict standards for electronic recycling and will accept most items.  

When using a generalized e-waste recycling program, it is important to look into how they actually are processing these items. If they are only taking parts of the electronic and throwing the rest away, it may not be the best option available. 

3. Donate old electronics that still work 

Sometimes when we replace an electronic item, it isn’t broken; we just need an upgrade. If that is the case, then consider donating them to charities. There are various charities that collect and distribute electronics to underprivileged communities to help individuals and families that cannot afford them. 

You may be able to find some local charities or a local school that is in need of electronics. If you can’t find one locally, then look to national or global organizations. 

Even if your device isn’t entirely functional, if it can be repaired, many programs will still accept the donation. Plus, when donating an electronic to a charity, you can most often add that as a tax write off for that year. 

Invest in electronics that are built to last

One of the best ways to help out the planet is to reduce consumption. While we can’t eliminate everything we buy, we can choose to buy high-quality products that are built to last. That’s why we design durable and long-lasting electronics that can be used in outdoor settings at Outdoor Tech.

Not everything will last forever, but we were able to create products like the Turtle Shell 3.0 Speaker that is waterproof and shockproof. As with most outdoor equipment, when investing in electronics, quality should always be the top priority. Even if you spend a little more money upfront, you will be saving time and money in the long-run because they last longer. 

When shopping for electronics and outdoor gear, look into whether a company provides a warranty for repairs or returns. Some companies also have specific programs to ensure consumers are taking responsibility for the afterlife of their products.

Tips for Becoming a More Eco-Friendly Traveler

Traveling is something that many of us took for granted prior to the pandemic. But with hope on the horizon as new developments are clearing the path for a greater sense of normalcy, many are eager to get back to the world around them. In the meantime, this break can serve as the perfect opportunity to learn how you can become a better traveler in the future. One of the major focuses for travelers now is becoming more eco-friendly and responsible during their excursions. 

If this is a goal of yours, here are a few helpful tips for becoming a more eco-friendly traveler once you’re ready to set off again!

1. Seek Out Responsible Options for Luggage 

What you carry with you as you travel may not seem like it plays a major role in the environment. However, if you choose to invest in products that leave a hefty carbon footprint, you’re already starting to contribute to a larger issue long before you set foot out the door. 

The good news? Whether you’re in the market for a new set of rolling suitcases or need new carry-on items like secure laptop bags, there are plenty of options. There are many companies producing high-quality products that save energy, reduce carbon emissions, and use recycled materials.

2. Don’t Forget That a Local Trip Can Be Just As Exciting

The most exciting travel destinations are often advertised as being far away from home. While you can still be eco-friendly in another country, traveling shorter distances can reduct your carbon footprint. That being said, there are ways to offset your carbon footprint and still enjoy yourself. 

Rather than planning every trip to a faraway destination, consider alternating trips between places closer to home. Chances are you don’t need to board a plane to find somewhere to go hiking. If you look hard enough, you’ll discover plenty of opportunities and rare finds while staying close to home. Who knows? You may even fall more in love with where you currently reside.

3. Pack Your Bags Mindfully

It can be tempting to pack a bunch of items that you simply won’t need during your travels. In order to avoid this, it’s best to pack your gear mindfully and with intention. This means:

  • Bring reusable items that minimize the amount of waste you’re producing during travel (such as a reusable water bottle)
  • Use sustainable packing tools that help create more space, rather than putting items in plastic bags
  • Pack as light as possible (surprisingly, weight does make a difference on how hard your plane will have to work to get you to your destination)
  • Buy eco-friendly travel goods (clothing, toiletries, batteries, etc.)

Learn how to pack by prioritizing the environment. Once you make the adjustment, it’s just a matter of sticking to those habits and making them work. 

4. Use Eco-Friendly Booking Resources to Find Sustainable Shelter

Unfortunately, eco-friendly travel isn’t the norm quite yet, which means sustainable shelter can be hard to find. Booking sites like bookdifferent.com or lokal can help you find eco-friendly hotels or organize trips that center on sustainability. Companies like FlyGRN help offset carbon emissions by using commissions from ticket sales to plant trees or set up solar panels.

If you’re really looking to get the most out of your travels, there are plenty of resources designed to make you and the environment happy. Set aside some time to do research and seek out the tools that will make sustainable travel more achievable for you. 

Becoming an eco-friendly traveler may sound difficult, but there are actually many resources out there to help you make smarter decisions. When you get ready to venture out into the world, seek advice from established travelers that can help you work around common issues. If you’re ready to do better for the environment, use the tips listed in the guide above!

Outdoor Tech’s 2021 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Are you still searching for the perfect gift for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? It’s easy to want to go for the “classic” romantic gifts like chocolates or a nice dinner, but as most outdoor enthusiasts know, a practical gift can mean a lot more. 

Show your outdoorsy Valentine that you really support their passions with one of these five Outdoor Tech gifts. 

5 gifts to get your outdoorsy sweetheart for Valentine’s Day

Yowie Neck Gaiters

A fun and affordable gift is a Yowie neck gaiter. These come in a multitude of colors and patterns, so they’re easy to personalize and work well for any gender.

The Arctic Yowie is a breathable, yet effective way to keep your neck and face warm. Our Yowie varieties allow for versatility, and some include Coolmax fabric to keep the material dry all day long. 

Chips 2.0

The Chips 2.0 is the perfect gift for any snowboard or ski enthusiast in your life. These Bluetooth snow helmet speakers are specially designed to fit inside your helmet. They make it easy to listen to your favorite music, podcasts, or answer phone calls without having to remove your helmet. Each earpiece has an oversized control button, so no need to remove gloves to control any features.

With universal capabilities, the Chips 2.0 will work with almost any audio compatible snow helmet. They utilize a rechargeable battery with 10 hours of playtime, so they will keep up with you on the slopes!

Tags 2.0

Having a reliable pair of Bluetooth headphones is the dream of anyone that enjoys athletic pursuits. These affordable headphones have a range of up to 32 feet and a battery life of 5 hours. That’s perfect for anyone who frequents the skate park or the gym and doesn’t want to sacrifice their headphone connection. 

Even when they’re not in use, the Tags 2.0 are designed to be tangle-free and easy to access. When taking them off, the earbuds can snap together to make them easy to store. Plus, there’s a built-in microphone, so there is no worry about them ever missing an important call from you. 

Turtle Shell Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

For the outdoorsy music lover in your life, the Turtle Shell 3.0 is a dream. This waterproof speaker has a huge battery, impressive volume, and is nearly indestructible. From yard work, a camping trip, or even a day on the water, the Turtle Shell 3.0 is a portable and reliable music buddy. 

If you and your partner enjoy weekend adventures, you’ll both enjoy bringing the Turtle Shell 3.0 along for the ride. With 20-hour battery life, you can enjoy music each night while cooking or enjoying time together around the campfire. 

While all electronics should try to avoid moisture if possible, of the impressive features that the Turtle Shell 3.0 speaker has, the one all outdoor enthusiasts need to know about is the waterproof capabilities. With the new and improved design, the Turtle Shell 3.0 can even be submerged in water with no worries of malfunction.

Buckshot Pro Ultra

If you’re looking for a gift that is a bit more portable but equally as awesome as the Turtle Shell speaker, then look no further than the Buckshot Pro Ultra. This tiny but mighty portable speaker packs quite the punch when it comes to audio quality and has the added benefit of being a multipurpose device. 

Get this for any partner that travels often or spends a lot of time outdoors. The Buckshot Pro Ultra features a flashlight, and the battery can also be used to charge a cell phone if they’re in a pinch. 

The Buckshot Pro Ultra is also water and dirt/sand resistant, making it anyone’s new favorite gadget to bring with on any adventure. 

Still not sure what to get your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day?

Although the five Outdoor Tech products we chose for the list above are all pretty rad, we understand that maybe they aren’t the “perfect” fit for your partner. If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, and your partner loves spending time outdoors, check out the rest of our Outdoor Tech Collection

After a little bit of time sifting and sorting through all of our gear, we are optimistic you’ll be able to find the perfect gift for your partner! 

Flying During COVID-19

Packing your bags and hopping on an airplane are less than ideal during today’s times. In a pre-Covid era, travelers never thought twice about air travel. With vaccinations ramping up and glimpses of a normal, post-Covid reality in sight, the thought of flying is becoming more and more talked about. So what’s the flying experience really like? I recently returned to NYC from SoCal after a 3-week stay, and I’m here to share my personal experience. 

Getting Prepared

When planning a trip by plane, it’s important to understand the journey is from door-to-door, not airport-to-airport. How are you getting to the airport? Do you need a Lyft or Uber? If that’s the case, make sure you and the driver keep a mask on and roll windows down if possible. Upon arriving to the airport, make sure to have the key disinfecting essentials:

  1. Hand Sanitizer: For travelling, you will need a 3-ounce bottle with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. 
  2. Disinfecting Wipes: Although most airlines have a sanitization crew after each flight deboards, you’ll still want to wipe down your seat, tray table, window area, seat belt, and any other frequently touched surface.
  3. Face Mask: Make sure your mask has two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric. You also must keep your mask on throughout the duration of the flight. Here is the ultimate face mask guide. 
  4. Face Shield (Optional): If you are high risk, you should consider a face shield to protect against large droplets directly getting into your eyes. If you opt for a face shield, you’ll still need to wear a mask. Be cautious though – face shields are more prone to a face full of fog!

Airport Arrival

Once you’ve got the sanitation essentials and arrive at the airport, it’ll be time to go through TSA security and head to your gate. This process stays relatively the same – remove your shoes and jackets, place your belongings on the belt, and head through the scanner. If possible, utilize PreCheck or Clear to avoid the longer security lines. 

The airports themselves are the most intimidating factor of the flying experience. Yes, everyone is supposed to keep their mask on inside, however, some people have to get a snack in before flights. I recommend eating prior to your flight and bringing your own snacks if necessary. It’s also best to find an empty spot in the airport, away from travelers, while you wait to board the plane. 

The Boarding Process

The process of boarding the plane might be a bit different than you’re used to. Instead of boarding by groups, most airlines will now board from the back of the plane to the front. This minimizes the amount of times people walk by you, ultimately creating less exposure. I flew JetBlue, and they fortunately block out middle seats. This is nice, because not only do you have more space in your row, but you also don’t have to worry about sitting inches away from a stranger. Let’s be real – airplane seats are already too close to begin with. 

Ready For Take-off!

Now that you’re settled in your seat, it’s time to enjoy the flight like usual. Not much is different about the flight itself. Watch a movie, read a book, or play that annoyingly addictive game on your phone. Pull out your earbuds and check out that new podcast episode you’ve struggled to find time for, or that new rock album you’ve been wanting to hear. Try to fill your flight time with mindless activities rather than focus too much on the pandemic. It’s comforting to know that airplanes have HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters that provide efficient circulation on aircrafts. This means “the air you breathe in flight is much cleaner than the air in restaurants, bars, stores, or your best friend’s living room” (National Geographic). 

The Deboarding Process

Once you land and the flight is officially over, you will go through the basic deboarding process from front-to-back. Be patient, wait in your seat until it’s your turn to leave – it’s hard not to stand immediately, I know – and make your way down the aisle to exit the cabin. Plan to have your ride from the airport to your destination scheduled in advance, whether it’s through a car service or a family member/friend. 

And that’s it! You’ve successfully made it through the flying experience. Remember though, it is best to stay home or travel by car as much as possible. If you must fly, then follow the tips above and make sure to check-in with CDC guidelines for the state you are visiting. Each city/state has varying guidelines, so you must be informed on quarantine rules prior to your trip.

Safe travels!

Are We There Yet? Preparing for Your First Family Hike

Going on a family hike is a great way to pull your kids away from their screens and enjoy time together in nature. Whether you visit a local park with a trail system or you travel to a faraway destination to find new places to explore, there are plenty of places to hike and there are locations that are perfect for every family. 

Preparing for your first family hike can seem a bit tricky, especially if you are bringing small children along. Hiking with your kids is a great way to help them connect with nature at an early age, but it can be a bit scary. Rest assured, though, that with a little bit of careful planning, your first family hiking adventure will go off without a hitch. Keep reading for some helpful advice on preparing for your first family hike. 

Keep It Simple

Your first hike together as a family does not need to be anything elaborate. In fact, you should try to keep it as simple and enjoyable as possible. For kids, hiking is all about the experience. If that first experience isn’t a fun one, you’re going to have a hard time getting them to go out again. Choose a trail that is relatively simple and not too long. A loop that is relatively flat is a good choice. Try to find a destination with interesting features like a waterfall, lake or stream. Point out various animals and species of birds or try to identify the trees you encounter. Maintain a leisurely pace and make it all about having fun. 

Don’t be afraid to go slow. When you are hiking with your family, it should be all about the journey rather than the destination. If you don’t make it all the way to the end of your planned hike, it’s no big deal. Exploring is just as rewarding and letting your kids do it will help build their love of nature. 

Make Sure Everyone is Dressed Appropriately

There is no need to go out and buy a bunch of fancy hiking gear for your first trek, but it is important to make sure everyone is dressed appropriately. Check the weather before you head out and choose clothing that is suitable. On a mild spring or summer day, a lightweight t-shirt and a pair of comfy pants work well for laid-back hikes. If the temperature is cooler or you are going on a more strenuous hike, it is best to dress in layers

Expect to get dirty. A family hike is not the right time to wear that brand-new shirt or outfit your kids in their Sunday best. Basic t-shirts that you don’t mind getting dirty are a much better choice. Choose appropriate footwear for everyone. Even on a simple hike, flip-flops are not appropriate. Everyone should wear a pair of sneakers or boots that is comfortable and provides adequate support. Your kids may protest about wearing sneakers instead of flip-flops or sandals, but trust us, they will complain more if they wear the wrong shoes and end up with aching feet halfway through the hike! 

Pack the Right Gear

It is important to load up a backpack with some essentials. Anytime you are going on a hike, it’s smart to bring a basic first aid kit and a few emergency supplies, including a lighter/matches/fire starter, emergency shelter and water filter or chemical purification tablets.

You should apply sunscreen before you head out, but it’s also a good idea to bring some with you for touchups. Lip balm that provides SPF protection is a must, too. Bug spray should also be applied before you start your hike but bring the can with you to reapply. Look for a high-quality spray that is formulated to combat mosquitos as well as ticks. If your kids are young, look for a product that is safe for them. 

Bring enough water for everyone in the family. If you are going on a short hike, a bottle or two per person should be sufficient. It never hurts to bring extra, though, just in case you end up being out longer than anticipated.  Pack some high-protein snacks like jerky or energy bars. Of course, make sure you have snacks that your kids will actually eat, too. Stop for snacks frequently. Having frequent snacks instead of waiting for larger meals helps keep kids energized and can prevent them from getting tired and cranky. 

Don’t forget the fun items! We suggest a bluetooth speaker that is waterproof and can keep up with your kids energetic nature. Binoculars and a magnifying glass serve as the perfect tools for helping your kids make amazing discoveries along the trail. Don’t forget a camera to capture all those memories! 

Have Fun!

When it comes to getting your kids interested in hiking, making it fun is extremely important. Keep your kids motivated and make sure they are enjoying themselves by creating games they can enjoy on the trail. Come up with a scavenger hunt, identify different types of wildflowers or look for birds that are native to the area in which you are hiking. Engage with your kids and let them explore. Tell your kids how proud you are of them and how well they are hiking. Tell them they’re strong, fast and all around amazing. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool that will help make your first hike an enjoyable one and make kids want to go out again. 

Setting Goals and Intentions to Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet

It is no secret that 2020 has looked different than any year we have known in our modern lives. The stresses and necessary lifestyle changes that happened during this ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic have altered our lives and perspectives in many ways.  

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that we need to prioritize our health and wellness – both mental and physical. Our mental health was pushed to its limit, but that doesn’t mean 2021 can’t be better. With every new year, many of us begin to focus on the things that we should give up or lose… lose that quarantine weight, stop using social media so much, or even cutting out entire food groups. 

To make this year different, try focusing on everything you want to gain and all the ways you want to grow. 

2021: The Year of Intentional Growth

To help you get on the right track and frame some new goals for 2021, we came up with a few intentions and mindset shifts to consider. 

1. Start with Goal Setting

Setting goals can happen at any time of year, but for some reason, once January 1st comes around, setting goals seems more natural and necessary. For many reasons, goals can help you realign and give you something to work towards. Not only that, but goals help us stay focused, triggering new positive behaviors as we work towards achievement. 

There has been a lot of research over the years looking into the relevance of goal setting, especially concerning motivation across all aspects of life. This motivation surrounding goal theory has been seen as a way to manifest self-efficiency, general ability, and performance. 

While that is all great, setting goals can be challenging, especially if you are unsure of the direction you want to move in your life. If you are struggling to set goals this year, consider which aspects of life you want to prioritize. 

Do you want to become healthier?

Do you want to learn a new skill?

Do you want to advance in your career?

Are you trying to rebuild personal relationships?

Do you want to grow your savings or your income?

2. Identify Limiting Thoughts and Patterns

For many of us, the biggest hurdle to overcome is within ourselves. That little voice inside our heads is feeding us toxic thoughts and creating limiting patterns. Finding ways to address these internal thoughts and patterns can be challenging, especially if you try to go it alone. 

A few ways that you can start identifying these thoughts and patterns is by sitting down and answering these questions:

  • What is the most limiting belief I have about myself?
  • What is one habit that if I broke, I could be healthier mentally or physically?

Now, these are only two simple questions and not intended to solve your deepest worries, fears, or sorrows. Still, by opening up a conversation within yourself about thoughts and patterns, you can begin to see where some positive changes may fit. 

3. Consider a New Routine

One of the most powerful ways to achieve goals and change limiting beliefs is to create a new routine that prioritizes mental and physical health. After all, the better we feel, the more motivated we become. It is often the little things that stack up to become those significant, life-changing achievements. 

Some of us may fear routine. That’s because being “stuck” in a routine sounds boring! It doesn’t have to be, though. It can become the way you manifest your dreams into reality, by pursuing personal growth and development intentionally in everyday actions. 

A few ways that building a routine can be beneficial for mental and physical health include: 

  • Sleep: Getting more sleep is easy with the right routine, because consistency will put your body into a rhythm. Performance and quality of sleep go hand in hand, and a consistent time for waking up and going to bed can help build that balance. 
  • Manage Stress: Integrating stress management and self-care into your routine is a great way to manage the stresses of life. Plus, once you get into a good routine, your time management often improves.
  • General Health: Building a routine can take some extra planning and some trial and error, but it is well worth it. Give yourself spare time in the morning to meditate, exercise, or read while you drink your coffee. Avoid just rushing off to work. Prioritize what you eat, how you rest, and when/how you move your body each day.

Tip for Starting Your Day: Start a gratitude journal or write a positive intention each morning. Either one of these is an excellent alternative to looking at your social media first thing in the morning. They can help you feel centered and give you positive energy to bring forward into your day. 

4. Get Outside More

Many of us spend the majority of our time indoors, usually looking at screens. While we may have normalized these behaviors, they often contribute to poor mental health and lack of movement. We can attempt to reconnect with ourselves and the world by spending a little time outside each day. It doesn’t have to be crazy. It could be a simple walk in the woods or taking the dog on a hike a few times a week.

If you can, find an outdoor activity that makes you excited to spend time out in nature. This could be anything from skiing to hiking or biking. Whatever the activity, get your body moving outside a few times a week, and you’ll be surprised how much your mood will shift. To excite yourself for the outdoors, it’s even a good idea to buy some new gear that’ll hype you up for a hike or camping trip.

Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet

Positive change doesn’t happen overnight, but it starts within yourself. It occurs when you begin to take small but conscious steps to achieve your goals. It also requires near-constant reminders that no one is perfect and that we should celebrate small victories along the way. 

Now, this doesn’t mean ignoring the bigger picture or long-term goals. It merely puts your goals into smaller, digestible chunks to make every new day a new opportunity for growth and progress. It takes your intentions and truly makes them a guiding principle for you to follow and show up to each and every morning. 

Make 2021 a year of valuing how you think, behave, and feel. 

Adventure Meets Luxury Sweepstakes

Outdoor Tech is happy to announce participation in the FindKeep.Love Adventure Meets Luxury Sweepstakes! We aren’t the only ones that have something to offer in this fantastic sweepstakes, though. 

When you enter the sweepstakes, you enter to win $2100+ in prizes!

Because we know you already want to know more about this amazing opportunity, we detailed all of the prizes below. Read and enter for a chance to win everything you’d want for your next luxury adventure vacation. 

Enter to Win Stuff You Probably Want® and More

The Adventure Meets Luxury Sweepstakes includes a hotel stay, plus gift cards and prizes for Key West inspired clothing, shaving accessories, expert travel deals, outdoor tech essentials, and more! 

1. Stay at the Beach Club at Charleston Harbor & Marina

Located in the heart of Charleston, SC downtown, the Beach Club is a waterfront resort with endless Southern charm. Expect wrap-around porches and various room choices from family suites to a cozy room for two on a romantic getaway. 

The Adventure Meets Luxury Sweepstakes winner will receive a $450 gift certificate to stay at The Beach Club Resort. That’s enough for 2+ nights depending on your room choice and the time of year you choose to stay. 

This waterfront resort overlooks the largest marina in the Carolinas and is rated the #1 resort in South Carolina. The Beach Front Resort has stunning views of downtown Charleston, the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, boats cruising in the marina, and the USS Yorktown. 

Unwind with a weekend getaway in Charleston, SC this year. 

2. $500 Madda Fella Key West Clothing Gift Card

To keep the ocean feel going, Madda Fella Key West inspired clothing has joined the Adventure Meets Luxury Sweepstakes to offer a $500 gift card to the winner. 

Bring the island to you with numerous accessories, shirts, bottoms, swimwear, and more, all designed with functional island comfort and fashion in mind. 

Use your gift card to choose a new resort-worthy outfit from Madda Fella clothing. 

3. $200 Gift Card + 1 Year Subscription to Matt’s Flights

If you’re an avid traveler, we are glad you’re reading this because you need to know about Matt’s Flights. Matt’s Flights is a 1-on-1 flight and travel planning support service featured in the New York Times, Thrillist, the Hustle, and more. 

With over 1,000,000 satisfied subscribers from the US and Canada, Matt’s Flights is the only company that offers unlimited flight support. They’ve saved their customers up to 90% off domestic and international flights without the headache of endless searching and signing up for price alerts. Matt’s team does it all for you. All you have to do is send an email outlining your dream destination, sit back, and let Matt’s Flights do all the searching for you. 

To help one lucky traveler this year, Matt’s Flights is offering the winner of the Adventure Meets Luxury Sweepstakes a $200 Visa gift card PLUS a one-year subscription to their services. 

4. $500 Art of Shaving Gift Card

The Art of Shaving is a New York-based company that helps you bring that barbershop shave home. To bring a bit more luxury to your shave this year, The Art of Shaving offers the Adventure Meets Luxury Sweepstakes winner a $500 gift card. That’s essentially them giving you a brand new, personalized shaving kit! 

The Art of Shaving specializes in head to toe shaving products for men. They’ll help you achieve your perfect shave with beard care, fragrances, and more. Their products are crafted with care using botanical ingredients and essential oils for a fresh, natural shaving experience. 

5. $400 Outdoor Tech Gift Card

Last but not least, here at Outdoor Tech, we have always brought a luxury experience into the outdoors. So, it is no surprise that we have a stellar prize for the Adventure Meets Luxury Sweepstakes. The winner will get a $400 gift card to use at Outdoor Tech. That’s enough to buy multiple accessories from us and plenty of other Stuff You Probably Want®.

Our goal has always been to help blend the luxuries of modern technology with the rugged nature of outdoor exploration. After all, our gear is tried and tested to ensure it holds up to whatever kind of adventure you happen to be experiencing. 

Check out our collection of Stuff You Probably Want® to learn more.

Win $2100+ To Fuel Your Next Luxury Adventure

In conclusion, adventure and luxury don’t always need to be separate, and that’s why this sweepstake is perfect for the adventurous types that also appreciate quality vacations, advice, and gear. Take a step this year and enter to win $2100+ to go towards your next adventure in 2021. 

Enter today! The giveaway ends on January 26, 2021.

5 National Parks to Visit this Winter

National Parks are a wonder any time of the year, but some are even better suited during the winter months. We picked out 5 of our favorite National Parks to visit in the wintertime. Whether you’re an avid cross country skier or you want to find a place warm enough to hike and swim, there will be a National Park that fit your winter adventure needs. 

Are you looking for a few other parks to visit? Check out these five must-see State Parks.

5 National Parks to Visit This Winter

All parks are subject to closures and limited access due to winter weather conditions and COVID-19 precautions. Please check for updates on National Park websites before planning your visit. 

1.   Big Bend National Park 

Instagram: @bigbendnps

Location: Texas

Best Time to Visit: October – April

Winter Temperatures: 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit

Recommended Activity: Hiking or Camping

The winter is the best time of year to visit Big Bend National Park in Texas, making it the busiest time of year as well. Spring and Fall can also be great times to head into the park, but high Summer temperatures make it dangerous to hike and camp.

Big Bend is widely known for its camping, hiking, and backcountry backpacking. No matter your skill level or desire for adventure, there will be a trail that you and your family can enjoy. Most winter nights, even during the coldest months, will reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it perfect for gathering around a cozy campfire and using a bluetooth speaker to sing along to campfire tunes.

If hiking isn’t your favorite activity, Big Bend also offers a wide variety of educational Ranger programs, a few scenic drives, and a must-see Fossil Discovery Exhibit

Learn more on the Big Bend National Park website.

2. Dry Tortugas National Park 

Location: Florida

Best Time to Visit: November – April 

Winter Temperatures: 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit

Recommended Activity: Bird Watching or Scuba Diving

The Dry Tortugas are just off the coast of Key West Florida, and it is a stunning location for any water lover to visit. From snorkeling, diving, fishing, boating, kayaking, and swimming, there is much to be explored in Dry Tortugas National Park. 

While the park can be visited at any time of year, it is essential to note the activities you would most like to participate in will vary from winter to summer. The Dry Tortugas essentially has two seasons: winter and summer. The winter is known for sporadic cold fronts, high winds, and choppy waters. This makes it more challenging to view ocean wildlife when snorkeling and can be unsafe for inexperienced boaters. 

However, the wintertime is the best time of year for bird watchers and tourists looking for fewer crowds. High winds tend to be more consistent from October to January, so if you’re looking for fewer people and still want to enjoy some snorkeling, February may be the best option. 

Be sure to plan your trip to the Dry Tortugas well in advance, as it is only accessible by boat or seaplane. 

Learn more on the Dry Tortugas National Park website.

3. Saguaro National Park 

Location: Arizona

Best Time to Visit: October – April

Winter Temperatures: 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit

Recommended Activity: Hiking 

Located in southern Arizona near Tuscon, Saguaro National Park is a wonderland for nature and hiking enthusiasts to enjoy. Like much of southern Arizona, the winter is the best and busiest time to enjoy outdoor activities. Saguaro National Park is well known for its hiking, and of course, the density of Saguaro cacti spread around the park and surrounding areas. 

Beyond incredible desert vistas while hiking or backpacking and the diverse flora and fauna, visitors can also enjoy the natural history by visiting area petroglyphs. 

If you’d like to camp in the park, make reservations early as camping spots fill up fast. You can make reservations as early as two months in advance. Be advised that hours and accessibility may differ due to COVID-19. 

Finally, a must mention for any trip in the Arizona desert is to take some time to view the sunset. Although sunsets are spectacular in most outdoor spaces, the sunsets seem richer due to the landscape’s natural warm coloring.

Learn more on the Saguaro National Park website.

4. Bryce Canyon National Park 

Instagram: @brycecanyonnps_gov

Location: Utah

Best Time to Visit: May – September

Winter Temperatures: 10-40 degrees Fahrenheit

Recommended Activity: Snowshoeing or Cross-country Skiing 

Although the winter is not deemed the “best” time of year to visit Bryce Canyon National Park, there is plenty to do for winter adventurers. If you are a lover of all things snowshoeing and cross country skiing, Bryce Canyon is a must-see park to put on your list. 

The winter is the least traveled by humans in the park, making it optimal for wildlife viewing and stunning nature photography. If you plan a visit to the park, don’t fret that daylight hours are shorter either, because the night skies in Bryce are an unforgettable sight. Study up on your winter constellations before you come, and enjoy a snowy night hike amongst the stars. 

Learn more on the Bryce Canyon National Park website.

5. Acadia National Park 

Location: Maine

Best Time to Visit: August – October

Winter Temperatures: 10-35 degrees Fahrenheit

Recommended Activity: Cross-Country Skiing 

The last park on our list is a bit further north in Maine. Acadia National Park is well known for its Fall colors, making Autumn the most popular season to visit. Still, if cross country skiing is a favorite activity of yours, then this is one of the best places to go this winter. 

Acadia’s backcountry ski trails are hard to beat since there are around 45 miles of groomed trails. Beyond that, you are also allowed to ski on unplowed park roads. Be warned that snowmobiles can also use the roads for travel though. 

Acadia National Park is also a stunning place to go for a winter hike or an afternoon snowshoe. 

Learn more on the Acadia National Park website.

The Outdoor Tech Anyone On Your Holiday Shopping List Will Love

It’s not too late to get in some of your last-minute holiday gifts! Last minute shopping doesn’t have to be a last ditch effort either, it can be thoughtful and personalized. 

To help you narrow things down, we put together our top 5-holiday gift ideas to ensure everyone on your list gets something they’ll look forward to using all year round. We’re confident that anyone on your list will love one of these five fantastic Outdoor Tech gadgets. 

5 Outdoor Tech Holiday Gift Ideas

1.   Turtle Shell 3.0 – Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Turtle Shell Bluetooth speaker

The Turtle Shell 3.0 wireless speaker is the perfect gift for any outdoor lover that is also a music enthusiast. Whether it’s tailgating, for use on the construction site, or the weekend camping warrior on your shopping list, this waterproof Bluetooth speaker is durable enough to do it all. 

Unlike other Bluetooth speakers, the Turtle Shell 3.0 has 360-degree sound from the unique, polygonal housing. The design isn’t merely for sound quality or aesthetics, though. It is designed to be dustproof, waterproof, and shockproof. As some of our verified customers have proven, it is durable enough to withstand an entire Canadian winter and survives being run over by a 20-ton forklift. 

Although it is exceptionally rugged and intentionally designed to withstand the demands of outdoor use, other features give it capabilities as an office companion. You can easily take calls or use the speaker as a digital assistant with a built-in microphone. No matter where you take it, the Turtle Shell 3.0 will have your back, at least for the 20 hours of battery life it has anyway. 

2.   Chips Ultra – True Wireless Snow Helmet Audio 

Chips Ultra true wireless snow helmet speakers

The Chips Ultra wireless snow helmet audio system is the gift you’ve been looking for while shopping for the ski or snowboard bum on your list. 

There are no wires to worry about here and they work with any audio compatible helmet. Outdoor Tech designed the Chips Ultra to be easy to use, even while wearing gloves or mittens. That way, you don’t even need to take the control out of your pocket to use it, let alone take your helmet and gloves off. 

The Chips Ultra doesn’t only offer astounding audio quality though, there is also a built-in microphone that allows you to answer texts and phone calls without removing your helmet or gloves. 

Now that ski and snowboarding season are upon us, make your family ski bum smile with a pair of True Wireless Chips Ultra. 

3.   Mantas – True Wireless Earbuds

Mantas true wireless earbuds

Give the athlete in your life a way to level up their performance with the Mantas True Wireless Earbuds. The all-day comfort, secure fit, and 12-hour playtime will keep the music going, no matter how long or intense the workout may be. They’ll enjoy the sound quality pro-athletes do, but at an affordable price with the Mantas. 

One tap control makes it easy to use when running, lifting, biking, or doing any other type of physical activity without distracting from your performance. We know you’re working hard during your workout, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your sweat damaging your earbuds. The Mantas are IPX5 sweatproof to keep the music playing, no matter the intensity. 

4.   Buckshot Pro Ultra

Buckshot Pro Ultra bluetooth speaker

We all have that person that is impossible to buy for because they have everything. The multi-purpose Buckshot Pro Ultra wireless speaker is the perfect solution to that dilemma with three practical uses: a Bluetooth speaker, flashlight, and a portable charger. Even if they aren’t the most avid outdoor adventurer, this is a great item to keep in your car, purse, or weekend backpack when traveling. 

While the diversity of the device is nice, it does have specific features that would appeal to cyclists in particular. The Buckshot Pro Ultra has mounting straps that fix the device onto the handlebars. This provides the rider with a built-in bike light, Bluetooth speaker, and a charger on the go. 

Although it is a small device, it packs full hi-fi sound with plenty of bass. The flashlight has multiple lighting modes, including low beam, high beam, lantern, and SOS (strobe). If your phone starts to run low on battery during a ride, the Buckshot Pro Ultra can also be used to charge up small devices with a 2600 mAh rechargeable battery. 

5.   Calamari Ultra – Lightning, USB C, & Micro USB Cable

Calamari Ultra 3 in 1 USB cable

Are you shopping for a minimalist techy in your life? All travel buffs can agree that they love techy gadgets, but they can get bulky after a while. That’s why the Calamari Ultra is a must-have space and time saver when on the road (or at home). This 3-in-1 USB cord puts all of your charging and connecting needs into one place.

The three cables that the Calamari Ultra includes are:

  • An Apple MFI Certified Lightning connector (goodbye error messages)
  • A USB C connector
  • A Micro USB connector (you’re welcome to Android users and GoPro chargers)

On top of the 3-in-1 capabilities, what makes this chord so useful is that it is about 3 feet long, and it can be used for either charging or data transfer. 

So, if you’re pulling epic footage off of your GoPro one minute and need to charge your iPhone the next, you don’t have to swap chords, just the input on the Calamari Ultra. Perhaps they don’t know they need it yet, but once they have it, they won’t know how they lived without it for so long. 

No matter who you have left to shop for, we are certain that some Outdoor Tech would light up their life this winter. From the top of the line Bluetooth speakers to a new pair of wireless earbuds, we have a gift for anyone on your list. 

5 Must-Visit State Parks to Add to Your Bucket List

Many of us have been postponing or rescheduling travels in 2020. If we didn’t outright cancel plans, we might have restructured our vacations to focus on closer to home or outdoor locations. 

I’m sure you’ve heard of some of the most popular National Parks like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, but did you know that there are over 6,600 state park sites in the United States? The vast array of outdoor spaces we have access to in the US is astounding and fortunate during a pandemic. That way, we can still get outside and avoid the crowds, but we have to be willing to look beyond the most well-known parks and places. 

To help you narrow it down, we put together some lesser-visited yet epically spectacular parks to add to your bucket list. 

5 Bucket List State Parks

1.   Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Instagram: @valley.of.fire

Location: Overton, Nevada

Best Time to Visit: October – April

Must-Do: Prospect Trail 

Camping: 72 sites (RV hookups available)

Drive through the Valley of Fire State Park, and it will make you think that perhaps you are on Mars. The unique red rock formations and indigenous history within the park have been a focal point for numerous Hollywood productions, festivals, and countless weddings. 

The stunning colors of the landscape come from the Aztec sandstone against the backdrop of limestone mountains. Beyond the geological history, this land is rich with other natural histories, including petroglyphs carved into the rocks by the Basketmaker culture, Early Pueblo, and the Paiutes. 

You can drive through the park and stop at overlooks and enjoy short walks from your car, or you can stay and camp in the first-come, first-serve campground. The campsites are spread out in rocky outcroppings giving you a sense of solitude. 

Learn more on the Valley of Fire State Park website.

2.   City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico 

Instagram: @wandering.america

Location: Deming, New Mexico

Best Time to Visit: Spring / Fall

Must-Do: Camping among the rocks

Camping: 41 sites (with showers / RV hookups)

City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico is located in the Southwest corner of the state. What makes this park unique is the volcanic rock formations. This is a great place to stop over for a relaxing overnight or weekend camping trip. 

All of the campsites are spread out among the volcanic rock formations. The park itself is relatively small, only about one square mile. So, there is some hiking available, but it is limited. If you do plan to hike, make sure to pack a bluetooth portable speaker that will fit right in the slot of your backpack.

The park’s name, City of Rocks, comes from the geological formations that make up a “city” of rock pinnacles that rise to 40 feet in height and are separated by paths. From a distance, the spread of pinnacles resembles a city in the barren Chihuahuan desert. 

Beyond camping and hiking, City of Rocks is a spectacular place for stargazing, birding, and mountain biking. Faywood Hot Springs are also within 5 miles of the park to add some relaxation and adventure to your visit. 

Learn more on the City of Rocks State Park website.

3.   Custer State Park, South Dakota

Instagram: @custerstateparksd

Location: Custer, South Dakota

Best Time to Visit: May-October

Must-Do: Kayaking on Sylvan Lake

Camping: 9 scenic campgrounds spread throughout the park

Located in the Black Hills area of South Dakota, Custer State Park offers various year-round adventures that anyone can enjoy. While they are open in the winter months, the warmer months tend to be a more popular time to visit the area. 

Depending on the activity, you will have access to several different camping experiences. All camping areas, even dry camping, will have access to a bathroom of some kind, even if they are just pit toilets. There are also cabins available for rent and a resort within the park if you are looking for a more luxurious getaway. 

Hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, paddleboarding, and horseback riding are just a few of the most popular things to do within the park. During the winter months, many visitors enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing. 

Learn more on the Custer State Park website.

4.   Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan 

Instagram: @porcupinemountainscvb

Location: Ontonagon, Michigan

Best Time to Visit: September – November

Must-Do: Backpacking

Camping: Backcountry sites, campgrounds, Yurt rentals, and cabins 

Michigan’s largest state park is located on the scenic Upper Peninsula and includes the Porcupine Mountains. This park is home to over 90 miles of hiking trails and 60,000 acres of land, some of which stretch along the shoreline of Lake Superior. That isn’t the only lake on the horizon, though. 

One of the most famous portions of the park is Lake of the Clouds. This lake is tucked in a valley accessible when backpacking but is visible from a few different overlooks. One of the overlooks is ADA accessible as well. Be warned that the hiking trails are notorious for being muddy, flooded, and buggy so bring proper gear. 

Other popular activities beyond backpacking and camping include fishing, boating, and biking. During the winter months, both cross country and downhill skiing are available in the area. 

Learn more on the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park website.

5.   Merchants Millpond State Park, North Carolina

Instagram: @curtsuneson

Location: Gatesville, North Carolina 

Best Time to Visit: Year-Round

Must-Do: Paddling

Camping: Hike-in, paddle-in, and 20 drive-up sites

Located in the Northeast corner of North Carolina is a hidden gem of a swamp. Now, a swamp park doesn’t sound all that fun, but if you are a fan of paddling, this Southern swamp and hardwood forest is a wonderland. 

There are no entrance fees to enter the park, but you have to set up reservations for overnight stays. While you can reserve drive-up campsites, some of the most coveted spots are the ones you have to backpack or paddle to. Although there are alligators and other swamp critters around, they generally avoid visitors paddling through the waters. Be sure to respect their boundaries as well. 

Besides paddling, you can also enjoy some biking/hiking trails, fishing, and picnic areas.

Learn more on the Merchants Millpond State Park website.