Gear Friday: Alcohol, Air Speed & A Lil’ Something Different

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What I’m Loving: Pat’s Backcountry Beverages

If you’re me, a cold beer is the one thing you want after a day full of hiking, climbing or skiing. Something about that bitter beverage tastes just right when you’re in the outdoors! Amiright?


Sadly, beer is heavy. Cans and bottles are heavy. And up until now, that meant there was no freaking way I was going to carry beer into the backcountry. {Truth: I carried Rainier beer to the top of Mt. Rainier, just because I could. I barely didn’t regret it. It sure tasted great on the summit but it was heavy while climbing!}

Awhile back, the folks at Pat’s Backcountry Beverages sent me a kit full of their new drink concentrates. Not only did they include a few concentrates for two different kinds of beers – Pail Rail and Black Hops – but they also sent a few non-alcoholic soda concentrates like root beer and lemon lime. Naturally, I passed the root beer off to my pregnant best friend and took the beer packages for myself!


The concentrates come in Gu-like squishy packages that are super easy to carry. In essence, you load the special bottle with the concentrate, add the carbonates, mix in some water, and fiddle with the bottle a bit. Voila! Backcountry beer.

We made root beer first and while tasty, it was a little watered down. I soon realized the off-taste was because I had screwed up the mixture. I made a Pail Rail beverage next and it was tasty!


Four-packs {which makes a growler’s worth} cost $10, so it’s not too pricey. My favorite part? When you pop the lid at the end—it sounds just like when you crack open a can of suds!


Bottom line? These are awesome. Buy them all for your next trip!

Why I’m Confused: Vaavud Wind Meter

In a nutshell, this product works exactly as promised.


The Vaavud wind meter comes with two components: the little antenna-looking piece that plus into the headphone jack on your phone and a free app that you can download. Once you download the app, you plug in the wind meter, and take a look at the screen. It will show you the wind speed in miles per hour.

Where I struggle with this product is finding a use for it. Very rarely do I need to know the actual wind speed. However, I’m aware that intense mountaineers focus on meteorology far more than I do; perhaps they would use the wind meter?

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But when I thought through that logic, I found myself wondering if climbers on Everest would bring their smartphones to the summit. Probably not, right? So when would be a good time to use this device?

Sadly, I never thought of a good example so I’m still flummoxed as to the appropriate use of the wind meter. However, I will say that it is incredibly easy to use and works exactly as promised. If you’re someone that likes gadgets and toys to play with in the outdoors, maybe this is up your alley!

Retail price: $49.95

Totally Random….But I’m in Love

When the crew at Uncommon Goods first approached me, I was close to rejecting their offer. It didn’t seem to fit my brand. However, just as I was closing out the window, I glimpsed their ‘Personalized Gifts’ section and saw a perfect present for Will!

Uncommon Goods is a Brooklyn-based company that was founded in 1999 with a mission to create unique and handcrafted gifts that don’t harm animals or the environment. Not too shabby, right?

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Will happens to love cufflinks. The man dresses better than anyone I know {including myself, for sure!} and wears cufflinks to work on a daily basis. It’s become a bit of a ritual for me to gift him unique cufflinks, so when I saw the personalized pennies, I knew he would love them! I customized them both with 1982 – the year he was born – and gave them to him back in August. These days, I’m pretty sure he wears them at least once per week!

What I like about Uncommon Goods is that they do have fun stuff that makes for great gifts. As we get older, unique presents are tough to find and I enjoy finding gifts that combine sentimentality with individual hobbies. Although Will isn’t a beer drinker, I also saw quite a few alcohol-related gifts that would be pretty cool! They also have a huge list of presents for gals, so check it out if you’re searching for a unique item.



  • Reply Kovas - Midwest Multisport Life at

    I’ve heard a few people say those beer concentrates are pretty good – a nice niche market created

  • Reply Sarah - Sweet Miles at

    My husband would LOVE those beer mixes. What an interesting concept! Not gonna lie, after a long hard workout, sometimes the first thing I grab IS a soda. I’m sure that’s probably the last thing I need, but I just crave it! I’m going to show this to the hubs for sure, such a cool find!

  • Reply Lauren at

    Those beer concentrates look awesome! Might be a good holiday gift for some hikers I know!

  • Reply Ann at

    We use an anemometer (wind meter) to tell us wind speeds when we are kite skiing. I bet Caleb uses one for when he’s kite surfing too.
    Beer sounds awesome. I’ll be checking that out for sure.

    • Reply heather at

      That sounds like a perfect use for it! And I bet Caleb totally does too. I’ve never been kite skiing so I never thought of that!

  • Reply Somer Nelson at

    What an amazing invention! I already carry a 3yr old on my back when I go hiking so carrying beer would just add to the load. There is nothing like having a nice cold beer on a mountain peak. I need to get my hands on this!!!

  • Reply Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen at

    Those cufflinks are awesome – Brian LOVES cufflinks too so I’ll have to check them out. And that travel beer thing looks like it’s right up your alley for all the camping/backpacking you do 🙂

  • Reply Alyssa at

    I need to check out that website because I am a horrible gift giver and Eric is an amazing one and it’s the worst. I do not like beer or the back country but that first item is the coolest thing ever.

  • Reply cutefigurehk at

    very lovely

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