This post is sponsored by Backcountry. Thank you for supporting, Simply Taralynn!
We all connect with nature differently, and what we take from it is all up to us. I spend a lot of time indoors writing, creating content, and as soon as I step outside, my mood changes, my energy increases, and my stress levels start dropping. You don’t have to go backpacking, rock climbing, or water rafting to connect with nature. It can be as simple as walking your dogs, sketching a scenery at the park, or roasting marshmallows by the fire. What makes you get outside is what builds your personal and unique relationship with nature.
There are so many things that get me outside, and lately, I’ve been conquering new adventures that I’ve been afraid of like swimming at night with the manta rays, snorkeling in shark-infested waters, joining a local tennis club (where I knew absolutely no one), jumping out of airplanes, flyfishing, and even taking a surfing lesson. I’m always looking for new ways to connect with nature, and each time I try something new, I feel like the relationship between nature and I grows stronger.
This past weekend, I escaped to the North Carolina mountains to spend time in nature with the ones I love. Spending the weekend without social media distractions and waking up to the mountain views instead of my T.V. screen was very therapeutic. I’m excited to be partnering with Backcountry today to talk about what gets me outdoors, and I hope you feel inspired to plan your next adventure! I’m also going to be sharing some helpful tips for outdoor photography.
With every trip, there’s packing. There are two types of packers. #1. The super neat and functional packer and #2. The packer that creates a tornado scene just to fill one bag with everything they don’t need. I’ll let you decide which one I am.
When you’re going away for the weekend, you only need one or two small bags. For this trip, I packed my clothes in a lightweight Patagonia duffel. I had been looking for a duffel bag this size for so long. It’ll fit perfectly on the airplane with me, and won’t be too large to carry around. It fit all of my outfits comfortably and kept me from overpacking. I struggle with packing way more than I need. I kept all of my toiletries in the large side pocket to remain separate from my clothing.
I chose a matching backpack to carry my laptop, camera equipment (chargers, tripod, extra lens, cords, sd cards), and other essential gadgets. The bag has a padded pocket for laptop protection which I liked.
There are countless duffel bags and backpack options to choose from on Backcountry. If you have a trip coming up, make sure to browse their selection.
Once it cools down here in the Carolinas, Kyle and I are going to go on a camping trip with the dogs. You guys know how seriously I take my coffee and snacks. I don’t function well without either of them. Backcountry has a section with non-perishable food, camping kitchen supplies, and everything you can imagine. I especially loved all their coffee and teapot options. The Kuju Pocket PourOver Coffee is great for outdoor camping, but to be completely honest, I’m planning on using these for when the power goes out during the hurricane later this week. Actually, a lot of the kitchen supplies on Backcountry make for smart hurricane preparation.
If you need something last minute, Backcountry offers free 2-day shipping on ALL orders over $50 across the country!
Their backpacking food selection includes all kinds of options! They have trail mix, oatmeal, mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, couscous, and more! I’m excited to stock up on all of these fun goodies before we take off for our camping trip.
We took the dogs down to the lake for an afternoon of fishing on the dock. I love seeing the dogs in their element. They’ll do anything to be outside, and nothing makes me happier than seeing them run around and get dirty. Dogs only live a short time here on earth, and it’s important to let them get wild in the mud, swim in the lake, and expose them to nature daily. It fuels their souls and makes them the happiest dogs in the world. The dogs and I start every morning at 5:30 am with a mile and a half dog walk around the neighborhood. We also end our nights the same way.
The Muir Woods Redwood v-neck shirt I’m wearing is perfect a hot day out in the sun. It’s lightweight, and great for layering if you wanted to add a flannel on top. Backcountry has a ton of stylish, yet technical, clothing from different brands to wear for your everyday activities. Whether it’s yoga, hiking, running errands, they’ll have something that fits your lifestyle. Backcountry supplies items from the best brands such as Arc’Teryx, Patagonia, Fjallraven, Black Diamond, and more! I’ve been introduced to some new brands after looking at their website.
For the past two years, we have been big fans of Ruffwear for the dogs. I get asked about these heavy-duty harnesses daily! If your dogs are active and love being out in nature with you, then you’ll enjoy the dog section Backcountry provides. You’ll be able to find Ruffwear dog beds, boots, collars, leashes, portable bowls, doggy medical kits, toys, blankets, and more. The harnesses that Grumples and Leo are wearing come in different sizes, colors, and have a pocket on the top to store things like keys, treats, doggy bags, or an emergency kit. Plus, they look so stinkin’ cute in them! The dogs put these harnesses to the test! They’ve swam with them in the ocean, the lake, and have worn them on some pretty rainy hikes. They hold up perfectly!
Since our dogs wear them several times a day, we wash them at the end of the month by soaking them in the sink with a drop of detergent, rinse them, and let them air dry. They always come out looking brand new.
I’ve recently been diving into the YouTube world. Most of my adventures are now filmed, and its so much fun! I love watching back all of the special moments and reliving them all over again. I also found it difficult to carry around my camera for vlogging, a camera for photography, and my cell phone. This pocket purse is a lifesaver! The material is heavy duty and holds my vlogging camera, credit card, and cell phone perfectly. I don’t have to juggle everything in my hands or jean pockets anymore. It comes in more than eleven colors, and I wish I could have them all. I went with the plum color. You can also adjust the straps to make it fall where you prefer. I highly recommend this to everyone!
Backcountry has a lot of great apparel for men. All of the men in my life will be receiving gifts from Backcountry this year! I love their casual items that can be worn in their everyday lives. I was showing my mom all of the apparel for men on Backcountry, and she ended up buying my dad a few new t-shirts and shorts to mow the lawn in, build furniture, and even some new trunks for the pool. I believe they call these types of items #outleisure! 😉
If you have a new adventure planned and don’t know where to start when it comes to packing or gear, definitely reach out to the gearheads at V. All of Backcountry‘s gearheads are experts in their fields, whether it’s mountain climbing, yoga, running, skiing…and so on! The gearheads have tons of knowledge about what gear you’ll need for your next adventure.
What would a mountain weekend be without roasting marshmallows and making smores? You can find portable fire rings and roasting sticks available in the camp kitchen section.
Backcountry loves to see their customers experiencing the outdoors and going on the adventures of a lifetime. I try to plan adventures and do things that make me happy, even if it’s the small things. You all know how much I love my coffee and my crazy obsession with it. On this trip, my favorite part was waking up before the sun and having coffee on the dock by the lake. That moment was one of my favorites. Of course, driving cross-country and camping in national parks is #1 on my ultimate bucket list, but I’m just enjoying the small things for now! I’d like to know what your GOATworthy moment is? Or maybe something you’d like to do in the future. Wait, what the heck is a GOAT moment? Greatest Of All Time, moment.
I brought these heavy-duty ceramic Backcountry mugs to the cabin with us for morning coffee. They are only $12.95! Backcountry also has my favorite brand of stainless steel bottles. I use the Hydro Flask to keep coffee hot and water cold! I don’t know what I’d do without mine.
If there was ever a GOATworthy moment…
This Patagonia pullover has quickly become one of my favorite items I own. I’m heading back home to Iowa next month, and I plan on wearing these every single day. Every piece of Patagonia clothing I own has never let me down. They are made to last! This Patagonia is so cozy and made from soft organic cotton. The classic diamond quilted pattern works as an effective heat-trapping system, which is going to come in handy while walking the dogs this winter. I love that the collar stands up to keep your neck warm. Now, I’ll need to get this in every color, and I’ll be set.
One of my favorite parts about being out in nature is the photography.
You don’t have to be professionally trained, or have the most expensive equipment to enjoy taking photos. I think the fun part is learning, experiencing, and growing your talent each time you take a photo or play around with editing.
Here are ten tips for taking photos when you’re out in nature!
- Bring your tripod to stabilize your shots.
- Always strive for natural lighting.
- Take about five photos of the same shot.
- Play around with artistic angles. Don’t be afraid to get down on the ground, or climb up a tree.
- Play around with artistic filters to give your nature photos a personal touch.
- Bring lens wipes to remove dirt or fog from changing temps
- Rent new cameras and lenses to test out before you purchase.
- Aim for candids; those always turn out the best.
- Wake up before the sun to set up before the sunrise
- Read articles or watch tutorials online from the pros!
Anytime I take a good photo out in nature; my whole day is made! If I were to ever camp across the U.S., It would probably take me years because I’d be so busy taking photos of everything I pass.
North Carolina is packed with the most beautiful hiking spots. I’ve always worn my tennis shoes out on hikes and complained about my feet hurting for days, so I think it was a smart choice to finally get hiking boots for Kyle and me. These boots are a gamechanger.
My boots are the Danner Jag Hiking Boot. They are lightweight and made up of suede and canvas material. They are super comfortable and cushioned which makes it feel like I’m walking on a foam mattress. These are perfect if you’re hiking in a wet area because they contain waterproof lining to keep your feet dry. The waffle rubber outsole grip helps you walk safely across a variety of surfaces.
Last year, I’d come inside with ice cold feet from walking the dogs, so I’m excited to see how these change up my dog walking game!
For me, these ran true to size. I didn’t order up or down, and they fit comfortably.
Kyle picked out the Vasque Sundowner GTX backpacking boot. He said they were the most comfortable boots he’s ever worn. They are also waterproof, full-grain leather, and have a midfoot stabilizer. The sizing ran true to size for him as well. If you’re looking to get a gift for your significant other, these would be perfect!
I think what makes these boots even better was the purchase of the SmartWool socks. This was one of the brands that I learned about after going through the Backcountry site and reading product reviews. These socks are super comfortable and cozy! They contain layered wool in high-impact zones for extra cushion, have an arch brace that holds the sock in place to reduce blisters or bunching, no annoying seams at the toes, and made from merino wool to keep the moisture away from the foot.
We had fun testing the boots out last weekend. This hat pulled all the mountain weekend outfits together. It’s a khaki patch baseball hat that says “Made For The Mountains.”
I can’t wait to come back in October when all the leaves on the trees start to change.
If you do find something you love on Backcountry, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute at checkout to Backcountry and The Nature Conservancy to help support its mission of protecting the lands and waters on which all life depends. Backcountry has been a partner with The Nature Conservancy since 2008.
And just like that, we were home!
Now, there are two types of unpackers….#1. The unpacker who does it right away and #1 an unpacker that unpacks a year later. I’ll let you decide which one I am 😉
Backcountry is offering 15% off your first purchase with the code TARALYNN15
I hope you find something to take with you on your next GOATworthy adventure! If you have any questions about the items I wore or used in this post, let me know in the comments!
Question for you!
- What is a GOATmoment you’ve had?
- What is number one on your outdoor bucket list?
- What adventure would you like to see me go on?