When President Ulysses S. Grant signed the law establishing Yellowstone as the first National Park in 1872, he probably didn’t imagine how the parks system would expand or how popular the parks would become. The National Park Service celebrated its centennial in 2016 and welcomed a record number of visitors: 325 million. Yellowstone is still one of the most popular, but the system now includes 59 National Parks in 27 states and two US Territories. Other units in the National Park system add diversity to familiar natural preserves like Yellowstone and Yosemite, meaning you can climb to the top of Devil’s Tower or get your patriot on at Independence National Historical Park. To celebrate these priceless natural and historic treasures, we offer this collection of designs to help you enjoy the recreation and inspiration they offer.
Your nightstand—it’s just the utilitarian bedside spot for stashing your alarm clock or phone, some tissues, and your latest nighttime read, right? Maybe, but it should be a whole lot more. Think about it. What’s the last thing you see at night when you reach over to turn off the light? What’s your waking sight when you reach for your alarm each morning?
Since your nightstand is the closest thing to your bed, it’s your first and last visual cue of the day—so why not give a little attention to this overlooked spot? Add some thoughtful, personalized touches that are both functional and decorative for calming your mood at night and adding some energetic pep to your morning.
According to Carl Jung, the sea symbolizes our collective unconscious, spilling forth each night with dreams concealed by day. The swirling waves of this bedside lantern will be just the thing for your nightstand. Made from recycled paper, the wave-printed shade casts a warm glow perfect for cozy bedtime lighting and even adjusts for brightness. | Glowing Wave Paper Lantern
I may not be the most glamorous glamping girl, but I do like to get out of Brooklyn once in a while to see some open, green spaces. Recently, my guy and I packed up a rental car, dropped the cats off with a sitter, and headed for the Catskills. Due to the joys of city traffic we made it to Mongaup Pond Campgrounds 5 hours later (just a couple hours later than expected).
I have been stocking up on fun camping gear all winter long, including some things for the grill from UncommonGoods. I already had the Grilled Cheese Maker, the Kabob Grilling Baskets, and both Coffee and Pine Firestarters ready to go.
Camping can be a wonderful, relaxing thing. But, can my boyfriend and I survive 2 nights in the Great Outdoors without any tunes?! I’m going to test the Portable Magnetic Speaker to see if I can blend gadgets with my get-away-from-it-all trip. (I wouldn’t want to drain the car battery in the middle of the Catskills for a little background music.)
The Magnetic Portable Speaker will keep the tunes coming while my guy and I relax by the campfire.
We took off for Monguap Pond Campground in Sullivan County, NY. We charged the speaker on the laptop while we packed up. The tiny speaker was ready to rock in about an hour.
Once we got up in the mountains, unpacked, and got the fire going it was time for some dinner music to go with our campfire hot dogs and s’mores. This speaker may seem tiny, but it has great sound quality. Also, the volume was surprisingly good; we had to make sure we kept it low enough for out camp site without disturbing our neighbors with Stones tunes.
Inside the tent we used the magnetic clip to keep the speaker anchored to a pillow case so the iPod wouldn’t get lost amongst the egg crate, blankets, and sleeping bags.
The clip got used again during our afternoon bike ride around the campgrounds. (Keeping the volume at a respectable level of course!)
The speaker had a pretty long battery life too. We didn’t re-charge until the second evening. We used the rental car’s handy USB charger port. We didn’t need to recharge it again until we were safe, sound, and relaxed back in Brooklyn!
For the next camping trip this little iPod speaker will definitely be as important as the flashlights and bug spray. It made our excursion just that much more enjoyable without drowning out the sound of chirping crickets.
The adventurous dad is always on the lookout for a new path to travel, a grand site to see or an innovative new idea to make a reality. No doubt, as the child of an adventurous dad, you’re always on the lookout for bold gifts he’ll love. Father’s Day is just a few days away, but order today with our flat rate Express Shipping and your gift will reach Dad by June 19.
On a recent fishing trip to the Catskills Mountains, Customer Service Supervisor Laura Frost tests out a solar-powered water bottle to see whether it holds up in bear country.
1) Product Name: Solar-Powered Illuminating Water Bottle
|The water bottle in action|
2) Background Research: I haven’t been camping or fly-fishing in years, and I was itching to embark on a nature adventure. I also have quite the collection of electronic gadgets that I didn’t want to drown while on the river. I needed the phone since I was out on the water by myself, a flashlight in case I was still out after twilight (when the trout are happy and active), and a camera to document my trip. On top of all that a night-light is a must have for dark, Catskill nights… in bear country. Gulp!
3) Hypothesis: This double-duty bottle can be a gadget-container during the day and a cheery night-light at night.
4) Experiment: Use the bottle to carry my camera and cell while on the river during the day and have a light that won’t depend on batteries at night while fishing and camping Willowemoc Creek in Sullivan County, NY.
5) Results: If you haven’t ever fly-fished a river know that you have to carry a lot of gear. There’s the rod, the net, the fly vest full of tackle and what-not, plus water-proof waders, and heavy felt-bottomed boots. One is then expected to traverse moving water going over slick, mossy rocks. Grace while doing all this is not an easy thing to pull off. Within the first 10 minutes on the Willowemoc on the first day I stepped on a slick rock and found myself sitting in 10 inches of creek. The good news? My camera and phone were perfectly safe in the Bottle, bobbing in the water while attached to my waders!
This water bottle features a really wide mouth, so my camera and phone fit with room to spare. The draw-sting that comes with it turned out to be handily adjustable. It attaches to the lid and the bottle, so I could attach it to my fishing waders without the worry that I’d drop the bottle while walking the stream.
Back at camp I emptied my gadgets and clicked the light on. It gave off a both a soft white glow and a red glow, which the packaging claims is better for night vision. The light was really handy while I prepped my hot dogs and s’mores.
It was also a welcome night light in my tent. The solar panel charged all day, so it was ready to glow for 8 hours. (It has a really cool, smart solar panel so the light won’t glow using precious battery life, while the sun’s shinning.) The red light was good inside the tent while I settled into my sleeping bag for the night.
The only let down? It was not a good flashlight for getting to the campground’s restrooms. The glow is good in a contained tent, or sitting on a picnic table, but couldn’t throw a long beam like a flashlight can.
The rest of the weekend I kept a mini-flashlight tucked in the bottle along with my cell and camera. My feet got steadier, and I was able to fish deeper water with confidence that my electronic gadgets would be safe. I was able to get some beautiful pictures of the stream and the rainbow trout I caught as well as get a good night’s sleep with my night light nearby.
|The perfect view|