Confession: I consider myself something of a minimalist. Not by choice, exactly, but by nature. Stuff stresses me out. Clutter gives me anxiety. Aside from a few beloved possessions I could easily give away everything I own (and I have, more than once). I’m just not that attached to any of it.
But there is this one exception, my Achilles heel of stuff: outdoor gear.
So, when Field & Stream asked if I would visit their store, pick up a few items, and then write a review on the blog I said, “You carry outdoor gear, right?” And they said yes. So I said yes. Because I CAN’T TURN DOWN OUTDOOR GEAR!
Which is how I found myself in a Field and Stream parking lot filled with big trucks on a cold and gray Saturday in Northern Kentucky.
I’d never been inside a Field and Stream before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the kayaks propped along the outside of the store felt promising. As the automatic doors swung open and a blast of warm air hit my face I stepped inside and found myself toe-to-toe with a massive display of stuffed forest creatures: moose, foxes, deer and one snarling grizzly. My one-year-old gasped with joy at the animals. I looked at my husband, “Those are fake, right?” He glanced at me from the corner of his eye. “Um, yeah. Fake.”
I lifted my head and scanned the store until my eyes fell upon a large sign that announced the camping section. “I’ll be over there,” I said, pointing toward a stacked display of YETI coolers, a product that we have both been lusting after since our days living in a camper when our sub-standard cooler continuously ruined our food.
If being outside hiking and camping is my ultimate happy place then being inside looking at hiking and camping gear may just be runner-up. I browsed the aisles of hiking and camping gear and was impressed by Field and Stream’s robust selection. They carried most of what you’d need to take a backpacking trip: water filters, first aid kits and freeze dried meals. And while their selection of backpacks was fairly small I was impressed with their ground pad and sleeping bag options.
Now that we’ve added a third member to our family we have a third person to outfit with outdoor gear (!!). Field and Stream has a wonderful collection of children’s outdoor gear and some really cool outdoor themed toys unlike I’ve seen anywhere else. But it wasn’t until I came upon this little item that I realized what I would do with my time in Field and Stream. Christmas shopping.
Don’t tell my daughter, but I think Santa will be bringing her a baby headlamp this year.
I also picked up a few items for the whole family to enjoy like a (veggie) hot dog roaster and this rubber handle to use with our cast iron skillet. (On our last camping trip we successfully cooked some amazing cast iron campfire nachos until the moment when we realized we had no way to get the scalding hot skillet off the metal grate of the fire ring. Oops.)
In the hiking shoe section of the store I may or may not have picked up some rubber rain boots for my husband and fuzzy socks for my mom. Then I wandered over to the paddling section of the store and ogled over the kayaks. But by this time the baby had started crying and I was over my budget. It was time to go home.
If you have some last minute holiday shopping to do for an outdoor lover in your family or if you’re setting your sights on getting outdoors in the spring, I highly recommend a stop at Field and Stream. This outdoor gear junkie was not disappointed.
Find a Field and Stream with the Store Locator.