Taking Flight, The Single Life

5 Valentine’s Gifts for the Adventurous Girl


If you have an adventurous girl in your life, then you’ve come to the right place to find the perfect gift! I love spending time outdoors but apparel and gear for the next trek isn’t exactly the typical Valentine’s Day gift – which is what makes those kind of things the best kind of gift! Nothing says “I love you” or “You’re pretty cool” like a unique gift! Whether she is your girlfriend, your best friend, your daughter or your wife, show some love to the adventurous girl in your life with one of these five out-of-the-box gifts she is sure to love!

1. Chaco Natilly Boots: $140

Chaco boots of any kind are a great gift! They have the Chaco sole that are podiatrist-approved and super comfy. They’re perfect for casual day hikes. And they are fashionable on and off the trails.

I’ve had my Chaco Natilly boots for almost a year and I’ve worn them in just about every environment. I wore them all the time when I studied abroad in London and Paris. I’ve worn them on rainy days to class, in the snow, on a girls’ night out and to church. These boots are definitely not cheap, but the adventurous girl is sure to get a lot of wear out of them.

You could also spring for the Barbary style, which I’m in love with! They’re just $10 more at $150 and I’d be willing to bet they have just as much versatility!

2. Merrell’s Fluorecein Mid Waterproof Boots: Regular price $140, On Sale for $99.99

I know…another pair of boots. What can I say. I love shoes, especially boots and especially ones made with hiking in mind. I just got my pair of these lovelies for a New Mexico backpacking trip in June (because Chacos will not cut it on long treks like this one). It was love at first…wear??? Anywho, this would be a great gift to show the adventurous girl in your life that you love and appreciate her!

I know these first two gifts are a bit pricey and may not be the best thing for a friend or even your girlfriend unless it’s getting serious, but your outdoorsy wife or daughter will love you forever.

3. Doublenest ENO Hammock: $69.95

I love my ENO! But I got a Singlenest because I didn’t want to pay $10 more. It’s the tragic story of a poor college student. I know. The double allows for more room for a sleeping bag…or cuddling! But so far that has been my only regret!

An ENO will make sleeping out under the stars, taking an outdoor catnap or just chilling outside fun and relaxing! I love to take mine out even for a few hours to read and enjoy nice weather when it comes around!

Obviously, this would not be the gift you would get your friend unless you were the one who won the Powerball or you just REALLY loved them, but it could be the perfect and unique thing for a girlfriend, wife or daughter! I mean let’s face it…you’ll end up spending just as much money on a good bouquet of flowers.

(NOTE: You will also need to buy straps to suspend the hammock…and lucky for you that’s the next suggestion!)

4. ENO Atlas Hammock Suspension: $29.95

This is the perfect gift for the girl who already has an ENO but wants to take her hammocking to the next level. Eagle Nest Outfitters has what they call a Slap Strap for $10 cheaper, but you can’t use these traps in state and national parks. They’re actually illegal because they are too thing and can hurt the trees. At least that’s what the guy at Sun & Ski told me. But the Atlas straps or can be used anywhere you can physically get your ENO to stay hanging! So, give the gift that will let your friend or girlfriend hammock like a champion!

5. Adventure Essentials Care Package (Lip balm, hiking socks, + a few snacks)

This might seem like a weird cop-out gift, but if you’re wanting to get a gift for a friend or multiple adventurous friends, this is an inexpensive yet valuable gift. This is also where you can let some creativity shine through! I would suggest a stick of lip balm, a pair of hiking socks and maybe some peanut butter crackers or a Clif Bar.

A good lip balm is like gold for the girl who likes to spend her time in the great outdoors because sweltering heat, frigid air, bright sun and stinging wind can DE-stroy your skin, especially on your lips. The last thing she will want to worry about when she’s out on the trails or on the slopes is the annoying and unbearable stinging sensation that is chapped lips.

You can get any lip balm that you like, but I’m a huge fan of Burt’s Bees! It’s all-natural. It lasts FOR-EV-ER. You can get it in a lot of flavors (Peppermint is my favorite!). And unlike some brands of lip balm, it’s easy to pack and not an awkward sphere shape so your best girlfriend can slip it into a jacket pocket or side pocket in her pack and be good to go!

As far as the socks go, there one of those things that it’s a hard thing to justify buying for yourself because socks tend to be easily lost and there is always more expensive equipment to save up for. Thus, a good pair of socks tend to go by the wayside.

Finally, the snacks are just a no-brainer. Everyone loves snacks!

What gift would you add to the list?

Taking Flight

Backyard Adventures

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Sometimes the best adventures happen in your own backyard. Okay…maybe I’m a college kid living in an apartment so I don’t have a literal backyard, but I still manage to find a little adventure here and there without leaving this great Okla-home state of mine. (Is that cheesy?)

But really though. Sometimes it seems like you have to go to far away places with the craziest trails, peaks and rapids like Colorado, Washington, Oregon or the Canadian Rockies or the Andes to be adventurous. I’ll get on social media…pinterest, twitter, instagram… and because I follow a lot of outdoor lifestyle companies and that’s all I’ll see.

While all those places are amazing, I’ve had some amazing adventures of my own without crossing Oklahoma lines even though this is a state that’s known more for its flat terrain than for its trails, lakes or “mountains.”

Just a few weeks ago, I went on a retreat with the college group from my church. At this retreat, spend a weekend in a cabin on the river in Broken Bow, Oklahoma (which is about as far southeast in Oklahoma that you can go without being in Texas) and spend time getting to know each and going kayaking and spend time outdoors and kayak…and did I mention kayaking.

If you can’t tell that’s one of my favorite parts about this trip, but this year I wanted just a little more adventure. As the weekend of the fall retreat started to get closer, I started to think about how cool it would be to have a hammock for this trip. I eventually decided to invest in an Eno hammock. For anyone who doesn’t know, Enos aren’t cheap. I went back and forth as to whether I should get one seeing as I’m a college student with finite funds that need to last. So, I even called my personal accountant (my mommy) to see if it was a good idea, but I think by the time I called her I had already set my mind on making the best purchase I have ever made.

So I finally broke down and bought one. I actually got it the Thursday before the retreat and broke it out the next day just hours before we loaded up the church van (mostly because I didn’t want to look like an idiot who didn’t know how to put up a hammock). It turns out it’s really simple and anyone can do it, but I was also just so excited about my Eno that I had to give it a test drive.

Before I continue, I might want to preface the rest of this article with the statement that this weekend might have been an adventure fail.

I say that because I decided to be a cool kid and sleep in my hammock. Well that lasted one night because even with a microfiber blanket I still felt like a popsicle in the morning because temps got down to 50 degrees.

But at least it was an adventure.