Gear for Family Adventures

These items will make the great outdoors feel as comfortable as home

If you’re like me, you’d rather spend Mother’s Day on the trail than in a stuffy restaurant having brunch. I make my home in the outdoors as much as I do anywhere else, and my family is typically right there with me. The man who bought me the lightest sleeping bag on the market ultimately won my heart. Today, he’s my husband, and we have four kids, all of whom are gear freaks. That’s why we have so many outdoor gear items around the house, where you’re likely to find us all rolled up in our Rumpl puffy blankets.

Those blankets, in addition to a lot of other gear intended for the great outdoors, often vastly outperform our regular housewares and clothing items. From my jacket down to my underwear, and my accessories to my shoes, most of what I own is arguably over-engineered thanks to brands that prioritize wicking moisture away from my skin, resisting odors, and protecting me from insects that carry debilitating viruses. When it comes to utilizing performance materials, the home industry is way behind the outdoor industry.

But some companies are tuning in, producing innovative, sustainable solutions for everything from car seats to footwear that utilize advances from the outdoor gear world. Here are just a few that may come in handy, whether you hit the trail for Mother’s Day or beyond.

Courtesy of Rumpl

Helinox’s alloy tubing makes for the strongest, lightest, and most compact poles. What’s more, they’re anodized in a uniquely green fashion. Aluminum alloy needs to be anodized, or treated with acids, so it won’t corrode; however, that process typically releases nitric and phosphoric acids into the environment. Helinox tents’ tubing is treated without acids and other industrial pollutants, and it snaps into place so easily that my eight-month-old can do it. Plus, the company’s chair, table, and cot are all strong enough to support her weight as she learns how to walk. My 11-yr-old spotted the Chair Two Rocker ($179.95) at an outdoor recreation store and, thanks to its packed size of two feet in length, both of us had to have one. When I’m not enjoying this rocker before campfires, I’m using it to rock our kids to sleep at home. (Meanwhile, my…

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