Gear of the Year: Adventure Travel {Giveaway}

As we enter the last month of 2015, I find myself growing sentimental. After all, this was a big year for my little family! But matrimony aside, it occurred to me that in all the pre-wedding chaos, I missed another important date: the 10-year anniversary of this blog!

Ten years. TEN YEARS. It’s hard to believe I’ve been spewing word vomit onto this site for over ten years now, but it’s true. Just A Colorado Gal has gone through many tweaks, phases and redesigns during that decade. But in the end, it all comes back to you: my readers. Some of you have been with me for the long haul– I definitely recognize names in the comments that have been reading for the better part of those ten years! For others, you may have recently stumbled across my site {probably through the USA Today contest since that seemed to have garnered me lots of new readers!} Regardless of when you arrived, I’m thankful that you found me.

Every year, I put together a guide highlighting my favorite gear of the calendar year. When I started compiling this list back in October, I found myself struggling; there were too many items to include! As a result, I decided to break it up into three guides for 2015: adventure travel, fitness, and outdoors. You’ll see these roll out over the next few weeks, starting with today’s adventure travel favorites.

Win over $600 in adventure #travel gear and clothing! ---------> Click To Tweet

But more applicable to you, however, is the giveaway! Although I managed to let my blog’s true anniversary blow right by me while in my wedding haze, I thought it would be nice to acknowledge it in some capacity. To say thank you for sticking with me through the years, I’ll be hosting a series of *three* massive giveaways. In fact, each gear guide will feature a corresponding giveaway where one lucky reader will win a rather large prize package.

Check out the feature adventure travel gear below, and then enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget. And don’t forget to check back next Monday for the second giveaway/guide– fitness favorites!


Lewis N. Clark Electrolight Expandable Packing Cubes

Will is far more fastidious than I am, and he has used “packing cubes” for years. As for me? My only goal when packing was to remember anything; how it got into my luggage was not of the least importance!

1125BLU 2

But, Lewis N. Clark sent me some of their Electrolight Expandable Packing Cubes way back last spring, and I’ve spent the past 10 months loving them. I have the two-pack with a medium and a large cube, and I find myself using them whenever I travel. All my nicer clothes get folded into the larger size while my bras and socks and whatnot go into the smaller one. Quite frequently, I’ll find myself using the smaller one as a dirty laundry cube near the end of the trip.


It may seem ridiculous, but the ease of the cubes is beyond awesome. Not only is my clothing organized within my luggage, but it is also easy to find. No more searching through my duffel {or suitcase or backpack…} to find that one pair of socks that I know I brought!

Electrolight Expandable Packing Cube Two-Pack; $43.99

Akinz CO Trucker Hat


It doesn’t matter whether I’m browsing museums in Paris or hiking a mountain in the Alaskan backcountry; I always bring a hat. Not only does it keep my hair out of my face, but it does a great job of covering up my filthy mop when it’s been far too long between showers.

Let’s face it: this happens a lot.


I know Suzanne Akin, the founder and owner of Akinz, from my time living in Steamboat. Not only does Akinz offer quite the line of Colorado apparel, but she has a huge array of handmade beanies. I will always support small, local businesses when I can, and I really love Akinz’ stuff. Check her out when you get a chance!

Akinz CO Trucker Hat; $26

The North Face Base Camp Duffel


Back in April, the kind folk at Webtogs sent me a North Face Base Camp duffel bag to review and test. Since then, this 72-liter duffel bag has gone everywhere with me. I took it to Mexico; it came to OR show in August; I brought it to our wedding location; Will used it in Turkey; I even carted my crap around in it this past weekend for Thanksgiving. The thing can take a beating and the locking zippers help keep Mother Nature out of your luggage.


The North Face Base Camp Duffel; $102 {via Webtogs}

Mountain Khakis Mystic Shirt

Every year, I meet with the folks at Mountain Khakis at OR Show, and every year, I walk away from their booth smiling and happy; they are so friendly!

Mountain Khakis sponsored our trip {via apparel} to Estes Park this past spring, and they sent along the Mystic Shirt as part of their care package. Truthfully, I wasn’t impressed with it when I opened the box. I’m not big on button-up shirts and don’t wear them all too often, so I doubted my love of the shirt.

Mystic Shirt

But I was wrong. I love this thing! It fits well, it looks cute in a variety of situations, and most importantly: it never, ever wrinkles. I can smash this thing in my luggage for a week and it will come out unscathed. While traveling, this is such a key component!

Mountain Khakis Mystic Shirt; $39.99 {via Moosejaw}

Kurgo Loft Wander Dog Bed

Y’all, this bed.


Kurgo sent us the Loft Wander bed as part of our prize package before heading to Canada back in September. I immediately knew it would be a Tally favorite because it was large enough to house her 60-pound body but rolled up small enough to warrant fitting it in our Eurovan. But what I didn’t realize was that this thing would essentially become our rug for the van!

You see, the Loft bed is made of waterproof ripstop materials which means it is wicked durable. Every night, we’d lay the Loft out at the base of our bed in the van. And in the morning….we’d leave it there. Tals was so in-and-out of the van that we worried her muddy paws would trash the carpeting. Instead, she would tromp all over the Loft with her disgusting paws, and I could just wipe it down later. Good as new!

{Bonus: take a look at the Kurgo website; one of Will’s photos of Tals and me is now a stock photo of this bed!}

Kurgo Loft Wander Dog Bed; $65


Want to win some of the gear mentioned above? One winner will win: 
(1) Akinz CO Trucker Hat
(1) Lewis N. Clark Expandable Packing Cube 2-pack
(1) The North Face Medium Base Camp Duffel {via Webtogs}
(1) $500 gift card to Kurgo


a Rafflecopter giveaway




  • Reply Kelsey November 30, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Wouldn’t let me input what I wanted to win most. I apologize , I’m just going to leave it here. $500 gift card to Kurgo is the one I would most want to win. But any would be amazing! Thank you so much for your giveaway!


    • Reply heather November 30, 2015 at 10:42 am

      This is perfect–leave it in the comments. Good luck!

      • Reply kelsey December 7, 2015 at 8:03 am

        Thank you so much for your give away! I love your blog when I found it I read like 20 post in a row hahaha. <3

  • Reply Eric Eagan November 30, 2015 at 7:19 am

    That bed thouugh – come on now!

    • Reply Beth Lakin November 30, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      Sprocket’s thoughts exactly!!!

  • Reply Jessica November 30, 2015 at 7:19 am

    I just love your pictures. They make me want to win everything 🙂 Chester and Gretel vote for the Kurgo gift card though.

  • Reply Jillian November 30, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Happy ten year blogging anniversary! Time flies when you’re having fun, right? 😉

    And my pups wish they had thumbs so they could throw in an extra entry for that $500 Kurgo gift card. Woah!

  • Reply Lindsey November 30, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I’ve used packing cubes for years and love them! But what I’m really eyeing is that North Face duffle!

  • Reply Amelia M. November 30, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I love your photos, as usual!! And those packing cubes – I NEED them. Like a lot of them for our whole family 😉 Thanks for the chance – fingers crossed! 😉 Happy TEN years! Whoa!

  • Reply Alyssa November 30, 2015 at 8:16 am

    All great prizes but the Kurgo one isn’t favorite! Kai needs a new camping bed and winter coat bad!

    • Reply Alyssa November 30, 2015 at 8:16 am

      *is my favorite. 😋

  • Reply Jessica L November 30, 2015 at 8:27 am

    My last suitcase has bitten the dust and think the duffle would be perfect. Locking zippers seem genius for globe trotting and camping with our pup!

  • Reply Tara November 30, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Now that is an awesome giveaway! I’m curious about packing cubes as I’ve never given them a go and have heard great things, and the Kurgo bed, well that’s on my wish list anyway. Thanks for hosting!

  • Reply Kristin November 30, 2015 at 8:44 am

    I’m pretty sure the Kurgo gift card would make me and my puppy very happy! Happy 10 years!

  • Reply Lauren November 30, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I’d love to win the North Face bag – so perfect for weekend adventures!

  • Reply Ashley November 30, 2015 at 9:38 am

    The gift card, I love getting stuff for my dog more than for myself!

  • Reply Christine @ Love, Life, Surf November 30, 2015 at 9:51 am

    10 years!! Holy moly Heather – that’s amazing! Happy blogiversary to you! I love all these picks. I’m totally intrigued by the packing cubes and I do love your trucker hat too!

  • Reply Art November 30, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I would most like to win the gift certificate! I get more joy from spoiling my dog than I can even explain.

  • Reply Rachel November 30, 2015 at 10:39 am

    All of the prizes look amazing but that North Face bag would be perfect for camping!

  • Reply michelle November 30, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Congrats on the blog anniversary and the wedding! I am obsessed with packing cubes, and these expandable ones look so useful. I’d love those.

  • Reply dani November 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

    The shirt and duffel have been on my wish list for years, plus I’m on the prowl for a new trucker hat!

  • Reply RFC November 30, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I need ALL of this for our R2R2R adventure!!!! But if I have to pick one, the expandable packing cubes. I’m a hot mess when it comes to packing; anything that will help me be somewhat more organized is welcomed, haha!

  • Reply Stephanie ABDON November 30, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    was JUST out shopping for a dog bed – that one is perfection!

  • Reply Jessica November 30, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Kurgo gift card! My pup can always use new gear!

  • Reply Whitney S. November 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Those packing cubes look great!

  • Reply paige c November 30, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    The kurgo gift card would be awesome!

  • Reply Laura November 30, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Excited about ALL of them. Lots of fun adventures to be had with this prize pack!

  • Reply Laura November 30, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Congrats to 10 years!! I would love any of these wonderful gifts!!

  • Reply Renee November 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Love the packing cubes! I am not a minimalist packer and it’s so hard to keep stuff organized.

  • Reply Katherine November 30, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    OH GIRL love this list (especially the North Face bag) and LOVE YOU more 🙂 Wow how the years have flown…..can’t believe how long ago we met each other and how long ago you started writing……. xoxo Katherine

  • Reply Beth Lakin November 30, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I’ve wanted to try packing cubes for a really long time! I hate rummaging for things in my bag and since most everything I have is synthetic it all feels the same so the “feel method” of uncovering things doesn’t work very well!

  • Reply Christina @ Route Bliss November 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I have wanted that hat since you first blogged about Akinz however many years ago it was! And I could definitely use a new gym bag …

  • Reply Janine McNally November 30, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Love the duffle, but would have be honest and say the gift card!!! 🙂

  • Reply Ashton November 30, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    the duffle! I’m always on the lookout for a good bag that will survive both airlines, cars, and car camping!

  • Reply Anna Linton November 30, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I would love the duffel but I think my sweet pup would love the bed for our backpacking adventures!

  • Reply Nicole McHenry November 30, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    My pup would love the gift card!

  • Reply Alli November 30, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway! I think the prize I most want to win is the Kurgo gift card. They’ve been on my radar since you posted about your Honeymoon Trip. I bought a doggie backpack from them for a friend for Christmas in their Black Friday sale and saw lots of cool stuff on their website while I was shopping for that!

    I also have one of the HUGE North Face duffels and absolutely love it and want one in every size so it may be a toss up for me between those 2 prizes.

  • Reply Kia November 30, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Base Camp Duffel – I have a bigger one that is my go to when traveling but it could be a little smaller on many occasions. Rugged, easy to move with, all-weather, perfect.

  • Reply Tyneisha December 1, 2015 at 2:08 am

    I’m most excited about that North Face duffel!

  • Reply DJ December 1, 2015 at 7:20 am

    I would love to win the $500 gift card to Kurgo for my puppy.

  • Reply Beth December 1, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Thanks for putting this together! I just found your blog (yes, through the contest) and am loving it. Just a Colorado gal myself 🙂 While the Kurgo gift card would be wonderful, I am so in love with that duffel!

  • Reply Whitney Vestal December 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

    The Kurgo gift card would be AWESOME but I do love that trucker hat!

  • Reply Andrea L December 1, 2015 at 11:20 am

    The North Face bag would be ideal, considering how often I travel!

  • Reply Patrik December 1, 2015 at 11:57 am

    10 years, wow. Congrats, here is to many more! Love your blog 🙂

  • Reply Grace December 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Wow, congrats! I’m so glad I found the blog. The North Face bag or the packing cubes would be awesome!

  • Reply Katie December 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I’d love to win the dog bed! My pup, Baldwin, is a total bed hog, but my sleeping pad isn’t big enough for the both of us. I’ve been in search of quality one for his Christmas present.

  • Reply Kristen M December 1, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    We love to take our dog camping. The Kurgo gift card would be awesome.

  • Reply Lindley H December 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Love your blog! I have followed many of your entries through Kurgo. Thank you!

  • Reply Carolyn December 1, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    I’d most love to win the Kurgo gift card to pick out a new bed for this winter! 🙂

  • Reply Mariah December 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Amazing giveaway!! The $500 Kurgo card would be especially wonderful!! Good luck, everyone!

  • Reply Jennifer Hensley December 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Those packing cubes are BRILLIANT! I’ve used little bags I sewed for years for dirty clothes and undies/socks, but those would be way better!

  • Reply Val December 1, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    So much great stuff! I would most like to win the dog bed! I’m such a crazy dog parent…

  • Reply Janine McNally December 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    The gift card!

  • Reply Rachel December 1, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    The gift card is sweet!!! But I also love that hat. I have a mild trucker hat obsession!

  • Reply Andrea December 1, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I would love to win the north face bag!

  • Reply Corey December 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I love the packing cubes!

  • Reply bryanna December 2, 2015 at 7:07 am

    In the spirit of Christmas, I would be most thankful for the Kurgo gift card to spoil the heck out of my pup!
    Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway 🙂

  • Reply Danielle Taylor December 2, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Congrats on your anniversary and your success as a blogger! I’m just starting out (well, starting to figure out how to do it seriously). These giveaways are great, particularly the North Face duffel and the Kurgo gift card! Crossing my fingers:).

  • Reply Leah S. December 2, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I just commissioned as a 2ndLt in the Marines and will be moving around a lot in the next year. I’d most like to win the North Face Base Camp Duffle to help me move from place to place with ease!

  • Reply Emily Smith December 2, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    The duffel bag would be great! I need a new one and I like the colors. Of course I would love the gift card too!

  • Reply sara December 3, 2015 at 4:39 am

    amazing giveaway!

  • Reply Sherilyn Javier December 3, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Awesome giveaway!

  • Reply Lindsay December 3, 2015 at 11:04 am

    The packing cubes. Just spent a week on the Rio Grande with the kids and it’s so hard to keep the boys clothes straight in a big dry bag.

  • Reply Sher December 3, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    the gift card 🙂

  • Reply Amanda S December 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Congrats on 10 years! That North Face bag looks great – and with the packing cubes, maybe I could find one of my 20 hats I pack when I go skiing 😉

  • Reply Lynne December 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    that hat! also, philly (and the backseat of our car) would love the kurgo bed. 🙂

  • Reply Paulina December 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I’m with you on the never being organized while packing thing. As long as all my stuff is there, I don’t care!

  • Reply Anne December 3, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I would love any of it, is that cheating? It’s a toss up between Kurgo and the North Face bag; we live in Michigan so I love having gear for my large dog to keep her comfy and warm, but I am also a triathlete and need that giant bag for gear on team practice days!

    Happy ten year blogaversary!

  • Reply WIL December 3, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    The North Face Base Camp Duffel would be great to have for carcamping trips.

  • Reply Kel December 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I spotted the duffle bag in the packing cube picture, and was like dang I want the link to the duffle bag too! Luckily you included it. So needless to say, that’s what I want.

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  • Reply latanya December 5, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Thank you! The The North Face Medium Base Camp Duffel

  • Reply Mellisa December 5, 2015 at 11:51 am

    What great prizes! I love them all but I’d probably go for the packing cubes, I have a couple already and think they’re awesome!

  • Reply Lily Wolfe December 5, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I would love the north face duffle! It’s super nice and I have so many uses for it!

  • Reply Katie Boue December 6, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Yo that $500 Kurgo gift card though! Amble would die. As if she isn’t spoiled enough already. 🙂

  • Reply Victoria December 6, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I’d love the North Face duffel. I’m in desperate need of a new duffel bag!

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