Marrying the ease and convenience of online shopping with the tangible, real-world thrill of receiving fun mail, subscription boxes have exploded in popularity in recent years, offering everything from bacon to booze to books. By working with a range of leading and up-and-coming brands, subscriptions expose their recipients to different products and companies they may not be aware of, as well as offering products at reduced, member-exclusive rates. With so many specialized sports that require top-notch, best-in-class gear, this is a great way to discover new items and get them at a great price, as well as widen your horizons to other ways to explore and appreciate nature. Plus, there’s the choice of more general, outdoor-oriented boxes or sport-specific ones like fly-fishing or hiking. No matter what you like to do in the great outdoors, these are the best outdoor subscription boxes.
Ideal for outdoorsmen with a wide range of interests, The Nomadik customizes its monthly boxes based on you and your interests. When signing up, you fill out a profile and answer some basic questions, which allows The Nomadik to curate a box of up to seven pieces of gear just for you, ranging from water skins to snacks to hats and much more. You can also buy boxes themed around specific outdoor challenges, like a “Weekend Camping Trip” or “Winter Warmth.” Subscriptions are available on a month-by-month, six-month, or yearly basis, with the option to skip any month or cancel at any time. Rates start at $33 per month, but signing up for a six-month or yearly plan allows for better value, as the monthly rate goes down to as low as $30 per box.
If you love fly-fishing, Postfly is the service for you. Each box includes goodies like high-quality flies, educational materials, a fun sticker, a leader, and a quarterly bonus gift like a buff; there are usually between three to five items per. You have your choice of the O.G. Postfly Box or the Guide Box (for professional guides or hard-core enthusiasts), and you can customize based on what kind of trout you usually fish (like warm water or saltwater). Then, expert guides select the choicest pieces of gear for you based on species, season, and region, and it all gets shipped out to you monthly. The O.G. box starts at $25 a month and the Guide Series starts at $455 a month.
This quarterly surfing-oriented subscription service offers surfers and beach bums everything they need for a groovy and stylish time in the sun and surf. A year-long membership costs $99 dollars, and a box of goods is delivered every three months. Inside, you’ll find four to five high-quality, curated items like tees, sandals, hats, and boardshorts from leading brands like Billabong or Quiksilver, as well as up-and-coming companies. Subscribers also get exclusive access to the members-only online store. And it supports a good cause: portions of the proceeds go to support coastal clean-ups.
Named for the man-made piles of stones found along trails and on mountaintops all over the world, Cairn is catering to people who know their stuff — the team spends a lot of time outside and is serious about doing it. The monthly boxes, which start at $28 with free U.S. shipping, come with three to six expertly tested, full-size outdoor products, including apparel, water bottles, first aid kits, navigation tools, sunblock, and more. While there are the standard monthly, six-month, or yearly subscription options, you can also try the deluxe Obsidian Collection ($250 a quarter) that ships quarterly and is stocked with some of the best gear on the market. Plus, while it is a subscription box company, the brand has also started sending some packages in stylish bags made of 100% recycled paper that is 100% biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable.
Collaborating with leading outdoor brands like Mountain House and MSR, Isle Box delivers the best new gear from the pros straight to you. It operates on a quarterly basis, shipping every three months, with each box themed around a specific season. For example, a winter box could include a new pair of gloves and other equipment for winter camping or hiking. The boxes are also customizable by sex and clothing size. Hiking newbies can also opt for the brand’s Starter Box ($199), which includes items like a sleeping pad, and national parks fans will enjoy the themed National Parks box, which includes a new daypack and a guide for exploring the wonders of America’s top protected lands. And, for when Isle Box delivers trail snacks, you can even request vegan or gluten-free options! Rates start at $106.
If you already have a fair amount of experience as a hiker, Hiker Crate is a great option for finding new accessories and healthy trail snacks. Delivering monthly, each crate includes five to eight items ranging from practical accessories like water filters and headlamps to different varieties of food and snacks like dehydrated meals (ideal for thru-hikers), bars, and more. A yearly plan averages out to $38 a month, but you can also just go month-to-month for $43 each.
Are you an outdoor extremist? Do you want to be able to go off into the wilderness and survive on your wits and skills alone? Then Alpha Outpost is the box for you. Specializing in gear that will help you hone your outdoor survivalist skills and knowledge, a box will include technical, specialized items like a firestarter kit, knives, axes, and more, ideal for living in the forest when society collapses or just for fun on your next adventure. There are multiple monthly boxes to choose from, like “The Torch” or “The Terrain,” that focus on specific areas of expertise. Rates start at $40.
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