Subscription boxes are becoming more popular. Every month, you get to try new products. For example, if you’re a coffee fan, you can sign up for a coffee subscription box. Same for tea aficionados, book lovers, snack feasters, and many others. Now there is a new company called Cairn that offers subscription boxes of outdoor related items, ranging from gear, apparel, trail snacks, emergency supplies and more.
For those of you avid hikers, you likely already know that a “cairn” is a man-made pile of rocks to help guide you along a trail. It derives from the Scottish Gaelic word càrn.
The subscription box company Cairn wants to act as a “trail marker” for us outdoors enthusiasts, enabling us to try out cool items and motivate us to get outdoors more.
How Does Cairn Work?
For a $25 monthly subscription fee, you receive a box of 4-5 items with a total value between $35-40. You can also purchase a gift subscription – holiday gift idea anyone?!
Hiking Lady’s Review of a Sample Cairn Box
I received my sample Cairn box, and inside were the following items:
I hadn’t tried any of these products before, so it was a fun way to get introduced to new snacks, a DEET free bug spray, and the Klymit Pillow X!
Is A Cairn Subscription a Good Value?
The total retail value of the items in the box was $43.50. Since the monthly subscription is $25, including shipping, if you aren’t interesting in looking for sales and coupons, then this is absolutely a great deal!
I decided to check the retail prices online and see if I could easily find some of these items on sale. Since we are in the midst of holiday season, some of the discounts I found may be unreasonably low, but for you sale sleuths out there, you’ll find this interesting.
|Item:||Retail Price of Item:||Online Discounted Prices Found:|
|Klymit Pillow X||$30||Available at CampSaver (in the same Burgundy color as in the Cairn box) for $10.83 + tax + shipping.
(If this were the only item you purchased at CampSaver and did not hit their $50 free shipping threshold, you’d have to pay $7.95 shipping.)
|Sierra Sage Bugs Be Gone, 1 FL OZ||$8||I was not able to find the 1 ounce version sold separately (usually they are in a pack with other items from Sierra Sage). The 4.5 ounce bottle is available on Amazon for $18.89 with free shipping.|
|Munk Pack Blueberry Acai Flax Oatmeal||$2.50||Campsaver has them available for $2.50 each.|
|Mountain House Neapolitan Ice Cream||$3||Amazon has it available for $2.54 + shipping (free shipping on orders over $35).|
Bottom line is that it would be difficult to replicate this particular box for a lower price, unless you bought in bulk, which presumably Cairn does.
Conclusion: Yay or Nay to the Cairn Box?
I think that the Cairn box subscription is a fun service for people wanting to try new outdoor related items, and it is a good gift idea. You pay a little for convenience, but you get to try out products that you might not otherwise have ever considered.