Enjoy Happy Trails, the free monthly newsletter from Hiking For Her

Receive a free resource: "Hiking Layering System Explained"

Cairn Outdoor
Subscription Box:
Does A Hiker Need One?

By Diane Spicer

Clever idea: a Cairn outdoor subscription box.

Let's answer two questions here:

  • What's in the box?
  • Why would a hiker want to receive one?
Cairn Subscription Boxes

In both answers,

keep the word



in your mind.

First question to explore:
What's in a Cairn outdoor
subscription box?

Hikers hike because we love surprises:

  • What's over the next ridge?
  • Will we see any wildlife today?
  • Can I squeeze out another mile before my feet fall off?

So it's logical to want to know immediately what's in that box!

And therein lies its appeal.

If you don't know what's going to be in the box, your wait time gains a certain urgency, a bit of drama.

And once the box arrives, it's going to be fun to open it up and see what's there for you.

The photo brings you there!

Second question:
Why would a hiker care?

It is possible to succumb to two scenarios as a hiker:

  • Keep your gear until it disintegrates beneath your fingers, regardless of duct tape
  • Become jaded by the plethora of new products and tune out most of it

If you recognized yourself, then this little brown box will shake you out of your stupor and get some juice (and gear) flowing into your hiking life again.

And then there's this scenario:

We need hiking gift suggestions!

If you're like me, you know that your loved ones will ask you for a fresh, updated gift list around seasonal events and birthday time.

And if you're like me, you know that many of them don't know the difference between a spork and a stake.

So make it easy for them!

  • Ask for a Cairn outdoor subscription box

Be sure to tell them they can use the subscriber profile option to narrow down the box options to what you're most likely to enjoy, including food and beverage preferences, apparel sizing, and if you have a canine hiking companion.

Also tell them that a one time gift is no problem, and a gift message can be sent to you as a pre-surprise.

How does the
subscription process work?

Kinda straightforward with the subscription service:


  • up to 6 products in the box,
  • valued up to $50 US,
  • priced at $29.95 per month,
  • free shipping in USA.


  • 5 - 10 products worth up to $350 US,
  • priced at $249.95 per quarter,
  • delivered in March, June, September and December.

Various categories
of boxed surprises

Each box pulls together different types of hike worthy surprises, including:

  • nutrients (food and drink)
  • emergency supplies
  • skin care
  • hiking apparel
  • trail gear

There isn't a particular formula used for stuffing the box, but you can see what past boxes have contained here.

Is the pricing fair?

Consider what you get for your purchase price:

  • Carefully curated outdoor stuff that you might not have bumped into before (or yet)
  • Delivered right to you
  • No deliberating or hemming or hawing involved, just good choices on the part of Cairn
  • No wandering around in stores or cruising through websites
  • The universal appeal of a mystery!

So yeah, the price seems reasonable for all of that.

And look through the companies the box is sourced from: reputable, top notch gear brands, some really famous ones and up-and-comers, too.

  • March 2018 marked the 4th anniversary of the Cairn outdoor subscription box service, so they must be doing something right!

What a HFH reader has to say
about a Cairn subscription

Hello! In re: Cairn boxes, my wife and I have been getting Cairn boxes for almost a year and we LOVE them.

We just get the basic level boxes and thanks to them we now have a water bladder (one of us had one already, so now we both do!), a hammock with incredible fasteners, some great trail gear for our dog and tons of other stuff.

They also recently sent out a giant return envelope for the stuff we've been sent that we won't use or other new/gently used hiking gear so they can put that stuff back out into the community.  

To me, the value of this box is unbelievable.

It's also a great way to be able to try some hiking and camping gear that we never would have bought for ourselves.

Every box comes with a hiking snack that I know I never would have tried otherwise...

basically the Cairn box has really helped us decide what we do or don't want/need when we're out and about! We really look forward to them every month!


Something new from Cairn!

This company is getting ready to launch something brand new:

  • a curated product selection based on your outdoor profile

In other words, build your own gear kit for hiking, car camping, backpacking or ultralight backpacking.

Then test out the gear they send to you, before you commit to buying it.

Keep what you love, send back the rest!

Read all of the details about Kitted here.

Surprise yourself!

Female hiker sitting next to backpacks looking surprised, with snow capped mountains in background

Get your very own Cairn outdoor subscription box.

And watch for a link to Hiking For Her's review, coming soon!

Especially in the winter months, this is a great way to get yourself interested in overhauling your gear lists and planning some hiking trips.

And if you're surprised by the wisdom of doing something nice for yourself, you really need a Cairn box!

Home page > Best Hiking Gear >

Cairn Outdoor Subscription Box

Hiking For Her is a Cairn affiliate, so when you purchase a subscription box you pay nothing extra as you help support this website's freely flowing trustworthy hiking tips.

Let's keep great outdoor gear companies going strong!