June — a month of goodness.

From cool rainy days to the summer solstice, 11 p.m. sunsets and 5 a.m. light, sunflowers in my garden and mushroom hunting across Montana, June was a month of good things. In the midst of it all, I found appreciation for a few key pieces of gear that take me from the coffee shop to the backcountry, and some inspiring listens that helped propel me forward on trail runs and long drives.

 

Products that Add Value:

My Hydroflask. I purchased the 32-oz last summer, and it’s been so worth the money. The past week has been HOT here in Montana (although blissfully free from humidity, so I really can’t complain), and it’s been amazing to have ice-cold water all day long, whether I’m in the yoga studio, writing at a cafe, or driving around town. We recently upgraded our Hydroflask family to add a 16 oz insulated tumbler — perfect for coffee and campside hot chocolate in the morning!

Our BioLite Camp Stove. (We have the older model – you can buy an upgraded version here.) This is an amazing piece of our backpacking equipment. Not only is it super lightweight and portable, you can use existing dead sticks and debris to fuel your fire, which then create a unique thermal vortex, an extremely efficient burn. Even better, you have a campstove ready to cook dinner without having to depend on portable gas cartridges, or large volumes of wood to build a campfire. It’s the perfect hybrid and great for car camping as well as backcountry trips. And as an added bonus, it charges your electronic devices. Finally, while BioLite claims it creates a smokeless fire (it does), I’m here to say that you can load some wet wood and leaves into this thing and it will create a perfect mosquito-repelling smoke cloud. Ideal for buggier-than-expected campsites when you don’t have bug spray!

I’m not a BioLite ambassador or affiliate or in any way tied to the company; I just think they make excellent gear and it’s worth drawing to your attention, dear reader. And while I love my portable cookstove + device charger, I also love BioLite’s mission. They are inspired to bring energy to areas of the world that are energy insecure, all while supporting environmentally and health-friendly solutions. They’ve adopted a business model they call Parallel Innovation. As it states on their website, “our team incubates core energy technologies and then turns them into products unique to our outdoor and emerging markets customers. Revenues from our outdoor markets are reinvested in building a commercially sustainable business that can bring safe, affordable energy to families living in energy poverty across India and Africa.”

 

 

Content That Makes Me Think And Dream:

June was full of interesting and inspiring finds!

As I’ve said before, I’m a dedicated listener to The Tim Ferriss Show, and his interview with Vince Vaughn completely surpassed my expectations. I didn’t have a strong opinion on Vince Vaughn before listening to the podcast, but I was really impressed by his thoughtfulness, discipline, and hard work he has clearly put in to build his successful Hollywood career. Tim and Vince talk about fear, life, career, and more. I highly recommend this episode!

I spent much of June outside, but when I needed a break from the heat, I curled up on the couch with episodes of The New Frontier.This space documentary was informative and entertaining while offering a more global perspective on what’s going on in terms of exploration and research.

Another favorite podcasts, The Dirtbag Diaries, featured an episode called Pedal Strokes and Perspective . 

This podcast made me happy and sad at the same time. I was surprised to hear that it featured my hometown, and pleased to hear the narrator, Mary Ann Thomas, describe her positive experience as she pedaled her bike through our little town and our big state. On the other hand, I was saddened to hear about the expectations she held of middle America and the people who populate these states at the heart of our country before embarking on her trip.  This is a great and thought provoking listen about the prejudices that go both ways and those that we may sometimes overlook or forget are there.

Coffee of the Month:

June didn’t have a lot of stand-out coffee selections for me, but I did quite enjoy the Sunergos El Salvador Santa AnaThe description of berries and wine was right on — I could taste all of these flavor notes in the brew. Definitely one that I’ll pick up when I need some whole beans to fill in my cupboard.

 

What did you discover in June? Do you have a podcast, a good read, or a piece of gear to recommend? I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment here or over on instagram!

 

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