Think Outside Boxes Subscription Review – Introduction Backpacking Box
Think Outside Boxes is a year-long, outdoor curriculum that is designed to promote exploration and survival in the great outdoors for children ages 7 and up.
For more ways to keep your kiddos educationally engaged during these times, check out our Returning to Learning back-to-school guide to see how subscriptions can help make your life easier as you navigate this unique school year.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Think Outside Boxes
The Subscription Box: Think Outside
The Cost: $39.95 a month + free US shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
COUPON: Limited Time Only! Use code FALL10 to save $10 on first box.
The Products: Gear, resources, activities, an empathy section, and challenges for kids based on a specific monthly theme.
Ships: Worldwide from the US.
Think Outside “Introduction Backpacking” Review
Before we get into the review, a quick FYI: Think Outside is collaborating with Gentleman’s Box over the next few months! Both boxes understand the importance of spending time together as a family, especially now, so keep your eyes peeled for a special outdoors-edition from Gentleman’s Box in their quarterly shipment. In the meantime, you can check out our Gentleman’s Box reviews here.
My boys are VERY outdoorsy. We live in the country where the closest town is 30 miles, so our hobbies include things like four-wheeling, hiking, berry picking, gardening, archery, and just playing in the dirt. When I mentioned we had the opportunity to review Think Outside Boxes, they about went through the roof! Honestly, I have never seen them that excited about a subscription box, and I can tell you right now, they weren’t disappointed!
This letter describes the basis of this introduction box, which sets the foundation for spending time outdoors. It tells a bit about what to expect from each box, and what types of activities might be included. I love the diagram of the monthly themes! I’m excited to see all of the different curations they have come up with!
Pack Building Box Booklet
Look at this information-packed booklet!! Some subscriptions create brochures with filler information, but I can honestly say this booklet is jam-packed with useful, interesting information that not only is good for kids, but adults too! As my husband is heading on a trip out West in just days, my boys were absolutely absorbed in the “How to Pack your Bag” literature. While the information is easy to read and understand, it is also very detailed. In this introduction theme, we learned how to make a paracord keychain, how to pack your bag, hiking etiquette, and empathy. This pamphlet also gives us a geography lesson, a biology lesson, and spotlights National Parks! It took us 2-1/2 days just to read all of the information just to take it all in!
How cute are Hank’s notes?!
THiNK OUTSiDE Poster
How cute is this medium-sized poster we received with all of the monthly themes? By the end of the 12-month program, you are sure to be an expert outdoorsman/woman!
I found this little inclusion to be fun this month! We received a postcard with an instructional guide about geocaching on the back. If you aren’t familiar, geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game. There are apps you can download to find geocaches at different locations. While I have some friends that are into this, I never have really thought about it, as we live so far from town. Turns out though, after I downloaded the app, a snowmobile trail just down the road from our house is stocked full of geocaches! We are totally going to check these out this weekend! After our adventure, the boys have already exclaimed that they want to write down what they find and send it to their grandma who lives 3 hours away.
Think Outside Backpack
When you sign up for this subscription, you are able to choose the color of the backpack you want to receive. My boys chose orange as it’s easy to see, and one of their school colors. While this backpack seems a bit thin, we discovered it is also waterproof. When it is unfolded, it contains multiple zip-up pockets for extra storage and organization. The straps are adjustable and feature a chest strap to keep the bag in place. When not in use, the entire thing can fold up into a little carry case that displays the “Think Outside” logo. All of the zippers and components seem well made, and this is saying a lot because this pack has been stuffed to the max! (It fits a kids sleeping bag in case you are wondering!) PLUS the strap is equipped with a built-in whistle!!! This backpack is the main component of the entire subscription, and each month they send new items to pack in your backpack. My kids absolutely love this backpack and have used it more than all of their old school backpacks combined. They ask almost every single day when another box will come with more tools for their pack!
Hank and Charlie were literally squealing when they unzipped the backpack! And with that handy whistle, I always know where the kids are in the yard!
Another accessory we received this month was this screw closure carabiner. While it has the instructions “Not for climbing” engraved on the side, the boys found it very useful in attaching their water bottle to their backpack! They really were impressed with the screw closure mechanism because it kept the bottle from falling off.
We also received a metal ring in this month’s box. The activity this month show it used to hold the paracord keychain, but it also can be used to keep our future resource cards all in one spot for easy access.
Think Outside Pencil
Check out this awesome orange pencil! Orange and black happen to be our school colors, so Hank was extremely pleased to add this to his school pencil box. Not only do the colors match our school, but this pencil is temperature-sensitive too, so it changes colors when you hold it! Awesome!
Because every backpack should have your personal info listed somewhere, we received a plastic Think Outside address label with a plastic attachment loop. To fill it out, you simply remove the paper from the plastic and fill out your info. I was happy to see this as an addition because it can be easily attached to the inside of any bag. I hate writing on the actual bags (in case I want to pass it down to someone) so this keeps your personal info off the actual cloth. Plus, it is removable, so if I decide to attach it to another suitcase, I have that option available, too!
I used a Sharpie pen just to make sure the writing didn’t smear!
Paracord is always a good thing on hand when you are hiking/backpacking/camping. The uses it has are countless, and it’s a great tool to practice with, whether it be knot tying, first aid, and even personal hygiene!
We received instructions on how to make a DIY paracord keychain, and I found the written instructions to be more helpful than the photos. Hank tried giving this a shot but got confused and asked me for help. In all of my crafting, I can honestly say, I haven’t created a specimen like this, and I struggled! My sister was over and was teasing me about how awful I was at it! I then handed the reigns over to her and she struggled more than I did! Let’s just say, we all need a little more practice!!!
See our terrible paracord braiding technique?! Hank thought it was cool though, especially with the metal ring and carabiner attached! And that’s all that matters, right?
Verdict: This was our first Think Outside box and my boys are STILL talking about it. Between the backpack, carabiner, paracord, and booklet, they really enjoyed the entire experience. The tools that came with this box aren’t just junky toys- they are kid-friendly versions of real items! The pamphlet was very educational, held all of our attention, and really did teach all of us new techniques, ideas, and information. Not only is this subscription fun, but is helping to mold our kids into outdoor experts! My husband even commented on how much he loved this box, and that takes a lot for him to say!! I can’t wait to see what we will get to add to our pack next month!
All of the included items were high-quality, well-curated, and educational as well as fun. My boys learned how to pack a bag for day trips as well as overnight trips, what paracord can be used for, how to build a raft, and all about empathy. I feel for the amount of information given as well as the actual items $39.95 is totally worth it!
To Wrap Up:
Every subscription will start with the introduction box.
COUPON: Limited Time Only! Use code FALL10 to save $10 on first box.
Check out our list of the best subscription boxes for kids!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Think Outside?