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The Camp Life Outdoor Essentials Review + Coupon – October 2020

Camp Life Outdoor Essentials November

The Camp Life is a subscription box for outdoor lovers. Whether you camp in a tent or RV, this subscription will bring gear, snacks, and multi-use items straight to your door. 

Camp Life Outdoor Essentials November unboxing

The Camp Life offers two subscription options:

  • the Outdoor Essentials $44.95/month box is geared toward avid campers and includes 3-5 curated and custom-designed items.
  • the Camp Life $49.95/quarter box is for those who live the RV life. It includes 6-8 items for camping enthusiasts that includes camping themed products and RV accessories.

This is a review of the monthly Outdoors Essentials box. Stay tuned for our upcoming review of the quarterly Camp Life Box!

This box was sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Camp Life Outdoor Essentials November all items

About The Camp Life Outdoor Essentials Box

The Subscription Box: The Camp Life Outdoor Essentials

The Cost: $44.95/month + free shipping. Save with longer subscription commitments.

COUPON: Use code subaddict to save 10% off your first order.

The Products: 3-5  outdoor essential products

Ships to: The U.S. and Canada for free.

The Camp Life Outdoor Essentials October Review

Updated on 12/23/20 to remove an image that showed outdated pricing for the Karmik decals.

 

This month’s box info came printed on a long card. The front displays a “Beneath the Stars” theme and the back tells you what’s inside your box. Each item is paired with a description and, when applicable, instructions. They also have a coupon code for every brand printed on this card, with discounts ranging from 15% off to 50% off—wow! 50% is a rare and beautiful sight for an in-box deal. The last little introductory item is a Camp Life sticker with their logo on it. I love the hand-illustrated look and that “The Camp Life” could just as easily mean you’re livin’ the camp life as it is a representation of the brand. It’s one I would gladly pop on my Nalgene were there any room.

 

Scramblers Omelet Bar, Spinach Feta, 2 oz. – Buy 4 bars here for $11.99

In my 2 years of reviewing various camping and outdoors subscription boxes, I’ve encountered many types of fuel—mostly protein bars, but some other interesting snacks and occasional camp meals have shown up here and there—but this one is a complete curveball. Eggs! I find it both endearing and reassuring that the company which makes this little breakfast item is completely self-aware of how many questions consumers might have about this product. Their packaging is filled with sentiments like, “No Fridge?! No Added Preservatives?! For Real?!” (Plus, they have a copywriter after my own heart who uses lots of exclamation points and parentheticals—ha!) When I slid the tray out of the box, I found that this omelet bar is from batch 1. Ha! Here goes nothing.

I was wary. It took me a few days to well up the courage to open this thing up. Meanwhile, my husband, Guy, was really pumped about it and had no qualms whatsoever. You can microwave this snack or you don’t have to, but I figured since I was home and had the means to, it would probably only improve things. The result? Definitely flavorful. Eggs can have a range of tastes, and I would place the flavor of this one within the range of what is to be expected of eggs. What made me scrunch my nose, though, was the consistency—it was really light and fluffy, like, to the point that it reminded me of astronaut food. Guy took no issue with it. He really liked it and ate the rest of it in 2 bites. He would happily eat another. I guess it just depends on how adventurous you are!

 

Kuju Pour-Over Coffee, Basecamp Blend, 5 Pack – Retail Value $8.99

Now coffee, I can get on board with. I was sent a single Kuju pour-over camp kit in a previous subscription and thought the concept was utter genius. We have gone through so many phases of camp coffee as a family, from an enamel campfire percolator that singed the skin off our hands to instant coffee that somehow tasted perpetually burnt (instant coffee has come along way since those days) and beyond. Really we just need to stock up on Kuju kits.

The coffee is quality and the experience is tidy. You just hook the paper arms over the edges of your mug—and they even have little tear-off sections if you need to get the handle of your mug involved. Then you cut or rip open the top of the filter and slowly pour your hot water in. The trick with pour-overs is to do it little by little rather than dumping a bunch of water in. It’s about the ritual, people. It takes about 2-3 minutes total and is the right amount of coffee for an 8 oz. mug.

Kuju’s site only sells these guys in 10-packs or more, but the 5-packs are sold at Cabela’s, REI, and other outdoor retailers.

 

Kuju Enamel Mug – Retail Value $15.00

I love the classic look of a blue-speckled enamel mug and once upon a time, with a specific campsite aesthetic in mind, I added a set of them (which included the aforementioned hazardous percolator) to our wedding registry. In practice, though, these cups just aren’t awesome for camping, picturesque sunrise beverage-sipping be damned. From our experience, they aren’t big enough, they’re too hot to hold at first and then don’t hold in heat effectively, and natural things such as plant matter and campfire ash just welcome themselves right into your drink. Plus things spill out of them easily and depending on where you’re camping and what you’re drinking, that can range from just plain annoying to scary, in that edible stuff lingering around your campsite could attract unwanted wildlife. There’s an easy solution to all of these issues, which is an insulated travel mug. I only go on this rant because this is a subscription box catered to camping. If we really wanted to get into it, we could chat about how impractical these mugs are for backpacking, starting with the clanking noise they make against your pack. I still enjoy a good enamel cup, but they’ve become more of a vessel for boxed wine around the fire pit in my back yard. Which is exactly what this Kuju one will be used for!

 

Camp Life Exclusive Rustek 100% Merino Wool + Cork Beanie – Estimated Value $30 (similar Rustik beanies sold here)

I’ll never say no to a good, warm beanie! This one has a cork tab sewn in with the Camp Life logo, which, as I said above, I will happily rep. The beanie is pretty flexible—it hugs close but doesn’t squeeze the noggin. And it’s made of 100% merino wool, which is notoriously warm and moisture-wicking. I grew an appreciation for merino wool first in socks, and have since collected a full wardrobe of base layers made of the stuff. And because I own so much merino wool, I know how soft it can be, so I was disappointed to find that this hat isn’t very soft and is rather itchy to wear. But I’ll keep it on hand for the days when my area inevitably dips below 0 degrees this winter, and perhaps layer it on top of another hat.

 

Karmik Outdoors Hi-Viz Decal, set of 2 – Retail Value $7.98 ($3.99 each)

This is maybe the coolest, most useful item I’ve ever received in a camping subscription box. These decals are meant to be stuck to your most valuable gear and registered with your personal details using the QR code. Then, if the items get lost, someone could conceivably get it back to you. I feel like the outdoors industry is one of the few in which something like this could work rather reliably because nature-lovers are generally an honest bunch—namely those who live by the Leave No Trace principles. The decals are weatherproof, the adhesive is meant to be permanent, and can be scanned & returned an unlimited amount of times. If you want, you can attach a finders’ reward to the code, though Karmik automatically hooks finders up with a free 10-pack of decals and enters them into a drawing for both a small and large prize. As a loser-of-things (and as someone who’s married to a chronic loser-of-things), I’m really excited to know about this product and can see myself buying some as Christmas gifts this year.

The only catch here is that after a free first year of use, decal-owners have to pay a $1.99 annual fee to keep their account running. I definitely think $1.99 per year is worth it, but I can see how others might not love that concept in the context of receiving these decals in a subscription.

 

Bonus: Camp Life Mesh Stuff Sack

This Camp Life branded stuff sack isn’t listed on the info card, but it’s kind of a big-ticket item to have as a bonus item! I have built up a hefty collection of stuff sacks over my years of camping and backpacking, but I’m realizing now that none of them are mesh. This is a good place to store your sleeping bag between trips—they aren’t meant to be squeezed into their compression sacks for long-term storage. It could also make a good laundry bag, depending on how stinky or messy your clothes have gotten. Come to think of it, I’m wondering if I could make it work as a different type of laundry bag—like, to protect sweaters in the washing machine. There’s no indication that it is meant to be machine washed, but I may give it a go since we’re headed into winter and I likely won’t be camping for a good few months.

Verdict: I had a great experience with this Camp Life box! As a seasoned outdoors gear box reviewer I was impressed to find some really unique items in here, like the omelet bar and the Karmik decals. The Kuju coffee is another great score, and the hat, while not my perfect hat, is quality and will be worn. The only item I didn’t care much for was the Kuju enamel mug, but even that will be used at some point or another. So, curation-wise, I am overall quite happy. Value-wise, this box costs $44.95 + free shipping. I received about $65 worth of outdoor items, which is a little higher than last month. That $65 calculation does not take the bonus stuff sack into account, which if you estimate at $10, brings our value this month up to $75. Pretty good, I say!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? You will likely receive the December box. From The Camp Life:

Monthly Boxes: Boxes ship out to current subscribers by the 5th of each month. New Subscriptions after the 10th will receive the next month’s box.

COUPON: Use code subaddict to save 10% off your first order.

Value Breakdown: At $44.95 for this box, each of the 6 items (including the bonus stuff sack) has an average cost of $7.49.

Check out all of our The Camp Life reviews and other Lifestyle Subscription Boxes.

Keep track of your subscriptions by adding this box to your subscription list or wishlist.

What do you think of the items from this month’s The Camp Life?

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Written by Christen Russo

Christen Russo

Christen is a smile collector, outdoors enthusiast, and appreciator of soggy French fries. Her favorite subscriptions involve eco-friendly products and clothes, nature supplies, stationery, and coffee. She can be easily won over with a good sheet of stickers.

Posted in Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Men, The Camp Life Box Reviews| Tags: camp life crate | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. Hey Christen. Robert, Co-owner of Karmik Outdoors here. Thank you so much for the kind works about our product. We are trying to help people not lose gear anymore. Its amazing the amount of people who lose stuff and who find stuff and can never get it home (me included!). I was hoping you could delete that last pic with the backside of our packaging. It has our old pricing and we don’t want to deter people with an high annual fee. Thanks so much again!!

    • Hi Robert, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry I’m just now seeing it. The image you requested has been removed!

  2. Great review! Extremely thorough.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Katie! I’m glad you found my review helpful!

  3. 100% agree with your rant on enamel cups. Still on the fence for this box, though. They haven’t had a hero item that wows me yet. The lost and found stickers are good though.

    • Yes, Wendy! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’s had this realization about the enamel cups. A few more of the Karmik decals would have been awesome, though I can see why they’d keep it “trial sized.” Thanks for commenting!

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