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.)
About this Outdoors Subscription
The Subscription Box: Nomadik
The Cost: $32.95 every month + shipping ($4.99 to Pittsburgh). Save with longer subscription commitments.
ACTIVE DEAL: Limited Time Only! Save 27% Discount Off Everything
The Products: Gear to explore the great outdoors, including one main product, 1-3 smaller products, and 1-2 educational or inspirational items.
Ships to: The U.S. for $4.99 and internationally (for an additional charge)
Nomadik "Rugged Terrain" Review
There is a small trifold pamphlet that goes over the items included in this month's box as well as Nomadik tips, the Nomadik challenge, and some brand discounts. Each box also has a neat sticker, although sometimes they are the same as previous months.
GEAR AID Buri Utility Knife - Retail Value $30.00
This is a serious knife. The blade is a titanium-coated, 3-inch, drop point blade with straight and serrated edges. The knife as a whole weighs in at 5.3 ounces. The back end of the knife – or "tang" - is what they call a full tang, meaning it's the proper length to fit in your hand fully. It is equipped with a bottle opener, paracord slot, and glass breaker at the end. The latter bit makes me think this would be a good knife to keep in my car. The knife comes with a Acetal sheath, which feels like a very hard plastic. It has webbing mounts for strapping it onto a backpack or even boots. The quick thumb release at the top of the sheath makes it safe and easy to get the knife out one-handed. There is a removable belt clip on the back. I really like the inclusion of the glass breaker and the serrated edge for cutting things like cord. It is more than just a knife, but it doesn't try to do too much. While I am more a folding knife fan, I'm quite taken with this fixed blade knife. I kind of want to try out the glass breaker.
UCO Gear Survival Fire Stricker - Retail Value $10.o0
My friends and I have never started a fire with a flint because we had to. It's always because we are challenging ourselves to see if we can do it. However, I guess the point of survival gear is to hope you never really need to use it, but in case of an emergency, you have it. This fire striker is nice and does the trick. The Ferrocerium rod is capable of taking 3,000+ strikes. The striker is also a "eight function multi-tool" in that it has a flathead screwdriver, a hex wrench area, and a bottle opener. That is all the website says. I guess they can't be bothered to say what the other four functions are, unless they are counting each of the hex sizes. Honestly, even if it may never get used, I think this is a robust little fire starter and may come in handy one day. Worst case, you have a bottle opener and, if you're anything like me, you're always looking for one.
Exploria Paracord Survival Bracelet - Estimated Value $2.50
I guess this item would fall under the "multi-tool" umbrella as well. This fashion statement is a compass, whistle, fire striker, and, of course, cord. I like the idea of having a length of cord with you by making it something to wear and, to do so, using a buckle that doubles as a whistle. But ultimately this item is a bit of a shame, in my opinion. That is because the most useful part of the bracelet is the cord itself and, to that point, I would have preferred the "band" to be one piece and therefore a longer length of cord. While I would never wear it as a fashion accessory, I could see strapping this to my pack on the off chance I need some cord.
I could not find this specific branded bracelet for sale. In fact, I couldn't find any company called Exploria that sells things like paracord bracelets. However, a quick search for a "paracord survival bracelet" will bring up an array of options. I found these, which appear to be the same. You get two bracelets for $5.00. It seems to me this is a generic item that businesses get to put their name on and sell for different prices. While generic, it is still has useful parts.
Nature's Willow Bug Bite Balm - Retail Value $6.99
I'll consider it a good thing that I don't have any bites to trying this balm out on, but I will be keeping it near by this summer. The website says the balm has White Willow Bark, Helichrysum, Natural Lemongrass, Lavender, and Camphor to provide relief from a bite’s pain, itching, and swelling. Their site says the active ingredient is 3% Menthol, but the tube I received is only 1%. I'm not sure why that would be different. Maybe they changed their formula? Even at 1%, the balm I received smells like Vick's VapoRub, which I just read is 2.6% Menthol. I'm learning so much. The balm goes on smooth, like a thin moisturizer, and smells great. Like I said, I don't have any annoying bites at the moment, but I'll definitely be keeping this on our screened back porch for the inevitable onslaught on summertime bugs. This is the third month in a row subscribers have gotten a different kind of balm. As long as they aren't repeating themselves, I say keep them coming.
Hydralyte Electrolyte Powder - Estimated Value $2.00 (A three-pack costs $6.00)
Nomadik typically throws in a small treat of sorts as the final item. This month is a flavored powder for "rapid rehydration." It has zinc, vitamin C, and elderberry. You just pour the powder into 7 oz. of water and watch it fizz a bit. I personally wasn't a fan of this flavor, but that is obviously a preference. Besides, I don't know about you, but with things like this, I drink it quickly for the benefits, not the taste.
Verdict: A very common thing I hear about subscription boxes is, "I would rather just buy the item if I want it." I feel like this effort from Nomadik is one of those boxes. I wasn't a fan of the bracelet or flavored powder. The fire starter was a good item, but how often am I going to use it. I'm into the bug balm, but haven't officially tried it. The obvious star of this month's box was the knife. Sometimes I feel like knifes are made to look "bad ass" rather than consider how they will actually be used. With that in mind, this seems like a robust, but thoughtful knife. The trick will be finding the best place for it. Overall, it was a good box. It started really promising with the knife, but the other items didn't comes together to make it a great box. Does that make sense? What do you think?
To Wrap Up:
Just pick your plan, sign up, and fill out your profile. A themed adventure box will arrive on your doorstep, get ready to plan your next trip. We re-bill on the 5th, normally the cut-off date is the 14th (if you order before that you get the box that month, if not you get it the next month). We ship on the 24th each month (except December, we ship on the 20th).
ACTIVE DEAL: Limited Time Only! Save 27% Discount Off Everything
Value Breakdown: At $37.94 ($32.95 + $4.99 shipping to PA) for this box, each of the five items has an average cost of $7.59. This box retails for $49.00 BEFORE adding the estimated cost of the bracelet. Even if that item costs just a few dollars, that is in line with the typical $50+ value of most boxes from this subscription. Like I said, the knife is a pretty solid item. So subscribers will have to gauge if this box was worth it based on the remaining items. I think it's close. Really close.
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What do you think of the items from this month's Nomadik?