Hello, Friends! I hope this fall is treating you beautifully—the leaves around here are changing to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. It’s time to pull out my winter wardrobe and pack away my flip flops, peep-toes, and capris until next summer. Speaking of summer, I’ve saved an average of $44.82 a month since June (July was a really good savings month for me). In addition to the $4.66 I had left from my May purchases, I had a total of $183.97 to use on prepping gear and food storage. I’ve wanted to save up for a couple of (relatively) larger purchases, and I finally bought them! Let me tell you all about them: I’m too impatient to save the best for last—my favorite prepping purchase is going right into the spotlight, folks.
I got the Goal Zero Switch 8 power pack. And I’m a huuuuuge fan. It’s $39.99 this month ($31.99 if you have a catalog—just enter the promotion code from the back page of your catalog—right by the mailing address—to get the additional savings). I personally think everyone should have one. Here’s why: • It will charge practically any phone with its USB port • It will charge my iPhone from being totally dead to almost 100% • It’s small enough to fit in a purse pocket, day back, or glove compartment and not draw attention to itself—it's about the size of a fat highlighter or a chunky permanent marker—which means it’s a great fit for hiking and camping. You’ve been there: experiencing the beauty of nature, wanting to snap a picture to remember the experience or share it with friends… and your phone/camera dies. No more, my friends. Just plug your device into the Switch 8 and you're back in business. Capture that sunset. Take video of your kids splashing in the lake. • It’s so easy to charge the Switch 8. I just plug it into my computer’s USB port every night, and drop it into my purse every morning. Then I know I’ve got two full charges worth of life on my phone every day (especially helpful if you have an iPhone and updated to iOS7, which is sucking the life out of your battery right now, amiright?) • If I’m going to be outdoors and using my phone a lot, I can bring along my Nomad 7 solar panel to charge the Switch 8, my phone, or other USB-compatible devices right from the sun. I also bought a Teton® Outfitter XXL 1-Man Quick Tent. Oh, man... I can’t wait to try this one out—you’ll see why when you check out the video below. Simplest setup and take-down I’ve ever seen (except for you brave people who sleep out under the stars in just your sleeping bag). And I’m all about simplifying the process of setting up so I can focus on other things—like roasting marshmallows. You want one now, don’t you? I can’t say I blame you. It’s good design put to use to make your life easier. What’s not to love about that? If you need something a little roomier, for just a few dollars more you could get the Slumberjack Trail Tent 2—it’s a two-person tent, and a great buy. (There are also a 3-person and 4-person tent available—see all our Slumberjack tents here.) My final purchase using my summer savings was a sleeping pad. The Klymit Static V, to be exact. Not only is it incredibly light, it’s incredibly comfortable. Don’t believe me? (Or more likely… Don’t care about my opinion because I’m not a big camper?) Check out the customer reviews. I’m gearing up to spend some serious time camping next summer. I used to go camping with my family all the time when I was younger, but over the past few years I’ve spent more time in high heels than in nature, and I think it’s about time to change that. Camping is a great way to practice prepping skills, and I’ll take all the practice I can get. I’ll keep you posted on my outdoor adventures. Wish me luck! Until next time, friends. Happy prepping! --Urban Girl (Sarah)