With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, I’m looking forward to getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are driving up the mountain (we lived within a few minutes of the Blue Ridge Parkway) for a picnic or a hike (or both!) We usually went on Memorial Day and the 4th of July, and sometimes on other random summer weekends as well.
My favorite spot for picnicking was a picturesque gristmill along the Blue Ridge. My parents would pack a cooler full of ground beef patties and hotdogs to grill, homemade deviled eggs, and plenty of potato chips and treats we didn’t normally keep in the house. Other times we’d hike the two-mile loop to an old mountain farm that had been preserved. We often made these excursions with extended family, which made them even more memorable.
Paul and I have continued these types of activities with our kids. We often take advantage of the various hikes and biking trails available in the area where we vacation in Maine. There’s nothing like the view from the top!
Even here at home, we have a lot of great state parks nearby that are perfect for picnics and day hikes, and we also like to frequent local music festivals when the weather starts getting nicer.
Excursions like these are a great way to bond with friends and family, get the kids off their screens, and experience the great outdoors. Of course, having the right gear is essential.
Enter Ozark Trail — an outdoor brand carried exclusively at Walmart.
This quad folding camp chair is perfect for sitting around a campfire, tailgating, bringing to a music festival or your kid’s sporting event, or just hanging out in the backyard.
It unfolds easily and slides into the included carry bag for transport, plus it has two cupholders and a covered utility pocket for your phone or keys. It even has a mesh pocket on the back for storing the carry bag.
Beyond that, it’s extremely well made. It has a comfortable padded back, and the sturdy steel frame is designed for maximum stability; it safely holds up to 300 lbs.
This hip pack is exactly what I need for my day hikes. It has a top loading main compartment, a front zipper pocket for smaller items, and a rear lined stash pocket for valuables.
It’s easy to adjust and secures around the waist or hips for all of your hands-free activities.
A hip pack is a lot safer than my back pocket for my phone and keys, and I can also fit my bug spray and sunblock inside.
But I think the 52-quart high-performance cooler is the most impressive piece I ordered from Walmart’s Ozark Trail line.
This bad boy is designed for serious campers. The insulation keeps ice from melting for more than seven days!
It also has a built-in bottle opener, four drink holders on the lid, and an oversized drain that lets you quickly empty out stored liquids.
Reversible anti-skid feet keep it in place, and the heavy-duty handles allow you to transport it easily even though it weighs 30 pounds. This cooler is even certified bear resistant and has a built-in fish ruler on the lid.
Like I said, this is a serious piece of camping equipment, folks. I don’t think our day hikes and picnics are worthy, but surely some of you could put it to good use.
Although that fish ruler could come in handy when my husband goes fishing in Maine…
Finally, this 24oz vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottle and 20-oz double wall, vacuum sealed tumbler are great for camping or anytime.
Also, this instant tailgate canopy and folding table with cupholders will be perfect for the local blues festival we like to attend in June. Every year I see groups with those canopies, and I tell Paul we need to get one.
Whatever your outdoor needs are, Walmart’s Ozark Trail line has you covered. With over 200 new products ranging from tents and furniture to sleeping bags and coolers, there’s something for everyone at an affordable price.
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photos: Alison Cornell