I love exploring nature with my kids, and what appeals to me the most is the combination of adventure, learning, and how it inspires our imaginations. I’m also passionate about reading, and I love it when my kids get lost in a book. So when I was tasked with putting together a Portland-centric raffle basket for #ChevyShopSocial, it didn’t take me long figure out my angle.
The kids and I on our way to Powell’s
I loved reading Colin Meloy’s “Wildwood Chronicles” earlier this year. Colin is a Portlander, and the imaginative books are set in Forest Park as an alternate universe. This really sparked my imagination, and I haven’t looked at Forest Park the same since! So I created this package with the Wildwood Chronicles in mind.
The trilogy is included, so the winner can enter this other world in the woods. Also included is a day-pack for hiking to hold your supplies, some guidebooks and Forest Park trail maps, a monocular for wildlife viewing, and a survival kit in case the Wildwood really is an “Impassable Wilderness” for you. To make the most of your woodland hikes, the kit also includes a handy “birds of Portland” identification guide from the Audubon Society of Portland, or what you will soon come to know as the “Avian Principality.” I hope the winner enjoys urban wildlife treks for years to come!
Here’s what’s in the basket:
I went to our favorite bookstore of all time, Powell’s City of Books, where we find ourselves nearly weekly anyway, to pick up fresh copies of:
The Wildwood Chronicles (three books)
Written by Portlander and Decembrists member Colin Meloy, illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis, these YA books open up a whole imaginative world of talking animals, ancient legends and mysterious magic in “Wildwood” (Forest Park)– all hidden to the residents of adjacent Portland, Oregon.
Book 1: Wildwood
Book 2: Under Wildwood
Book 3: Wildwood Imperium
Survivor Kid, A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival
Inspire your budding adventurers to be safe in nature! Anna keeps begging me to let her keep this book, so I may have to go back and buy another copy!
Into the Field Guide, A Walk in the Woods
All the cool things to watch for as you walk through the forest: a hands-on introduction to cool, common critters, trees, flowers, and rocks.
Forest Park Trails Map
A pocket-size guide to all the trails in Wildwood. Or so we think.
Scout Books Mini Nature Journals
Record your thoughts, poems, and other notes in these beautiful little journals as you hike around Portland.
Never lose your place as you get lost in your favorite books. Set of 12.
Next, I visited one of my favorite adventure-outfitters, The Next Adventure. The staff helped me choose some great wilderness-survival gear:
Mountain Hardware Lightweight Backpack
This backpack easily folds up for storage, but is big enough to hold everything you need for a day of hiking. Because it folds so nicely into a neat pouch, it will also be great for other travel adventures. And it’s bright orange for woodland safety!
Johnny, helpful Next Adventure staff, modeling the ultra-cool Mountain Hardware backpack
Kids sometimes struggle with making binoculars work, but this handy scope will be awesome for anyone. It’s easy to focus, and will help you see all the hidden creatures sharing our urban wilderness with us. And it’s small, so it can fit in your pocket, or in the daypack.
Portable Water Filtration System
A staple in any wilderness survival kit, this excellent water filtration bottle will keep you safe and hydrated in any situation. Bring it with you on your hikes, but store it with your emergency-preparedness kit in between outdoor adventures.
Travel First Aid Kit
Any time you venture into Wildwood (or any wilderness), you should be prepared. A portable first aid kit should be in everyone’s day pack!
Rope Survival Bracelet
This may look like a cool bracelet (and it is!), but in case of emergency, it unravels into a useful 10′ long rope, complete with whistle.
Best Easy Day Hikes Portland, Oregon
After you explore Forest Park, discover more day hikes that are easily-accessible from the Portland-area.
Ben’s Tick & Insect Repellent
Let’s face it – as much as we want to be one with nature, we don’t necessarily want to contribute to the ongoing health and welfare of the area’s mosquito population.
Next Adventure 2-in-1 LED Headlamp
When your hike takes you into the Impassable Wilderness beyond dusk, a helpful light will help guide you home. Great for travel, camping, biking, black-outs, and emergencies.
Emergency Poncho, just in case!
Finally, I visited the Nature Store at the Audubon Society of Portland. Or “Avian Principality,” and snagged these for your kit:
“Put a bird on it” Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Any adventurer knows it’s vital to stay hydrated! This beautiful bottle will become your favorite for everyday use, as well.
Sun Prints kit
While out on your wilderness adventure, you can make souvenir sun prints with bits of nature you find along the way. Simply place the objects on one of the sheets and expose to sunlight. You’ll have a pretty piece of art to commemorate your hike!
Birds of Portland Identification Card
The Portland-area has more wildlife than you probably realize! This handy, laminated card will fit easily in your day-pack, and will help you identify the unique and beautiful members of the Avian Principality.
And, just to round out the package, I threw in:
1859 Magazine, “Hike & Paddle Oregon” edition – to plan your other Northwest adventures.
High-Energy Trail Mix – to get you started or keep you going.
Metro’s “Our Big Backyard” newsletter, full of fun nature-appreciation classes, tips for sustainable living, and directions to awesome regional parks. I often troll these classes for fun outdoor adventures with my kiddos!
If you want to win this package (AND WHO WOULDN’T?), all you have to do is come to Pioneer Courthouse Square on Thursday, May 21, at 6:00. Raffle tickets are only $2 each, and all the proceeds go directly to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. The rest of the raffle baskets and more event information is here.
Let me know if you are coming! The cars we all got to drive around town will be there, so you can see them for yourself.
Many thanks to Chevy, She Buys Cars and Traveling Mom for entrusting me with this mission.