Our Favorite Camping Hacks

If you tuned into our most recent episode of Toad Hacks on Instagram, you saw Toads Lindsay and Drew share a few of their most tried and true camping hacks. Because this is prime camping season (changing leaves and fall sunsets, yes please), and we want you all to enjoy it as much as we do, here are those hacks plus a few more.

Bring The Heat

A good central fire is key to any campout. Store charcoal briquettes in a cardboard egg crate before you get to your site, then light it to start your fire easily when you get there. You can also save dryer lint and put it in the middle of old toilet paper rolls.

Camp Kitchen Essentials (aka all the amazing things from home you can reuse)

We’d be lying if we said mealtime around said fire wasn’t one of the main highlights of every camping trip we take. So we mean business when it comes to our camp kitchen setup.

Breakfast – An unexpected plot twist for your condiment bottles: Save them to reuse on your next camping trip. Before you head out, fill them with pancake batter or eggs (shells off and pre-whisked) and pop them in the cooler. Come breakfast at the campsite, you’re ready to go with an easy meal (and impressive too, if that’s what you’re going for).

Lunch and Dinner – We love a meal in a cast iron pan because the possibilities are literally limitless. You can use it on the camp stove or over the fire, and you can cook virtually anything in it.  And anything that’s sturdy, durable, and lasts a lifetime is a win in our book.

Pantry Essentials  – On one of our Toad campouts, someone realized that an old toolbox makes the perfect camp kitchen kit. Who knew? It’s the ideal size for spices, utensils, bottle openers, and mini bottles of booze. Cheers!

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Cleanup – Take an empty laundry detergent dispenser, fill it with water, flip it upside down, and you have a hand and dish-washing station right at the campsite. Put a bucket below to catch runoff water. Whoever’s on dishes duty will thank you.

The Sweet Stuff

We recently learned an epic tip that will flip your S’mores world upside down (thanks to Toad Lindsay’s Mother-in-Law and everyone’s favorite Toad mom Kathy). Put the piece of chocolate in the middle of your marshmallow before roasting. It’s gooey and delicious and trust us, you’ll never look at a S’more the same way again.

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The Every Campout Checklist

Keep your checklist by your camping gear so you never forget the essentials. We don’t leave home without our headlamps – key for keeping your hands free for more fun things than holding a flashlight (see: S’mores and whipping up a stellar breakfast). Also important to the checklist: Mini first aid kit, microfiber towels (compact, quick-drying, and lightweight), and reusable cups and utensils. 

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What We’re Wearing

Lindsay’s favorite is the Telluride Sherpa Jacket – “Not only is it two jackets in one, but it also makes a perfect pillow. The triple threat of eco-friendly jackets.”

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Drew’s loving the Epiq Jogger – “Fitted ankles keep the critters out and the Hemp and Organic Cotton blend makes them cozy enough to double as jammies.”

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Toad Fall Book Club

It’s back to the books! September 6th is National Read a Book Day so we’re checking in on the Toad Book Club. And by “Book Club” we mean “everyone read your own book of choice and then tell us about it.” So it’s more like show and tell, but for books… let’s not read into it. Here’s what we’ve got bookmarked for fall.

Quakeland by Kathryn Miles

“It’s a book about the history of major earthquakes in the US and understanding what is to come in our future! It is not super technical and can be read by anyone interested in earthquakes. It’s a page turner and told in story format. Great for anyone interested in geology but not necessarily wanting a science book.” – Sarah, HR

Navajos Wear Nikes by Jim Kristofic

“I just read Navajos Wear Nikes, it’s a memoir of sorts about a guy of non-Native American descent who grew up on a Navajo reservation in Arizona. Super interesting!” – Helena, Design

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

“I went to Paris in the spring so I’ve been on a Paris kick lately, but this simple memoir about Hemingway’s life in 1920s Paris takes the cake. He’s so good at capturing a place and a spirit. Definitely inspires me to really be in the moment.” – Daisy, Branding

Coyote America by Dan Flores

“A history of coyotes in North America that weaves in both scientific and Native American perspectives. It’s a really eye-opening book; you don’t realize how much coyotes are part of our nation’s history. They’re really smart, adaptable creatures!” – Thomas, Fit Model

All for a Few Perfect Waves by David Rensin

“This book is sick because it tells the story of Miki ‘da cat’ Dora and his travels. I am reading it because he spends a lot of time in Biarritz and Biadot, France, and I am headed there in a few weeks.” – Dr. Drew, Customer Service

 

Summer To-Do: Shakespeare in the Park

A warm summer breeze, an open bottle of wine, men in tights… it’s a midsummer night’s dream, or, Shakespeare in the Park. Whether you’re a longtime fan of The Bard or have fuzzy memories of that one high school English class, get thee to this summer tradition. The tradition goes back to 1954 (well, 1599 if you want to get technical), when a few New York visionaries wanted to make Shakespeare theater as free and accessible as library books. Well, turns out people love free stuff and outdoor drinking, so the idea was a hit and has since caught on with communities all over the world. So without further ado, here’s our list of the best FREE 2019 Shakespeare in the Park festivals in the US. Pack a picnic and bring your kin.

New York, NY – The grand dame of Shakespeare in the park and the one that started it all. Since 1962, over five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The New York Shakespeare Festival runs May through August and offers two shows: May/June catch Much Ado About Nothing staged with an incredible all black cast! and July/August is Coriolanus, a riveting political epic of democracy and demagoguery. Ah, art imitating life.

Asheville, NC – On a campy-but-lovable Olde English stage,The Montford Park Players put on North Carolina’s longest running free Shakespeare Festival. Prepare with bug spray or our new Debug clothes.

Kansas City, MO – Does it get better than sonnets and BBQ? Kansas’ City’s Heart of America Shakespeare Festival knows how to party. This season’s show is Shakespeare in Love (we’re sensing a pattern…) and you can reserve your seating online beforehand.

Boston, MA –  The 24th season of Boston’s Commonwealth Shakespeare Company goes off at the Parkman Bandstand 6 days a week. This year’s show is the little known mystical dramedy, Cymbeline, about the fates of King Cymbeline’s family. Expect mistaken identities, twists and turns, and the all-consuming quest for true love.

Louisville, KY – Coming in at the most ambitious company, The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival is putting on no less that 7 different productions. No tickets required, and dogs are welcome. All of Louisville’s a stage…

Buffalo, NY – Mark your cal for June 20th  when the 44th summer season of Shakespeare in Delaware Park kicks off. The first half of the summer will bring The Tempest and late July switches to Love’s Labour’s Lost (the story of a king and his comrades who swear off women for three years… hilarity ensues.)

Dallas, TX – Park your lawn chairs at Shakespeare Dallas’s series at Samuell Grand Park, now in its 48th season. Catch Shakespeare in Love (not technically by Shakespeare but hey, it’s on theme) and As You Like It, a classic rom com where “Love is merely a madness…”

San Francisco, CA – A little different than the traditional set-up, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival actually travels to 5 different venues throughout the Bay Area. This year they’re toting a musical version of As You Like It from June – September.

Los Angeles area, CA – From San Pedro to Hermosa Beach to Torrance to Venice (and many stops in between), Shakespeare by the Sea makes the rounds. This season catch The Comedy of Errors (two young visitors arrive in the city unaware that their long-lost twins already live there), and Henry V (Shakespeare’s most patriotic and inspiring play tells of a young King Henry V who seeks to unite his beloved England). Gird your loins and your flip flops.

Seattle, WA – In the mood for some hormone-induced teen romance? Romeo & Juliet is calling your name. Love the idea of love triangle in Elizabethan drag? Twelfth Night is for you. Get your fill as the Seattle Shakespeare Company tours the Puget Sound region all summer.

But what will you wear?! 

10 Reasons Why Guinness Is Good For You

Spinach, kale, avocado, Guinness—A few of our favorite health foods. OK maybe we’re using the word “health food” a little freely, but we do have proof that it’s good for you (just like the old advertising slogan says). So this St. Patrick’s Day, fill your pint glass with the good stuff. Sláinte! (Which btw, is an Irish Gaelic saying for “cheers” and literally translates to “health.” Coincidence? We think not).

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1) Antioxidants make it heart healthy

Move over, red wine. A 2003 study claimed that a pint of Guinness could cut the risk of blood clots forming in the arteries, while other beers didn’t have the same effect. You can thank flavonoids, a plant-based antioxidant found in certain drinks and dark chocolate, for this heart healthy benefit.

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2) Iron does a body good

Though Guinness only contains .3 mg of iron per pint, most adults don’t reach their recommended 9-18 mg/day, so we say every sip counts! There was even a time when Guinness was given to post-op patients and pregnant women, and as recently as 2010, it was given to people after they donated blood to help replenish their iron levels.

3) It’s considered a “light” beer

Don’t let the color fool ya. A Guinness only has 15 more calories than a Bud Light and 5 more calories than the same amount of skim milk. Plus, you’re going to feel a lot fuller after a Guinness than a Bud Light (thanks to the CO2 and Nitrogen carbonation that leads to its thick, creamy texture), saving yourself from the extra food calories later. Drunchies beware.

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4) It’s good for your bones

Beer contains a plant hormone called phytoestrogen, which is key to building dense bones, plus has calcium and dietary silicon, important for growth and development of bone and connective tissues. Studies have shown moderate beer drinkers to be less likely to have osteoporosis and lower risk of hip fractures. Of course, like with anything, moderation is key – overindulging can have reverse effects.

5) It’s relatively low on alcohol content

When comparing to other beers, Guinness has a lower ABV (4.2% compared with your average beer at 5%). So for party goers and bar frequenters, Guinness leans on the more responsible side.

6) It will make you the life of the party

If Elle Woods taught us anything, it’s that endorphins make us happy. Light to moderate drinking triggers these “feel good” chemicals in your brain (though as many of us have probably experienced, overdoing it will have the opposite effect). So on St. Patrick’s Day, help yourself to a pint or two of Guinness, and enjoy being the most fun, social, happiest friend at the party. Bonus effect: It will make everyone around you more fun and attractive too.

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7) It contains folate, fiber, and ferulic acid

Guinness contains more folate, a nutrient we need to make DNA, than any other beer. And it’s high in barley, which makes it one of the beers with the highest levels of fiber (while Bud Light and most other light beers don’t contain any. Thank u, next). High levels of barley also equal high levels of ferulic acid, which is associated with improved immune function. And all that fiber and ferulic acid lead to a couple of other benefits too…

8) It’s anti-inflammatory

Studies have shown the consumption of hops (in beer form) interfere with inflammation causing compounds. Plus, a fiber rich diet can help reduce inflammation.

9) It lowers bad cholesterol

Not to sound like a broken record, but have we told you about the benefits of fiber? It’s really good for you. And the soluble fiber in beer can help reduce LDL (aka “bad” cholesterol) – plus it has a variety of other health benefits like promoting healthy blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.

10) It helps hydrate post-workout

Maybe the most surprising of them all, one study showed that people who drank a post-workout pint of beer were more hydrated than those who drank water. Probably why a beer at the top of a hike feels so right.

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So there you have it. A little bit of science and a little bit of Irish luck. Either way, feel good this weekend when you reach for that creamy, malty goodness.

Not feeling the booze? Just like Guinness is now vegan (true story!), we like to keep it green every day too.

2018 by the Numbers

By the Numbers: What Made Toad&Co a Top Sustainable Clothing Brand in 2018

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Hey, Thanks!

By shopping Toad&Co in 2018, you’ve helped us do some major things. From the bottom of our tree-hugging hearts, THANK YOU for being part of the sustainable apparel movement and here’s to an already momentous 2019!

We don’t want to ruin the surprise, but as of Feb 2019 our ENTIRE LINE is eco-friendly… Get excited. Thanks again, you’re the best.

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Did your office Halloween party sneak up on you? Scrambling for something to wear while you take the kids trick-or-treating? Here’s all you need for a super easy, DIY Halloween costume. We’ve got your back.

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Glasses, magnifying glass and the Tupelo Sweater. Easy, peasy.

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We loved the Allie Fleece Jacket, then we found a way to love it more. Grab a trash lid and transform into everyone’s fave grumpy dump-dweller. Recycling is so chic.

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Let’s say it together: Celebrating powerful women is never not in fashion! Channel girl-power culture icon, Rosie the Riveter, with a red bandanna updo and the Chambray Slub LS Shirt.

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What starts as a last minute Walker, Texas Ranger costume turns into a lifestyle choice. Kick things off with the High Planes Shirtjac. Chuck Norris didn’t test it – it tested Chuck Norris.

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Dig out those khaki pants, the Flannagan LS Shirt, and your dad’s old Nikes. Your inner Forrest is feeling chatty. Just add a box of chocolates.

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Don’t mess with the classics. Our Tempo SS Crew and Indigo Flannel LS Shirt make sure of it. Party on.

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Tencel®: The New Performance Fabric

Mother Nature brings a lot to the table when it comes to performance. Synthetic fabrics like spandex, polyester, and nylon dominate the active wear marketplace, but plant-based fibers offer a lot of the same benefits with a fraction of the environmental costs. (Plus, nothing beats the feeling of plant-based fibers against your skin). Made from an eco-friendly eucalyptus wood pulp, Tencel® is perhaps our very favorite.

Tencel® starts with fine, water-loving fibers that quickly absorb and transport moisture away from the skin. Its cellulosic nature inhibits the growth of bacteria, which allows for stronger, longer lasting yarns. And softness. Like MEGA softness. Tencel® is akin to silk in both feel and drape, and it’s low pilling so you can wear it over and over again. Pure Tencel® fabrics are lightweight and airy (great for summer travel), while a Tencel® blend boasts excellent year-round performance (if you just can’t live without your polyester active-wear). Tencel® is 100% machine washable and won’t bag out or melt away in the dryer over time. #laundrywin

Last, and most importantly, we love Tencel® for its clean production process. The eucalyptus is grown in Europe and requires fewer pesticides and far less acreage and water than cotton. The raw eucalyptus is processed in an eco-award winning “closed loop” system that recovers and reuses 99.7% of the processing solvents. (Sidenote: the primary solvent is the nontoxic solvent amine oxide and is infinitely better than harsher solvents used in traditional viscose processes.)

Our Tencel® has been certified according to the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, a rigorous testing, auditing, and certification system for environmentally friendly textiles. It’s also recognized by the European Union as both safe and sustainable. Can your activewear claim all that?

Forget what you thought you knew about crunchy, shiny performance fabrics – Mother Nature knows best. Shop our Men’s Tencel® and Women’s Tencel® styles and see for yourself.

Build a DIY ShotSki

There are few things we love more than a great weekend getaway to the mountains – outdoor adventures, cozy nights and long conversations with good company. And maybe a ShotSki here and there. Whether it’s the first run of the season or the last run of spring, we think a ShotSki is the perfect way to celebrate the good times. After all, friends don’t let friends (shot) ski alone. We’re digging back into the Toad archives to bring back a refresher on How To Build the Perfect ShotSki from Jeremy Benson at skinet.com

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1.  Find the perfect ski
The first step (and arguably most important) in creating the perfect shotski is finding the right ski. If you don’t have old skis, ski shops will often have some pairs lying around (especially if it’s nearing the end of ski season). Remember, the longer the ski is, the more shots you can fit on it. Most standard skis will fit 4 shots, but go for the gold and see how many you can fit comfortably.

2.  Glued vs. Nested
There are two basic types of shotskis: The layman’s sit on top, where you simply measure out where to put your shot glasses then glue (or tape!) them down.  Then there’s the nested shotski where shot glasses rest inside the ski and can be removable to facilitate the cleaning process. We went for the nested version, because go big or go skiing later.

3.  Measuring
While perfection isn’t absolutely necessary with a shotski (you are, after all, drinking liquor from a ski), equal spacing will allow for easier maneuvering. First, pick the number of shots you’d like to have on your ski. Four is a nice round number and a good starting loin, but by all means try to get more on. Ideally, shots are approximately 18 – 20 inches apart, enough room for folks to face the shot ski head on. Make marks that are centered in the ski width-wise and get ready to drill.

4.  Drill
For the nesting tactic, we used a hole saw to drill the holes (a large paddle drill bit may also work). Ideally all of your shot glasses will be the same size. Figure out what diameter your glasses are by measuring them and finding a comparable size hole saw or drill bit (we used a 1.5-inch diameter hole saw). Line it up with the marks you made earlier and drill, being careful not to drill all the way through the base. By stopping your holes just above the base you can remove the core samples, making perfect, countersunk holes for the glasses to sit in. A flathead screwdriver or a chisel work great for cleaning out the holes. It is important to note that many skis out there have fiberglass, wood, metal and plastic in them, so be careful not to breathe in any fumes and wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes.

5.  Velcro
After the holes are drilled and cleaned out, smooth out any imperfections with sandpaper. If you want the glasses to be permanently attached, super glue them into place. For removable glasses, use Velcro to hold them in place when the shotski is in use. Having removable shot glasses makes cleaning way easier (and promotes future shotskis).

6.  Deploy the Ski-shot
Call on some good company, pick your favorite brand of whiskey (add some maple syrup to each shot to do it the Canadian way) and take it for a run! Take shots to thank the snow gods for fresh powder or to urge them to make it snow. Mount it above the fireplace, keep it in the garage, sleep with it under your pillow, keep it in your car, give it to a college kid… Whatever you do with your shotski, hopefully it involves good times, deep snow and good friends. Bottoms up!

Look Good While You’re At It

Shotski womens items

The Women’s Airvoyant Puff Jacket will keep you warm before the shots start flowing, and the Hammonds Zip Hoodie is as comfortable as it is cute.

Shotski mens items

The Men’s Flannagan Long Sleeve Shirt is timeless and fresh, just like the shot-ski itself. Couple it with the Airvoyant Puff Vest and you’ll be looking good and feeling good.

Not Big On Shots?

Try some of our other delicious drinking activities. We love a good game of Kings Cup, which only requires that you drink beer. If you are in the mood to mix it up, try making some of these cold weather specialties.

Wear Green or Get Pinched!

 

You know why we love St. Patrick’s Day? Because you gotta wear green – and not just the color, the ethos. We think “green” means sustainably sourced, responsibly made, eco-friendly clothing. Luckily, we’re chock full of it!  Making a T-Shirt doesn’t seem too complicated. Source some fabric, sew it up, throw it in a package and off it goes. This “simple” process is repeated each day by clothing manufacturers all over the world. When you do it the responsible way, it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Sustainable manufacturing techniques are few and far between. To keep costs low, clothing companies will source cheap materials and manufacture in unregulated facilities. These methods can have severe impacts on local environments and local communities. Choosing sustainability isn’t always the easy route, but for us it’s the only route. We call it eCo.

Look for our eCo tags to call out all products that get the sustainability stamp of approval.

For us, it all starts with sourcing good materials. We strive to use sustainable fibers, so you’ll see a lot of organic cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel® and Modal® in our products. We do our best to use bluesign® approved fabrics to trace the environmental impact of a fabric from sourcing to final production. bluesign® is a third party auditor that examines each step in the textile supply chain to approve processes and materials, ensuring they are safe for the environment and factory workers.

When we partner with a manufacturer, we look for manufacturers taking steps above and beyond to promote human rights, sustainability and community culture. Our partner in Turkey, for example, manages the entire manufacturing process, from organic cotton farming to making fabrics to assembling the final garments. Total processing within one country has many benefits: It dramatically reduces the environmental footprint associated with material transportation and increases traceability on all production platforms. They’ve taken their commitment to sustainability one step further by switching to solar energy at the factory – a transition that has reduced their carbon emissions by half.  We are proud of the long-lasting relationships we have with many of our vendors and  believe that you could visit any of our factories and leave not thinking less of Toad&Co or our products.


Just as orange is the new black, dirty is the new clean.

Sustainability starts with us, but it continues with you. That’s why you’ll find written in the care tag inside all Toad&Co garments the reminder to “Wear more, wash less. Wear it out or pass it on.”  Studies suggest that 58% of the energy and 45% of the water that goes into a garment happens post-purchase, so we recommend that you wear your clothing multiple times before washing to conserve natural resources and prolong the life of your beloved Toad&Co clothing.


Our eCo products pair well with Red or White, smiles guaranteed.

Currently 90% of our line is considered eCo and there is always room for improvement. Every season we strive to improve our sustainability efforts and reduce our footprint even more.  So when you wear Toad&Co clothing, you’re supporting ethical manufacturing and sustainable business. Together we are a force and together we can affect the future.

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