Some of my favorite parts of hiking are the smells. No, not the lingering odor of your Smartwool socks on the ride back home — I’m talking about walking through a ridge of incense cedars on a cool day, filling your lungs with that amazing combination of fresh air and fragrant bark. If you’re like me, you probably wish you could take that smell everywhere with you, but you probably spend your weekdays stuck in the city, where the best we’ve got is car exhaust and Baja Fresh.

Well, no more!

I stumbled across a mini-stand of some products from Juniper Ridge — a small company from northern California whose mission is to get you to bring the wilderness into your everyday life –specifically the wilderness we Westerners know well.

They were kind enough to send me some samples, and I can tell you honestly that I am very, very impressed.

They have soaps made with California Bay Laurel, Pinon, Sage, and other native plants. The Laurel soap I tried smelled like a hike through the Santa Monica Mountains, and the lather was thick and kept my skin well moisturized throughout the day.

juniper ridge handcrafted soaps

They also sent me some Pinon incense and, while I’m not generally an incense kind of guy, my bedroom smells like an Oregon campsite right now and that makes me very, very happy.

juniper ridge handcrafted incense

Or, if you just want to have a little bag of pleasant-smelling goodness to take around with you without the smoke or hippie social stigmas associated with incense … they also sell satchets of Fir, Cedar, and Juniper you can keep stashed in your desk at work in case of a stress emergency.

Their handcrafted teas are also outstanding, at least judging from the White Sage and Wild Mint brew. Beats the hell out of any herbal mint tea I can recall drinking, and definitely piques my interest for their Douglas Fir Tip tea, which is supposed to be lemony and slightly sweet.

All of their harvesting is sustainable, they donate 10% of their profits to several western wilderness groups, AND they make great stuff. But if that wasn’t enough, they have this statement on their company’s web site:

… you should never confuse any form of consumerism with the real thing, so get out there and hike and smell the earth. Do something fun outdoors today!

Check out their web site, and let ’em know Modern Hiker sent you! Personally, I can’t wait until my next shipment of teas gets here.

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