Monday, May 8, 2017

The Perfect Way to Say Thank You This Mother's Day!

Written by Alissa R. and Katie S.
Women's Fashion Employees

It’s finally springtime! With the warm weather comes sunny days, blooming flowers, green grass, and of course, May 14th, a day to celebrate the most special person in our lives - our moms!

Bivouac is your one-stop-shop for all-things Mother’s Day. We’ve gathered a few of our favorites that will be perfect for your mom, wife, or that special woman in your life. Whether she’s stylish, athletic, comfy, or all three, we’ve got something for her.

For the young, fashionable mom:

Our AG top has a light, airy feel, and won’t weigh down your wife as she chases your youngins around. It has a buttoned keyhole in the front for a little bit of a spicier look. The shirt is perfect for a day on the town or dressed up with dark jeans and our new, featured Dolce Vita 3-Strap Sandals (stylish and comfortable!) for a dinner date.

To add a more personal touch, try adding one of our delicate initial necklaces - a perfect gift that she can wear everyday. Find her initial, or get her your son or daughter's initial, complete with his or her birthstone (birthstone charms available in-store!). That way, she can have a little part of her child no matter where she goes.

Get the look here:

Wallin and Buerkle Initial Necklace In-Store Only

For the active mom who’s always on the go:

Our Patagonia dress is light, breathable, and a thin cotton material to whisk away unwanted summer sweat. It’s perfect for days sitting outside on the patio, or even athletic enough to wear on the go. Dress it up with nice sandals and a sweater for a perfect date night outfit! 

Our Kavu Rope Bag is perfect an active day, whether that means taking a day trip through Nichols Arboretum or a day of running errands. With an adjustable shoulder strap and multiple, easy to access pockets and components, this bag is comfortable and functional without sacrificing style.

Get the look here:

For the yogi mom:

Any yoga-obsessed mother or wife will love a new yoga mat, paired with our adorable, embroidered Prana yoga bag. It will be easy for her to carry her mat to and from the studio. It might even make it easier for her to convince her to go to a yoga class with her!

Get the look here:

For the mom who deserves a moment to relax:

Our moms and wives deserve a day off every once and a while, since we know how much they do for us each and every day! Bivouac has the perfect assortment of gifts to treat your mom to a relaxing day off. Pair one of our Voluspa candles with a set of matches for her to take a deep breath with one of her favorite books or a glass of wine, poured into our popular Jac Vanek wine glass! She will thank you!

To add onto her day of relaxation, Kiehl’s is a go-to. Whether it’s the popular Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask or some Creme de Corps Body Lotion, you can’t go wrong! Add some Kiehl’s products into the Vineyard Vines Makeup Bag for a perfect pampering kit.

Get the look here:

Decorative Matches In-Store Only

Vineyard Vines Makeup Bag In-Store Only

Assorted Kiehl's Products In-Store Only

And finally, the most important thing to give your mom this Mother’s Day is a huge “Thank You!" We have the perfect cards to say thank you for everything, from dealing with our meltdowns to supporting us along the way.

Flair and Paper Greeting Cards In-Store Only

Monday, May 1, 2017

Hiking the AT With Joshua Tree

Written by Natalie Burr, Women's Technical Employee

Before I left for the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail less than two weeks ago, I picked up a couple last minute items at the Bivouac. These were mostly small things that I hadn't put much thought into, unlike the months of planning that I took for most of my gear and my itinerary. Among the little things I picked up were the Joshua Tree climbing salve and SPF lip balm, two additions to my gear that have proved essential so far. I started using the lip balm right away, and the difference was instantly noticeable. Going from the cold and dry Michigan weather to a humid Georgia winter should have made my lips get chapped and crack easily, but they actually felt softer compared to the previous lip balm I used.

My first night on Springer Mountain, the temperature dipped below freezing. Still, I woke up able to smile and talk with the other hikers I met without splitting a lip or even feeling like my lips were chapped! That first morning was also when I tried the climbing salve for the first time. In the store, I was enticed by the climbing salve's mild but herbal scent and by the short list of easily recognizable natural ingredients (all of the Joshua Tree products are all organic, and the headquarters recently relocated to Michigan so you're buying local - as if I need another reason to love these products!). Trying out the climbing salve didn't disappoint. The company recommends using the salve to moisturize and soften calluses, typically for rock climbing, but that didn't stop me from covering my hands with the salve where my trekking poles were giving me hot spots. In the coming days, I used the salve for the chafing around my hips from the belt on my 30+ pound pack, and of course, to give my feet some TLC while they toughened up. Despite the small size of the salve, I have yet to run out - a little dab of it goes a long way. Joshua Tree Skin Care also offers a huge variety of salves targeted to different activities, so you can choose from cycling, gymnastics, music, water sports; they even have salves tailored specifically to paddling activities and for pets! Check out the variety here:

Using the climbing salve and the mountain mint SPF 15 lip balm has made the past two weeks that much easier, making skin care a big category to add to the list of things that I don't have to worry about on the trail! I've gotten several other hikers hooked on the climbing salve, too, and when I run out of mine, I can't wait to start trying all the different Joshua Tree Skin Care products available at the Bivouac! The selection of Joshua Tree products on the website can be found here:

Happy Trails!

Monday, April 3, 2017

How to Travel Light Without Sacrificing Style

Written by Krysia Hepatica
Buying and Marketing Manager

I don’t want to brag or anything, but I pride myself on being an expert in traveling light. I managed to travel to Paris for 10 days and only brought a carry-on. Getting everything I bought back home was a bit trickier, but manageable! I know, you are probably thinking, well, sure if I left half of the stuff I wanted to bring behind, I could pack light too. Not the case! I am in no way, shape, or form skimping on my essential luxuries when I am heading to the Fashion Capital of the World! Packing light is about choosing the right items to pack and being efficient.

TSA Approved

I am a self-proclaimed skin care addict. I blame my mother. She was always buying the newest skin care products from one of cosmetic counters at Hudson’s when I was growing up. I have a specific product for every use, like Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream for the morning, and a different product at night. Of course, traveling with large, clunky skin care products is a pain, and against the TSA regulations. But, I manage to fit everything I need into my TSA approved 3-1-1 bag because I fill several small 0.5 to 3 ounce containers with all of my favorite things.


I have a few pieces of rolling luggage I alternate using depending on just how minimalist I can be. Most airlines require your carry-on to be 22” or less.

My current favorite is The North Face Rolling Thunder. It’s small, a mere 19”, but a work horse. The rugged exterior can handle the perils of travel and being tossed into all potential modes of transportation, planes, trains, and automobiles.The pull handle glides smoothly and is designed so smartly that when it’s full, it stays upright; it does not tip over. It also has a concealed zippered pocket on the top that I put a small umbrella in and just leave there, because getting caught in a downpour may make your trip slightly less than fantastic.

Fo my personal bag, I usually carry an urban backpack, or an oversized black tote. Both fit my flying essentials:

  • Makeup bag
  • Earbuds
  • Eye mask for in-flight napping
  • Kindle or book
  • Snacks

How To Pack

I usually wear my heaviest shoes and layers on the plane so I don’t have to carry them, and let’s be honest, the plane is usually freezing cold! The bulkiest items I am not wearing on the plane get rolled as small as possible. It sounds counter-intuitive, but rolling causes less wrinkling than folding. The exception, of course, being business suits.* I then start filling them into the perimeter of the suitcase, and put shoes in the middle stacking as flat as I can. I then place everything else in any open spaces; it’s like Tetris for travel!


I also always fit in a pack towel because if you do any wash in the hotel sink, wringing the item out in the microfiber towel will cut down significantly on drying time.

If you are going to another country, you may need to bring along adapter plugs so you can use your electronic devices. You may or may not need a converter (converts 220 to 110 volts). If you are bringing electronics like a smartphone or laptop, your charging cord probably accepts both wattage (double check!) But if you are bringing a hairdryer, or other small appliance you will need a converter.

If you are bringing bulky items that won’t be useless if wrinkled like a down jacket, compression bags are awesome.

Again, rolling your white dress shirt or suit* will wrinkle it into oblivion, so use a packing folder to keep it pressed.

Little Luxuries

If you are away from home on business, you may want to bring a few comforts. Lole makes a wonderful travel yoga mat if you can’t image skipping practice. It’s thin and lightweight and meant for use on a carpeted hotel floor.

A small scented candle can also make it homey. I love Voluspa’s Pomegranate Blood Orange for a fresh and uplifting fragrance.

Don’t forget to pack your Joshua Tree’s Shimmer Lip Balm, made with natural and organic ingredients. It has a hint of tint and shimmer while still hydrating your lips.

Bivouac specializes in travel apparel and equipment. Whether you are hiking Peru or sightseeing in Europe, you can find everything you need and expert staff to help outfit your adventure.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hike Thru the Biv: Artist Lindsey Fox and the Pacific Crest Trail

Artist Lindsey Fox (trail name Miyagi) hiked 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada with a sketchbook and watercolors in tow. She is a former Bivouac employee, and graduate of the University of Michigan, with a degree in Art and Design, and a focus in textile design. We are proud to announce the launch of her paintings for sale at Bivouac!

Lindsey’s work has always centered on her relationship to the wilder places in the world and the natural wonders that lie within them. When she started thinking about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, she immediately started to think of it as more of a project or an artist residency. There are many artists that hike the trail each year and capture its beauty through a lens; whether in words, or on this case it was a brush. She came to the decision early on to take those beautiful moments during the hike to paint as much as possible...even when the miles were rough.

"When starting this project, I made sure to make a habit of drawing at the very beginning. At the start of the trail you are doing everything you can just to hike a bare minimum of miles...usually to the next water source. You get into camp or lunch or a break and you feel like collapsing on your sleeping pad. I made a point to start drawing during those times, no matter how tired. Painting on the trail presented all sorts of challenges, but the reward of painting outside in such stunning locations was worth it. Painting while looking at actual landscape is so different than painting from a photograph. The point of bringing a sketchbook on this trail was to capture those raw moments that no photograph could ever capture. Watercolor allowed me to express my feelings on the trail as well as how the landscape affected me. There were so many times that I remember walking by a beautiful vista and thinking that I should stop and draw. Sometimes I stopped and sometimes I pressed on to get into camp before dark. The moments captured when I took the time to sit and do a quick sketch and wash of watercolor were some of the most magical memorable of my hike. It is my hope this body of work inspires others to experience the many natural wonders of this land in their own and unique ways," -Lindsey on her project. Read her full interview with Backpacker Magazine.

Lindsey is currently living in Portland, Oregon. She continues to work in her home studio creating watercolors and illustrations communicating the magic that she finds in the Pacific Northwest. View more paintings on her website here. The trail allowed her to see the landscape of the west coast in a whole new way. This walk has brought on so many changes for so many people over the years, and she was happy to have the opportunity to capture its beauty. Lindsey will continue to be inspired by the trail and hope that the work here will encourage others to protect and explore the wilds around you.

Lindsey's advice to those hoping to hike the PCT: One of the most important things that I will stress about the trail is to make it your own. Make your own project out of the trail, whether it be an athletic goal or an artistic one. Carry a sketchbook, a camera, a lightweight ukulele, carry what is important you you and if you have to skimp in other areas, just make sure you don’t skimp on food otherwise you might find yourself drawing hamburgers and pasta!

Lindsey's paintings are available for purchase in-store beginning the week of March 6th.