Alabama Sales Tax Holiday: July 21-23

Alabama schools are announcing plans for the new school year, which means it’s time to start thinking about back-to-school gear. Alabama’s 18th annual back-to-school sales tax holiday is just around the corner! 

Every year on the third full weekend of July, the state of Alabama allows certain items that are typically purchased for the school year to be sold state tax-exempt for one weekend only.

The Legislature created the three-day sales and use tax holiday in 2006 to help trim costs for parents. Popular items include:

See below for all of the details for this year’s sales tax holiday.

Man and women on college campus with backpacksBack-to-school sales tax holiday details

Friday, July 21, 2023, at 12:01 am through Sunday, July 23, 2023, at midnight.

Throughout the state, businesses are required to participate in the state tax holiday if the county or municipality they are located in participate. Check out this comprehensive list of counties and municipalities that are participating this year. 

What supplies and products qualify: 

  • Clothing $100 or less per article of clothing, footwear included
  • Computers and computer supplies, a single purchase of $750 or less
  • School and art supplies, $50 or less per item (i.e. backpacks, lunch boxes, paper and pencils, etc.)
  • Books $30 or less per book

Check out this list for a more detailed description of each category.

What you need to know

  • Make sure that the county or municipality you are shopping in is participating before you go.
  • Check out (or bring with you) this overview of items that are tax-exempt. While it says “clothing,” items like glasses, watches, and breathable masks are not included. 


We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or in-store pickup! #BeOutdoors

Gifts ‘The All-Season Hiker’ Will Use All Year

If you are shopping for someone who loves to hike no matter the season, we have picked the gifts for you that we know they will love and use all year.


Osprey Hikelite 26 Daypack

This daypack is perfect for what any traveler needs to carry their gear for a day on the trails. Osprey describes the Hikelite 26 as the ideal combination of high-performance features, durable materials and excellent value for money. The Hikelite 26 features an AirSpeed suspended mesh back-panel, designed to keep you cool and comfortable while you’re out on the trail. The removable webbing hipbelt and adjustable sternum strap will help keep this backpack in place as you work your way up that next mountain. Compatible with all Hydraulic Reservoirs the Osprey Hikelite 26 is the ideal light and durable pack, designed to make traveling up mountains and cross country easy.


Silva Starter 1-2-3 Compass

Give the gift of quality time, education and orienteering.The Silva Starter 1-2-3 is an ideal choice when introducing map & compass skills or the world of orienteering to your young explorer. The Silva Starter’s base plate is sized for children’s smaller hands. The clear baseplate makes map reading and course plotting easy.


KEEN Men’s Targhee III Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

The most important gear for the trails. Make sure they have new boots to keep them safe and dry through the terrain. Keen’s iconic hiking boot for men brings a new look to all-terrain adventures. Made with the same legendary fit, durability, and performance of the award-winning Targhee waterproof boot and took its rugged looks to a new level. For Women we love the Keen Women’s Terradora II Mid Boot Waterproof.


Black Diamond First Strike Kids’ Trekking Poles

Common misconception: trekking poles are just for summiting mountain peaks or the weak/injured. Trekking poles are important for any explorer and hike where there may be steep paths or after a storm where it may be slick. Fully featured and built for any season, the First Strike is our two-section, adjustable pole for kids. For the adults, we recommend the LEKI Legacy Lite COR-TEC Trekking Poles. Lightweight without compromising performance. 


Talladega National Forest Pinhoti Trail Map

I can hear it now, “this is so 1990”, right? No. Every explorer should bring a map no matter how long the journey is! Definitely a must-have for backcountry expeditions, the Talladega National Forest Pinhoti Trail Map is a classic backpacker’s almanac that keeps you safe and on track. A one-piece, double-sided map, this compact, and durable paper-print is laminated for protection.


Fits Light Hiker Crew

Socks get a bad rap every holiday season. It’s time to change that. These are socks they will actually love receiving! The Fits Light Hiker Crew is a lightweight, technical sock that keeps you on the trail for long days on endless trails. Made with 18.5m superfine weave, suit-grade performance Merino wool, and a custom blend of man-made fibers selected for the best breathability and fit.


Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket

One does not truly appreciate the features and fabrics of a waterproof rain jacket until you are in a Southern rain storm without one. The Torrentshell 3L is a classic Patagonia rain jacket that will protect you from water, wind, and snow with its highly breathable DWR (durable water repellent) finish and stuffs into one of two pockets to easily stash out of the way on clear days or your pack just in case that afternoon storm hits. These are not just for seasoned hikers, so go ahead and get one for yourself. You will be glad you did.


‘Tis The Season Of Giving! Check out our other gift guides to help you find the perfect gifts for the ones on your list. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

5 Best Backpacks For Hitting the Books or the Trails

Man and women on college campus with backpacks

For the adventurous student on a budget, finding an affordable, reliable, and versatile backpack can be tough. You want something that comfortably fits all your books but can also be the perfect daypack for a long hike or weekend trip. We’ve rounded up the five best backpacks that offer great, stylish support for hitting both the books and the trails!

north-face-borealisThe North Face Women’s Borealis Daypack 27L

This 27-liter pack is big enough to fit all of the essentials without weighing you down. The pack, made of lightweight but durable material, is easy to carry. Plus, there’s a 15-inch fleece-lined pocket for your laptop or tablet. This pack features straps specially designed to fit smaller-framed shoulders. It also has excellent lumbar support with added ventilation. The women’s pack has all of the same technical features of the top-rated Borealis pack, just with a slimmer design and slightly smaller capacity.

The North Face Recon Daypack 30L

This 30-liter pack is a fan favorite for commuters and day hikers alike. With a recent redesign, this pack is filled with even more ways to stay organized. While our favorite feature is the protective laptop compartment, the extra stash front pocket is what is setting this pack apart from the others. With a 30-liter capacity, stash front pocket, 360 degrees of reflectivity, and not to mention the FlexVent suspension system, you will be organized, safe, and comfortable while you are on the go.

chacabuco-backpackThe Patagonia Chacabuco Pack 30L

This backpack comes in a variety of colors and is perfect for all of your needs. This pack offers two main large compartments for all of your gear, from your school materials to your hammock for some after school hanging. Our favorite feature? It is equipped with a tube port, so the laptop sleeve doubles as a hydration reservoir when you leave your laptop at home. And it’s made from a durable, water-repellent material to protect your most precious belongings.

Patagonia Paxat Backpack 32L

The Patagonia Paxat 32 liter is the largest capacity pack on our top five versatile daypacks. Depending on what your day holds and where your travels take you, you may need a 32 liter. If you do, this is our pick due to its overflow of options and gear-holding possibilities. This pack has your standard large main compartment for any gear or a change of clothes and a smaller compartment with sleeves to hold a tablet and other items.

The Paxat is also perfect for traveling as the back-padded laptop compartment fully zips down and lays flat, making it TSAapproved and easy to breeze through security. There is also a stretch stash front pocket for quick access items and not to mention the side pockets are zippered making them versatile for cords or water bottles. 

Osprey Arcane Large Daypack 20L

osprey-arcane-toteThe smallest capacity pack on our list is the Osprey Arcane Large Daypack. Coming in at 20 liters, this pack embodies minimalism with its low profile design and simple lines. While it is only a 20 liter, this pack still is packed full of features and space for the essentials. The J-shaped zipper of the main compartment makes accessing your items easier with the wider opening. The main compartment comes with an internal padded laptop sleeve and other small sleeve and zip pockets for tablets, documents, and cords. We absolutely love the colorways, clean lines, and how comfortable and easy it is to trek around town with. This one is so sleek, it’s a head-turner. 

Find your favorite back-to-school apparel and gear at Alabama Outdoors. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

12 Outdoor Adventure Essentials

Couple looks out over autumn mountaintop vista.

The crisp breeze, the crunch of dried leaves, firecrackers of fall foliage and sweeping summit views: all season long, we marvel at the autumn landscape’s wonders. And it’s no wonder that this is our favorite time of year to gather with friends and family and head outdoors for an autumnal adventure. These outdoors adventure essentials will keep you warm, safe, and dry no matter where the landscape takes you.

Camping family roasts marshmallows.NEMO Men’s Disco 30° Down Sleeping Bag – Regular

This sleeping bag lets you personalize your comfort. Plus, it’s water-resistant, keeping your feet dry and ensuring a great night’s sleep wherever you are.

SOREL Women’s Out ‘N About Plus Leather Duck Boots

Pesky afternoon showers are unpredictable, so be prepared with these waterproof boots. They’re as functional as they’re fashionable.

Osprey Exos 48 Backpack

This backpack offers mesh Airspeed™ Suspension for airflow and an ExoForm™ hipbelt and shoulder harness, ensuring all-day comfort while hiking.

Cotopaxi Unisex Teca Windbreaker Half-Zip Pullover Couple hikes through autumn woods.

This pullover is easy to pack and weather-resistant: perfect for any terrain!

Hydro Flask Unbound Series Soft Cooler Pack – 22L

This cooler pack keeps your goods cold for up to 48 hours and offers enough room to store 24 12oz cans, as well as side and dry storage pockets for additional drinks.

KEEN Women’s Terradora Waterproof Mid Boots

Designed especially for women, these boots provide all-day comfort whether you’re on a hike or hiking through the mall for Christmas shopping.

Gentlemen’s Hardware Survival Kit

The Gentlemen’s Hardware Survival Kit’s includes a compass, fire starter tool, six-in-one penknife tool, tweezers, 210cm of rope, ten safety pins and wire saw. It’s a must-have travel tool for any outdoors enthusiast.

Two friends set up campsite.Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Shoes

With a mid-height ankle, aggressive grip and GORE-TEX® weather protection, these shoes are a hiker’s best friend.

Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad

The Static V is designed to conform to the shape of your body, providing the ultimate comfort for a great night’s rest.

Lole Women’s Emeline Packable Insulated Jacket

With its compact pouch and lightweight packability, this insulated jacket from Lole will keep you warm no matter how chilly theMom shows son mountaintop view. campsite may seem in the morning.

GoPro Hero 7 Black Bundle with SD Card

The best that GoPro has to offer, the Hero 7 enables you to shoot up to 4k video with Gimbal-like Stabilization.

Hydro Flask Limited Edition Escape Collection Wide Flex Cap – 32oz

These bottles keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. They’re perfect for all-day hydration.


Text by Nick Adrian

5 Reasons Hiking and Camping in Early Fall Is the Best

Hikers in tents on mountain at night

Soon, the heat of the summer will finally wind down (we promise). That means that we’re quickly approaching our favorite time of the year to hike and camp. Early fall from late September and early October presents us with optimal conditions for a weekend trip in the outdoors. Here are five reasons hiking and camping in early fall really is the actual best.


WeatherAlabama's DeSoto Falls in autumn

Summer hiking and camping is great, but it’s not always comfortable due to the heat — and it’s been a blisteringly hot summer. Early fall introduces cooler air, less humidity and more predictable rain conditions. This means that sleeping in a tent is less stuffy and a good, lightweight sleeping bag is all you need to stay warm.



Pack and supplies at mountaintop campgroundBugs

Another benefit to the cooler weather is fewer pesky bugs. While no camping trip ever will be insect-free, cooler air means fewer mosquitoes bugging you and fewer flies and gnats swarming your site looking for food. Still, be sure to pack a DEET based mosquito deterrent to protect from pesky bites.



HikingWoman wearing loaded pack on mountain hike

Early fall presents the perfect conditions for longer hikes. The cooler air will keep you from getting as drained by the heat as you might in the summer. This means that fall is the perfect time to try that long hike you’ve been wanting to go on. Always remember to take a buddy and plan hikes that make sense for you!



Red house on lake near DeSoto Falls, AL

Changing Landscape

While the cooler weather creates the most comfortable conditions for hiking and camping, it also creates the most beautiful. Trees reach their peak foliage colors in mid to late October. And, we promise, there is nothing quite like a great view of a forest when the leaves have changed. For a full tour of Alabama’s most beautiful foliage, check out the Fall Color Trail.

Get OutsideSocked feet of a couple relaxing in tent

Last but certainly not least, taking time to relax and explore and take a break from deadlines and technology may be exactly the medicine you need. Taking a break from work in the long holiday desert between Labor Day and Thanksgiving by getting outdoors is good for the soul.

Now that we have you convinced, pack your reliable hiking backpack and set out for a weekend of self-care and enjoyment as you enjoy everything early Falls has to offer.


Text by Amy Haupt