Party on the Porch: October 13, 2023

Alabama Outdoors Party on the Porch at Homewood store.About Party on the Porch

Each Party on the Porch at our Homewood store focuses on giving back to our local community and raising environmental awareness for conservation, access, usage, and education. The event is held on the second* Friday (*new for 2023) evening of each month from April to October (with the exception of July, we will be skipping in 2023, it’s just so darn hot).

Party on the Porch brings together local musicians, breweries, food trucks, and artisans for an evening you do not want to miss. This is a family-friendly event, with activities for kids, a dog-friendly atmosphere, corn hole, giveaways, and loads of fun! Attendance is free, but we ask that of-age attendees donate (not required) $10 for a wristband and a souvenir cup with your donation going to a local non-profit organization at the event.

Net proceeds from your donations at our October event go to Junior League of Birmingham.

About Junior League of Birmingham: 

For over 100 years, the JLB has been committed to fulfilling our mission to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training, as well as our vision of Building Partnerships for a Better Birmingham.


Friday, October 13th, 2023 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Alabama Outdoors Homewood Store


Who’s attending?

Our friends from:


Beer + Beverages:

  • Trim Tab Brewing & Avondale Brewery  Free craft beer for those with wristbands and our souvenir Party on the Porch cup (21 years and older)


How to Layer Clothing (and Why You Should)

Woman zips rain jacket on Norweigan mountaintop.

If you’re working, exploring or playing outside, your clothing is arguably your most important equipment. If you layer your clothing correctly, it can keep you warm (or cool) and dry. Layering divides up your clothing so that you can add or remove as much as the weather calls for without your clothes getting too bulky or leaving you too exposed. Here’s our guide on how to layer!

Illustration explaining clothing laters.


Base Layer


This is your first layer of clothing, the items you wear directly against your skin. The base layer for cold weather conditions is typically tight against the skin. That way, it reflects more heat back to the body. Base layers for warm weather should be looser so that air can flow between the garment and your body, helping you cool down. Think thermal/long underwear, t-shirts, socks and gloves. What you’re looking for is something that will add a little warmth but also wick moisture away and dry quickly. You Couple hikes in rain gear.may feel fine when you’re doing some sort of exercise, but once you start cooling down, any moisture held against your skin is going to make you that much colder. Look for items made from polyester or Merino wool. We love Icebreaker’s iconic line of Merino wool base layers, including shirts, technical tops, and leggings.

Mid Layer


This next layer is generally responsible for insulation. It traps air warmed by your body when it escapes from the base layer. More than one mid layer can be worn at a time, depending on how cold you are. The mid layer should also be moisture-wicking and quick-drying. You don’t want moisture to get trapped between the base and mid layers. That’ll just weigh you down and feel uncomfortable. Ideally, you want a garment that isn’t too heavy or bulky, too, since you’ll have to carry it if you don’t wear it. Look for items made from polyester fleece or stuffed with either a down or synthetic fill.


Outer Layer (Shell)Hiker sits, writing, on mountaintop.

This layer goes on top of everything else and is responsible for keeping wind, rain and snow off of you. Because they are made to repel moisture and block winds, shell layers are typically not very breathable. That means that they’ll reduce the effectiveness of any wicking properties of other clothes you have on. Shells are divided into three different styles: hard, soft and insulated. One material that is particularly favored in this area is GORE-TEX. It tends to be one of the more breathable materials that still stops moisture and wind from reaching the body. Arc’teryx offers some GORE-TEX shells.


Using a combination of these three layers of clothing will allow you to prepare for both expected and unexpected weather without leaving you wishing you’d brought along that one thing you left behind.


Text by Bo King


Wanting to get out and explore? Find what you need for your next winter adventure here.

Back to School Athleisure


Many students will go “ back to school” virtually this fall, joining the scores of people who continue to work from home. Whether you need a WFH wardrobe refresh or some back-to-school (virtually) clothes that are functional and fashionable, athleisure is the way to go.  

At a time when so many are staying close to home, hybrid clothing referred to as athleisure has never been more relevant and perfect for our daily lives. Read on to find our favorite athleisure items!


The North Face Women's Motivation High Rise Pocket Crop PantsLeggings

Leggings are comfortable, versatile, and ideal for transitional weather. Try pairing leggings with a cute top or a simple tunic for a fancier look.



Athletic shorts, with elastic waists and breathable fabrics, now come in a variety of cute prints and colors, for kids and adults alike. For instance, Free Fly’s Men’s Breeze shorts have a drawstring waistband and a bamboo blend material. Patagonia’s Women’s Baggies feature a drawcord and Supplex nylon. You can pair these shorts with a t-shirt, an athletic top, or something nicer.


On-Running Men's Cloud ShoesRunning Shoes

They are comfortable and safe for walking, running, or even hiking. They can also be paired with just about anything, from athletic shorts to casual dresses. Kids can pair running shoes with jeans or leggings and a simple top for school.


Ilse Jacobsen Tulip 139 Perforated Slip-On Sneaker

Slip-on sneakers are casual, comfortable, and ideal for the relaxed dress codes that come with remote working or learning. The Ilse Jacobsen Tulip, for instance, can be worn with leggings, shorts, or a skirt.


Chaco Big Kids' Z/1 EcoTread SandalsSandals

Sandals are easy on the feet, and the best ones are also designed with safety in mind. They’re also fashionable enough to pair with nicer outfits. Birkenstocks, for instance, feature an anatomically shaped footbed. Chacos have adjustable straps that custom-fit to your foot and a rubber outsole designed to grip surfaces. And Teva’s outsole design gives greater traction while its midsole provides cushioning for every step.


When you need to refresh your child’s wardrobe or your own, consider investing in the comfort, versatility, and reliability of athleisure. 


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

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

10 Travel Essentials

Two adorable girls sitting in a car trunk before fall vacations.

Let’s face it: packing is difficult. And packing clothes to keep you and yours comfortable through visits to family and friends all holiday long? Even more difficult. But packing doesn’t have to be painful! If you’re prepared with go-to travel essentials that’ll keep you warm, cozy, and comfy, your bags will practically pack themselves. 


The North Face Women's Mossbud Insulated Reversible Vest.
The North Face Women’s Mossbud Insulated Reversible Vest

This reversible, wind-resistant and water-repellent vest also includes Heatseeker insulation, making it the perfect vest for any kind of weather.



Olive + Oak Women’s Ashlyn SweaterOlive+Oak Women's Ashlyn Sweater.

This sweater’s soft, marled knit and trendy balloon sleeves with ribbed cuffs make it a stylistic choice for keeping warm in and out of the car.


UGG Women's Kristin Boots.UGG Women’s Kristin Boots

These boots repel water and stains, add arch support and give you lightweight traction and flexibility, making it a shoe for all occasions.



Southern Marsh Men's Hindman Flannel Long-Sleeve Shirt.

Southern Marsh Men’s Hindman Flannel Long-Sleeve Shirt

Made from the softest brushed flannel fabric, the Hindman Flannel Shirt is comfortable and durable. With its rounded hem, it’ll look great by itself or in layers.



The North Face Men's Gordon Lyons Full Zip.The North Face Men’s Gordon Lyons Full Zip

This heavyweight fleece gives you thermal insulation with a warmth-to-weight ratio that’s perfectly travel friendly.




OluKai Men’s Nohea Lole ShoesOlukai Men's Nohea Lole Shoes.

The OluKai Nohea is designed to give you great traction with the convenience of a slip-on, making it adaptable to most conditions, terrains, and activities.


KÜHL Men's Rydr Pants - 34" Inseam.

KUHL Men’s Rydr Pants – 30” Inseam, 32” Inseam, 34” Inseam

These pants feature euro-twill brushed cotton and a gusseted crotch, giving them the flexibility and durability to last for years (and miles) to come.



Cabeau Evolution Travel PillowCabeau Evolution Travel Pillow.

Instead of resting your head on your jacket, try the Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow. Its memory foam and raised side supports will rid you of a stiff neck and help you relax on those long rides.



Sea to Summit Traveling Light Eye Shades.Sea to Summit Traveling Light Eye Shades

These light eye shades ensure a great, comfortable sleep that won’t add too much weight to your packing.



Patagonia Black Hole Cube – 2LPatagonia Black Hole™ Cube.

You’ll never lose small items in a large back again after getting the Patagonia Black Hole Cube. Its chain and large grab handle make it a convenient addition to your luggage.


Text by Nick Adrian


10 Outdoor Festival Essentials

Crowd at Sloss Music & Arts Festival

Summer is here, which means music festival season is right around the corner! From July 14th to 15th, Birmingham will once again trek out to enjoy the Sloss Music and Arts Festival at Sloss Furnaces. We’ve put together a list of ten essentials to help you stay cool and look cool through two days of music in the great outdoors.

Que collapsible water bottleEmpty Reusable Water Bottle:

While outside food and drink are prohibited, we encourage all festival goers to bring an empty reusable water bottle. Staying hydrated is key to an enjoyable festival experience. For the ultimate in festival-friendly hydration, try the lightweight and ultra-portable Que Collapsible Water Bottle.

Day Pack:

The festival has strict rules on bag size. However, most bags under 12 x 6 x 12 will be allowed in. Find a lightweight day pack or fanny pack with comfortable straps to carry your festival essentials.

Point and Shoot Camera:

Be sure to pack your point-and-shoot cameras, disposable cameras or phones. No GoPros, recording devices or cameras with detachable lenses will be allowed in.

Alabama Outdoors Eno Hammocks at Sloss FestSunscreen:

There is nothing worse than getting a nasty sunburn on the first day of a festival. Be sure to wear at least 30 SPF sunscreen and reapply. We love Sun Bum’s sheer and weightless Face Lotion Sunscreen and SPF 30 Lip Balm (we’re bananas for the banana flavor!). 

Blanket or Towel to Sit On: 

Take a load off and enjoy the music from the grass. Bringing a light towel, blanket or beach mat to get off your feet and relax during your festival experience. We love ENO’s Islander LED Blanket — it’s trimmed with LED lights, so you’ll never lose sight of your spot again! For the ultimate in festival relaxation, come hang out with us in The Outdoors Eno Hammock World

Sunglasses:Sloss Furnaces, seen through Smith Sunglasses

Protect your eyes! Sunny days spent entirely outside can be super hard on your eyes. Invest in a protective and stylish pair of sunnies to top off your festival outfit. If you’re looking for a sweet pair of aviators, these Serpico sunnies come with polarized lenses that also repel water, grease and dirt.

Hat or Bandana:

Stay cool and comfortable with a hat or bandana. This essential will keep moisture and sun off your face. Or you could try Teva leather sandalsthe versatile UV Buff, which can be worn in twelve ways. Not only is it super stylish, it’s super good at blocking UV rays and odors.

Portable Phone Charger:

We all know how important a fully charged phone is at a festival. Pick up a fully charged portable battery to charge your phone on the go. At the very least, bring a phone charger to recharge your phone at a charging station.

Comfy Shoes: Alabama Outdoors store at Sloss Fest

Comfortable footwear is a definite essential for an enjoyable festival experience. When it comes to comfy and supportive summer footwear, you can’t do better than Teva. They’re durable and washable, too — two must-have qualities for outdoor festival footwear!

Good Company:

Of course, the best way to enjoy any festival is with people you love. Good people means good vibes and a great time. Want a chance to win a pair of VIP tickets and a stay at the Westin? You’ve got until July 11th to enter our online giveaway.

Have a safe weekend and enjoy these amazing artists! And should you forget something, don’t worry! We’ll be there along with Teva, Smith, The North Face, and Eno to help you out!


Text by Amy Haupt