Wednesday, July 6, 2011

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Review: Backyard Safari Outfitters Kids Field Gear & Patch Program

Last summer, we had the opportunity to try out some of Backyard Safari Outfitters' field gear for kids.  Our children enjoyed these toys so much that I was more than happy to try a few more this year.  Now a small handful of Backyard Safari Outfitters products require batteries, but the majority of products are battery-free, including the Camouflage netting, Expedition Two - Hiking Stick, and the Mega Magnifier we received.  These items, topped off with the Backyard Safari Outfitters Essential Field Gear Cargo Vest  we received last year, made the perfect setup for some fun outdoor adventuring.

We do not have that much "nature" around us where we live, but it was still fun for our children to use their imaginations to pretend that they were out in "the wild."  The Backyard Safari Patch Program makes these mini adventures even more real to children.  Iron-on patches now come with many Backyard Safari products.  Children can earn these patches for completing special missions described in the included Pop-Up Field Guide and can then have the patch ironed onto their Field Gear Cargo Vests.  For example, the Expedition Two - Hiking Stick comes with the "Expedition Two - On the Trail" patch.

Since most of these products are recommended for children ages 5 and up, it was not a surprise to me that our 7 year old son got the most enjoyment out of them.  The 48" tall hiking stick was the perfect height for him.  He was also able to use the camouflage netting without it being too clumsy or cumbersome.  Out of all the products, his favorite was the Mega Magnifier.

The Mega Magnifier is super-durable and user-friendly.  It can be used to magnify objects from either side.  My son loved looking at various insects up close.  Since this magnifier floats, he will most likely be taking it with him to the beach this summer.  Seeing everything larger than life is so much fun and this is a product that even our preschoolers can enjoy without any assistance.

I do think this magnifier needs to be used with adult supervision outdoors.  It turns out that, even though the viewer is not glass, it can still focus sunlight enough to start a fire.  Our son had a tree trunk smoking in about 10 seconds.  It happened accidentally while he was looking at an ant on the side of a tree.

To learn more about these products and other Backyard Safari gear, visit and Backyard Safari on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you to Backyard Safari Outfitters for providing complimentary product samples for us to base this review upon.  This review has been written as part of a campaign for Team Mom.