I’ve just returned from another exciting Winter Market Outdoor Retailer Show (OR) in Salt Lake City—an awesome outdoor gear trade show that features leading industry professionals and all the new products and apparel. Twice a year, I head out to OR to meet up with all of our partners (and chat with prospective partners) in order to share with everyone how the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is using their support, as well as figure out how we can all do more to protect the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).
This particular show was huge for the ATC because we were really able to promote new partnerships and show off some great A.T.-themed gear. Here’s the inside scoop on two products that will be available this year that hikers and A.T. enthusiasts will love:
- A limited edition, American handcrafted blanket by Woolrich that is part of a “Triple Crown” hiking series in honor of the A.T. and its sisters, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. A small number of the blankets were for sale at OR to supporters who understood the value of what the ATC does to preserve and manage the A.T. It was exciting to see people’s enthusiasm for the beautiful blankets, and we can’t wait until they are available in stores at woolrich.com in the fall.
- Superior merino wool socks by Point6 that is also part of a “Triple Crown” line of its own! These socks are a must-have for hiking (and walking show floors!), and with each sock purchase, you have the added bonus of knowing that you are giving back to the ATC. Look for them at point6.com in the spring. Socks benefitting the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition will also be available.
During the show, I was also excited to learn that another one of our great partners and ATC hammock manufacturer Eagle’s Nest Outfitters (ENO) was named REI vendor of the year—which in these circles is a huge honor. Since 2010, ENO has donated approximately $70,000 to the ATC and has given A.T. supporters everywhere a chance to hammock in style, all while giving back to the Trail they all love. (It should be mentioned that REI is also an ATC supporter—thank you!)
Overall, my time at OR gave me a chance to meet with so many folks from the outdoor industry who are genuinely interested in giving back to the places we all play, including the world-famous A.T. These companies are keenly aware of the need to support our work. Whether it is land protection, outdoor recreation, volunteerism or encouraging our children to get outside, we all have a role to play, and through partnerships such as these, we can make great things happen!