August began a few thousand miles south of Alaska at the 2016 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. What is OR, as it is affectionately known?
It’s 679,000 square feet of brands related to the outdoors. From head to toe, and all the fun stuff in between, OR is a gearhead’s gear Mecca over the course of five days, and the perfect place for an outdoor and travel writer from Alaska to land.
It was also a chance to meet some of the Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram friends with whom I’ve been corresponding over the last several years, and all share the vision of empowering families to explore the outdoors, wherever they live.
Alaska families, stay tuned, for I met with the folks at LL Bean and talked about their new line of kids’ clothing and outerwear. I sat down at the Icebug booth and ogled their newest selection of fall and winter boots. Yep, I did. I also visited the fabulous Teton Sports HQ in Salt Lake and learned that quality gear for families doesn’t need to rival the cost of college tuition. Nope.
And speaking of family-themed gear, did you know I participated in an educational panel focusing on ways to help the outdoor industry more effectively reach out to parents and caregivers wanting to explore the outdoors, together? It’s not all about bagging peaks or rafting the Nenana River, folks. It’s the day-to-day walking around the neighborhood in all sorts of weather. It’s knowing what sort of clothing to dress children in before they go to the park. It’s encouraging and teaching and being open to listening to parental concerns, suggestions, or ideas. Things are about to change, methinks, and we all will win.
Here are some photo highlights. I’ll be taking a few more days of relaxation in Portland, Oregon with my AK Fam, but come next week, we’ll roll out our favorite fall specials just in time for back-to-school season. Can you believe it?