Category archives for Outdoor Industry Association

What do you envision when you hear the word “adventure”? I think of excitement, challenge, the unknown, and probably a little adversity. The thing about adventure is that it gets you out of your comfort zone. And it makes you vulnerable—because no matter how carefully you plan, the fact remains that you don’t really know…

Think about the greatest adventures you’ve had. Chances are, they started as a dream, slowly incubated in your mind, and finally morphed into reality after careful planning and execution. At some point, pipe dream becomes possibility—usually when you mentally commit yourself to a goal. After all, you never get anywhere in life by sitting on…

One of the inalienable truths about outdoor adventures is that things don’t always go as expected. Weather is one of the more fickle factors, with the power to make or break even the best-laid plan. This can be frustrating. But given that the very word “adventure” suggests the unknown, I always try to remain flexible…

I’m guessing that you’ve got a few favorite and well-loved trails in your neck of the woods. Maybe it’s time pitch in and help maintain them? This isn’t any sort of guilt trip, so you can keep reading. I’m the first to admit that I don’t roll up my sleeves often enough to contribute to…

It’s known as the most challenging bike race held on U.S. soil, and it starts next week. Seven days, 683 miles, and 50,468 feet of climbing—including three visits to 12,000 feet. Good lord. Who dreamed that up? It must be someone with a sick penchant for watching the world’s elite crack. Bring it on! Starting…

Four days, 360 miles, 51 riders, 20,000 feet of climbing, 15,000 calories burned per rider, ten flat tires, and a whole heck of a lot of fun. For some, it’s the biggest athletic accomplishment of their lives. For others, it’s time to step out of everyday life and reflect on why they chose to work…

There’s no better weekend than when you work your muscles to the max and spend the better part of your waking hours outside. Given that I’m a working stiff who sits at a desk five days a week, I’ve got to settle for this weekend warrior approach a lot of the time. One of my…

You might think that the outdoor industry is a bunch of tree huggers, and to some extent that’s true. After all, we’re in this business because we love being outdoors, and protecting natural resources and quality places to play goes hand-in-hand with that. But what if I told you that this collective concern for the…

To tap into the heartbeat of a land, you have to get up close and personal with it. This isn’t the kind of experience you can glean from a bus or train window as the scenery rushes past you. No, to really dig into a place, there’s nothing so intimate as a walking pace. Meandering…

Not all outdoor adventures involve throwing your dusty gear in the back of the car and taking off for points unknown. Sometimes you have to don a suit and hobnob with bigwigs on Capitol Hill. After all, if you’re going to influence policies that affect our places to play, you’ve got to play the government…

Scuba diving has to be one of the greatest adventures of all. There’s nothing like donning a bunch of clunky equipment that allows you to do something you really aren’t supposed to be able to do: breathe underwater. Once you’re down there, you float along weightlessly, utterly immersed in another world. When you’re diving a…

In a few weeks, I’m heading to Peru to trek the Hidden Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. To say I am excited is an understatement. I’ve traveled to a lot of places in my time, but my weathered shoes have never set foot on South America. It’s about time. Why now? Well, other than having…

If you know anything about mountain folk, you know that when ski season ends, we start thinking about what’s next. The fact is, we get just plain itchy sitting around on our butts during so-called “mud season,” waiting for the high country trails to clear and the rivers to swell from snowmelt. Enter PaddleFest, an…

When my husband and I went to Kauai last September, the one thing we really wanted to do was kayak the Na Pali Coast. It’s touted as one of National Geographic’s 100 Best American  Adventures. And with good reason. Picture paddling 17 pristine miles of Kauai’s rugged and breathtaking northwestern shore. We envisioned sparkling blue…

This week I sat down with my coworker David Weinstein, who—despite somewhat limited mountaineering experience—is attempting to scale Mount Rainier in a few weeks. Now, let me be perfectly clear: climbing Rainier is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve ever flown to Seattle, you’ve probably seen this massive mountain rising through the clouds—its…

Think back to your childhood. Do you remember a specific person or experience that inspired your adventurous spirit? I have to give props to my dad and stepmom, who were always keen to pack up the family for some sort of outdoor adventure—like camping on a Great Barrier Reef island. (Guess I should mention they…

OIA: Why We Need Adventure

Editor’s Note: Today we are launching a new blog column with Outdoor Industry Association. Avery Stonich will be weighing in on industry trends, places to play outside and the federal policies that affect them, with a few tales from OIA staffers’ adventures thrown in for good measure. As I ponder this assignment—a new outdoor adventure…