Tag archives for OIA

We have a bit of a crisis on our hands at the moment, fellow adventurers. Unless you’ve got your head in the sand, you’re painfully aware that the federal government has shut down. Federal lands are closed for business. Adventure destinations across the country are off limits. Go knocking, and the sound of your pounding…

If you’ve ever volunteered, you know how good it feels to help an organization in need while making a visible impact on a local community. Now imagine if you had several hundred people working together on the same day. Picture how much you could accomplish. That’s what you get when you bring together the outdoor…

The outdoor industry is laying the groundwork for something huge. And it’s all because we want to make sure you have great places to get outside, explore, and pursue adventure. Because that’s what makes our hearts sing. Let me explain. Picture a huge corporation that has an absolutely enormous portfolio of incredibly valuable assets, a…

Think back to how you started on your path to adventure. Do you remember someone who took you under his or her wing and showed you the way? The seeds of your most treasured outdoor experiences probably germinated with the help of some sort of mentor—perhaps an outfitter or guide. I’m fresh on the heels…

The other weekend, I climbed my first couloir. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure what a couloir was. I knew it was a mountain feature—but I figured it was somewhere in the realm of too extreme for me. I’ve always been intimated by technical mountaineering. So how did I find myself in the backcountry…

It’s that time of year—the eve of summer, when the earth starts to awaken from her long slumber and I get itchy for adventure. After all, it’s what feeds me. Sure, my weekends are packed with fun outdoor forays all year long. But nothing compares to setting your sights on a somewhat scary goal and…

Have you ever considered quitting your job and hitting the trail for something like, say, 3,100 miles? Sounds like a pretty extreme backpacking trip, huh? My coworker, Peter Sustr, just left Outdoor Industry Association to tackle the Continental Divide Trail, a fabled route that follows the spine of the United States from Canada to Mexico.…

You have to have a healthy respect for people who tackle ultra running races. Especially off-road races. It takes a special personality to grunt through the pain and suffering that comes with running dozens of miles through the woods—particularly if it involves rain. I have a coworker, Loraine, who’s crazy about running. She gets up…

Don’t you love it when you set out on an adventure knowing it’s going to be fun …  and then it blows your mind? This is what happened when I ventured into the Jackson Hole backcountry recently. We headed to Jackson to check out the ski resort. But when a friend said you can’t fully…

What would you do if you had worked hard, were set for life, and could do whatever you wanted? Would you retire to a beach in Costa Rica? Gallivant around the world with a pack on your back? Or buy 200,000 acres of land in Chile to nurture into the country’s next national park? Did…

Support the Economy—Get Outside!

When you head out outdoors to play, do you ever consider how you’re fueling the economy? Think about it. Sure, there’s the gear you buy—jackets, shoes, gloves, base layers, water bottles, skis, bikes, kayaks, fishing rods, carabiners, crampons, binoculars, car racks or whatever it is you need to equip yourself for adventure. But that’s not…

What might you be reading if it includes quotes from Ronald Reagan, Jack Kerouac, Edward Abbey, Brigham Young, Thomas Jefferson, and Devon Williams (former basketball player)? Hmmmm, let’s think about it. Young and Williams might clue you into Utah. Toss in Kerouac and Abbey and you’ve got creative minds who care deeply about the landscape—and…

New Zealand—Land of Wild Adventure

Two of my great passions are outdoor adventure and travel. When I can combine the two, well, that’s heaven. I find it particularly entertaining when I’m in a foreign land and have to learn a new vocabulary and a different perspective on outdoor pursuits. Take New Zealand, for example. Kiwis are notorious outdoorspeople with a…

I’d put myself in the fairly adventurous category, but when it comes to backcountry skiing, I’ve never really given it a fair shake—despite having many “pinhead” friends who‘ve been trying to convert me for years. This perplexes me. Why the heck am I not ripping up untracked pow pow in the backcountry? By all measure,…

There’s something to be said for the outdoor industry: We have a lot of heart. Generally speaking, people are in this business because they love the outdoors and are passionate about creating products to enhance their adventures. And in my experience, it seems passionate people are caring people. So when Hurricane Sandy delivered a powerful…

Listen up, people: I need you to act on this by Dec. 14. The outdoor industry is looking for nominees for Outdoor Inspiration Awards, and we want to hear from you. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that if you’re reading this, you’re the outdoorsy type. You like to get outside…

Imagine heading out for an adventure in your favorite forest or park only to find it’s been shut down. Closed for business. Off-limits. Left to fall into neglect and disrepair. Sound bad? It would be. And it could happen—if Congress fails to get its financial house in order before the end of the year. You’ve…

Can you imagine coming back from fighting on the front lines only to feel like a stranger in your own country? Perhaps you’ve been wounded, are disfigured, or can’t walk. Or, maybe worse, you have such severe post-traumatic stress disorder that you can’t function normally even though you have no visible injury. Could you tackle…

Have you ever dreamed of a paradise so breathtaking you have to witness it in person to believe it? Welcome to Bora Bora, the “Pearl of the Pacific”—a stunning French Polynesian island that has been called heaven on Earth. Last week I ventured to this far-off land to see if it could live up to…

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…

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…

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…