After returning from the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, it has become clear that long distance trails are enjoying greater recognition in the larger outdoor industry. While in the grand scheme of things thru-hiking is not likely to attract the numbers that skiing or even paddleboarding does, there are millions out there that enjoy a good hike, and probably dream of tackling one of the big three trails one day.
Partnerships with trail organizations and related businesses are on the rise, and some notable collaborations were unveiled at the OR Show. Not only have these companies made some beautiful products for those of us in the hiking community, but a percentage of the sales go right back to the trail organizations, a win win!
Woolrich “Triple Crown” Inspired Blankets
By far one of the most drool-worthy displays for backpackers at the Winter OR Show was the Woolrich booth display with the beautiful Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail blankets.
The limited edition blankets were a show special with 100% of the profits given right back to the trail organizations. The first 50 of each trail blanket were numbered and labeled, and during a special happy hour one night, representatives from each trail organization gathered to tell stories and add one or two blankets to their collection.
Runner and fastpacker Ben Luedke has spent most of his adult life exploring the mountains on foot. Ben is an avid blogger on all things trail running (Running the Cascades) and founder of the Seattle Mountain Running Group. For 2014 he decided to find and test some of the best fastpacking gear on the market and wrote up this review for Trail Runner: 5 Fastpacking Essentials, Reviewed for Trail Runner.
We caught up with Ben to find out more about his fastpacking progression and how likes the Flight 30 for his runs. His typical fastpack involves 2-4 days in the backcountry with a base weight of 10-12 pounds (excluding water).
A backpacker since college and a trail runner for the last 7 years, Ben, like many, found the combination of running and backpacking to be a game changer. “When I first heard about fastpacking, I knew I'd stumbled into something special. By combining backpacking and long-distance trail running, I could see more of the backcountry than I otherwise would, while moving quickly and getting a good workout,” he said.
This week we catch up with cyclist and kayaker Timothy Summerfield for our 10 Questions post. Ultralight gear isn’t just for the backpackers out there, Timothy uses a variety of Six Moon Designs gear on the water and on his bike.
1) How did you get started backpacking?
I am not a backpacker. I am a touring cyclist and flat water kayaker. I got started just three years ago at retirement. I gave up all the sports which required a helmet and picked cycling to get me outdoors.
2) What is your favorite piece of gear?
That would be my new Haven tarp which just replaced the Deschutes tarp. I liked the Deschutes a lot but wanted a shelter with a better view like the rectangular tarps I have had.
You have completed your ultralight set-up, now it’s time to hit the trail, but unless you have had your sights set on a particular long distance trail, where to go?
Ice Age Trail, 1,200 miles, Wisconsin
All long distance trails have some incredible stories to tell through their history and geology, but the Ice Age Trail (IAT) has a very unique personality. It all revolves around glaciers. Yes, at one time most of Wisconsin was covered in ice, and the Ice Age Trail, at about 1,200 miles long, follows the outline of the most recent glacier the state has seen.
Go back over 12,000 years. An immense flow of glacial ice carved and scraped along the landscape, and during its retreat left glacial remnants that tell a story. A story of how glaciers change and shape the land.
Hikers along the Ice Age Trail will encounter kames, lakes, drumlins, ice-walled-lake plains, outwash plains, eskers, tunnel channels and more geologic wonders left by the retreating ice. (What are those things? Check out the IAT Glossary to find out more).
Six Moon Designs Lemons for Lemonade Sale is over. Thanks to all of the people who picked up the damaged Lunar Duo Outfitters, we were able to raise $10,230. Based upon your request, the money will be dispersed in the following amounts:
|Appalachian Trail Conservancy||$4510|
|Pacific Crest Trail Association||$3370|
|Continental Divide Trail Coalition||$2350|
We'd like to thank everyone who purchased on of our shelters. I know that the different trail orginizations are grateful for your support. We hope you'll enjoy your new tent for years to come.
Thanks from the Staff at Six Moon Designs
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 09:35
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