Outdoor Retailer has finished. Here’s what you missed on the last day.

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Aaaand, it’s the end of the 2022 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. As attendees flocked to attend their final meetings and sneak into a few more booths, the conversations were upbeat. Congratulations from the coffee queue were plentiful following the fourth annual Innovation Awards ceremony last night, where 14 winners were crowned by an independent jury for their outdoor products and services revolutionaries.

Highlighting the awards was a kind of buzzing energy that had seemed muted until then. With each company taking the stage to thank their collaborators, mentors and pioneers, it was as if the spark we all crave from OR – that celebration of outdoor innovation that fuels the industry – grew ever stronger. brilliant. But beyond product recognition, attendees remembered the progress we’ve made in reinventing the way we perceive and interact with our outdoor spaces. In reality, The outdoor oatha movement promoting outdoor social justice, is the first nonprofit grantee of Outside’s Equip yourself Give back initiative (which, forgive us for bragging, was one of the winners of the innovation award.)

Environmentalist and outdoor advocate Pattie Gonia, one of the founding members of The Oath, summed it up: “It was amazing to see people’s reactions to The Oath and to see their excitement that ‘they can be a part of this, and they really have a banner to support the work they do in so many corners of the outdoor advocacy space. People are finally seeing that the tides have shifted towards individuals who need to take action and shape the future of the outdoors.We are grateful for the chance to bring The Oath to spaces where we can meet people where they are and help them succeed.

With that, we bring you our latest preview of the show.

Cool new products

Electric bikes that help conserve wildlife: The Swedish winner of the OR Innovation Awards Cake introduced its new line of solar-powered AP (anti-poaching) electric bush bikes ($8,500-$11,500), which come in motorcycle, moped and outback patrol models. Quiet, durable, clean and efficient, the bikes are designed to tackle the off-road missions of intrepid explorers, with a healthy dose of urban features for getting around town. The clamp-on frame design allows for a mixed approach to accessories (baskets, bags, and racks), and the optimized bike batteries double as portable power sources for your devices that need charging. Three percent of every PA purchase goes to the Southern African Wildlife College, a conservation training institute in Kruger National Park. “We can see that our bikes are really [serving] a good cause in a place where we don’t usually work with bikes,” says Klara Edhag of Cake’s marketing team. “Using e-bikes instead of fuel bikes to fight poaching is incredible for us. We can see that we are [doing] something good in a bigger scope.

Cake’s new line of solar-powered anti-poaching electric bush bikes debuted at the show.

The first range of Rab ski packs: Rab’s new line of Khroma bags harnesses Spectra’s durability and light weight without the high price tag by combining Cordura on the sides and back with a rugged Spectra front panel. The lay-up is streamlined and simple with all components and straps attached to the circumference rather than sewn, so users can customize without taking scissors. Packs range from 25 to 38 liters ($200 to $225) and come in two styles: ski and alpine climbing.

Notable New Exhibitors

Retro ski clothes with an eco-responsible touch: It was the watermelon integral ski suit that first caught our attention. UK based winter sports and swimwear brand COO Clothing debuted in the operating room exuding cheeky fun that translates to the hill without sacrificing functionality. “My co-founder and I used to buy these [vintage] costumes on eBay; they weren’t waterproof and they weren’t breathable and they smelled like ass,” says OOSC’s Aaron McLaughlin. “We decided we could improve them.” Not only better (think: mega waterproofing, taped seams and magnetic closures for easy glove handling), but more responsibly: over 50% of every OOSC ski suit ($350), jacket and pair of snow pants are made from recycled plastic. bottles, and everything is shipped in biodegradable packaging. “It’s not a gaper-day thing; it’s a season-long thing,” McLaughlin says, noting that online sales in the US are up 200% year-over-year and now account for almost a third of online revenue. of the brand. “That’s why we are here. We want to meet more stores to spread the love and improve the customer journey a bit until we can have a warehouse here.

OOSC Clothing was definitely one of the most eye-catching booths at the show.

An easier way to carry skis: “The Chuck Bucket” is described by its creators as “what if a roof box and a hitch rack had a baby”. The idea is simple: it’s a trailer hitch rack that’s easy to toss skis or snowboards (or golf bags, camping gear, etc.) into. No more climbing on the roof of your car to get out and store your gear. The bucket fits eight pairs of skis or four snowboards and is on presale now via Kickstarter for $249. Expected retail at launch outside of Kickstarter is $420.

The Chuck Bucket is like a roof box and hitch rack in one.

Living room hot sockets

Appreciation of OR’s diversity efforts: “The entire marginalized community was very well represented by allowing different people to share their stories and voices,” says Necota Staples, co-founder, with his wife Sonya, of Staples InTents, an entity that documents and shares their overlander and adventure travel lifestyle. Sonya adds: “For a lot of people [representing] brands, they want to come here to sell. But I think if they took a step back and looked at what Outdoor Retailer is, all it stands for, and really [immersed] themselves in some of [sessions] and not just focused on selling, I think they could have gotten a lot more out of it.

For Necota and Sonya Staples, the show is more than just selling products.

The power of discovery: “I run a motel gift shop and my son is a fly fishing guide who sells gear,” says Liz Furman of Black Bear Inn in Dubois, Wyo. [here at the show], Jim Green. They look really well made, thick soled and the price is great. I would never have known this brand and that’s why I come. Even though there are so few vendors here, there are some good ones.

Liz Furman discovered boot company Jim Green at the show.

A vision for future shows: “We need to take the words ‘trade show’ out of the equation and really think about what a community event looks like,” says Nick Sargent, president of SIA. “The ‘living room’ has such a negative connotation. He talks about yesterday; he does not speak of tomorrow. We need to think about how we can come together tomorrow as an industry without walls or barriers. Watch what happens at the Sea Otter Classic. It is an unmissable event. It’s outdoors, it’s full of great panel discussions, great educational moments, and a strong sense of community.

SIA’s Nick Sargent thinks the term “trade show” is outdated.

A Louder Voice for Minority Business Owners: “My biggest reason to keep coming to the show is people of color,” says Anthony J. Clark, photographer at 16,000 Studio in Denver. “The BIPOC community is there. Outdoor Retailer has always been this show to not really give the attention to a lot of our advocates who want to be on this floor, who want to connect with these big companies. [Now] it’s much more welcoming. You see a lot more people feeling comfortable with who they are and where they fit in. On a smaller scale, [the show] gives so much room for minority owners to come in and do an introduction.

Denver-based photographer Anthony J. Clark says the smaller exhibit format has been good for the BIPOC community.

Lesson of the day

Dismantling silos is key to advancing climate justice: Climate change. Environmental justice. Politics. Advocacy. Accessibility. The diversity. Indigenous perspective. Inclusion. Party spirit. These are a few OU themes explored this year on a range of extracurricular programs featuring a wide range of experts, policymakers and thought leaders. It all culminated in today’s Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) panel highlighting federal climate-related initiatives like Justice40 (which channels 40% of federal climate and sustainable transportation investments to underserved communities ) and America the Beautiful, aka 30 by 30, which aims to conserve 30% of US land and water by 2030.

Conclusion: intersectionality. When we examine the Biden administration’s pending Build Back Better Act, we can say with confidence that these problems, solutions, ideas, and goals do not exist in silos. To truly address climate change, we need to discuss racial inequality. To pursue environmental justice, we must figure out how to bridge the political divide between left and right. To preserve the outdoors, we must change the way businesses operate. “We have a climate crisis, a nature crisis, a Covid crisis, and a justice crisis,” says Angelo Villagomez, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and Indigenous conservation leader. “We cannot deal with these one at a time. We have to treat them all together as one world, as one problem.

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Wiley C. Thompson