Outdoor Retailer, A to Z

A is for the guy I met with the Arbowear tattoo on his chest. He has no affiliation with the company other than a love for the brand. No joke.

B is for the Blogger’s Ball, the bi-annual opportunity to get together and see how much tanner the outdoor industry bloggers are than the guys who went the Yearly Kos. Btw, Eric Steele’s table swim was heroic.

C is for the Carlton Hotel, aka the Vermont ghetto. Somewhere between The Shining and Newhart lives this super stony shelter where no two rooms are the same, you can keep your key till next year, and the Japanese Maple in the basement looks an awful lot like the Vermont state flower.

D is for that Dude who I see every show hanging around the Patagonia booth. His name is Casey and he claims to be the company president. Yeah, right.

E is for energy bars, those tasty treats that are sliced into tiny pieces and put out at the front of just about every aisle. Every show I think it’s a good idea to eat them, and every show I end up with the same thing.

F is for Flatulence. See above.

G is for Green. As easy as it would be to get jaded and cynical about over-promotion of eco-sensitive materials, the reality was that the OR show was incredibly pensive and appropriate about the whole thing. Yes, there were more green products than ever before. But the majority vibe was not “we’re green and you’re not.” Instead it was one of shared responsibility and some mutual appreciation for how hard it is to change.

H is for the fortified hot chocolate energy drink concocted by Clif Bar. The also have an energized apple cider. It’s supposed to be for XC skiers and the like. But once the Schnapps comes out, I see drunk people.

I is for Ibex, who hosted a hell of a punk rock party. Not a real punk rock party, but a metaphorical one. An unpretentious gathering of like-minded people who just happened to be away from their kids for a couple days and have access to a film projector. Mexican food in aluminum trays, Herradura in Dixie cups, and some of the best short films I’ve seen in years from that Hansi guy. Maybe the good guys can win after all.

J is for John Waterman, who gave an intense and rousing speech on Arctic Warming at the Conservation Alliance breakfast … an event that remains the best part of the Outdoor Retailer show every year.

K is for Kevin Garnett. He wasn’t at the show. But he will be playing for the Celtics this year.

L is for OBG editor Dennis Lewon, whose watch was 6 hours and 32 minutes off, yet he still made every appointment. All hail the human computer...

M is for Mark Anders who is NOT on steroids, and Michael Collin who probably should be.

.... to be continued


  1. Anonymous1:24 PM

    O is for Oprah, who paid a combination of cash, Gu, and homemade cat-food can backpacking stoves for GoLite’s apparel and equipment division, which, yes, the rumors are true, has been renamed OLite. Rumors of a pending sale and renaming to “Olumbia” are false, according to Gert Boyle, who said, “That fucking princess? I’ll bitch-slap her back to Chicago in her size 14 Pranas. Fuck it. How much for Timberland? Oh. Crocs? Fuck you. Why would I buy someone else’s ugly when we wrote the book on it?”

    S is for SWAG, shit we accumulate greedily.

    S is for Soys For Sots, the new eco-friendly, edamame-based fabric marketed to morning drinkers and binge drunks. SFS’s new nano-technology, which mimics the molecular structure of the Chinese maple leaf, effortlessly sheds blood, red wine, and vomit (yours or others’) and promised wrinkle-free DUI mug shots or your money back.

    S is for Second-Hand Stoke, the phenomenon that occurs when you get a visceral thrill someone else’s ride/climb/paddle/pay-per-view experience.

    U is for underwear, Icebreaker underwear, for which I haven’t come up with anything close to clever.

    V is for Vermont, ya big lunk. Give ’em hell, Bernie!

    W is for What the Fuck Are You Talking About, CD?

    X is for Xanax, without which 6 out of 10 public relations professionals wouldn’t make through the show.

    Y is for Youtube, where videos of last year’s fund-raising Drag Show are among the most-watched, most-linked, most-favorited clips.

    Z is for the zeal with which I avoid work.