I could probably write 5 more posts on all that went down at the OR Show, but lets just cut to the chase…what cool gear did I find?? In addition to the Woolrich blankets I covered last time, the Triple Crown made an appearance in the sock realm as well. Point6 socks out of Steamboat Springs is making socks for thru-hikers. That’s right. Well, they are making socks for all athletes, but I came across this quote while I was writing up a blog post for Six Moon Designs by Drew Williams, operations chief with Point6: “Thru hikers commit to a multi-month series of struggles, frustrations, and gorgeous sunsets, most of which play out on their feet. We’re excited to design socks that stand up to the trials of the trail. Our co-branding efforts this year speak to our duty to help maintain these corridors and our commitment to those who use and trust our socks.”
Why is this exciting to me? Well beyond the obvious awesomeness of the socks, this is a company that recognizes thru-hikers are not only a sock-buying member of the outdoor market, but that they are making a product that can stand up to what we thru-hikers can do to a pair. I also had a great time meeting Point6 Managing Director Skip Rapp. We bonded over war-stories of outdoor adventures, and since the CDT is so close to Steamboat Springs (and a planned mail drop), I now have a new friend to go visit when I get there, and might even tour the Point6 office!
Now I wasn’t that familiar with the brand until the show, but the founders, Patty and Peter Duke (yep founders of Smartwool) started this new company a number of years ago, and it has a really cool story. Why is it named Point6? It refers to 98.6° F, the body’s optimal temperature and the temperature stabilizing properties inherent to the merino wool used in their sock. Definitely a company worth investigating for your sock needs. And look at the awesome Triple Crown socks they made (with 25% of proceeds going back to the trail organizations!)
Next up: Sierra Sage Organics. Not only did this booth entice me with their sunscreen, arnica, and bug spray (all natural and organic!) but when they saw from my badge that I was with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition Jen and her crew lit up. Sierra Sage is a mother-daughter business with strong ties to the outdoor life. Jen, the herbalist and organic farmer; and Jodi, the business woman and health psychologist; teamed up with mom Kathy, a biologist and teacher, to make this lovely line of organic skin care products.
Since the show I’ve been using the Green Goo, a powerful blend of organic herbs that can help fight infection while reducing pain and inflammation (what!?! – just what every thru-hiker needs!), the Arnica (for sore anything, and it smells really nice), and the lip balm with sunscreen. I can’t wait to try bug spray (made withWitch Hazel – deet free, citronella free, chemical free and oil free) and the sunscreen (all natural too of course). I’ve tried to become much more aware of what goes in and on my body in the past few years, and I am stoked to use these products on the trail this year. Yes I just got done saying I’ve been paying more attention to what I’m putting in my body, and that does include bacon from time to time. Darn Tough was giving out these maple-flavored ice cream cones sprinkled in BACON! I limited myself to one a day, but the same can’t be said for some other thru-hikers I know…
Here’s a bit of awesomeness from Mountainsmith & Salazon Chocolate: both are supporters of the CDTC and in addition to Salazon giving us delicious Triple Crown Chocolate bars to sell to raise money for the trail (and sample of course…my favorite is the AT bar which is filled with gooey caramel & sprinkled with sea salt!), Mountainsmith let us set up shop at their booth for a while. Mountainsmith held a happy hour for us on Thursday where proceeds from these sweet beer coolers went to the CDTC, and we had A LOT of fun slinging this on the floor of the show (POD was our hot ticket). Then these tasty bars caught my eye, first with their beautiful packaging.
I’m a sucker for good design, and after meeting Payton at the GoMacro booth and gushing a little bit about their packaging, I heard they were up for a design award! Cool!
Well, the company is much deeper than their attractive marketing: these vegan, organic, and macrobiotic bars were founded by another family (I do have a soft spot for small family-owned businesses). After a nasty encounter with cancer, founder Amelia Kirchoff decided to forgoe drugs and instead convert to a macrobiotic way of life and let food and clean living heal her body. It worked, and their little farm in Eastern Wisconsin became GoMacro. I grew up in Wisconsin not too far from their farm in Viola, and I love that connection too.
I will be carrying GoMacro on the CDT this year. A large bar is 250 calories, same as a snickers! Guess which one will get me further down the trail?
I could go on and on about all I saw at the show, but I think I’ll leave you with a few more photos that hopefully sum up the experience: