ICYMI: The Outdoor Report

Welcome to our weekly roundup of noteworthy outdoorsy headlines. We’ve combed the social networks and scoured the news outlets to curate some of the most relevant and most intriguing stories out there. Read. Enjoy. Share.

By Katie Boué January 18, 2017

January 11–18, 2017

Last week, tens of thousands of outdoorists converged upon Salt Lake City for four days of our bi-annual meeting of minds. This week, tens of thousands of outdoorists are back at our desks with drippy noses and a stack of business cards. Ah, winter tradeshows.   

If it’s all a bit foggy by now or you missed some or all of it, here’s a 129-word recap from ORWM 2017:  

We made deals, we drooled over gear, we broke records for beer consumption (okay, a slight exaggeration–but not by much), and we had gritty conversations about the climate, diversity and inclusivity, the health of our economy (see the op-ed by Exxel Outdoors’ Harry Kazazian in the OR Daily), and activating through advocacy. The industry rustled with an op-ed from Black Diamond’s Peter Metcalf and a blog by Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard and statements about the future of the show–and we want you to know we’re listening. Utah has some of the most beautiful landscapes and waterways in the world,” said OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts.We’ve always had an open and honest relationship with the governor and the congressional delegation, but we must be clear that protection of America’s public lands, including those in Utah, are critical and any threat to their protection is a threat to the outdoor industry. The Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Retailer will continue to listen to members and show attendee feedback on both the appropriate venue for the show as one factor along with considering the need to have the show in a location that meets the business requirements of the industry.”  

We launched our first Industry Lunch series. We celebrated 10 years of sustainability with ALO, and they brought down the house. Our own Jess Wahl was named one of the 26 individuals lighting the industry on fire.   

Then we all stuffed free socks, pint glasses, and new ideas into our suitcases and headed home. 

Want more from ORWM? Feast your eyeballs on all our photos from the tradeshow here  


We all joined hands for public lands 

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s this: The integrity and protection of our public lands is an absolute necessity. We started with a mobile activation at all three industry breakfasts (OIA, Conservation Alliance and Camber), asking attendees to text OUTDOOR 52886 to show their support of public lands. The activation is ongoing, so if you haven’t texted already, you can do so now. And just to be sure we made our point, we wrote this open letter to the incoming administration and asked the industry to come together in signing it. You can see it in Wednesday’s Washington Post or you can download it here and share it on your social network. From Appalachian Outfitters to Zumiez, more than a hundred companies united to say “This is not a red or blue issue. It is an issue that affects our shared freedoms. Public lands should remain in public hands.Patagonia, REI and The North Face proudly shared the letter, and we hope you do too.   

Action item: Want to show your support? Send a tweet using the hashtag #ProtectOurPublicLands 


We found our strength in numbers 

Bringing the outdoor industry together is what we do; it’s who we are. Last week, OIA debuted our Together We Are a Force campaign, a celebration of collaboration in the outdoors. Fingers crossed your reaction was double-tap worthy, because we’ll be rolling out videos, content, and print ads throughout the next year to showcase the teamwork, dedication, and passion that is the backbone of our industry.  

Learn more about #TogetherWeAreAForce in the official press release–or just head to the OIA homepage and start pokin’ around. It’s everywhere. Want to get involved? OIA wants to hear from you.  

We won’t go gently into 2017 

A lot has changed since election night–but here’s what hasn’t: Our commitment to staying the course for public lands, the recreation economy, climate change and trade policy.  Read our Government Affaiars team’s full statement, and start getting stoked on outdoor advocacy here 

We’ve come a long way since the inception of our Sustainability Working Group a decade ago, and in 2017 the OIA Sustainable Business Innovation team is kicking things up a notch with Higg Index action. You’ll want to bookmark the Sustainability Snapshot weekly update and check back regularly if you plan on keeping up with what we’re putting down.   

We know you’re still drowning in post-tradeshow follow-ups and dousing yourself with hand sanitizer. Want more from the industry? Check out last week’s ICYMI and tweet us with your finds for the top outdoor stories for next week’s edition.