Friday, January 21, 2011

The Outdoor Retailer Show and why we're excited about it

Much to our dismay, we often miss out on what's happening in the outdoor world. And while Costa Rica has its fair share of adventuristas, our geographic location limits the number of outdoor conferences and events we get to attend. If a private jet was parked outside our office, however, our calendar would be marked in bold with the Outdoor Retailer Show where outdoor enthusiasts can congregate and unabashedly geek out over new gear. Simply put, it's a mecca for industry members and outdoor retailers to flock to so they can showcase new products before they're available to the public.

Instead of physically being there, we've been keeping digital tabs on the Outdoor Retailer Show via Twitter, Facebook, and a handful of blogs. As an organization that revolves around and depends heavily on our equipment, we're looking forward to scoping out new gear. Despite the fact that its currently featuring primarily winter products, there's still plenty of reason to be "twitterpated" (Twitterpated? Yeah, twitterpated.) Here's what's already caught our attention this year. Let the geeking-out begin.

All of our students, staff, and instructors could probably lecture about the need for a decent headlamp here in Costa Rica. For many of us, they're vital. Whether it's used for reading at night, trekking in low light, or even just getting around base, they are a fixture at Costa Rica Outward Bound. That's why we've been googly-eyed over this one, which was featured in a preview from the The Gear Junkie blog. It's super light-weight with powerful LED technology and practically indestructible - made by Light and Motion.

Nearly all of our courses have to deal with finding clean drinking water or treating it at some point. How awesome would it be to have a convenient portable filtration system that's built into the water bottle itself? The folks from Hydro Flask pretty much answered this question with their nifty new device. The answer, by the way, is pretty awesome (pictures from the blog).

With a gang of dogs running around our offices, sometimes it can be a challenge to corral them. It would sure be great if they carried their own leashes with them. Turns out they can thanks to the Super Collar which features a built-in retractable leash. You can see it action on their site - it can even pull a car!

Almost all of us down here at Costa Rica Outward Bound rely on our backpacks for traveling, backpacking, and going on weekend trips. With so many pack styles to choose from, we think it's pretty cool that Boreas Gear, from San Francisco, is letting people design and attach patches at their booth. Their website provides pictures of their backpacks and even shows a live feed of them at the show. Their initial lineup expected to launch in Spring, we're excited to see how people react.

Interested in following the action yourself? Here's a live twitter feed to help you keep up to speed with what's happening right now.

Are you anticipating any exciting or cool new gear? Which of these items are of interest? Let us know!

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