On the Right Track: The RANGER Station at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2017
“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” – Bob Dylan
As the RANGE team flew in from around the country to attend Outdoor Retailer’s 2017 Summer Market, we knew things would be different. This particular trade show would be celebrated and serve as a turning point in the outdoor industry’s history. With that in mind, we welcomed the return of The RANGER Station, in partnership with Venture Out, but this time with a lineup of activations emphasizing activism, community and education.
The announcement of Outdoor Retailer leaving Salt Lake City to find a new home in Colorado is a tell-tale sign of the times. The conversation has shifted. We weren’t just talking about the latest in fashion-forward products and innovative gear. We talked to activists like Erin Sullivan on ways to hold each other accountable in creating a more inclusive outdoor community. We marched with 3,000 people from our outdoor community to ensure our voices were heard loud and clear on the issue of preserving our public lands. We engaged industry leaders like Wylder Goods, Huckberry, Cairn and Solidarity of Unbridled Labour in panel discussions about the rise of outdoor enthusiasts driven by purpose, not profits. And we addressed the true purchasing power of outdoor “customers,” not “consumers”–$184.5 billion product purchases per year kind of purchasing power. It was clear that we as an industry are charged, alive and aligned in shaping the future of our environment and the people that protect it. The energy was a force to be reckoned with and it was an incredible feeling to share it with so many of our closest friends and family in a physical space like The RANGER Station. We were fired up!
Last week’s show was also a means for celebration. With the second annual Radical by Design showcase at The RANGER Station, we were able to highlight both emerging and established brands in the Venture Out section of Outdoor Retailer that elevate outdoor adventure (see below for the list of winners). We also launched RANGE Magazine Issue Seven, featuring artists who believe that arts and the environment go hand in hand. When things began to wind down at the show, we found solace in a curated library of our favorite outdoor, lifestyle and design literature (check out what we were reading below). After putting in the work, it was amazing to spend time with the brands, contributors and fellow magazines.
As we packed up The RANGER Station one last time in Salt Lake City, we couldn’t help but think about what lies ahead for Outdoor Retailer. What will it all look like? How will it change? What’s going to happen? There are a lot of unanswered questions right now, for all of us. But what we do know is that we’re on the right track. As we join our extended action sports family at SIA, we have a lot to look forward to in shaping the landscape of our industry, community and environment. The best is yet to come and we can’t wait to see you all in Denver.
Images by Lisa Dougherty.
Radical by Design Winners:
- Cedar Ravine – All Adventure Fanny Pack
- Full Windsor – The Muncher
- Mountain Designs – Seawool Check Long Sleeve Shirt
- Bambu Outdoor – Spoontula
- Cotopaxi – Teca Windbreaker
- Park Project – National Parks Comic Book
- Topo Designs – Stack Pack
- Indosole, LLC – Women’s Essential Sandal
- Flowfold – Denizen 18L & 14L Tote Backpacks
- Duer – Performance Denim & No Sweat Pant
- Revel Gear – Compression Bag Hammock with infused Organic Bug Repellent
- Bramble Outdoor – Camp Towel
- Corcickle – Canteen
- Rumpl – The Original Puffy Poncho
- Feller – Midi Urban Trench
- Coalatree – Technical Pants
- Shwood – Kennedy Riding Glasses