Outdoor Retailer Summer Show begins this week
Jun 19, 2023, 8:18 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2023, 2:24 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — The Outdoor Retailer Summer Show kicked off today at the Salt Palace on Salt Lake City. It’s the largest gathering of the outdoor industry in North America. Outdoor industry leaders this week are showing off their latest gear and gadgets to retailers.
Grand Trunk, a Utah-based company, started off with hammocks, then added portable chairs, and stools.
“Grand Trunk makes goods for your adventure,” Kevin Kaiser, co-founder of Grand Trunks said as he showed off some of his chairs.
“This portable micro stool is the only swivel stool around. So, it’s great for camping, for hiking, for hunting for photography,” he said. The one-pound chair folds up into a small pouch.
Sean Smith, acting director for the show said solar power packs are another popular trend in the industry right now.
“Those power sources are really booming, and they’re becoming so interesting and allowing us to do a lot more when we’re outdoors it’s pretty cool,” Smith said.
The industry is also reinforcing a message that the outdoors welcomes everyone.
“Outdoors doesn’t involve color, it doesn’t involve race. It doesn’t involve anything other than… if you have a passion to be out here, we’re thrilled to have you out there,” the director said.
Will Akuna Robinson, keynote speaker for the event, had never been an outdoorsman, until he discovered healing through hiking.
“My military career ended in 2004 due to medical injuries,” he said.
Twenty years ago, while he was stationed in Iraq, he found a guidebook for the Pacific Crest Trail.
“That was my outlet in the combat zone. It was the thing that took my mind away from there,” he said.
Thirteen years later, battling PTSD, he saw someone hiking that trail in a movie.
“It just triggered my brain to 13 years earlier,” Robinson said. “For some reason, I knew right then I needed to do this. If I was going to reclaim the person I was, I needed to go to the Pacific Crest Trail.”
He had never hiked, or camped, but he jumped right in. It was challenging at first, as he adjusted to the demands of backpacking and camping. But, he felt the emotional and physical healing benefit right away.
Now, he’s hiked the Triple Crown: the Pacific Trest Trail. the Continental Divide, and the Appalachian Trail — nearly 8000 miles total — in four consecutive years.
“Being out in nature, gave me the time to work on me. In our normal every day lives, you have your cell phone, the Internet, TV you may have kids, family work so you don’t get the time that you need sometimes to just take care of you and that’s what I found in the outdoors.”