Attending my first Outdoor Retailer show this winter was a wonderful experience. I had the opportunity to meet so many great people, learn about a wealth of new outdoor products, and experience camaraderie amongst outdoor enthusiasts. The outdoor retail market is booming, with innovations ranging from the light-hearted to life-saving.
New technologies in hydration management and water filtration are changing the necessities for the avid outdoorsman. Water filters that can now remove 99.99% of impurities from a liter of water in 30 seconds eliminate the need to carry heavy bottles of water with you all the time, and provide a safe drinking environment on the go. As we see a trend toward more health conscious living, safe water bottles, reusable filters, and hydration methods will surely continue to increase.
Another area that I noticed tremendous growth in was the footwear industry, which has proven that necessity is the mother of invention. There is a wide variety in the development of show technology. There are now shoes that can adapt to any terrain you find yourself in, and others that are so portable that they can be compressed into a bundle that measures three inches and weighs only eight ounces!
Whether a consumer is an entry level adventurer or a backpacking professional, technology is evolving to make these wanderers enjoy their time in the great outdoors even more. Portable solar charging has developed in a way that has ended the days of completely disconnecting– that is, if one desires them to be over. Lack of a wall outlet no longer means lack of a piece of electronic gear.
The development and excitement surrounding new outdoor products show a trend that the market for outdoor products, and the companies that produce them, will remain strong, because as people will always long to reconnect with nature and the natural beauty that surrounds them. Rapid advances in technology are moving quickly, ensuring that the products on the market are more efficient than ever before. This outdoor enthusiast can’t wait to see what new advances come next. So get out there and do hard things. Happy Trails!