Outdoor Reads: Want to camp free in West Virginia?

Check out this week's reads, which tell you where there's free camping and how you can camp with class.

What did the SNEWS team learn this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out.

  • Last week, the outdoor industry was saddened to learn of an accident at Damascus Trail Days in Damascus, Va. An elderly driver plowed into a crowd of AT thru hikers at the Hiker’s Parade, hurting dozens of people. This Blue Ridge Outdoors story gives another perspective on the accident, and offers other news tidbits, including a ranking of healthy cities.
  • The American Alpine Club’s new River Gorge Campground in Fayetteville, W.V. is open for business and free for a limited time, according to this ACC post. All the basics, like potable water and porta potties, are up and running. Plus, there are sweet bouldering spots just a short walk from the campground. West Virginia retailers, tell your customers to enjoy the free period while they can, because soon they'll start charging for camping.
  • When active writer Cristina Goyanes decided to improve her health, she went from marathon Netflix movie sessions to multiple sprint and longer distance triathlons. Now, Goyanes is gearing up for a bicycle trek from the George Washington Bridge in New York City to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, after raising more than $3,000 for the AIDS LifeCycle Ride. Though Goyanes has reached her goal, you can read her story and donate to her cause here.
  • Mountain bikers are up in arms because the Sierra Club has joined a lawsuit to prevent a mountain bike park at Timberline on Mount Hood, according to this Adventure Journal post. The lawsuit claims that the 17-mile trail would increase erosion and disrupt other activities, like hiking. What are your thoughts on the issue?
  • Retailers, are you doing business in one of the fittest or fattest cities in the United States? This MSN story reports on the country’s fittest cities (SNEWS’ home base of Boulder, Colo., is the No. 1 fittest place in the country. We looked in the mirror this morning and realized why) and the fattest cities. The most obese city in the country is McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas.
  • Call us nerds, but we think up-cycling is cool. So naturally we think Haggar Clothing is cool, too, since the company just reached a milestone: It’s up-cycled more than 80 million plastic bottles in its LK Life Khaki brand. Check out this Ecotextile News story for more information.
  • This might be a no-brainer to outdoor industry habitues, but for children, time spent outside can benefit physical and mental development and help reduce attention deficit disorder symptoms. Also, according to this ABC News story, time spent outdoors can enhance social skills and reduce anxiety and depression. Though some people’s kids might want to spend their summer days in front of a computer screen, the story encourages kids to start a garden, visit state parks or learn to photograph outdoor scenes — all with your help, of course.
  • We’re not going to lie to you: Some of us are fans of what’s known as “glamping." It’s camping, but with a lot of the comforts and amenities of home. But hey, it gets us in the doors of specialty retailers and out in nature, so don’t judge. We don’t think we’re the only glampers out there, and now there’ll be a book on how to get luxury camping right, according to this Austin Daily Herald story. Author Cara Shultz doesn’t like to rough it, but likes to be outdoors, and she writes her tips on how to “camp with class.”
  • We’ve received a few emails from some of our favorite specialty retail shops promoting informational sessions on how to use fitness tracking items like the Fitbit or Jawbone. This PC Mag story said the gadget shipments are expected to rise to 56.2 million in 2017, up from 43.8 million this year. People clearly are ever more interested in tracking their fitness progress. Topping the list are fitness and heart-rate monitors with a strap.
  • People practice yoga for different reasons — some to stay in shape, some to be more mindful, some to relieve stress. It’s become increasingly popular, as we’ve seen with the incorporation of the Yoga Zone at Outdoor Retailer markets. But this article in USA Today reported that one family in Encinitas, Calif., is fighting its school district for incorporating yoga into its physical education classes because they say it promotes religious beliefs. This suit could have an effect on the inclusion of yoga across the state and potentially the country if it’s successful.

Read anything interesting this week? Email it to us because we want to read it too!