SNEWS best outdoor reads from around the web

In case you missed them, this week’s selections include a story about a blind ultramarathoner who uses his iPhone to see, and another about a boy who saved the day. Check them out!
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What did the SNEWS team learn this week that other outdoor industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out.

  • We iPhone lovers know that our super-gadgets can do pretty much anything. Check out this Adventure Journal post to read an awesome story about how ultrarunner Simon Wheatcroft's phone isn't just smart, it’s a frickin’ genius. Wheatcroft is blind, and he uses an app called RunKeeper to “see” for him. And RunKeeper isn’t the only app that helps Wheatcroft in his daily life. Read the story to learn about all the amazing apps available for visually impaired folks. Pretty amazing stuff here.
  • It’s no secret that Utah is somewhat of a paradise for outdoor adventurers, so we weren’t that surprised to read this Wall Street Journal story about Ogden, Utah’s mayor Mike Caldwell, and how he always makes time for workouts like mountain biking and triathlon training sessions. Read on to find out how his regime enhances his political connections. Plus, there are a few shout-outs to some of his favorite gear at the bottom, including Outdoor Research’s Axiom shell.
  • In case you wanted to know what Bear Grylls does on his vacations from outdoor adventures, check out this Vanity Fair article in which Grylls describes his private Welsh island hideaway where there is no running water and no electricity. But really, who needs that stuff when you are on your own island, surrounded by dolphins and seals? We should try a bit harder to become better friends with Bear. Somebody invite him to Outdoor Retailer again so we could buy him some drinks, and perhaps get an invite to his private island!
  • We all know attracting more diversity to the outdoor industry is a must for it to stay relevant in the future, and Outdoor Afro has been doing its part for many years. Check out this Outdoor Afro blog post announcing new members of the organization’s Leadership Team (OALT), which will take on the task of getting more people outdoors. The OALT is sponsored by Keen, REI and Camp-California.
  • SNEWS loves to read about people and organizations working to take care of our troops in some way, and this OregonLive.com story about the 40-state Tents for Troops Program made us happy. The program offers free camping to active duty soldiers. Added bonus in Oregon: Oregon State Park campgrounds offer free camping for veterans with disabilities. Now retailers, help get those soldiers and veterans geared up! 
  • We reported the news last week that Outdoor Retailer might kiss Salt Lake City goodbye after 2014, but Utah is not ready to let it go. The city and the trade show have had many good years together and Visit Salt Lake officials are fighting for more, according to this KSL-TV story.
  • Aw. We all remember our first camping trip fondly, right? We know we do: San Miguel, N.M., 1988. Dad caught some trout. Mom cooked ‘em up over the fire. Big sister kept us warm during the cold night in our blue tent. We were deathly afraid of being eaten by bears. This Columbia Basin Herald feature chronicles the author’s very first camping trip and features the campsite as it is today. 
  • A housing shortage in Bismarck, N.D., has left people scrambling to find places to stay, including a local campground. This has led to many problems, including litter and raw sewage dumping, said officials from the state’s Game and Fish Department, so the department has prohibited overnight camping is prohibited in certain areas. Read this Jamestown Sun article for more information. 
  • One mom discusses the importance of finding a summer camp for kids with a variety of activities to keep the young’uns engaged, because a camp that focuses on a singular activity could spell disaster when it comes to kids who are constantly changing their minds. Check out what she has to say in this Bellevue patch post. Either way, retailers, armies of kids are headed off to summer camps this summer and it’s a good opportunity to sell some gear and apparel!
  • A father and son headed out into the woods with their three dogs, happily expecting a fun adventure. What they got, however, was an intense experience after the father, Jeff Gracey, slid down the side of a mountain and mangled his leg. Read this KPIC-TV story to find out how Gracey’s son, Robert Gracey, saved the day.

Did you read something interesting that you’d like to share with us? Email it to us and maybe we’ll include it in next week’s column, along with a shout out to you.

--Compiled by Ana Trujillo

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