SNEWS best outdoor reads from around the web

What articles and blog posts caught the eyes of the SNEWS team this week? There’s one story about a squirrel with plague and another on soaring down insulation prices – check 'em 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’ve done it before, and so have you: Watched hockey teams battle it out and drank beer for good causes at Outdoor Retailer markets. And while we won’t get a beer or watch a fight, we can feel good about helping well-known climber and mountain guide Robert Link get the hip replacement he needs to keep on keepin’ on. Find out more at this post on Sling Fund’s website.
  • Thanks to Carrie Bradshaw and "Sex and the City," we know that squirrels are just rats with cuter outfits. Now, thanks to this NBC San Diego story, we also know that those chic rodents could be carrying the plague. One found in a Cedar Grove campground tested positive for the disease — watch out.
  • While the SNEWS team doesn’t use running as a means to chase down prey, we do consider the activity essential in our lives — mostly because we’re hooked on it. Turns out we’re not the only ones. According to this NPR story, humans are "wired to run" because our ancestors did have to hunt and kill their dinner. Read on to find out the full backstory on our running addictions.
  • Have you seen Shrek, the furriest member of the SNEWS team? Check out his photo on our Facebook Fan Page. Shrek enjoys all types outdoor adventures and we bet your doggies do as well. Check out this Campsite Blog post about how to prepare your pup for his or her summer adventures, including getting them ready to carry their own packs and finding the right paw protection.
  • "In a world of obscure commodities, down is the new up," starts this Wall Street Journal article about soaring goose and duck down feather prices. According to the article, prices have more than doubled since 2009 from $12 per pound of white goose down to $28 today. SNEWS has heard similar reports from sleeping bag and down manufacturers, who expect to see higher prices on the trade show floor at Summer Market 2012.
  • Women can do anything, and we're also keen on learning how to do things better. So for all the female outdoor enthusiasts near Marquette, Mich., there's the 15th annual Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop scheduled for June 1-3 at Big Bay Health Camp. Maybe your Michigan retailers could give a little shout-out to this event; it might get more customers in your door. Check out this Daily Tribune story for more information.
  • Many of us may truly rough it in the outdoors, but some folks aren’t into all that. In an attempt to get more of those people who don’t want to get too dirty interested in the outdoors, a Nehawka, Neb. business added bungalows near its winery to give people a nature experience. But don’t be fooled by the bungalows, there’s still a three-course gourmet breakfast for guests in the morning according to this ABC affiliate KETV story.
  • At the Outdoor School in Multomah County, Oregon, sixth-graders learn valuable outdoor skills and a love of adventure that will keep them shopping at your stores, and teenagers learn valuable job skills. But the Outdoor School is in a bit of a financial fix and the city of Portland is talking about cutting the program for a year. There are a few companies in that area (yes, we’re looking at you Outdoor Research and Columbia Sportswear) that might be interested in this opportunity to help. Check out this Orgeonian story for more information.
  • The SNEWS team thought the new Knoxville Adventure Center must be one of the coolest places on the planet when we read this Knox News story. The brand-new center is located just blocks from the heart of downtown Knoxville, and gives people an opportunity to rent kayaks and bikes from River Sports Outfitters, which is located on the bottom floor of the center. It's a great example of a collaborative effort between retailers and other businesses for the common goal: Getting people out and about. 

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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