SNEWS best outdoor reads from around the web

Read about some initiatives to get folks outdoors in Iowa, and about how customers can turn their phones into camping gadgets.
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What did the SNEWS team learn this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out!

  • Relax? Get dirty? Have fun? Yes, please! Check out this story in The Gazette (Iowa) that features Walking Stick Adventures, an organization that seeks to get people of all ages relaxed, getting dirty and having fun in the outdoors. The organization originally was called the Kids in Nature, but the founder found that even adults need to be inspired to get outside. Look out Iowa retailers, you might have some new customers coming through your doors soon!
  • To top it off, Iowa retailers, one naturalist is suggesting people purchase outdoor experiences as gifts for their loved ones — experiences for which they’ll need some gear. This WCF Courier story suggests camping permit gift certificates, certificates to outdoor programs like Wee Nature Tales and silo ice climbing (check out the picture that ran along with the story), and a sponsorship of a wildlife display. Here’s another story about gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast.
  • Being Colorado folks we like to read our alternative paper, The Westword, for nuggets of wisdom and great information on local events. We came across this little gem by Tonya Carter titled, “Twelve Days of Fitness,” in which she shares a rendition of the popular Christmas song featuring all the things her state provides, like boarders shredding and climbers climbing.
  • Well, well, well, we always knew it to be true. Backpacker Magazine has some of the most awesome outdoor writers around — and now the publication has some award-winning authors, too. Recently Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter was recognized with a National Outdoor Book Award for her instructional title “Backpacker Magazine’s Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair: Step by Step Techniques to Maximize Performance and Save Money.” Plus Northwest Editor Michael Lanza got an honorable mention for his book, “Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks.” Check out this Adventure Post story on the award recipients, which highlights Hostetter.
  • Your customers love their phones (in fact CBS recently reported many of us suffer from nomophobia, a fear of being without our mobile phones) and they love when their phones have cool apps that do all types of things. Check out this Sydney Morning Herald story about the best camping apps out there. There’s one that turns your smart phone into a flashlight using the camera flash, and another that offers up hundreds of camp recipes to make your backwoods excursions a bit tastier.
  • Just because your customers stay at the Ritz-Carlton doesn’t mean they can’t engage in a little bit of camping while they’re there. Just check out this Dispatch story about how a Ritz-Carlton in Arizona offers a small tent instead of rollaway beds for kids staying there. Looks like the luxury hotel is on the outdoor industry’s side in terms of getting young people interested in the outdoors. Who’s supplying them with those tents? Maybe retailers should look into this trend in hotels in their area.
  • More outdoor retail business might be coming to Texas soon, now that the Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan has been unveiled. The plan calls for the Lone Star State’s predominantly urban living spaces to include a new series of trails, greenways and better access to public waters. The goal is to get children, who are mostly disconnected from the outdoors, involved in outdoor activities. The parks and new additions are also expected to boost the state’s economy. Check out this story.
  • Speaking of getting youngsters involved in the outdoors, Michigan state parks need people at least 18 years old to volunteer for its state park and forest campground host program. Successful candidates should have good camping experience and knowledge of the area. Check out this story and spread the word Michigan retailers!
  • The New Exhibitor Pavilion at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market isn’t the only place you can find the next big brand in the outdoor industry. Backcountry.com recently launched Treeline, an online showcase for brands new to the outdoor industry. Check out this Transworld Business story about the new project or visit www.backcountry.com for more information.
  • What does it take to have a successful camping experience? Making a list and packing stuff right, according to this Fraser Coast Chronicle story. Check out these tips to pass on to your customers on how to plan for a stress-free outing with family or even by yourself.

Have you read anything interesting you'd like to share with us? Maybe we'll include it next week's column with a little shout out to whoever sent it to us. Send a link to the story with the subject line "SNEWS Reads" to be considered.

--Compiled by Ana Trujillo

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