SNEWS Reads: Which bargain brands are stealing business? Naked climbing pictures?

Some sad stories and some happy stories, this week's Reads rounds up the information we think you want to know.
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What did the SNEWS team read this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out!

  • Performance apparel is offering more features than ever, from cooling technologies to sun protection to odor resistance, but hefty price tags can keep consumers from purchasing the good stuff from your stores. What are they buying, you might wonder? The products mentioned in this story — such as Champion apparel from Target and Danskin Now apparel from Walmart — might be on their shopping list.
  • We led with a not-so-serious story to ease you into a few sad reads we found this week. Death is never easy or welcome, but it’s especially tragic when it’s a young person. This UK Climbing story reports on the death of 12-year-old Italian climbing prodigy Tito Traversa, who died from injuries sustained after a 50-foot fall.
  • In another bit of sad news, the Windsor Star reports that a 23-year-old Florida native died after being swept away by a fast-flowing river while hiking in Puerto Rico. She was hiking with a crew of 11, but was the only one who was swept away.
  • This Missoulian story reports that only a quarter of the U.S. Forest Service trails meet the agency’s own standards for maintenance and it’s undermining support for wilderness and public land in general. Have you noticed any trails that are poorly maintained? Share your experiences in the comment section.
  • Where are the top adventure towns? We know we live in one, but do you? Check out this National Geographic blog post to see the top adventures towns in each state. In our very own Colorful Colorado are Boulder, Colorado Springs, Vail, Carbondale, Telluride, Silverton and Pagosa Springs.
  • Since we have awesome sister publications like Climbing and Yoga Journal, there are many talented yogis in this office. One in particular always has new shots up on Facebook of some contorted pose we couldn’t dream of doing. Turns out she’s not alone. According to this Yoga Journal blog post the selfie of epic yoga poses is a trending all over the Internet.
  • We’re all in some form of sales in this industry, so check out this Inc. Magazine story that gives tips on how to charm a complete stranger. If they could work for one FBI agent who charmed criminals and spies, surely they could work on our customers (or in our case, our sources.)
  • Let’s be honest – there are plenty of covetable bodies out there. We aren’t all professional athletes or models. Check out this ESPN story that brings to you all the top bodies we’d all like to have. One shot features Chris Sharma and Daila Ojeda climbing naked. We’re pretty sure you clicked away from us pretty fast. Knew we should have saved this one for last.
  • From covetable bodies to covetable hikes – this story by Doug Schnitzspahn features 20 dream trails for hikers, as described by folks in the industry (from runners to authors to CEOs) who love them. We were particularly intrigued by the Laugavegurinn/Fimmvörðuháls Pass, Iceland description by Jennifer Pharr Davis.
  • Every Outdoor Retailer show it seems we’re buying beer or a backpack to benefit the Conservation Alliance. So it’s nice to know all our hard-earned dollars are helping. We found this list of success stories on the Conservation Alliance’s website. They made us want to save up our beer money starting now to keep the good cheer going — we are merry, land is protected, everybody wins.

Did you read anything interesting this week? Email it to us because we want to read it, too!