We are living through a scary, confusing, and consequential moment. Many of us have never routinely considered the existential and ethical implications of, say, going to the supermarket or setting up a playdate for our kids. Life inside the pandemic has proven itself a minefield of these moral quandaries, with lots of us asking questions we never used to ask: Is it wrong to have dinner with a friend? Is it safe to visit the dentist? Some of us are even wondering—in fear, good conscience, or both—whether we can go outside at all anymore.

The answer, experts agree for now, is yes. With some caveats.

Exercising and recreating outdoors should be subject to careful judgement, of course. But most health organizations agree that you are, in general, allowed to leave the house if you're well. Mental self-care is important at a time like this, too.

The National Recreation and Park Association released a joint statement yesterday, "Using Parks and Open Space While Maintaining Social Distancing," that offers tips for safely utilizing green spaces in areas that haven't restricted them. All are in compliance with CDC recommendations. 

So yes, leave the house. Do so intentionally and conscientiously, for the benefit of your own mental wellbeing. Don't overdo it. Protect your fellow human beings; take care of yourself.


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The Big Gear Show is still on—with some changes

Just a few days after Outdoor Retailer announced that this year's Summer Market was off, organizers of the next major event on the industry's calendar, The Big Gear Show, have gone a different route. Event director Kenji Haroutunian told SNEWS late Monday that the first three ...read more


Eddie Bauer and Flowfold commit to emergency mask production

As the White House resists calls to mandate the production of masks and other resources to fight the coronavirus, some companies have stepped up voluntarily to help. In the outdoor industry, Eddie Bauer and Flowfold are among the first. "Just a few days ago, we learned that some ...read more


Don't be a backcountry cov-idiot

Skiers and snowboarders, we get it. You want to be outside right now. You weren't ready for the season to come to such an abrupt end, as it did in Colorado and virutally everywhere else. You're tempted to pull out your backcountry setup and keep the fun going yourself. Plenty of ...read more


State of the industry: Three retailers discuss how the pandemic has hit them

In recent weeks, we've seen a lot of suffering among retailers, as news of closures, furloughs, and layoffs rolls in. We've also seen the best in people—customers banding together to support independent shops, vendors implementing programs to keep their dealers afloat, and brands ...read more

Feral Mountain Co. Idaho Springs

Brands launch efforts to bolster retailers

The specter of layoffs and permanent closure hovers over small, independent outdoor retailers even in the best economic times. With the coronavirus dampening consumer spending and forcing temporary shutdowns, disaster scenarios are closing in for local shops whose every sale, ...read more


Retailers, use this new training to help your staff deal with belligerent customers

It started with a simple request—a routine safety measure. Last month, a customer tried to enter Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington, Vermont, to do some shopping. A few minutes later, he was grabbing the OGE employee's throat and wrestling him to the ground. The police were ...read more

Chaco at Grassroots Outdoor Alliance in June 2016 | buyer in plais short sleeve shit examining sandals at a table before two sales reps and a wall of shoes

How the coronavirus has affected sales reps

The pain of the pandemic has rippled through just about every workplace in the outdoor industry over the past few months, and those of independent sales reps are no exception. As the main points of contact between outdoor companies and the stores that carry their products, reps ...read more


The pandemic's best seller: bikes

The sales numbers coming out of the pandemic thus far paint a picture of unpredictable, if short-lived, demand. In the first few weeks, dehydrated meals—the kind backpackers carry to lighten their loads—seemed to be worth their weight in gold. Companies like Mountain House, ...read more

A wide shot of the front of Bass Pro Shops Denver, with a blue sky and evening light.

Why some retailers are growing while others are shrinking

If you've paid attention to the news in outdoor retail this week, you might be wondering what exactly is going on. REI made waves with a recent announcement that 400 of the company's retail employees would lose their jobs, effective July 15. Mountain Equipment Co-op made a ...read more