As usual, I started out thinking that I’d only go to a bit of the OR Show in nearby Salt Lake City and ended up going to almost all four days. The purpose of the OR Show is to give manufacturers (Mountain Hardwear, Black Diamond, etc.) a chance to show their latest gear to buyers (REI, Wasatch Touring, etc.). None of the gear is really for sale right at the show, but it gives buyers a chance to go back to their shops and decided how they are going to allocate their budget for the upcoming season. There are two shows per year – summer and winter. The summer show concentrates on climbing and the winter one on skiing.
When I first started going to these shows almost twenty years ago, I was all about checking out every single booth for the latest in gear. Nowadays, I tend to wander around, check out the gear, look in the remote corners (this is where a lot of the cooler, up & coming companies are) and catch up with friends. While gear drives the outdoor industry and is the main reason for the show, the sports themselves are all about the people you meet and adventures you have with them. I’d rather have great partners and crappy gear than crappy partners and great gear. Ideally, you have the best of both.
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Category: Trip Reports