Day 3 started off disappointingly, as the guys at Cafe Mugshot had a long line and I didn’t have time to wait (good for them, bad for me, I’ll visit them at Winter Show…).
Hard to miss the Popticals booth, with an enormous neon green Jeep parked there. Had fun hanging out with Preston, who I had only known via social media, hearing about the plans for the new sunglasses, which are coming out in the Fall. Super stoked to have an active outdoors company here in the Midwest (they are based in St Louis). Polarized and compact, the only way these could be better is if they floated…
With a few minutes between meetings, I stumbled across Grayl, makers of a unique Water Filtration and Purification Cup. You fill an outer container with water, then push a filter down (in a French Press type action), and the clean water is pushed into an interior container. Super fast and easy – I got a sample and used this exclusively for Hell Hike and Raft and everyone was very intrigued.
Another great find was MyPakage, “The World’s Greatest Underwear.” They’ve moved beyond basic boxer briefs to items such as a longer base layer, many items in fun patterns and colors. Provided a sample of the Pro Series, I brought it on the trip to give it a serious testing. Not to give the whole review away, but they were awesome…
Since I’ve started thinking about hammock camping recently, it was inevitable that Lawson Hammock would catch my eye. More structured than most hammocks, this design seems the best as an introductory product and I love that it can be used as a tent on the ground as well.
Granite Gear, another “Midwest” company (they’re up in Minnesota), was another good surprise. Originally geared towards long distance hiking, the products now run the gamut from military gear to school backpacks. The reason you should be interested? Light, priced right, and built to endure.
Celestron, makers of telescopes and binoculars, primarily, fulfills two of my needs. One, to get my kids interested in the outdoors and specifically, the stars. Two, I get to learn about the stars with them in a non-threatening way. The Celestron SkyPortal Mobile App (free) is super cool – among other things, it enables you to hold your device up to the night sky and instantly identify stars, planets, galaxies, and more – how awesome is that?
Merrell is a company I’ve wanted to connect with for a few years, but it never happened naturally. After meeting with their PR rep, it looks like my lifestyle and their products (especially for the kids) are intersecting at the right time. Time will tell if anything will come of this partnership.
At this point of the Summer Market, I really just wanted to curl up on my hotel bed, have a beer or two and some ice cream, and just chill. OR Show is draining! Paulina and Jessica would not let it end so easily, however, so we headed to the Pacific Northwest Fest, a chill time with good PNW food, beer, and music.
I bowed out relatively early, FaceTimed the fam, and headed to bed to rest, knowing the #Hikerchat outing was happening in the morning.