Advocacy Toolkit: Vote The Outdoors in 2018

If I could urge people to take just one action for outdoor advocacy in 2018, it would be to vote. In the last year, we’ve witnessed the dismantling of national monuments, erasure and denial of our planet’s climate change crisis, attacks on our public lands, and please-don’t-get-me-started-on-how-we’re-treating-our-fellow-humans-these-days.

This is a call to arms.  Your ballot is your greatest weapon in the fight for justice and representation in our government.

So, how do you get educated on the issues that matter most, and figure out which candidates will best represent your outdoor values in Congress? These resources will help empower you to vote, vote, vote the outdoors:

  • OIA’s Voters Guide 2018: In my opinion, this is the ultimate resource for outdoor voters this election. The team at OIA put together an extensive guide that covers: explanations on specific voter issues, endorsements of candidates in key races, a Congressional scorecard (see below), toolkits to help you spread the word, and more. It’s a true voter hub.
  • OIA Congressional Scorecard: A breakdown every incumbent candidate based on how they voted on issues like climate change, LWCF, wildfire funding, public lands, and more. Each candidate receives a letter grade–unsurprisingly, both Utah reps got an F. Did I mention how important it is to vote?!
  • Protect Our Winters Voter Guidebook: In addition to incumbent candidates, POW has breakdowns on every candidate on issues like climate, energy and environment. This interactive tool will help you create a ballot guide that you can print out and bring to the polls with you.
  • Vote.Org: Need to update registration? Go to Vote.org. Can’t vote in person? Vote.org can help. Don’t know where your polling place is? Vote.org does.

 

Specific state + ballot initiative resources:

  • Colorado: Check out this state-wide voter guide from Elevation Outdoors. It has all the amendments, propositions, candidate info, and more. 10/10

*Note: If you have additional state + local resources, please send them my way! I will be updating this through the election.

Once you’ve dug in and become an empowered voter, you’ll be moved to start taking action now beyond just bubbling in your ballot. There is so much you can do to support voters and help others make their voices heard. These are some of the ways you can take action this election season:

  • Empower your friends, family and colleagues to vote too. Help your roommate register to vote, translate ballots and voter issues for your abuela or your neighbors, put Vote.org in your instagram bio and remind the people you love regularly to get activated. Offer to drive folks to the polls on election day.
  • Join me + OIA on Oct 15th to pledge to #VoteTheOutdoors. Post on your social media channels on 10/15 with a message that says “I pledge to #VoteTheOutdoors this election–will you?” For the full toolkit and activation, join the Outdoor Advocate Network on Facebook and you’ll get access to a suite of social media posts + graphics I designed to get the word out. (Or just use the graphic here.)
  • Donate to your local candidates. Whether you have $5 or $50 to give, your local candidates need your support to win these races. If you can’t donate money, donate your time and energy. Round up your friends and help canvas neighborhoods. My parents in Miami hosted a dinner party meet-and-greet to support a local candidate. If you’re a graphic designer or have talents you can serve with, offer your services. – And if you’re looking for someone to support, may I suggest Shireen Ghorbani in Utah’s 3rd congressional district?
  • Keep talking about outdoor politics and the importance of voting. Post on social media, bring it up around the dinner table, invite friends over for a voter education party. Flex your voice, and make it heard often.

Listen, I get it: I’ve ‘forgotten’ to vote too. I’ve missed the registration deadlines, been traveling on voting day, whatever excuse is in the book for not voting, I’ve used it. But with this political climate, I will never miss an opportunity to make my voice heard through voting again. If you travel frequently or work a job that doesn’t allow you to get to a polling place on election day, remember that you can vote by mail. 

Not registered yet, or need to check your voter status? Here are the registration deadlines for all 50 states. Some states even let you register on election day (which they all should).

This isn’t about Democrats, or Republicans. This is about using our vote to protect the outdoors and voting for what’s fair and just for our fellow humans in this country. Political culture has become a beastly, embarrassing mess in so many ways, and I truly, deeply believe that if we make our voices heard, we can restore civility, community, and hope for America. I believe in my country, because I believe in the good people who live here. Justice will prevail, friends, if we just vote.

 

mini fresh 001: Welcome back, let’s get to work.

Hello, friends. In this moment, I am releasing a whale of an exhale. *sigh* I started writing this blog nearly 10 years ago, and beyond containing the contents of my life and adventures over the last decade, The Morning Fresh has been the catalyst to my entire career, to finding my purpose in life.

For the last few years, my site sat captive to a crappy host situation that left me unable to make any updates or changes to the site–at one point, gaudy web ads where plastered all over the blog without my consent. Without control over my own content, I spent my creative energy elsewhere and neglected my own platform. But a tiny miracle happened recently: I took back control.

I’ve been asking myself questions. What is my purpose? Why did the Universe decide to create me, right now? What am I here to do? Who am I here to serve?

And then one day, it clicked. In a burst of clarity, it all made plain sense. I am here to activate advocates. I am here to inspire you–through resources and storytelling–to take action to protect public land, live a more sustainable life, and do good unto your fellow humans + earth. 

So, I pirated my own blog back, redesigned it to better serve you, and here we are. It’s time to get back to work. First, a little update from my world–a new series I’m calling ‘mini fresh.’ A bi-weekly newsletter delivered in blog form. What I’ve been up to, what you should be reading, products + projects I’m drooling over, things you ought to know about.

In this week’s mini fresh, episode 001:

  • A mini update on life: As summer fades away and cold weather sinks in, I’m nestling into work-work-work mode before another season of travel kicks off. My nose has been buried in notebooks, my laptop, and podcasts. As I write this, we’re sitting on the couch in front of the first ‘fire’ of the season. By fire, I mean our electric fireplace with ceramic logs and a digital flame–thank you solar-powered house. The Delica is finally out of the shop, and Brody built us a platform bed + installed solar panels. I am mourning the death of shorts season, but psyched to spent autumn on the road.
  • What I’m reading (digital): The Outdoor Industry Association Voters Guide for the 2018 midterm elections. I’ve been working on the #VoteTheOutdoors (check it out on Twitter and Instagram) campaign for months and it’s all coming to a climax as election day–eeek. Toolkit coming to help you get involved later this week!
  • What I’m reading (paper): I joined a book club, and our first read is When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams. I posted a photo of the book on my Insta-story, and over 50 women messaged me to say it was their favorite book, or it changed their life, or it’s the reason they became a park ranger. As you can imagine, I am stoked.
  • Where I’m heading next: To the desert! My 30th birthday is on October 16th, so Brody, Spaghetti and I are loading up the Delica

Gosh, it feels good to be back. If you’ve been reading The Morning Fresh since the days of Florida and big yellow van life: thank you for sticking with me throughout this wild ride. If this is the first time you’ve ever visited my blog: welcome and thank you for being part of this community. Let’s do this, together.

5 Steps to Make Your Morning Better

When you rise each morning, you set the tone for the rest of your day. What does your morning ritual look like? Is it intentional, or it is just another motion you move through?

Mornings are important.

I’m not religious, but to me, mornings are sacred. I worship morning light, the fresh opportunity gifted to us at the start of each day.

My morning ritual looks a little like this, and I invite you to take pieces of it to make your mornings better too:

1. The first visual I seek every morning is earth and light. At home, it’s my hanging pothos vine that catches warm morning sun and brings the land into my bedroom. I start my morning by inhaling a view of earthly delight. Put a plant by your bed and worship it as a symbol of the earth. Let it ground you.

2. I always, always make my bed. If I could offer one piece of advice to people to change their entire day, this would be it. Make your bed. Period. Do this. Always.

3. Set a positive intention or thought. Today is YOURS, what will you do with it? Say it out loud in the mirror, write it down in a journal, or just set it in your mind. Empower yourself with grace, positivity, and strength.

4. Drink a tall glass of water. Bonus points if it’s hot with a slice of lemon. Start your day hydrated.

5. Move your body—it’s better than coffee. Just for one minute, move. Do jumping jacks, shake your limbs around wildly, or be like your dog and do the zoomies around your kitchen. Get your heart pumping.

How do you spend your mornings? Do you have any magical rituals that help you show up to each day? Either way, good morning, friends. Note: This was originally an Instagram post that you can see here. 

Guide to Hemp CBD + Products

Hemp CBD has changed my life. Period. I have been an advocate for CBD for years, but after moving to Utah thought my days of plant-based medicine were over. Then, I found hemp CBD products casually sitting at the register of my local bodega, Jade Market. Could it be? CBD sold openly in politically prude Utah? A can of worms opened; I learned I could even order hemp CBD products online, I read up about the 2014 Farm Bill that legalized some industrial hemp, I traveled to West Virginia and purchased it there, I flew with it cross-country without any TSA problems–I was floored. Even professional climber Nina Williams uses CBD.

I am a believer in the power of plant-based medicine.

And I want to educate + empower you when it comes to CBD too.

Here’s the catch with this guide: it’s largely anecdotal, and you’ll be sick of the phrase “gray area” by the end of it–but that’s the reality of this burgeoning industry right now. And I say industry because, well, the hemp in question is good for more than just CBD oil. Hemp is a powerhouse plant that has potential to change the way we produce paper, clothing, biodegradable ‘plastics’, food, fuel, and more. Even Mitch McConnell is pro-hemp (and his 2018 legislation could help eliminate all of this ‘gray area’). But I digress…

I will strictly be discussing hemp-derived CBD in this guide. If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, I recommend heading to a local dispensary to learn more about marijuana-based CBD­. I find it to be more powerful and effective than hemp CBD, but, I live in Utah, so, here we are.

What is hemp CBD? And what is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Let’s get this out of the way: hemp-derived CBD is non-psychoactive and it will not get you ‘high’. Using CBD is not ‘doing drugs.’

First, what they share: both hemp and marijuana are plant species within the Cannabis family. Yes, both are cannabis plants. But hemp is not psychoactive and has a low THC (<0.3%) chemical makeup, while marijuana is psychoactive and has high THC content (typically 5-35%). This website helps lay out the differences in an easily digestible way.

Marijuana is primarily used for medicinal purposes, while hemp is used in everything from apparel textiles to creating biodegradable plastics. The plants look different, and have very different cultivation needs–marijuana is delicate and precise whereas hemp is typically grown in a more industrial setting. Hemp is one of the world’s oldest domesticated crops, it just unfortunately got lumped in as illegal with marijuana as part of the Controlled Substance Act in 1970. Thankfully, the Farm Act of 2014 is turning that around. You can read more about the different between hemp and marijuana–and why Mitch McConnell is pro-hemp–via Business Insider here.

A Quick Guide to Using Hemp CBD Oil

First, do your research–and I don’t mean just reading this post. What are you looking to address through using hemp CBD? Mental health, physical pain, general wellbeing, medical uses for your pets? Keep digging until you feel confident. As long as it is, this guide only skims the surface. Keep in mind, per the FDA, no CBD brand can currently make health claims about their products–but the World Health Organization has stated that CBD has no known adverse affects. Personally, I use it to ease my intense anxiety, alleviate pain in my knee from running, stop migraines, and get better sleep.

Your needs will help you determine what kind of product(s) to try. There are tinctures, oils, edibles, topicals, isolates crystals, salves, capsules, and more. In 2015, the hemp CBD industry reported $65 million in sales in 2015, and it’s estimated to hit 2.1 billion by 2020 (source)–so there are a lot of different products on the market to try.

Don’t assume all hemp CBD products are created equally. “Plant-based medicine” does not mean it’s always going to be organic, naturally sourced, trust-worthy, or free from junky chemicals. Check for brands that do third party testing, source from US-grown hemp farmers, use organic ingredients, and openly advertise being pesticide and herbicide free. Check out the latter half of the 2Rise Naturals FAQ for an example of the kind of answers you want when looking into sourcing. In Utah specifically, we recently had a string of folks getting very ill after buying knock-off CBD oil. Make sure you shop smart.

Let’s talk about dosing. How much should you take and how quickly will you feel the effects (if any) of hemp CBD? Unfortunately, we’re at another gray area. While most people, myself included, report instant or very quick results, it can take up to 2 weeks of regular usage for some users to begin to feel the effects of hemp CBD. Dosage is also very personal–I recommend experimenting and seeing what works for you. My daily routine is one dropper of my Alpen Organics 1000mg tincture, and an occasional 15mg Veggimins edible or half-dose of a tincture midday if my anxiety is really bad.

I also want to address the privilege and accessibility issues with hemp CBD. Put simply: it’s expensive. Cost is a major barrier to access with CBD, and while I don’t have any quick answers, I wanted to acknowledge that here while spewing my undying love for it. I hope it will become more affordable as the industry matures.

Products I’ve Tested: 

This is the first round of hemp CBD product testing–stay tuned for more. I wanted to sample a variety of products and brands, some of which I bought personally and some of which was provided for testing. And yes, per popular request there are a few discount codes in here (and a few affiliate links). I also rated each product on a scale of 1-to-10.

  • Alpen Organics MIND Tincture–1000 mg: If I could only recommend one hemp CBD product to folks looking to try it, the Alpen Organics MIND Tincture would be it. This is my daily go-to product, and it is the only ‘natural’ remedy I have found for my intense, ruins-your-entire-day migraines. I was hesitant to try this for my migraines, because I get super queasy, but took one dropper and instantly felt relief. It doesn’t cure me everytime, but it’s powerful stuff. If you’re new to hemp CBD oil and want to start with a lower strength, check out the Alpen Organics MIND tincture in 600mg and 300mg If you want to try Alpen Organics, use the code KATIEBOUE for 30% off your purchase! (12/10)
  • Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Olive Oil – 30mL: You’ve heard of the Charlotte’s Web brand before. Remember this video? Charlotte Figi is that young girl whose extreme grand mal seizures were treated by the Stanley Brothers’ proprietary hemp products–which sent then the world into a frenzy over medical marijuana. This also happens to be the first hemp CBD product I tried, thanks to the recommendation of my acupuncturist. It’s an excellent dropper-style oil and worked great to help alleviate my general anxiety. (10/10)
  • Queen City Hemp Oral Tincture – 250 mg: This was my least favorite hemp CBD oil product, but it still got the job done. I purchased this in West Virginia while on a solo road trip because I was having pretty bad work-related anxiety, and it calmed me down. However, I didn’t love the minty-ish taste and it upset my stomach ever so slightly. (5/10)
  • Physicians Preferred Night Time CBD – 250mg: I discovered this product through a family member in Miami, who swears by it for helping with sleep. I purchased it for myself at the local Pinecrest Farmers Market and love it, though I wish I could try the ‘extreme sleepiness’ 1000mg dosage to compare (it’s a doozy at $119!). I take this about 20 minutes before bed, sleep like a rock, and tend to wake up a touch earlier than usual feeling rested. (10/10)
  • 2Rise Naturals Extra-Strength Capsules – 900mg: While I personally prefer tinctures and oils, these capsules are a great product for folks who want to make hemp CBD part of your everyday routine. Just pop one and go. They’re easy to swallow and this is a great product if you’re someone who has found that the ‘instant relief’ method of CBD doesn’t work for you. 2Rise recommends allowing 7-14 days for the cannabinoids to activate in your body. I love all the information provided by 2Rise on their product pages too. If you want to try 2Rise Naturals, who has excellent sourcing and a variety of products, use code KATIEBOUE at checkout for 30% off! (8/10)
  • Alpen Organics BODY Topical–600 mg: I was turned onto the idea of topicals by a family member who uses it for chronic knee pain. I too suffer from knee ailments due to trail running, so I used this product testing as an excuse to drag my lazy toosh out onto the trails to generate some pain. I rubbed it into my aching knees before bed, and felt immediate relief. Keep in mind, this is more like taking an ibuprofen than going to a physical therapist. Don’t expect a magical cure to your pain, just relief. I also rub this onto my temples when I have a migraine and it feels incredible. (9/10) Again, use code KATIEBOUE at checkout for a 30% discount.
  • Veggimins Dark Chocolate Cacao Bites – 300 mg: Oh, these little hearts of dark chocolate CBD bliss. These cacao bites are my favorite hemp CBD edible I have tried thus far. They’re delicious and effective for me. I nosh on one of these in mid-day if I need a little extra boost of CBD healing. Could be a great every-day product for someone preferring edibles over oils. (10/10)
  • Veggimins Dark Chocolate Bar with Hemp CBD–15 mg: Similar to the cacao bites, these chocolate bars are delicious, and this snack-sized treat is a great addition to a girls night, picnic, treat-yo-self evening, or if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to try CBD edibles for the first time. This product was the first time I was able to get an anti-CBD (due to stigma and ignorance) loved one to try it out, so it’s great for newbies! (8/10)

Got additional products I must try for the next round? Leave a comment letting me know your favorites!

Additional Frequently Asked Questions:

The most common question of all (besides ‘Will it get me high?’): Which brand do you recommend for dogs? I wish I had a better answer for this, but I was dog-less while doing my initial testing. Anecdotally, I know of multiple people who use Alpen Organics’ PETS Tincture for dogs with anxiety and older dogs with chronic pain–and love it. Spaghetti suffers from some major separation anxiety issues, and I will be testing it out on her ASAP. Stay tuned for updates. Here is an in-depth resource about pups + CBD if you want to do more digging on using hemp CBD oil for your dog.

Where do you buy it? You can purchase it online, all of the products I mentioned have links! I also purchase mine in Salt Lake City at Jade Market–they carry the Veggimins brand and edibles, tinctures, and more. For pets, if you head to the Healthy Pets on 11th and 17th, you can a small selection of top quality products for your furballs.

Will hemp CBD show up in a drug test? Like most answers about hemp CBD, there’s an answer, but it’s not definitive. Basically, it’s very highly unlikely. If you consume a high dosage of 1000-2000 mg per day of hemp CBD oil, there is an unlikely 11-23% percent chance your drug test may result in a false positive. You can read more about the possibility of CBD hemp oil and drug tests here.

I tried it and it didn’t help me with ____. I can’t tell if it’s working. Hemp CBD is not a miracle cure for everything for everyone. If you are treating muscle pain or soreness, tinctures may not help as much as a direct topical. Want to ditch medication for this natural alternative? Fantastic–but while many people have success doing that, it’s not for everyone. I mentioned using it for migraines, and while 9/10 it provides nearly instant relief, once it didn’t do much at all besides ease my belly so I still took Excedrin. Experiment with dosage and products. Again, if you live in a state where marijuana is legal, I recommend trying marijuana-derived CBD products–they’re stronger and more effective.

Can you take it on a plane? Surprise, surprise, I don’t have a definitive answer here, but I have traveled with it over a dozen times through international and regional airports and have never had a problem with it going through TSA.

Can I get it in ______? The blanket answer given by most brands is that they’ll ship to all 50 states. However, there are four states where CBD is still explicitly illegal: Idaho (which has medical marijuana on the ballot in November!), South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. Internationally, I can’t give you answers–do some Googling to see where your country stands.

Does it help with menstrual cramps? I experience very mild if any cramping due to my IUD (thank you birth control!) but it does help ease my pain when I do have it. I’d recommend a combo tincture + topical.

What are the side effects of too much? Anecdotally, not much. I took the Queen City Hemp oil in mega quantity once because I was having an anxiety attack alone in the middle of West Virginia, and it just gave me a belly ache and put me right to sleep. As mentioned previously, the World Health Organization states no known adverse effects of CBD.

I know there are more questions, and I want to answer as many as I can. This guide is quite comprehensive (read: long AF) and yet barely scratches the surface when it comes to CBD education. I intend to write a part 2 of this guide, so please leave your additional questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to see covered, and anything else CBD related in the comments. And if you want more education on CBD (and if you’re curious about cannabis), follow my sister Sarah Boué, who is an incredibly knowledgeable cannabis educator in Colorado.

Disclaimer (it’s a doozy): I am not a doctor, nor a medical professional, nor a CBD expert. The information you received from this blog post is anecdotal and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek advice from your physician or other qualified health care provider. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. As a consumer, it is your responsibility to know your local, state and federal laws before making any purchases.

Celebrate National Get Outdoors Day

One of my favorite things that I like to celebrate every day is getting outdoors. In the spirit of equity for all holidays, we only get one official National Get Outdoors Day, tomorrow on June 9th – if you’re like me though, you never need an excuse to enjoy the world outside.

My perennial dedication to the pursuit of being outside is made exponentially easier by my new hometown’s proximity to outdoor recreation. Access to the outdoors is why I moved to Salt Lake City–though the ability to go from city-to-trail is achievable almost anywhere, whether you have an hour or an entire day to get out there.

On a weekday jammed with meetings, my local go-to is the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. There are trailheads peppered all along the foothills running north to south in the Salt Lake area, and I can be standing with my Hi-Tec boots in the dirt within ten minutes of locking my front door. Hiking, trail running, mountain biking, picnicking, finding a rock to take a nap on–these close to home trails offer it all.

While I adore the mountains and foothills, my truest love is the desert. And this is only a 2.5 hour drive from my front door (totally day-trip worthy):

Close-to-home overnights and day trips can be as simple as your afternoon neighborhood hikes. Just toss a pad + sleeping bag in your car, load up on snacks, and fill a pack with essentials like water and sunscreen. Armed with three pairs of Hi-Tec Altitude and Wild-Fire boots, two dogs, and a cooler full of La Croix and cheese sticks, this is what 36 hours of adventure looks like in Southern Utah:

We rendezvoused at the start of a dirt road system, caravanned out to a canyon campground, and claimed our site. Then we laced up our waterproof Hi-Tec boots, and hiked along the canyon rim until the sunset. After a taco dinner, we tucked ourselves into our respective vehicles, zonked out, and awoke to a glittery sunrise. With a half day to explore before heading back to the city, we used a map to find the nearest accessible stream, and mucked through the water and mud until our skin was burnt and our souls felt full. It was a quick, simple trip that was just what I needed before diving into another busy workweek.

Tips for getting making the most of YOUR National Get Outdoors Day:

  • Think local. You don’t have to plan an epic expedition to enjoy a day outdoors. Walk your dog to a neighborhood park, find your nearest rail trail and explore by bike, lace up your running shoes and see how far you can go from your front door. Adventure is what you make of it.
  • Don’t forget the summer essentials. If I could implore upon you to only have two things in your summertime adventure pack, it would be: sunscreen and water.
  • Spread the love. Invite your roommate, ask your neighbor if you can take their dog out for a jaunt, and call your sister. The best part of the outdoors is sharing it with others.
  • Dress accordingly. Along with sunscreen, appropriate gear is a must. Here in Utah, summers are notorious for unexpected afternoon storms. Pack a shell, and choose your footwear wisely. I’ve been rocking the Hi-Tec Altitude Lite II Mid I waterproof boots.

Are you heading out to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day tomorrow? I’d love to hear about your adventures, whether you’re just sun bathing in your backyard or planning a dawn patrol mountain summit. No matter how you get out there, make time for fresh air and sunshine. Happy day, outdoorists!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Hi-Tec®, but as always, words, photos, opinions, and undying love for the desert are my own.

Outdoorist Tips for (Easy) Eco-Living

As an outdoor advocate, my dedication to caring for the land isn’t exclusive to my work to protect public lands–it’s embedded into the core of my daily lifestyle. To care about the outdoors means to care about the planet, climate change, plastic waste, energy, supply chain (where your products come from), air + water quality, the works. If you truly want to do good for the outdoor places you love, your life should reflect that. If you want to be an environmental activist, make every day a personal protest.

Shifting towards a more eco-minded lifestyle doesn’t have to be dramatic. You can adapt this mindset to whatever your budget, energy, and give-a-shit levels are. You don’t need to live in a house with solar panels and drive an electric car to start doing good for your planet.

One important note: While there are small, relatively inexpensive (and free) ways to be more eco-friendly, it should be acknowledged that ‘living green’ is often a privileged lifestyle. Buying organic food, driving an electric car, investing in earth-friendly products is often more expensive than choosing a more earth-impacting lifestyle. Something worth acknowledging, and for those of us privileged enough to choose to go eco–let’s think about how we can support others who aren’t.

Here are a few of the ways I’ve incorporated eco-living into my everyday:

Change your mindset.

This whole respect yo mama, be a better human existing on this planet, live more sustainably thing is truly a lifestyle shift. And while it involves commitment, it also becomes a snowball–the more you roll with it, the easier and bigger the movement becomes to adopt. And the more you open your eyes to how wasteful and disrespectful to Pachamama humans are, the more compelled you’ll feel to honor and respect her.

Think smaller. Think local. Think human-powered.

Support your local community and economy.

Source as much produce + products from your local farmers market as possible (there are fewer joys greater than having an egg guy, kombucha fam, and Cuban coffee lady). Patronize restaurants that source their ingredients from local farms. The Farmers Market Coalition has a sweet map of markets across the US–I love using this tool to find new markets when I’m on the road.

Think about the carbon footprint of the products and goods you buy. How far did your ordered-online coffee table have to travel (and how much packing supples did it use) to get to your living room? Could you have supported a local woodworker to get a locally made coffee table instead? For the price of 2 gonna-fall-apart-in-a-season H&M sundresses, wouldn’t you rather have purchased a handmade dress that’ll last for 50 years from a local artist? Focusing on locally made goods is 10/10 one of the more satisfying and community-stoke-building ways to live more eco-friendly.

Ditch single-use plastic.

  • Buy a set of reusable bamboo utensils from To-Go Ware, and take ’em everywhere with you. Make it a habit to keep these in your everyday pack. On the trail, in airports, while you’re eating out on the go, give yourself no excuse for using plastic utensils.
  • In the US alone, we use–and promptly throw out–500 million straws every single day. Repeat after me: “No straw, please.” Start saying this, every time you order at a restaurant, go through a drive-thru, get delivery. It takes a while to get used to saying, and sometimes you’ll get funny looks, but eventually it becomes second nature. If you simply can’t do without a straw, buy a reusable one! I love straws, so I have like 5 reusable ones–though I am currently most stoked on the FinalStraw, which was created by a lovely friend.
    If you need visceral proof of why you should say no to plastic straws, watch this video of a sea turtle having a straw pulled out of its nostril. If you still feel okay about using plastic straws after that, plz unfollow me.
  • Get a reusable coffee thermos or mug. Ain’t no shame in treating yourself to a $5 latte on the regular, but there is shame in creating waste every time you indulge. Treat both yoself and the planet with some love–and a lot of coffeeshops give a little discount when you BYO! I use this Hydro Flask 22 oz. thermos, but reusable mugs are very frequently given out as swag at events and such, so you can likely score one for free too.
  • Keep a few reusable canvas bags in your car at all times. Let’s be real, you’ve got like 20 stuffed under your kitchen sink, yet somehow you never have one with you when you’re grocery shopping. It happens to us all, so be prepared and keep ’em stashed in your car instead. Commit yourself to never using a plastic bag ever again. This has been the most consistent elimination of single use plastic for me.
  • Bring your own take-out containers. Walking to the bagel shop to grab breakfast to-go? Bring your own tupperware to take ’em home in! I live a block away from killer taco stands, and instead of consuming a styrofoam plate every time I stop by (which is…frequently), I’ve started to bring my own plate. Think about all the places you can eliminate single-use dining ware–there are a lot of small changes we can make to reduce this disposable culture.
  • Bonus points: If you’re a little piggy like me and get delivery often, leave a little note in your GrubHub order for “no utensils or napkins, please!”

Play outdoors with yo mama in mind.

Every time you recreate, keep the earth in mind. Are you respecting her? Are you treating her well, helping her heal? Every time we play outside, we are taking from the earth. Are you giving back whenever you take? Tread lightly, leave no trace, pack-it-out, don’t bust the crust, respect the wildlife, and encourage others to do the same.

I challenge you to adopt a habit I picked up a few summers ago: pick up one piece of trash every time you go for a hike, run, climb, ski, whatever. Just one wrapper, piece of tape, straw, whatever you find on your adventure for the day. If everyone that used the trails did that, our public outdoor spaces would be a helluva lot cleaner.

Eat healthier–for yourself and for your earth.

This topic deserves its own conversation and post (which will come), because the choices we make with our food consumption plays a huge role in the relationship we have with our carbon footprint and lifestyle supply chain. As I mentioned earlier, knowing the source of your food is a major way to eat eco. Not only does a freshly picked apple from a local orchard taste better and fresher, it also has a much smaller footprint than an imported, months-old, sprayed-in-who-knows-what apple from the grocery store.

One of the top ways to individually reduce our carbon footprints is by going meatless. Before you groan and go back to your burger (oh how I miss those), hear me out. Cutting back our consumption of animal products is a process, a personal choice, and has many layers. For some folks, giving up meat isn’t an option–and I get that. If you do eat meat, commit to only eating local, sustainably + humanely raised meat, or wild hunted harvests. Consider adopting Meat-free Mondays, or only eating meat on weekends. If you do decide to give it up completely, do whatever works best for you (like me, I am vegetarian for environmental reasons, and it’s hard sometimes, I totally ate a piece of fish last week).

If you’re a real champion for the earth, go vegan. I am not one of those people, and I applaud folks who are.

Go out of your way to reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Ride your bike more! In the summertime, I often try to see how long I can go without driving my car. Salt Lake City has excellent bike lanes, as do many bigger cities. Skip the car, rally your crew, and pedal!
  • Take public transportation. Again, why drive your car when you don’t have to? Public transportation is an inexpensive way to travel, and acts as a built-in designated driver. Salt Lake City’s TRAX system is fantastic, especially for easy airport transportation.
  • Carpool, especially if you’re heading to a crowded outdoor spot like ski resorts. If it’s a bluebird winter day, you know that you and everyone you know are heading to the same canyon to hit the slopes–so reduce the amount of emissions pouring into the air AND help reduce congestion by hopping in someone else’s car or offering rides to your friends.
  • Consider your air travel footprint. For a lot of folks in my industry, hopping on airplanes is practically part of our job descriptions. It’s also a major contributor to our personal carbon footprints. There is no easy solution here, except to consider the frequency and necessity of our travel by plane. Recently, I had two occasions to be on the east coast within 2 weeks. My options were to either fly to Maine/New Hampshire, fly back to SLC, and then hop on a plane a few days later to return to D.C., or to just combine the trips and the impact of those flights. So, I chose the later and ended up on a two-week adventure around the east coast–driving, so still not carbon neutral by any means, but better.

Make big changes where you can.

This one is for the over-achievers. Living more ‘earth-friendly’ is currently still much more expensive and inaccessible than living an ‘average’ carbon footprint. That said, if you are in a position to take bigger steps towards an eco lifestyle, do it. Install a few solar panels on your roof, focus on native landscaping in your backyard, buy an electric car. If you’re making big purchases, use your consumer power to support more sustainable economic options. You’re investing in a healthier future for yourself, and the entire planet.

In the course of writing this blog post, it’s become rather apparent to me that this idea of living more sustainably is far more worthy of a series–so, let me know what topics you want to hear more about first: the much-demanded tour of my eco-house, a guide to my favorite sustainable products, how to make your backyard/landscaping more earth friendly, any and all of the above?

And happy Earth Day. Today and every single day that we get to exist on this incredible hunk of rock and water orbiting around in outer space. Note: This blog post includes Amazon affiliate links! 

Outdoorist Guide to Bend, Oregon

Before I visited Bend, I daydreamed about it. A magical little mountain town, with beckoning views of snow-capped peaks jutting out of the high desert. I thought it might be something like Boulder, CO–before it became the crowded bubble. I imagined camping out in the National Forest, puttering into town for breakfast, and spending my days exploring in the woods.

My visions were spot on. Bend is a hub for outdoorists seeking recreation, good eats (and beer, if you’re into that), and good people. My trip to Mt. Bachelor with Harman Kardon was my first winter visit to Bend, and it only made me fall deeper in love. If you, too, are looking to fall for Bend, here’s a guide to what to do, where to eat, and *some* of the best secrets:

Getting to Bend

While I’m always a fan of a road trip, you’ve got options when it comes to getting to Bend. The nearest airport is the tiny Redmond Municipal Airport. It’s about a 30 minute drive to town, and there is Uber available! You can also fly into PDX in Portland, and take a short 3 hour road trip to Bend. If you’re sticking to the city, you could get away without a rental car, but I’d highly recommend a vehicle if you’re looking to get after it on public lands.

If you’re making a road trip out of your journey to Bend, I collaborated with Harman Kardon to make a Spotify playlist for you. It’s embedded below, too! 

Where to Play Outside

Pick a direction, drive for a bit, and you’ll find yourself on public land. To the west, you’ll find Deschutes and Willamette National Forests. To the east is Ochoco National Forest. A bit to the north, you’ll hit Mt. Hood National Forest and its namesake peak. If you’re here to ski, you’ll beeline towards Mt. Bachelor–which has both great resort + backcountry skiing nearby. (You can read about my experiences learning how to backcountry ski in Bend here.) In the summertime, peak bagging is a must. I hiked the South Sister solo a few summers ago, and at the time it was my biggest day in the mountains. Climbers must visit Smith Rock, oh wow. The views were incredible, the trail was beautiful, and my legs were very tired the next day. I’m dying to get back in the summer to visit the Lava Lands, the interpretive visitor center of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. The volcanic landscape around Bend is truly special.

In town, Pilot Butte is a great park with a spiral trail (check it out on Google Maps) and beautiful views of the city. You can drive to the top in the summertime, but I’d recommend parking at the bottom and earning your view with a brisk uphill jaunt.

Other nearby outdoor hotspots:

Where to Eat

The only thing more important than the outdoors in my life is food. I’ll be honest, Bend isn’t the most impressive foodie spot (yet), but it does have a number of can’t miss gems. For breakfast, you must try an ocean roll from The Sparrow Bakery. It’s like a non-iced cinnamon bun but instead of cinnamon it’s cardamom and it’s my favorite thing to eat in Bend, period. My favorite restaurant in town is Wild Rose–it’s delicious Northern Thai food, and one of the best tom kha soups I’ve ever had. Spork is a close second, and has one of those ‘worldly’ menus that offers a dish for every craving. If they’ve got the elote special that day, order it. For a quick on-the-go lunch, I love Cafe Yumm.

Coffeeshops are in abundance in Bend. I’m a big fan of Looney Bean, Crow’s Feet Commons, Backporch, and Thump. Crow’s Feet Commons gets bonus points for being on the river and having little snacks in mason jars, while Looney Bean gets my vote for delicious pastries.

If you’re into beer, Bend is the place for you. With over twenty breweries, it has the highest micro-brewery per capita in the US–and the nickname “Beer City USA.” I don’t drink anymore, so my recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt, but a few stand-outs include: 10 Barrel, Crux, and Atlas Cider Co. Bonus for us non-drinkers: many breweries have kombucha on tap too!

Where to Stay

There are tons of lodging and camping options in and around Bend. I’m going to keep my camp spots under wraps, but if you do a little poking around on public lands, you’ll find excellent dispersed camping. If you’re on a budget but want a bed to sleep in, check out Sonoma Lodge. I stayed there for a few nights during my solo trip two summers ago, and the family who runs it were so hospitable and kind.

If you want to stay closer to the mountains, and are traveling with a group or want to splurge on some stunning cabins, check out Sunriver. It’s where we stayed during our trip to Subaru WinterFest with Harman Kardon, and our ‘cabin’ was fantastic. It had all the trimmings of a cozy log cabin, but with 5 bedrooms, a hot tub, toasty fireplace flanked by cozy couches, and a paved trail that runs throughout the entire area.

What to Jam Out to

Whether I’m summiting the South Sister, learning how to ski at Cinder Cone, cruising downtown, or road tripping around Oregon, I need good jams. The folks at Harman Kardon asked me to put together a playlist for my winter trip to Bend since we spent the week in a Subaru equipped with their premium audio system, so I gathered some of my go-to hype songs to get me pumped for outdoor adventures–and you can listen to it here:

Don’t have a good sound system? No worries. During my first trip to Bend, I was living in a janky van with blown out speakers, so I had to rely on portable solutions like the Harman Kardon Traveler speaker. Whatever system you’ve got to keep the beats flowin’, roll with it.

It’s hard to capture the magic of Bend in just 1000 words, so I’m inevitably missing a few must-dos. What voids do you see on this list? Got a Bend trail you thing should be on this list? Have you discovered a coffeeshop I absolutely must visit during my next trip? Let me know in the comments! 

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Harman Kardon, but as always, all thoughts, opinions, and words are my own. Especially my food recommendations, because you know I don’t mess around when it comes to good eats. 

Learning to ski (human-powered) in Oregon at Subaru WinterFest

Editor’s note: Today on the blog, a first–a guest post, by my partner Brody Leven. As you know from my escapades on IG stories, he’s teaching me how to ski entirely by human power, and it’s been one of the best experiences of our relationship. He shared his perspective on it all, and I hope you love reading it as much as I did:

My girlfriend Katie doesn’t know how to ski. I ski most days, for work or pleasure or the combination that is my career.

My girlfriend Katie is from Miami. I’m from Ohio, which is actually a much better place to be a skier, because there is snow.

My girlfriend Katie hates the cold, cold fingers, cold toes, cold nose, being cold. So do I. It doesn’t matter how much one likes skiing; the cold still sucks.

“I’ve never seen a skier date a non-skier,” an Instagram follower messaged me, a response to my attempt to teach Katie to ski. When one’s identity is so inextricably tied to a single activity as mine is to skiing, it’s understandable why a successful relationship may seemingly warrant a partner interested in the same activity. And Katie had no interest in starting to ski.

Or so I thought.

After all the time we’ve spent together, I’d never asked Katie if she wanted to learn. I ignorantly assumed that if she wanted to ski, she’d ask. When our friend Caroline invited her on a lesson one day, I was amazed that she accepted. She wanted to learn but had been too timid to ask.

Katie isn’t learning to ski in the traditional way. By avoiding the crowds and lodges and lift lines, she’s choosing an unconventional way of learning to ski in today’s snow culture. Katie is learning to ski while learning to earn her turns. She’s climbing the hills that she is skiing down, using the power of her legs and whatever she ate for breakfast, which is usually spaghetti. This means that each turn isn’t wasted but cherished, because it takes hours for a run to be climbed and only minutes for it to be skied (unless you don’t know how to ski—then it takes almost as long to descend as to climb).

All of my skiing is leg-powered these days, but it hasn’t always been this way. I learned to ski at my local ski hill in Ohio, making thousands of lift-services laps over thousands of evenings. It’s 210 feet tall, and I was able to ski top-to-bottom in mere seconds. It allowed me to perfect my turns: rising into the traverse and sinking into the apex; orienting my upper body downhill; pole planting before each initiation. The chairlift rides were cold, but it was the only type of skiing I knew. Climbing up to ski down wasn’t even in my imagination.

Katie and I met at a very different stage in my skiing. These days, I climb everything that I ski. I spend the majority of my days walking uphill just to savor a few special, solitary moments on the way down. It also means that I spend most of my days away from her, returning with powder in every crease of clothing and a smile on my face. She wanted in on the action.

A mid-March trip to Bend, Oregon for the Subaru WinterFest offered Katie her first chance to ski two consecutive days. With a soundtrack provided by Harman Kardon, we affixed directional climbing skins to the bottoms of our skis and walked up a hill near Mt. Bachelor. After removing the skins and attaching her heel to the ski binding, she hesitantly dropped into the steepest slope of her life. Not until that evening did she realize that the backcountry terrain on which she’s learning to ski would be black diamond (difficult) terrain in the ski area.

She skied through variable snow conditions and frequently fell at the end of her turn. Katie struggled to link two turns together, so I offered advice sparingly and at her request. At the bottom of our first run, she asked if she could bootpack back up the lower portion of it. She not only wanted to practice more turns, but to learn a different style of ascent. She buckled her skis to her backpack like a pro and we were soon making a few more turns before returning to our Subaru, some hot tea, and some calm music.

Katie’s ski equipment isn’t perfect for her, but she doesn’t complain about its deficiencies, only about her own. She always skis with a helmet and is generally receptive to my advice. Considering how much unsolicited advice she receives from her social media followers, suggesting it’s easier to learn at the ski resort, Katie’s staying stedfast. She doesn’t want to learn at the ski resort precisely because it’s easier. She wants to embrace the challenge. And I’m here to support her.

It hasn’t been hard getting her out on the snow. Like when I was learning to ski, Katie wants to ski all the time, even when it’s unreasonable. She arrived to Bend sick and exhausted, but all she wanted to do was ski. On our drive to the mountain each day, she blasted music on our 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, dancing in the passenger’s seat. The soundtrack was happy and uptempo, music I’d only heard her play on her best days, and definitely not when she was sick. But a sickness wasn’t going to keep her off her hand-me-down skis when there was free hot chocolate being served at the Subaru WinterFest outside the lodge and an evening full of activities before we’d retire to our cozy cabin’s hot tub and fireplace.

Because that relaxation is exactly what you need when you’re skiing black diamonds in the backcountry during your first week on snow. I guess I’m not a skier dating a non-skier after all, because Katie is more excited to go skiing than any other skier I know. And that’s just the kind of (ski) partner I want.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored blog post for Harman / Kardon, but as always, all thoughts, opinions, and words are my own. (Well, Brody’s.) 

Guide to Playing Outside + Eating in Salt Lake City, UT

“Hey Katie, I’m heading to SLC [this week/next summer/tomorrow] and was wondering if you had advice on good trails for [running/skiing/hiking], places to adventure that are near town, can’t-miss restaurants and coffee shops…”

I get this message multiple times a week–and I love it. Salt Lake City is one of the greatest cities in America–if you ask me at least–and I fell deeply, madly in love with it the summer before I moved here. Sharing my beloved city’s best brings me joy, and I figured I ought to just write all my SLC advice and recommendations down since it’s one of my most frequently asked topics.

Getting Outdoors in SLC

Access to the outdoors is part of the reason I moved to Salt Lake. I’m not going to tell you all of the best spots, because they’re getting super crowded and need a bit of a break from all the upticks in traffic–but if you do enough homework you’ll find ’em. They’re right there. Here’s what I will spill the beans about:

  • The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is over 100 miles of continuous trails running through the foothills. You can run to it right from downtown, or drive a bit near the hills and hop on.
  • Liberty Park is my favorite outdoor public space in the city. A big ‘ole running/biking/rollerblading/dog walking loop, tons of fields, a big pond, an aviary, tennis courts, picnic tables with chessboards built in, the works. In the summertime, there’s a farmers market on Friday evenings. If you’ve been to Denver, it’s basically the SLC equivalent to Wash Park.
  • The canyons. Essentially, there are three main canyon hubs for outdoor recreation in SLC: Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, and Little Cottonwood. The Cottonwoods are where you’ll find all the ski resorts and climbing areas. And each of these canyons has hiking trails, backcountry skiing, picnic spots, and scenic drives. Millcreek is the only place you can bring pups (and there’s a $3 entrance fee).
  • Antelope Island is an amazing spot to see the Great Lake, hang out with some bison, and get the best sunset photo you’ve ever taken.

If you’re getting outside in SLC, please read up on Leave No Trace ethics and practice them diligently while you’re playing in our precious Wasatch Range. There has been so much growth in this community, and while I love seeing so many people getting outside, I hate to see my beloved landscapes getting trampled. Pack out all trash + dog poo, stay on the trails, don’t pick the wildflowers, and watch out for summertime afternoon thunderstorms. 

Where to Eat in SLC

  • Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurants: Surprisingly, SLC is a treasure trove of plant-based eateries. If you’ve ever watched my Instagram stories, you already know about Big O Doughnuts, a totally plant-based donut shop with flavors like churro cake and orange cardamom. Buds has the best vegan sandwiches (get the pesto ‘chicken’!) and outdoor seating. Boltcutter is what’s up for tacos + nachos, and has Monkey Wrench next door serving ‘anti-dairy’ ice cream. Other vegetarian + vegan-friendly spots include Vertical Diner for breakfast/brunch, Seasons for pasta and polenta dishes, and All Chay for the ‘shrimp’ omg.
  • More Restaurants: This list will not be extensive, because there’s just too much good food in SLC. For breakfast, head to Publik Kitchen, Roots Cafe, Blue Plate, or Eggs in The City. You will wait 30+ minutes at all of these places on a weekend morning, prepare accordingly. If you’re into ramen, check out Yoko. For the best Indian in town, make the quick drive out to Bombay House. I get nachos at Lone Star on a weekly basis in the summertime. Mazza and Laziz are your go-to for hipster Mediterranean food (try the labneh!) and Juanita’s is my pupusa spot. (For what it’s worth, these places all have good vegetarian food too.)
  • Coffeeshops: Literally pick any coffeeshop and you’ll be happy–there are so many cool spots to grab an espresso or hunker down to do some work. My favorites are Publik, Three Pines, Blue Copper, and Sugarhouse Coffee. If you just want to work, go to the downtown SLC Public Library.

 

Farmers Markets

I live for farmers market season. And here in SLC, you can get three in a weekend–in the summertime. On Fridays, head to Liberty Park for a farmers market with the most food truck choices. Saturdays are the best market of all, the downtown SLC farmers market at Pioneer Park. If you’re still in the market mood, Sundays are for the Park Silly craft + food market in Park City.

In the wintertime, the downtown market moves to the Rio Grande train station, on Saturdays.

Getting Active (Inside)

There are two climbing gyms in SLC, and a fierce divide between which gym is better: The Front and Momentum. I’m a member at The Front, and Brody is a member of Momentum. The Front 10/10 has the best ambiance and facilities, including a sauna, vastly better bouldering, comfy seating areas, an outdoor patio, and soon-to-be third floor cafe. Momentum has better sport climbing. So, priorities–I obviously chose the sauna.

For yogis, I can’t recommend Seek Studio enough. If you’re there in the summertime, drop in on a rooftop sunset session.

Other SLC Local Biz You Should Patronize

Stockist is where I go for expensive-but-worth-the-investment hipster clothing and planters. Cotopaxi is headquartered downtown, and their HQ sits right above a rad retail shop that you should pop into. For anything bicycle related, heat to Saturday Cycles. If you need pillows/towels/etc. check out Maewoven.

I’ll keep this list updated as I remember all of the magical Salt Lake City shops and trails and eateries I’m inevitably missing from this list–but it’s a start, and a lot more extensive than the usual recommendations I try to type out in DMs on Instagram.

What am I forgetting? Where’s your favorite spot in SLC? Holla in the comments!

Guide to Outdoor Advocacy at Outdoor Retailer

Guide to Outdoor Advocacy at Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show 2018

My agenda is jam-packed–and changing every hour. I haven’t seen the sun in days. My eyes are bleeding from scheduling social media and creating Facebook events. Because, well, it’s almost Outdoor Retailer.

This is the first Outdoor Retailer event held in Denver, and while I am still palpably bitter about SLC losing the tradeshow, there’s a lot of energy, excitement, and anticipation of how the new show will go.

I am happy to report that it seems the trend of using this gathering to really charge forward on important industry issues like advocacy and inclusion is going strong. There isn’t a dedicated public lands action center like there was at 2017 summer market in SLC–but the moving the tradeshow so quickly was no easy task, so I’ll refrain from making a fuss until next summer.

There’s a lot to cover at Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, so I rounded up the most important events in my own agenda to share with you. Panels, parties, the works.

Guide to Outdoor Advocacy at Outdoor Retailer

Basically, here’s what my agenda looks like (and what yours should too):

Wednesday

  • 10:15 AM: Filling the Void: Taking on Global Warming When Our Country Isn’t climate change talk at the Hyatt Regency in the Capitol Ballroom with OIA’s Amy Roberts, Mario Molina from POW, Chris Davenport, and more.
  • 3:00 PM: Trade School opening happy hour at Understudy. This concept event is happening throughout OR, so be sure to stop by and explore at some point. It’s “five days of art & discussion offering a window into the real work of outdoor-inspired artists, entrepreneurs, athletes and advocates.”
  • 7:30 PM: Night Zero Untamed: A Welcome Party for Outdoor Retailer at the McNichols Civic Center Building. To be honest I still don’t fully understand what this is but there’s one helluva speaker line-up, the website is oddly impressive, and something tells me this is a party not to miss. Everyone seems to be involved, like Access Fund, Climate Reality Project, PEW, Gov. Hickenlooper, Outside, Patagonia, it’s insane.

Thursday

  • 7:00 AM: Industry Breakfast with Paul Hawken at Bellco Theatre. I know, it’s early–BUT, this is the event kicking off Outdoor Retailer, and Paul Hawken is the man. “Find out how we, as outdoor businesses and individuals, can play a critical role in turning the tide on our climate’s future.” Make sure you’re wearing your badge to get in!
  • 7:00 PM: POW Party at McNichols Building. Start your day thinking about climate change, and end your day thinking about climate change. There will be food, booze, speakers, gear, the works. “Because who said citizen activism had to be boring?”
  • 7:00 PM: The Gathering at 1555 Central St. Unit 201. All I really know about this is that the women of Wylder Goods invited me, there’s going to be wild game and Unita beer, and it’s a celebration of conservation, food, and community.

Friday

  • 7:00 AM: Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Kevin Fedarko & Pete McBride at the Hyatt Regency. To be honest, I’ll probably still be sleeping, but if you’re a morning person, these breakfasts are always inspiring.
  • 1:00 PM: Book signing with Shawnté Salabert at the Mountaineers Books booth (#44104-UL). Shawnté is a treat to encounter, and an inspiring woman, author, litter-picker-upper, and friend. Go get a copy of her book!
  • 3:30 PM: Monumental Decisions Panel at RANGER Station. I literally moved my panel to a different day so that I could be at this one. It’s going to be good. Powerhouses like Patagonia, REI, KEEN, OIA, Parks Project and more coming together to talk about work we’ve done for protecting national monuments, and what’s ahead.

Saturday

  • 10:00 AM: Indigenous Connections: Re-envisioning Recreation and Public Land panel with NativesOutdoors at The Camp (Booth 56117-UL). “Join in a discussion with Native American recreation leaders on how the outdoor industry can more effectively partner with indigenous peoples.”
  • 11:00 AM: Allyship 101 at RANGER Station, moderated by Elyse Rylander of OUT There Adventures. This session “explores the relationship between the outdoors and social justice. Through an in-depth discussion, we’ll examine our individual impact on creating a more equitable and inclusive outdoors from both a personal and professional standpoint.”
  • 3:30 PM:Leading Outdoor Advocacy through Social Media panel in the Mineral Room at Hyatt Regency (I’m moderating this, woo!). Join emerging leaders in the digital space, like women from Melanin Base Camp, She-Explores, Indigenous Women Hike and Flash Foxy, as we explore the impact and opportunities in using social media to drive the next generation of outdoor advocacy. Learn how to take action and become a powerful voice on relevant topics like public lands, climate change, diversity, and local community issues.
  • 4:30 PM: Live Art with Sarah Uhl at the Conservation Colorado Happy Hour (Booth: 44030-UL). Sarah is magical, and she’s painting a 40 piece mural be built LIVE on the side of the Outdoor Research tiny house. AND Colorado Senator Bennet and Congressman Polis are expected to announce the introduction to the Continental Divide Wilderness Bill.
  • 6:30 PM: Backcountry Film Festival’s Night of Stoke at Bellco Theatre. Films and friends and athletes and whatnot.

Sunday

Monday

  • All day: DEMO DAY! I’m heading up to Copper Mountain to take the hype out onto the slopes for SIA’s Demo Day. I’ll be covering it for OIA and will likely injure myself while trying to ski.

What am I missing? Where will you be each day and evening during Outdoor Retailer? What events are you most looking forward to? (Mine, obvi, right?)

I can’t wait to hit the road and get out there to see all my favorite folks in Denver and start scheming how we’re going to make the outdoors a better place in 2018. See you next week!