Get More People Outside
Attending the Outdoor Retailer Conference January 29 – 31, 2020 was an engaging experience fueled by inspiring talks about the future of outdoor recreation to meeting with top brands in the outdoor industry. The major takeaway from Outdoor Retailer 2020 was straightforward: all people need to get outside more. According to a study from the Outdoor Industry Association, only half of Americans went outside to recreate in 2018*. Over 160 million people are missing out on outdoor activities as simple as playing in the yard, taking a walk, or going to the park.
At the conference, Jessica Carrillo Alatorre, Hike it Baby Executive Director, and I participated in inspiring presentations from industry leaders about how outdoor recreation and healthy populations go hand-in-hand. How it’s important to acknowledge that getting outside looks different for everyone and that is OK. We don’t have to be climbing mountains or hiking through epic landscapes to be an outdoor person. Getting outside shouldn’t be a feat in itself, getting outside should be normal and accessible for everyone. There is no “doing it wrong” when you go outside.
Building Diversity & Inclusion
A highlight was meeting with James Edwards Mills, author, and creator of the Joy Trip Project, on how we can build equity, diversity, and inclusion in all levels of the Hike it Baby organization in a thoughtful, sustainable, and committed way that lends impact and keeps us accountable. We also listened to an insightful panel discussion on making waves by being true to ourselves and representing and owning the space we should have in the world.
Diversity and inclusion in the outdoors continue to be a major theme at the Outdoor Retailer event and in the outdoor industry as a whole. At one of the largest conference events, a breakfast talk hosted by Camber Outdoors, the discussion revolved around equity and inclusion steps that everyone can take, especially in the workplace. Next year’s event will further this important topic by featuring a panel of people of color and groups traditionally underrepresented in the outdoor space.
Brands Enhancing the Outdoor Experience
Outdoor Retailer gives us a special opportunity to meet with the brands that support Hike it Baby and our mission of connecting families with babies and young children to the outdoors and to each other. We also introduced new organizations to the Hike it Baby mission and shared in their excitement over the work we are doing and how they can get involved. Lastly, it’s really cool to see all the new gear and products entering the outdoor space. There are some awesome companies out there doing a lot of good, from making sustainable products to helping the outdoors be more accessible.
About Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor Retailer, the largest U.S. trade show and premier business event for the outdoor industry, brings together retailers, manufacturers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation through trade shows, Outdoor Retailer Magazine, product demo events, media events, and web-based business solutions. Visit outdoorretailer.com for more information.
About Hike it Baby
Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to getting families outdoors and on trails across the U.S. and internationally, supporting, educating and inspiring families through their more than 300 communities across North America. Since its grassroots inception in 2013 in Portland, Oregon, Hike it Baby is now a growing community of 270,000 families and 500 volunteer branch ambassadors hosting more than 1,600 hikes per month. More information, as well as daily hike schedules, can be found at HikeitBaby.com, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Photos courtesy of Linzay Davis.