Apgar permit office, 10 minutes after opening, July.
Visiting Outdoor Retailer a few weeks ago brought it home to me just how huge a percentage of the outdoor industry is given over to what I’d call lifestyle gear and pursuits. As a dedicated elitist asshole since my teenage years I find it hard to say “lifestyle” without a permasnear, but having Little Bear around as well as trying to be more broad and ecumenical in my outlook has tempered that, a little.
I define lifestyle outdoor gear as something optimized for everyday city or front country activities, rather than backcountry or a specific sport. Some sports, like downhill/area skiing, are almost inherently lifestyle sports, which explains the cross pollination between the two. Another example is SUP. I still find it’s existence outside tidal environments the height of absurdity, but when LB and I are at the local beach of an evening the appeal of being able to cruise around after work is obvious. They’re the water version of an Electra cruiser, and on a societal level are surely a better use of hundreds of dollars than a PS4. Therefore lifestyle outdoor stuff gets a pass, even if it isn’t just a gateway to proper, backcountry outdoor pursuits, and even if the hipster car campers and dayhikers have this summer made Glacier more crowded than ever.
LB, car camping, Many Glacier.
All of this is to say that we all, hopefully, spend a lot of lifestyle time blending the outdoors into daily life. Hikes before work, bike rides and floats after, dinners picnics, even walking or biking the long way to the pub rather than driving counts. Life is more fun this way, sneaks in more exercise, and is a way for those of us who take a functional paycut to live in certain places to maximize any given season.
So, as a way to kickstart the celebration of this blogs 10th anniversary (coming in early December), sell out, and kill more innocent pixels I’ll take the next few days to highlight a few awesome lifestyle items which have over the next few years made my life a little better. Exciting.