I do not think I could overstate how enjoyable, educational, and flattering the past month at my new job has been. Enjoyable because the crew at Seek Outside operates with both integrity and joy in equal measure. Educational because, whatever I may or may not know about using gear outside, there are many things about making and selling it I didn’t know I knew, and getting a new window into your lifelong passion is a rare thing. And flattering because of the many personal contacts I’ve had. Congratulatory ones written into orders, in person ones from friends stopping by, and surprise contact with readers over the phone. In the past I’ve been thanked many times for my writing here, and even recognized in person by strangers (very occasionally), but the volume of the last four weeks is quite another thing.
It highlights the responsibility I now have, to everyone out there, my employers, my colleagues, my family, and myself. There’s the irony that I’ve found a job at which I would cheerfully work 70 hours a week, just when we have a toddler in the house. There will be the challenge, in the near future, to maintain the impossible separation between my official duties marketing and my public presence, here and elsewhere as an individual. And most of all there will be the task of producing products as good as many seem to expect, and that I know we at Seek Outside can. Just know that there is a long list of projects, and that nothing will go out into the world until it is ready.
My work day yesterday began in the dark, driving up into the canyons to do a training hike and get photos of how the BT2, which I have promoted aggressively here and elsewhere, and the revision of it which came out this fall, the Silvertip. The BT2 was symmetrical, elegant, and utterly steady in wind and snow. The interior was a bit on the short side for folks over 6 foot, especially on thick sleeping pads, so the Silvertip was revised to be longer, wider at the head and foot, and a little shorter (to better use fabric and make it possible to pitch with a single 145cm trekking pole). The above photo shows the sum of these changes as best as I could capture, but it doesn’t show the substantial increase in interior space, which surprised even me the first time I got inside. The BT2 has been my favorite shelter over the last two years, and the Silvertip should take over that role quite handily.
The heaviest iteration is shown above; with a stove jack and four extra guyouts added to the front and rear, and weighs a hair under 2 pounds. The Silvertip comes stock with one on each side, in the center, and while I don’t expect the others to be necessary under almost any circumstances, thus far they’ve proven popular with the paranoid. It is heavy for a two person shelter, but I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a more weatherproof shelter, of any persuasion, without going exponentially heavier. The design is remarkably silent in moderate (~30 mph) winds, and with 12 ground level tieouts anchoring is generally not an issue. It epitomizes the stuff I’m excited to be involved in making; light as thoughtfulness will allow, understated, totally dedicated to function, and promising a very long service life and high value. Even after I crossed into getting free samples and pro deals on most things 275 bucks is still a lot of money. In this case, I think most will find it cash well spent.