Many people might imagine that I spend most of my working week out and about doing all kinds of amazing outdoors stuff. I wish that was true. In reality I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk talking to outdoorsy people and writing about great outdoors things to do.
So when I do get the chance to sneak away to try outdoors pursuits or meet outdoors people I jump at the chance. This week, I spent two fun days visiting outdoors clothing and equipment brands in the Lake District.
I had not been to the Lakes for a while and although I can recall a few outdoor shops I had no idea that so many brands now have UK bases in the area.
Accompanied by Neil of Scotland Outdoors magazine, I headed off on an outdoors brand road trip.
We visited Salewa, Inov-8, The North Face and Mountain Hardwear. Sadly Vaude’s marketing lady had a sick child so she couldn’t meet us.
What I learned on an outdoors brands road trip
There are many more brands represented in Lake District offices than I ever imagined possible.
The marketing and PR people are super lovely and super enthusiastic.
They also know their products well and were keen to communicate this to us.
They all know each other, across brands, and many brands staff in the Lakes meet for a pizza once a week!
Bright colours in outdoor clothing and kit are very much the trend for the next summer and winter seasons.
Black is the colour chosen by shoppers in urban areas. Presumably they wear their outdoor clothing for going to the office and general non-rural leisure activities.
Bright colours are increasingly the choice of men and women for rural outdoor activities.
Women’s clothing is as much a focus for the outdoors brands as men’s clothing.
However, sizing varies a lot between brands. I wish it was more standardised.
There’s an impressive range of technical enhancements from each of the brands in their latest ranges.
The brands are keen to hear from consumers about what they like and don’t like about their clothing and kit.
Every brand we visited has its own great USP or USPs.
There are so many different types of products that I’d love to test and review (if only I had all the time in the world away from my desk).
I could happily talk about all the many details of outdoors kit with likeminded people for many, many days at a time. Call me an outdoors kit geek!
There are too many brands to visit in just two days, so we are planning another trip soon.