Outdoor Retailer Show Round-Up
Once again, explorers, adventurers and retailers throughout North America and parts of the world converged on Salt Lake City for the bi-annual Outdoor Retailer convention. You’ve got to love a trade show that not only allows retailers to bring their pet dogs, but goes so far as to issue canines their very own name badges.
Memphis, part lab and Doberman, is a real gear hound. Let’s see the Consumer Electronics Show try to be this cool. His master, Joe Rizzo, works for Zeal Optics.
Two speakers in particular captivated the attention of thousands of attendees.
• The Passion of Terry Tempest Williams
The woman at our table during the Outdoor Industry of America breakfast was sobbing softly as American author, conservationist and activist Terry Tempest Williams, 60, marked the centennial of the National Park Service. Williams herself was also tearful at times as she said, “We are not the only animals who understand love and loss. We are not the only animals who inhabit this beautiful, broken world. We are not the center of the universe. … Wild spaces are our refuge.”
Williams implored the audience of outdoor retailers and manufacturers to make the most of their power and love for the outdoors to protect those places. “… find (your) activist roots … put protection over profit because in your heart you know it’s the same thing.”
Williams is a proponent of the “Keep it in the Ground” movement that hopes to restrict fossil fuel development on public lands.
• The Emerald Mile
During the Conservation Alliance breakfast, author and adventurer Kevin Fedarko candidly shared his experiences as “Groover boy,” the lowest caste of river guide on the Grand Canyon. It was his responsibility to follow behind the guided tours in a rubber raft, the so-called “poo boat,” named Jackass, full of human excrement.
He calls dory guides, “a river subculture of extraordinary men and women who are masters at storytelling, which usually amount to giant bald-faced lies.”
His book, The Emerald Mile (Scribner | Simon & Schuster, 2013), follows the story of the fastest ever ride down the canyon in 1983 when floods threatened to destroy the Glen Canyon Dam and a deluge of water was released. It deplores threatened development in the canyon, including a massive tramway the Navajo nation hopes to use to deliver 10,000 tourists per day to the bottom. To make matters worse, the western canyon is visited by 600 helicopter flights a day, he says.
‘The bottom of the Grand Canyon is a secret and forbidden world through a giant tapestry of rock,” he said. “It instills a level of humility among those who establish a connection with it.”
• Cool Gear
Want to know about the latest and greatest new technology on display for explorers and adventurers? Well, you’ll have to consult some of the big outdoor magazines for their gear reviews. We’re more interested in the unsung manufacturers creating the products you probably won’t see in the glossy pubs. For instance:
“I’ve Been Everywhere, Man” – Taylor Jordan of Traveler Guitar
Rock On – The Traveler Guitar is a full-scale compact travel guitar with a full neck. They’re small enough to fit in an airplane overhead, and at under three pounds it’s light enough to take on almost any expedition. Use it with a headphone amp to disconnect from nature, assuming you ever find the need to do so. Better learn the words to the Beatles’ Day Tripper first. $300. For more information: www.travelerguitar.com
Ryan Kirkpatrick, president of Shwood. Get into a pinch? Go ahead and burn ‘em.
Wood, Shwood – Handcrafted sunglasses from Shwood in Portland, Ore., include sunglass frames made out of wood, titanium, acetate, pieces of vinyl from Atlantic Records, even compressed paper. For more information: www.shwoodshop.com.
Bad News for Cheating Adventurers – They have no excuse now to leave their wedding bands behind. Qalo is a wedding ring made of medical grade silicone that provides a safe, functional alternative to the traditional metal wedding band. TV comic Jimmy Fallon almost lost a finger when his wedding band snagged on a counter at home. It’s called a ring avulsion. Google it if you dare. Just saying. $15.99 to $19.99. For more information: www.qalo.com
The Fur Flies as Salt Lake Man Attempts First AutoGyro Circumnavigation
It sounds improbable, but after writing EN for over 21 years, we’ve learned not to doubt the determination of explorers and adventurers focused on setting records.
No flying cars yet on the horizon. This AutoGyro will just have to do.
Later this month, Marc Bradley Campbell, 56, a retired composites pool manufacturer, former actor, and competitive sailor based in Salt Lake City, plans to train for the world’s first AutoGyro circumnavigation of the globe by flying from Torrence, Calif. to Jacksonville, Fla., hopefully breaking the roundtrip record of three days three hours.
Oh, and did we say he’s flying with his cat, an adopted stray named Ki? Cue the eyeroll.
The Torrence-Jacksonville-Torrence shake-down flight will be a prelude to an expected early summer 2016 project called Ribbon Around the World to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Campbell will be flying a 16-ft. German-made AutoGyro Calidus, whose range is 500 miles with a top speed of 115 mph. It sells for approximately $120,000. The AutoGyro is one of the last remaining types of aircraft that has yet to circumnavigate the globe, despite previous attempts. Sponsors of the $150,000 circumnavigation effort include AirGyro, Garmin, and Turtle-Pac.
Let the fur fly
About that feline. Ki will be inside the cockpit and sit in a chest pouch to keep Campbell company. Campbell played “Benny Bushnell” in the film, The Executioner’s Song (1982), the story of Gary Gilmore, a convicted murderer who lobbied for his own execution. For one extreme AutoGyro pilot, this planned round-the-world flight is likely to be his biggest role yet.
For more information: ScotsMarc@gmail.com, www.RAWGyro.org, 813 482 2626
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“Exploration is adventurous, but it is much more than an adventure. Many adventures may be quite exhilarating but are not exploration. Taking a sailing trip in the Caribbean, hiking in the mountains, or joining a guided tour of ancient ruins is exciting, but it is not exploration. However, if you took a sailing trip to the Caribbean to study reef ecology or you hiked in the mountains to survey wildlife, then that would be exploration.
“Exploration has a scientific basis, and information is collected and usually shared. The actual trip is secondary to the purpose of discovering information and contributing to scientific knowledge. This distinction is what sets exploration apart from adventure travel, eco-tours, and similarly adventurous activities.”
– Bill Steele, 67, a speleologist who has led and participated in expeditions to many of the longest and deepest caves in the U.S., Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and China. He has explored more than 2,500 caves across North America and Asia. His legacy from a long career with the Boy Scouts of America is the recent introduction of an Exploration merit badge.
Deep Thoughts About the Sea
Enric Sala, 47, a marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, says only one percent of the ocean is currently protected and the rest is being disrupted by overfishing, pollution, climate change and species extinction.
He was asked by the New York Times (Jan. 3), what is going to be the hardest place on the planet to protect in the future. His reply: “There is one place in Antarctica, the Ross Sea, that requires the consent of 25 countries to protect it: 23 of these countries have agreed. Russia and China are left.
“I would like to take President Putin down there so he can see it with his own eyes and understand firsthand how stunning these places are and understand they are for all of life.”
See the interview here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/travel/national-geographic-water-pollution.html?_r=0
Disney Picks up The Explorers Club
In previous issues of EN, we’ve written about a former pop rock band, an off-Broadway play, and a Johnnie Walker whiskey playing off The Explorers Club name, not to mention numerous children’s organizations that borrow from the prestigious New York-based organization. Late last year came word that Walt Disney Pictures has picked up Adrienne Kress’ enticing new adventure series, The Explorers Club. Michael De Luca, who had been attached to the property since July, will produce under his Michael De Luca Productions banner. The Explorers Club, set for publication in Fall 2016, is the first in Kress’ three book deal with Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House.
Explorers Club author Adrienne Kress
The Explorers Club centers on Sebastian, a shy boy who teams up with the risk-taking Evie in search of her grandfather, who’s been kidnapped for a map leading to the fountain of youth.
In order to save her grandfather, Evie teams with Sebastian to reunite her grandfather’s old explorer team, the Filipendulous Five, who disbanded for reasons unknown.
The story alone fits Disney’s brand, as high-concept adventure stories are a staple for the studio. The Explorers Club immediately strikes favorable comparisons to the studio’s animated hit Up, which encapsulated a similar call to adventure. For more information: http://www.adriennekress.com/author/
Editor’s note: This new section of EN will focus on the nonstop search for funding, including new methods of securing sponsorship of expeditions, feats and adventures, from corporations, nonprofits, crowdsourcing and even scholarships as we explain below.
Scholarships Available for Polar Ambassadors
The Students on Ice (SOI) Foundation, based in Gatineau, Québec, educates the world’s youth about the importance of the polar regions, supports them in their continued personal and professional growth and inspires and catalyzes initiatives that contribute to global sustainability. Over the past 15 years, SOI has taken more than 2,500 youth from 52 countries to the polar regions, fostering generations of educated, inspired and empowered youth whose understanding of the environmental, social and political landscape is shaping their perspectives and impacts on our world.
There are many scholarships for students to have the chance to join SOI's life-changing expedition to explore the Canadian Eastern Arctic and the western coast of Greenland from July 21 to August 5, 2016.
The application deadline is March 11, 2016. For more information: www.studentsonice.com
Dr. Don Walsh, Honorary President of The Explorers Club, and Geoff Green, C.M., founder of the Students on Ice Foundation, will host a fundraiser at The Explorers Club in New York on Feb. 3, 2016. To purchase tickets, contact: Jessica Freeborn at email@example.com, 819 827 3300
Unlikely Source of Polar Sponsorship
For explorers and adventurers desperately seeking sponsorship, comes this encouraging tale of an unlikely sponsor of a North Pole Expedition this winter. A Midland, UK, businessman has stepped in to save a globally important, milestone expedition that could be the last of its kind ever to be made by a British team.
Set to make it into the history books with worldwide repercussions, the Sir Ranulph Fiennes’-backed Race Against Time will see Coventry-born explorer Mark Wood trek from the Russian Arctic Coast to the geographic North Pole across fragile Arctic ice.
No sour grapes here. Mark Tweddle comes to the rescue of polar expedition.
In February 2016, Brits Wood, Paul Vicary and Mark Langridge will attempt to trek from Russia to the North Pole without resupply. The team will attempt a 60-day crossing from the Russian Cape Arkticheskiy (the Arctic Cape) across the Arctic Ocean to the Geographic North Pole.
The trek, set to expose the true fallout of climate change in the Arctic, was on the verge of failing due to a lack of sponsorship when Midland entrepreneur Mark Tweddle, 38, heard of Wood’s expedition and plight at a guest lecture the explorer was giving. Owner of a successful global fruit import and export business, Tweddle stepped in at the 11th hour.
“As a company that is leading in its field with global firsts, including with new varieties of grapes, we wanted to be part of a world last,” Tweddle tells the FreshPlaza.com website.
Read the story here: http://www.freshplaza.com/article/151593/UK-fruit-importer-exporter-backs-polar-expedition
Learn about Wood’s expedition here: www.northpole16.com
Canada Goose Celebrates First-Ever Global Campaign with Exploration Film
Canada Goose released Out There, a short film directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker and director, Paul Haggis, according to SportsOneSource Media. The focus of its first-ever global brand campaign, the film chronicles the stories and triumphs of explorers and everyday adventurers who have survived harrowing situations and accomplished incredible feats. It’s one of the best corporate exploration films we’ve seen in a long time.
The film tells the stories of some of the brand's most inspirational "Goose People": Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to summit Mount Everest; Lance Mackey, a four-time Iditarod Champion, two-time ESPY nominee and Hall of Famer; Karl Bushby who is currently seeking to be the first human to traverse the globe completely with unbroken steps; Paddy Doyle, a veteran pilot at First Air, Canada's airline of the North, and Marilyn Hofman, a medivac flight nurse who had a brush with death while visiting the Canadian Arctic.
View it online here: http://outthere.canada-goose.com
Wigwam Celebrates 110 Outdoor Movers and Shakers
Last year, Wigwam, a made-in-the-USA socks brand, celebrated its 110th anniversary by looking at the past 110 years to find 110 people in the outdoors world who have made a difference. The website, which continues on GearJunkie.com, is a look back in history at an incredible group of adventurers and iconoclasts, many “unexpected” heroes. The list includes outdoor movers and shakers – from athletes and artists to conservationists of decades past, including those still getting it done. See it here: http://110.gearjunkie.com
ON THE HORIZON
NY WILD Film Festival Comes to The Explorers Club, Jan. 28 to 31, 2016
The 2016 New York WILD Film Festival will be held January 28 to 31, 2016 at The Explorers Club headquarters in New York. The event, now in its third year, spotlights films in the exploration, adventure, wildlife and environmental genres.
This year, renowned director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) will receive the award for Best Conservation Hero Film for his documentary What's Motivating Hayes, about the pioneering investigative biologist Tyrone Hayes. Meru, winner of the U.S. Documentary Audience Award at Sundance and recently shortlisted for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature, will also be screened.
The event offers film and adventure enthusiasts – as well as armchair travelers – an insider's look at the world of adventure and wildlife cinema by showcasing the best films from across the globe that explore such vital concepts as conservation, discovery and respect for the planet.
NY WILD is presented by The Explorers Club. Title sponsors are National Geographic, and The University of Miami - Exploration Science.
For more information: www.explorers.org
Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley,
Royal Geographical Society, London, through Feb. 28, 2016
One of the greatest-ever photographic records of human survival is on display in a new exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society in London, now through Feb. 28, 2016.
Honoring the achievements of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the men of the Endurance Expedition of 1914-1917, newly digitized images reveal previously unseen details of the crew’s epic struggle for survival both before and after their ship was destroyed.
At the heart of the exhibition are more than 90 high resolution images, taken by Shackleton’s official expedition photographer Frank Hurley, and saved by him under the most extreme circumstances to provide a lasting record of the men of the Endurance and their story.
For the first time, the fragile glass plate and celluloid negatives, stored securely at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) for more than 80 years, have been digitized directly from the originals. Now viewed at full definition, the images unlock the remarkable detail captured originally by Hurley in his photographic processing, including interior images of the Endurance and high resolution information of life on the pack ice of the Weddell Sea.
Can’t make it to London? See the official program with many of Hurley’s images here:
Egad! ECAD Returns to the Waldorf
The 2016 Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD) returns to the Waldorf Astoria in New York on March 12, 2016, themed Oceans: Current of Life. Last year it was held at the Museum of Natural History, located crosstown from Club HQ. Honorees this year include:
• The Explorers Club Medal
Frederick Roots, O.C., Ph.D.
A legendary polar scientist, expedition leader, and explorer, Roots is a Canadian geoscientist, meteorologist, and ecologist. His distinguished career has included the famous Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1949-52), contributing author of the Antarctic Treaty, and developing the Polar Continental Shelf Program. He also holds the record for the longest unsupported dogsled journey (189 days). EN met him in late 2009 in Antarctica with Students On Ice and was immediately struck by his connection with over 80 youth from throughout North America.
• The William Beebe Award
Joseph MacInnis, C.M., M.D.
MacInnis is a medical doctor whose pioneering research on undersea science and engineering projects earned him his nation’s highest honor—the Order of Canada. He’s worked under the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He currently studies red-zone leadership and its role in solving global problems such as climate change.
• Explorers Club Citation of Merit
Edmundo R. Edwards, FI ‘90
Archaeologist, astronomer and ethnologist, Edwards, a 45-year resident of Easter Island, has devoted his life to the scientific study, survey of numerous sites and preservation of the archaeology and culture of the Polynesia. Co-founder of the Pacific Islands Research Institute (PIRI), Edwards works tirelessly towards continued discovery, analysis, documentation, restoration and understanding of South Pacific history and cultures.
For more information and to order tickets: www.explorers.org
Hold the Learjet: U.S. is Within Path of Solar Eclipse, Aug. 21, 2017
You won’t have to fly your Learjet to Nova Scotia to see the next total eclipse of the sun. It’s coming to you on August 21, 2017, when millions of people across the U.S. will see nature's most wondrous spectacle. It will be the first total eclipse over the U.S. in 38 years.
As the moon completely blocks the sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. It’s already being called the Great American Eclipse with an “official” website ready to sell you as many t-shirts, ballcaps, solar system necklaces, and plastic eclipse viewing glasses as you may need. See a video showing the path of totality here: http://www.greatamericaneclipse.com
Get Sponsored! – Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the new book from Skyhorse Publishing called: "Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers."
Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands' End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.
Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Sponsored-Explorers-Adventurers-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00H12FLH2
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