Outdoor Retailer 2009: Start Your Engines

BACKPACKER arrives in Salt Lake City the biggest gear show of the year—the mighty OR.

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The view of OR from Associate Editor Shannon Davis’s hotel window.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Gearheads, gearwonks, and geargeeks of all stripes. Welcome to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009.

What the heck/hell is that, you say?

It’s the biggest trade show in the outdoor industry, where all the latest and greatest gear for 2010 is unveiled. It’s where buyers from all the major retailers decide what’s going to be on the shelves. It’s where elite climbers, paddlers, and thru-hikers stand around in fresh shirts nodding and smiling at each other. It’s where backpackers disguised as hardworking journalists hit the floor to see the action, get the biz, glom the swag, and drain free pints. In other words, it’s gear heaven, and we have backstage passes.

All week on the Daily Dirt, we’ll be bringing you behind the ropes to see the coolest, most lusty gear and apparel for 2010. I’ll be asking and old lady named Zelda to rub her crystal ball, look deep into Q1 of next year and tell you what you’ll be drooling over. It’ll be like that that one movie where Tom Hanks–ah, you get it. I’m off to the first of many “events” with a company that does PR for the likes of Osprey and Sportiva.

Check back daily for blog entries, and get up-to-the-minute coverage on our Twitter feed. This year, it’s all killer, no filler.

—Shannon Davis