Outdoor Retailer: Wrap Up

Tele skier and lightweight backpacker Ron Rod beat four other design students in the Project OR competition. Ron designed and completed “The Rocker,” a woman's mid-layer jacket complete with a fully-integrated and working sound system, to win the 48-hour concept-to-prototype contest.

No, we’re not wrapping up our coverage of the new gear we saw at Outdoor Retailer. We’ve got lots more of that to come. So keep on visiting. However, now that we’re back home it seemed like time for a little wrap-up of the show itself.

Outdoor Retailer definitely felt quieter this year due to the economic downturn, about five percent down from last year’s Winter Market turnout according to OR. Many manufacturers and retail buyers scaled back their presence and travel budgets, and presumably many small and new companies opted not to make the trip at all.

However, there was still plenty of outdoor business happening with approximately 16,500 attendees checking out the 330,000 square feet of floor space.

To give you some perspective of the space we cover, I wore a pedometer from the hotel to the show and back each day. Here are the numbers, not counting walks to dinner:

Wednesday, Day 0: 4,570 steps, 1.73 miles (went to pick up media badge)

Thursday, Day 1: 12,732 steps, 4.83 miles

Friday, Day 2: 8,073 steps, 3.06 miles

Saturday, Day 3: 14,698 steps, 5.58 miles

Sunday, Day 4: 14,973 steps, 5.68 miles (not counting a 1 mile sprint, with bags and baby stroller, from Gate K9 in Terminal 3 to C7 in Terminal 1 in O’Hare... whew...)

Grand Total: 55,046 steps, 20.88 miles

Filed under: Outdoor Retailer, Gear News


Bill S
4,419 reviewer rep
6,010 forum posts
January 28, 2009 at 12:12 p.m. (EST)

Gee, Alicia, I guess I should have used a pedometer, too, or maybe a GPS receiver. I just used my HRM at the Backcountry Base Camp, at which I accumulated 2680 feet of descent. The demo people placed a limit of 1 run on each pair of skis you demoed (too much demand to allow a thorough testing), so I only got a couple runs in plus a bit of running around on snowshoes.

The Salt Palace is pretty huge for a trade show, and as usual for trade shows, there are lots of vendors handing out stuff. Most, of course, consists of trinkets and other junk with the manufacturers' logos on it (do I need yet another snowball throwing device, or another keychain, or another glasses retainer, or another frisbee?). But there are lots of chances to sit down and probe the reps in detail. One very interesting demo was at the Victorinox booth. If you fell in a certain category, you could make your very own Swiss Army Knife (Alicia, Dave, and I did not fall in that category - you had to be a buyer for a large enough retailer and have just signed an order). You took the various blades and springs, placed them in the frame with the rivets, and tightened the assembly with the special vise. The Victorinox rep hammered the rivets and tested the fit and feel of the blades, then handed you the "scales" (the plastic side plates), which you fitted, then force-fit into place with the special press, to take home your very own, personally made knife. Even if I had to just be a spectator for that, I learned an amazing amount about the inner workings of a SAK that I had not known (and about the needed maintenance for making it last a lifetime).

1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts
January 30, 2009 at 10:34 p.m. (EST)

Bill S. says:

"I learned an amazing amount about the inner workings of a SAK that I had not known (and about the needed maintenance for making it last a lifetime)."

Well...care to share? HaHa

I use lithium grease on mine, sparingly. I have replaced the "scales" with my own custom made Bolivian Cherry wood grips.
I did not know they were called scales, I called them something else when I broke one, but I love my SAK!

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