Our friend Anne gets more press than anybody we know, deservedly so.  If you get a chance, check out the recent profile/interview of her in Brava magazine.  Anne’s story is pretty inspiring:  A self-described couch-potato until the age of 40, she began rock-climbing at 42.  Now – at 53 – she cranks on both ice and rock.  

Anne is living proof of the health and life benefits associated with an active outdoor lifestyle.  She’s travelled all over the world to climb, and goes to far-away locations many times a year.  She’s also a climbing instructor (specializing in teaching classes to women who are over 40.)  For our industry, she’s both an A-level consumer and advocate for the sport.  She wins, we win, everybody wins.

The outdoor industry is doing a fairly good job of connecting with women in general, and in particular with women who are over 40.  Thanks to Chicks With Picks, Women That RockSheClimbs, Surf Divas, Outdoor Divas, Water Divas and similar organizations and movements, there are a lot of options for women.  Gateway activities such as indoor rock climbing and Nordic Walking make outdoor recreation more accessible than ever before.  And all of this is great.  

My question:  Where are the kids?  Let’s keep talking about this one.  In order for the outdoor industry to be vibrant and to succeed in the long-term, we need to do a better job of getting our youth active with outdoor activities, and with the outdoors in general.

To be continued…

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