Category Archives: David

Why I Buy – The Three F’s

Photo: David Morlock Photography | OWL Trip 2010

I came across The Three F’s when I first started working in the Outdoor Industry about 20 years ago. I had only been on the job for a short time and like any new staffer hungry for knowledge I was browsing through old catalogs in the break room.

In the front of an old backpack catalog some guy named “Wayne” used the concept of Fit, Fabrics and Features to walk through his product line. It was a concept that not only clarified the differences between the products in the line but also between other companies.

The Three F’s have been a great tool me. They’re a yardstick that help me decide whether or not I’m going to buy a piece of equipment or apparel and they’re a great method for comparing and understanding outdoor products.

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What’s Your “Trekking Pole Trail”?

Following the "trail" in Willow Canyon

Following the "trail" in Willow Canyon

It’s that time of year in the shop. Customers with backpacking equipment lists bound for adventure start their journey in your store. We know the drill. Start with the boot fit. Next the pack fit. Then with the boots on and the pack loaded help them with all the other essentials. One item that’s usually found on the “optional” part of that list is trekking poles.

It can be easy to dismiss that “optional” item. Trekking poles can seem gimmicky, only for wussies or backpacker nerds. Plus it can be a $100+ “optional” item on that list. But after a great clinic as a shop employee and some “Trekking Pole Trails” of my own I’ve changed my mind.

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They’re the first to come and the last to leave

by: Bryan Kuhn | Pemba Serves Field Rep

Thank you.

Really it’s a simple phrase, and we do use it often – but there are times when the simple mention doesn’t do it justice.

I’ve been on the vendor side at #ORShow before. Winter shows, summer shows, an SIA and a couple buy group shows for measure. I’ve seen first hand all the hassle, stress, and impossible tasks involved with getting a show to run smoothly in that 20×20 island. I’ve had crates delivered 2 hours before the clean floor deadline, mystery power outages the morning of opening, a 15 hour Vegas to Salt Lake redeye flight from hell, and put in those 18 hour days back to back to back because there are only 2 of you for a brand at the show.

On the representative side of things, an Outdoor Retailer event is actually pretty painless. We come in, go to our sales meetings, go to the show, give support in booths, meet with our retailers, partners, and friends, and then we leave. We guzzle free coffee, eat free lunches, and drink free beer.

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Slideshow: Car Free Reps

With each clinic and sales cycle we’re exploring more ways to avoid the car and either get on a bike or use public transportation. Benefits? Better use of our time and attention, better for the environment and better for our well-being.

Things are really getting interesting


Photos: ORA | Spring 2009

Photos: Erehwon Mountain Outfitter’s Outdoor Spring Adventure Expo

Photos: Midwest Mountaineering Spring 2009 Outdoor Expo

One twitter experiment with measurable results.

There’s been some back and forth of late relating to Twitter being a good use of time and attention. While I understand the perspectives of both camps I often see myself wandering between the two. Some days I need long stretches of uninterrupted time to be productive. Other days I really enjoy the paths that twitter presents and I make connections that I might not have made otherwise

With that in mind we did an experiment these past few weeks. We dropped a rock in the Pemba Serves Twitter pond and watched the ripples. To do this we used a url shortener called to measure the traffic on a specific tweet.

If you follow Pemba Serves on twitter or facebook you may recall seeing a variation of this tweet over the past few weeks.

Here are the stats from March 24th through the end of the program yesterday.

These stats measure the number of users that kept the address intact that was initiated on @pembaserves and @pembanews.

So, what is Twitter good for? In this case it’s good for raising $788 to provide kids with transformational outdoor experiences that they might not have had otherwise. A contribution that would not have been possible without the social currency that Pemba Serves or our followers have generated through this new medium.

Thanks to everyone who re-tweeted and clicked.

Photos: Canoecopia | 2009