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New Gear for Overland Travelers at Outdoor Retailer 2022 Snow Show

Outdoor Retailer 2022 snow show

Considered by many to be the premier outdoor industry trade show in North America, Outdoor Retailer brings together brands, store owners, athletes, PR, media—pretty much anyone that has anything to do with outdoor recreation. The winter version of this get-together, referred to as the OR Snow Show, just took place at the Denver Convention center. I attended in hopes of finding outdoor gear that could prove useful on overland adventures, and I was not disappointed!

 

Outdoor Retailer 2022 Snow Show Has Gear for Everyone, Even Overlanders

While there is certainly an emphasis on skiing and snowboarding, Outdoor Retailer 2022 still showcases plenty of new gear that would be right at home in many of our overland vehicles. This includes a broad range of items like cold-weather clothing, camp kitchen equipment, knives, electronics, and footwear, to name a few.

outdoor retailer 2022 staples in tents

Running into familiar faces! Overlanders and all-around wonderful people: Sonya and Necota Staples of Staples in Tents and Black People Offroad.

 

Innovative Products at Outdoor Retailer 2022 Snow Show

Let’s get right into it, starting with two items nominated for the 2022 Outdoor Retailer Innovation award which, “recognize[s] the cutting edge and carefully considered products and retail services from all seasons made famous at the trade show.” The winning products are determined by a panel of expert judges who consider products and services based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Spark: concept, design, appeal
  • Desire: opportunity, differentiation
  • Function: innovation, functionality, insight
  • Impact: cultural, environmental, business

 

Little Kamper Propane Exchange

I’m sure that most of you have used the little green 1-pound propane cylinders at one time or another in your overland adventures. The conveniently sized fuel canisters are easy to pack and widely available, but disposing of them is another story. Because they cannot be easily recycled, they present a logistical challenge for the parks and recreation areas where they are often discarded. Ultimately, the vast majority end up in landfills.

outdoor retailer 2022 snow show

To battle this problem, Little Kamper Propane Exchange has introduced a refillable 1-pound propane bottle exchange. Similar to conventional propane refill stations, Little Kamper allows customers to swap out their empty 1-pound tanks at participating retailers instead of pitching them into the trash. This program has a slightly higher cost than conventional single-use canisters, but it’s worth asking yourself what the true cost of the single-use cylinders is (spoiler alert, our environment pays the price). With participating retailers in California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, there are already multiple locations adjacent to recreation areas and national parks where you can utilize this new service.

Price varies by location |littlekamper.com

 

Karmik Outdoors Online Lost and Found

Karmik Outdoors wants to help reunite lost gear with its owners, and they’re making that easier than ever with their QR code labels. The idea is simple:

    • Purchase Karmik’s tiny, ultra-durable labels.
    • Affix them to your gear.
    • Register your labels on the Karmik website, which catalogs your personal gear garage.

Labels come in the form of plastic bag tags, reflective decals, non-reflective decals, or “anywhere” decals (tiny, should fit on just about anything). The labels clearly state, “return | get rewarded.” If your labeled gear becomes lost and is then found, the QR code can be scanned with a smartphone, bringing the person who found your gear to Karmik’s website. Karmik will then facilitate communication to reconnect you with your lost item. They’ll even provide a reward to the person who returns your lost gear.

$10+ | karmikoutdoors.com

 

Overland Kitchen

When it comes to overland camp kitchen items, I came across a few interesting pieces of kit to help with everything from organization to food preparation, as well as the most important part of mealtime: eating.

 

Ukonserve Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers

I’ve found that keeping things organized in my ARB fridge is much easier with an assortment of square and rectangle containers. If I have my choice, I prefer to use metal containers like this Ukonserve stainless steel set. While stainless is generally a little bit more of an investment up front, it’s much more durable for those of us who travel and live out of our vehicles. Thin-walled stainless containers are lighter weight than glass, and I don’t have to worry about them shattering if they fall off of my kitchen counter.

outdoor retailer 2022

Ukonserve containers are available in a large variety of different shapes and configurations, with plastic or silicone lids. They even make vacuum-insulated containers for keeping food hot or cold.

Prices vary |ukonserve.com

 

Ecovessel Wander Wear Cutlery Set

One issue I’ve run into while traveling in our vehicle is keeping track of all of our kitchen cutlery. Generally, it’s all within a larger tote, but within that tote, it always seems to get scattered amongst other items, like camping stoves, pots, pans, mugs, and coffee brewing supplies. Inevitably, I end up digging around in the dark, anxiously looking for a fork while my dinner waits for me.

outdoor retailer 2022 ukonserve wander wear

That’s why this cutlery set from Ecovessel caught my eye. First off, it has every item you could possibly need for mealtime, including a fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, and even a straw. But I think what I appreciated even more than the slick-looking utensils is the zippered organization pouch that keeps everything at the ready instead of floating around in the back of the truck. And even if you aren’t embarking on an epic overland journey, tossing a couple of these kits into your vehicle will help you cut down on the amount of single-use plastic utensils you use if you stop to eat during your road trip.

$27 |ecovessel.com

 

Field Company Reduced-weight Cast Iron Cookware

I love cooking with cast iron, and its versatility makes it a great companion for overland travel. While it is heavier than copper or stainless cookware, it can be used for open-fire cooking. And if you have a cast-iron Dutch oven, you can make fresh baked goods and even roast up larger cuts of meat or vegetables. It’s significantly more durable than non-stick pans, and taking care of cast iron can be very easy once you learn the basics.

outdoor retailer 2022 field company cast iron

 

Field Company has made some improvements to the traditional cast iron pan, including a weight reduction of roughly 1 pound (your wrist will appreciate it) and a refined handle design that is wider, longer, more comfortable to hold, and provides better leverage than other cast iron pans I’ve used.

$95+ |fieldcompany.com

 

Miscellaneous Hardgoods

I am a self-professed gearhead, and if I had to choose my favorite category, it would likely be hard goods. In this category, Outdoor Retailer brings a lot to the table and walking the floor of this event made me feel like a kid in a candy store.

 

Spyderco Knives: Stovepipe, Pattadese, Yojumbo, and others

It’s appropriate that Spyderco was onsite at Outdoor Retailer, especially since their headquarters is located a short distance away in Golden, Colorado. They have one of the biggest catalogs of unique blade designs that I’ve seen, many of which are lightweight and make great EDC blades. Spyderco knives carry alifetime warranty, and the company will happily sharpen and service your knives for free (you need to include $5 for return shipping).

outdoor retailer 2022 spyderco knives

Amongst their large selection of products on display, there were a handful of recently released designs, like the Stovepipe, YoJumbo, and Pattadese (pictured above). All of these new designs are right in line with the high-quality construction that Spyderco is known for, utilizing a variety of exceptional blade steels as well as handle scales made from titanium, carbon fiber, G10, and Micarta.

Prices vary by model |spyderco.com

 

Lifestraw 8L Peak Gravity Filter Kit

Lifestaw’s catalog of products has expanded significantly since their first necklace straw (that’s what I’m calling it). That first filter really changed the game in terms of quickness and ease of drinking. Users simply dipped one end of the straw into the questionable water source and drank water directly through the filter. But whereas those first filters were best used on the go and didn’t offer the ability to collect clean water for later consumption, their newest product is completely different.

The 8-liter gravity filter kit is comprised of two highly durable water bladders: one for dirty water, one for clean. Fill the dirty bladder from an untreated water source, hang it from a sturdy location, like a roof rack or a tree limb, and let gravity do the work. The included filter is good for 4,000 liters of filtration and has the added versatility of being removable so that it can be used in a separate soft flask for hydrating on the go.

*The peak 8L+8L gravity filter kit will likely be available sometime in March 2022.

$125 |lifestraw.com

 

Soft Goods

As overlanders, we are often quick to focus on what hard goods we think we’ll need on a particular trip to ensure success. But the foundation of our comfort in the field actually starts with the layers we wear on our bodies. The clothing we choose to bring along could be responsible for our survival if our vehicle fails. With this in mind, choosing high-quality garments for the specific environments and seasons we are traveling in is a crucial part of the trip planning and preparation process.

Given that we are still in the midst of winter, here are a couple of cold-weather items that I think you’ll appreciate.

 

Rab Mythic Ultra Down Jacket

UK-based outdoor equipment manufacturer Rab (named for the founder, Rab Carrington) got their start manufacturing sleeping bags in Sheffield in the early ’80s. Since then, they’ve made a name for themselves, designing and constructing bombproof (read: solid) mountaineering outerwear. They are also highly regarded for the quality and design of their insulated products.

Because of this legacy, I wasn’t at all surprised to find their newest down jacket to be of exceptional quality. But the Mythic Ultra isn’t just another puffy jacket; it utilizes a new proprietary process that Rab has called TILT. This new Thermo Ionic Lining Technology begins with threads encapsulated in a titanium coating before being woven into a scrim, a kind of netting used to help hold the down in place within the garment. The metallic coating (which Rab is also using in some of their sleeping bags) reflects body heat, resulting in improved heat retention in a lighter-weight final garment.

In addition to TILT, the Mythic Ultra utilizes body-mapping for a comfortable fit with great articulation in the arms.

$475 |rab.equipment

Farm to Feet USA-made Merino Wool Socks

While we understand the realities of global production, we LOVE pointing our readers to US-made products whenever possible. That’s why I’m so excited that I came across Farm to Feet at Outdoor Retailer 2022. This North Carolina-based textile manufacturer’s entire production line, including materials and labor, is all based in the US, as is their merino wool, nylon, spandex, labor, and product packaging. All of their products also carry a lifetime warranty.

outdoor retailer 2022 snow show farm to feet

Of significant interest was Farm to Feet’s Remix line of socks, made from repurposed remnant yarns that would otherwise end up as waste. The company also donates sales from branded socks to various environmental and equity-focused non-profit organizations through unique sock designs, for example, the Pacific Crest Trail Association and Black Folks Camp Too. This effectively allows customers to support causes they align with through their purchases.

$15+ |farmtofeet.com

 

Moto-Inspired Products

Rounding out my coverage of Outdoor Retailer 2022 products for overlanders are two products that come to us from the world of motorcycling.

Cake Kalk and Osa+ Anti-poaching Electric Dirt Bike and Utility Bike

We’ve published news coverage featuring Cake’s Kalk and Ösa electric bikes before, but seeing them in person always reminds me of how unique these products are.

Both the Kalk and Ösa+ are almost silent to operate, offer top speeds above 50 mph, and with ranges of up to 50+ miles on a single charge, it’s easy to see why these bikes have been proposed as a strategic solution to combat poaching in Africa. If you are in the market for a one-of-a-kind electric bike, consider the tan and green AP (anti-poaching) versions of either of the aforementioned models. By purchasing either of these bikes, 3 percent of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the anti-poaching program being coordinated by the Southern African Wildlife College.

$3,800+ |ridecake.com

 

Cardo Packtalk Ski and Packtalk Outdoor

Many of you are already familiar with Cardo’s wireless communication devices designed to keep moto riders connected while on the road. But the company sees the potential of these devices for many other uses like skiing and climbing. Or dare I suggest, paragliding?

The cool thing about Cardo’s Packtalk Ski (and soon to be released Packtalk Outdoor) is that these devices utilize mesh networking to facilitate communication across larger areas (up to three miles with multiple users). They also work in terrain that conventional radios may not function in, such as over mountainous areas (as long as users maintain a line of sight with at least one other individual and within the limitations of the hardware).

One feature that sounded especially appealing to me is the ability of these devices to connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing users to receive and answer phone calls with automatic muting across their chat group. You can even listen to music from your smartphone in the background while utilizing the communication functions of the Cardo Packtalk all at the same time. The Packtalk Ski and Outdoor models are IP67-rated against dust and water ingress and get up to eight hours of talk time on a single charge.

$249/each |cardosystems.com

 

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Matt is a paragliding pilot and adventure seeker living full-time in a 25-foot Airstream travel trailer pulled by a Ram 2500. His love of the outdoors has driven him to explore remote destinations across North and South America in search of the most aesthetic peaks and beautiful flying sites. IG: @m.b.swartz