Warmskin, in the House…

Kathryn Frommer, founder of Warmskin, was in the ‘house’ the other night during the State of the Union speech. Her daughter, Abby Schanfield, was a guest of Michelle & Heart HandsBarak’s relative to her situation regarding health care, or potential lack thereof. Here’s the note on her attendance, and a link to the article where she and other guests of the First Family, were mentioned…

Abby Schanfield (Minneapolis, MN) – ACA Beneficiary

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Abby would have lost coverage upon turning 21 and would not have been able to obtain care due to her several pre-existing conditions. Abby is a member of TakeAction Minnesota’s healthcare team, a grassroots organization that advocates for progressive policies ranging from health care to economic reform. Abby was influenced by her experiences growing up with a chronic illness, and the privileges that come with being insured. A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Abby hopes to work in public policy, focusing on women’s and community health.

Kudo’s to Kathryn and Abby on their efforts to make the world a better place. They do more than warm the skin, they also warm the heart…

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Outside Haus to be Recognized at Winter OR, Conservation Alliance Breakfast

CA_Breakfast_STD_W13 Next Thursday at The Conservation Alliance member breakfast, Outside Haus will stand and be recognized alongside Ecco Footwear, La Sportiva, Moving Comfort, Oboz Footwear, Point 6, ProBar, Sea to Summit and Stio – for our support of The Conservation Alliance.

Outside Haus is an agency …representing great outdoor gear – to the Outdoor Industry. Our customers are specialty, small box retailers from the cycling, fishing, hunting, outfitting, running and winter sports markets. We believe that every dollar given to conservation of our outdoor playground, makes a difference. The cost to support The Conservation Alliance is small compared to our commitment to sustain natural places for all of us to play and enjoy. Nothing could go further to improve the human condition than getting more butts Outside.

We also appreciate every one of our dealers that support our efforts to promote companies and products used in the outdoors. Every one of our vendors feels the same way we do and recognizes the need to support sustainability, conservation and outdoor activities. We’ll see you out there, be it bike, boat or boots. Be safe, warm, and above all else, play hard…!

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Solar Flarification – another option to a Zombie’pocalypse or Nuk’EMPifrication…

Solar Flare What if the ‘big event’ is really something way beyond our control ? Like, 93 million miles away… like what happened in 1859 and set telegraph lines on fire, but with today’s permeable technology and energy systems. Can you imagine people dropping out of buildings because there’s ‘no internet’…? Umm, maybe.

That said, create a plan. What is your ‘bail out’ option ? Do you know how to grow food, live without money, electricity, fuel, propane, etc ? How about a ‘bail out’ jacket, like our Rocky S2V Provision. That would be part of my plan, for certain. Feel free to read this article, share it, think about it, and drop me a line – telling me what your bail out options are. Am I a prepper ? No, not really. Am I concerned ? Maybe, a little. Have I done enough in the event of a ‘Solar Flarification’ – absolutely not, but I would quickly adapt, and so would a large number of you.

Recommendations ? Plenty. Get a book on survival and have it handy, and stored in a zip lock bag, inside of a dry bag with other things you need. Store some cash in an easy to access, hidden place. Store food, and seeds for growing more. Understand electrical circuits and how to use solar panels with DC batteries for heat, cooking, etc. And, make friends with your neighbors. Otherwise, they might just eat you once they start turning Zombie on that well-marbled butt you’ve been duffing on. Read this article on Survival Life titled ‘Out With a Bang‘ – then live on, drink up and enjoy, and be sure to share. Hopefully, we’ll see you out there, on bike, boot or boat…!

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Georgia on my mind…

I sat at a small eatery in the Denver airport. A couple locate adjacent to me. The lady is obviously an athlete. She should be familiar by sight… just based on her abilities, performance and resume. I’m stumped, but a Mountain Hardware fleece with ‘Luna’ embossed on right chest is an obvious clue.

She gets up, looking for a place to charge her iPhone, she plugs it in the socket where mine’s charging. I ask, ‘do you race for Luna’… she replies yes. I ask her name and she replies ‘Georgia’… I think ‘Gould’, but don’t want to spoil anything if I’m wrong.

Pre-Unicorn Channeling Chicken Carry…

She answers the next question with ‘Gould’ and I suddenly realize I’m in the company of a Cycling Matriarch. Her husband and mechanic, Dusty, sits silently by as I probe to learn more about her. I’m elated with this serendipitous meeting. I admit to her that I don’t know much about her racing career, but recognize she’s a racing professional. The exchange brought it into focus, and now I am compelled to learn more about her personally.

You know, I post this because, well… it happened. It raised my awareness of my non-awareness. At any time when I’m traveling, circuiting my stores, out riding trails or just getting a bite to eat at a small dive in an airport… someone near me is likely to be having a life that I would enjoy knowing more about.

Certainly reading some of her results, the places and races she’s done and just admiring her apparent fitness in a ‘suspecting she’s an athlete’ perspective was enough to make me sit up and take notice. I’m happy I met her, got to share a little of my background, and she even gave me permission to take credit for introducing Tinker Juarez to my team manager at Cannondale, many, many moons ago.

So with that I offer Kudos and a You go girl… along with rubber side down, pedals digging deep, and give’em what they want to see at the Bend USGP this weekend…! And just to make the point, I posted on her Louisville post, ending it with ‘see you out there, on my bike of course’. A longstanding tag from a lot of different posts I’ve made, whether for cycling or sustainability. I know she gets that…

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Kinetic Koffee Kinection…

Spill the Beans about Kinetic Koffee. Human Powered All Terrain Fuel…

It’s getting chilly, rainy, windy and dark later in the morning and earlier at night. Yet somehow, there’s a desire to head straight to the kitchen, measure out a scoop of beans, run them through the burr grinder and squeeze out that Sumatran nectar from the mouth of a French Press. Uh-uh-um…!

Outside Haus has been representing Kinetic Koffee for several months now. We’re slowly but surely creating the ‘Kinection’ to ‘Koffee’ with our retailers. All over the country, Bike Cafe’s are popping up. Retailers like Walmart and Target have re-branded themselves, selling food, even organics. Everyone is competing for that almighty dollar, but I can’t help pointing out that specialty retailers are the best place to find the greatest products. And as you know, we represent great outdoor gear. Is anything better than opening a thermos of coffee, er, um Koffee – when you’re an hour into a snowshoe hike or cross country skiing ? And it’s so fun to glow with the warmth of a good cup of joe when you’re sitting in a warming hut, watching someone drinking water and eating apple slices. It makes you feel smug and selfish… inside, smiling at the decision to be so forward thinking.

Specialty Retailers could do themselves a favor by helping to create this food market in their stores. Sure, brands like Clif Bar and Pro Bar and others have matured and are ubiquitous, taking away the ability to profit from selling them. But if you’re a business person, you already understand the concept of product life cycles. Koffee is on the way up in Specialty Retail, and Fair Trade, Organic Koffee from Kinetic has one of the best programs, including Kustom labeling with your logo – to sell a piece of your stake. Your customers take your store home with them. They brew your aura. They sip your generosity and friendliness. And then they use it all up and come back for more. Which is when you say, got’cher Kinetic, I see… hey, did you see these new wheels we just got in (or boots, or Land Rover. whatever fits).

Kontact us today to get your free sample of Kinetic Koffee. We are the Kinetic Koffee Kinection for the Pacific NW.

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PeakWaggers Packable Dog Food… it’s Bella approved !

Here’s our little Bella Lilu, scarfing down a freshly re-hydrated package of the Chicken Pawmesan… her favorite flavor (thus far).

Our little gal is called Bella. Bella Lilu, inspired by the Italian word for beautiful and of course, Milla Jovovich’s character name in The 5th Element.

We tried several different brands and flavors of dog food… good dog food. A visit to The Healthy Pet in Eugene led us to a veterinarian who recommended we take a shot at making her food with cooked veggies (we use a pressure cooker, then blend them) and raw meat. We generally mix up 6-10 days worth in a batch, then freeze it in small vacuum storage containers we picked up from Bed, Bath & Beyond. It’s been working very well, and she has never eaten better.

However, what do we do for backpacking, being in the field for days on end, remote, no cold storage, and not wanting to carry something heavy and bulky…? Can’t very well take frozen food along on a backpack trip. Not to mention it’s breakable packaging and we can’t carry much of it. The concern had been raised a few times, but the solution tended to be a lot of snack foods for her, rather than a complete meal. Meet PeakWaggers !

At Outdoor Retailer, I managed to find Gayle Brooks and two of her Bernese Mountain Dogs at their booth. On display was a bowl of ‘fit for human consumption’ beef jerky. I was piggish and tried several bites. I couldn’t help but think, this is a great Outdoor Gear product. With that, we started the conversation and we’re slowly getting traction by introducing it to our specialty dealers and select specialty pet stores.

The caption is ‘Bella approved’. We want her to have good food, and excellent quality of life. One marked with as few vet visits as possible, and long days playing, running and enjoying life as she knows it. We’ll definitely be stumping for these products, recognizing that it’s something that improves our quality of life as well. For as Bella sees it, she’s a great dog deserving of quality food, and as her pets we need to do what she expects.

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Dueck Does Damage…

Sick, sick, sick. Big hits. Big air. Great weather. Blue skies. Sick, sick, sick. If you can hit it this big, not make a trip outta there in an ambulance. Raise your arms as the crowd cheers. Throw big loops and still see straight – then you’ve got my vote. Watch the video. This is what our Big Hit, Slope Style brothers and sisters were doing while you and I were working here, down south of the Great North at the recent Crankworx – Zowee !!! Click on the photo and go check it out (but be sure to come back sometime)…!

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Outdoor Retailer… Good, Bad and the Beautiful… (and the ugly)

Fires off the Lincoln Highway (I-80)

Salt Lake City is a long drive from Eugene, OR… driving slow or fast. I had my trusty Sylvan Sport Go tagging along, carrying a few extra boxes of Crispi shoes for the Outdoor Retailer show. Also, several samples of our new Masters Nordic Walking Poles. Schweet schtuff…

In fact, during the five days I surveyed the show, I saw lots of Good, Bad and Beautiful ‘schtuff’. And people. I met really nice, genuine, great intentioned people who live outdoors, the way I desire to live. It was impressive and made me feel warm inside after meeting them.

I also met some hacks, sorry to seem rude. Several people peddling cheap, disposable stuff that makes you wonder how they got this far, but then you have to say – they’re just trying to make a living. How can I judge. And rather, I vote – with my wallet. The Laws of the Retail Jungle rule. What people buy, survives.

There was also Beautiful, both people and stuff. Angel King at Lifeproof, beautiful inside and out. Offered to hook me up with some bright, ambitious sales ladies in SoCal. I’ve got my fingers crossed. I could really use a bump like that.

I brought a little bit of schwag home to share with people here and there. There was a decent amount of of goods like Montauk Tackle Co & Kokotat that attracted me because of their business ethics. Made in USA – right on the label. Or hand made in Europe, Pakistan, South America. It appears I really discriminate over Asian. Man, I’m a retail bigot – it seems. Now, on to the ugly…

On the way to the show I drove to Salt Lake via Winnemucca, where I spent the night. On the arrival day I was driving across I-80, where I could see these smoke clouds looming all the way from Wendover, over 50 miles across the salt flats. It was ominous. Disturbing. Epic, in a dark way. The distance they were visible gave me pause. Pause over the distance I was traveling to attend a show that’s all about consumption. Pause over the wildlife, whose lives are being taken past the surreal due to a climate that appears to be changing, somewhat exponentially. I’m reading the book by James Hansen, Storms of my Grandchildren. It’s signed by the good Doctor… its inscription, “JD, For your grandchildren ! James Hansen”. I think, wow… do I want grandchildren to inherit this ? Or worse ?

It’s making me rethink this move, to be an over-the-road, consumption-peddling outdoor gear rep. Two solar panels pumping 110W of power into a 100Ah battery to run a portable fridge and my laptop, isn’t exactly saving the planet. I was really disturbed by this image, and by all the images on the television and radio, talking about all the fires, people and animals displaced. Perhaps this is historical. That fires do occur. But the record temperatures I see on the news seem to be telling a different story. We’re in trouble. Selling outdoor gear isn’t going to save us… or will it ?

If my vision of ‘smaller circles’ so that my affiliated reps can spend way fewer miles and hours driving a vehicle – comes true… If being closer to home, building a higher market density with as-ship, natural & organic, domestically produced, planet-friendly products – comes true… If my reps having time to spend outdoors with their dealers, dealer guests, doing advocacy, trailwork, volunteering at events – comes true… If we can be sustainable, profitable, motivated and creative enough to soon be driving extended range, plug-in hybrid, diesel-electric vehicles – and that comes true… then I might say – it will ! But, it’s going to take all of us, not a handful of guys from a rep agency.

I named my company Outside Haus because Outside is where and how we want to make a living. Outside is where life is, as we all, innately, realize. It’s where we make our home. The Earth, is our Home. But, Home ends in me and Haus ends in us, and I realized that this is not about me… rather, it’s about us, and us includes u. Won’t ‘u’ join us… Outside ? Outside, where it’s beautiful. After all, isn’t that the best place to do the Hokey Pokey, and that ‘is what it’s all about !

Who wants to climb Spencer’s Butte Sunday morning… with ‘us’ ?

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COSS/SAC Show / Check-in…

COSS/SAC Booth for Outside Haus Day two of the California Outdoor Sports Show in Sacramento (COSS/SAC). Have met close to half the dealers that have signed up for the event. Very nice, interesting, passionate people that enjoy their businesses and are really hopeful of a stronger retail season this year. Lot’s of smiles from people traveling lots of miles to to be here. Much appreciated !

We’ve had quite a number hold and feel the Crispi Boots & Shoes. A larger number pick up and try out the Hari Mari Flip Flops, appreciative of their philanthropic urge to help families of children with cancer. I could have given away tons of the granola and trail mix from Grizzlies Granola, if I’d had product to give out. A lot of people go ‘ooh’ or ‘yumm’ when they read the label on the Organic Curry Cashew Trail Mix.

Quite a few people have tried the Achiva Chia Beans and been quite surprised with how tasty they are. Most people are completely unaware of the high levels of Omega 3’s in this product and honestly just need the opportunity to use and benefit to understand and feel the honest improvements this product offers…!

Kinetic is interesting to a lot of coffee drinkers, but so far, no orders… which is surprising given the ability to buy product for their own coffee-love, at wholesale. I’m struggling to understand why more people haven’t jumped on board with it. I was completely stoked when I saw it at Sea Otter Classic. A couple of orders would keep that enthusiasm radiating. Somebody, please help me out here (am I the only one ?).

My goal from this show is to understand their businesses, help them build their bottom lines more effectively via food & drink, health & wellness products in their stores. There are a lot of people out there in pain, in search of solutions, looking for better products… that’s our goal and our niche to fill. Help dealers help customers to have a more enjoyable time, surrounded by their passions. Better memories from better experiences and stories filled with the benefits of better goods we provide. How’s that as part of our motivation…? Keep checking back !

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Warmskin Protectant

Represented in AK, NoCal, OR, WA / ID, MT, WY / AZ, NM, 4-Corners…

Aurora Naturally has been a manufacturer of Warm Skin®, cold weather skin protectant, and other fine personal care products since 1978.

Warmskin® is a very effective cream for moisturizing and insulating the skin. Torture-tested in such diverse climates as the North and South Poles, the Grand Canyon, and Mt. Everest. It protects the skin from the effects of cold, wind, wet and dry weather. Even in summer, Warm Skin guards against the drying effects of water, sun, wind, and heat.

Used by athletes and outdoors’people like Todd Salat, full-time “Aurora Hunter, Neal Mueller, Mountaineer, Ann Bancroft, Polar Explorer, Cliff Jacobson, Outdoorsman and Alissa Vann, European Cyclist. Visit the Warmskin Facts page on their website to learn more about the product and its uses.

We use Warmskin® because we experience cool to cold and damp conditions about 60% of the year in the PacNW, yet it reduces dry skin and windburn when we’re huckin’it in the drier SW regions of our territory.

Made in rock-solid Minnesota, USA ! Question is, does it protect you from the MN State Bird (Mosquito) ?

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