There’s really nothing quite like the great outdoors. If you’re looking to escape this busy world for a few hours or a few days, mother nature has everything you need to help slow down a chaotic life.
Now, you can either truly rough it and go out there with nothing but a knife and your knowhow, or you could be like most people, and help make your bond with nature that much more enjoyable, as well as memorable, with good, quality gear. Because there’s nothing like being out in the middle of nowhere, 10 or 20 miles from your car and your flashlight you purchased on the way to the trail gives out in the first five minutes. Or, you find out that -20 degree sleeping back is more like a 45 degree sleeping back and you freeze your balls off all weekend. That’s why we advise you research gear before you make the investment because gear isn’t cheap.
So, if you’re not planning to rough it, make sure you get your money’s worth before your trip out in the wilderness. With that being said, a great company to look at for your outdoor adventures is Outdoor Research because they’re more than an outdoor retailer trying to take all your money.
Table of Contents
- Outdoor Research: More than a Retailer
- Outdoor Research: Things we can really get behind
- What else Outdoor Research has to Offer
- Outdoor Education
Outdoor Research: More than a Retailer
History of Outdoor Research
You can easily find this information on Outdoor Research’s website, but just a quick overview. The company was started by a scientist named Ron Gregg who was out on an adventure with his friend. His friend’s gaiters had a malfunction which Gregg knew should have never happened. The failure caused his friend to suffer from frostbite and needing an airlifted off of a glacier in Denali. As a result, Gregg decided he not only wanted to continue pursuing his love of the outdoors but create quality gear in the making. Gregg ended up quitting his job and starting what we all know now as Outdoor Research, which creates just about everything for your outdoor adventure.
Why Outdoor Research is more than an Outdoor Retailer
Big companies tend to make big money. But, few take that big money and contribute it to a multitude of programs dedicated to helping the community. Not only does Outdoor Research work with non-profits to help make this world a little better, but they also have donation programs dedicated to helping veterans and family members who lost a loved one as a part of their military service. Programs like Tragedy Assistance Programs for Survivors and Homes for our Troops are two of the nine programs Outdoor Research donates to. On top of that, they work with 20 non-profits to help educate the public and support the thing they’re most passionate about—next to quality gear—Mother Nature.
Outdoor Research and the Military
Outdoor Research has actually provided gear to our military forces, which is something you might not have known. Now, before you start saying things like, “oh, they must have been the lowest bidder, and therefore don’t have quality gear.” You should know that some of the members in this office were recipients of this said gear and had nothing but good things to say about the products they were issued, which is a pretty rare thing to hear about anything the military issues its troops.
Outdoor Research actually has a pretty solid set of core values as well, something you might not necessarily hear about outside of the military. What we like about their values, there’s nothing in them about making money. It’s all based on making things better for the adventurer, based on what they hear from you. And we think they have it right. No, it’s not always about making the next cool piece of equipment. Sometimes it’s about taking what we already have and making it better for the consumer. Too often, companies get hung up on their products and refuse to make changes because, “that’s just the way it is, if you don’t like it, go somewhere else.” Instead, they’re willing to make changes where they need to be made while leaving the stuff that’s working alone.
To Provide Innovation and Inspiration for the Relentless Adventurer.
A Culture of Respect — We listen, value and empower each other and our fellow adventures while striving to protect the planet we live on.
Innovation That Works — Make it better, not just new or different.
Improve Every Day — Sweat the details and strive to be better in everything we do.
Beauty in Function — Create differentiation through clean, simple solutions.
The Power of the Journey — Through challenges we grow, and have fun along the way.
Outdoor Research: Things we can really get behind
Outdoor Research also supports a pretty solid group of athletes—no, not football. From athletes in outdoor sports such as paddling, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, alpine, to ice climbing, they really get behind their athletes who are doing more than playing a sport for money. Athletes like Margo Talbot who spends time not only talking about but also writing and teaching people how to climb. She wants to get people out and active in a sport she says literally saved her life. She, of course, is just one example of the type of athletes Outdoor Research supports.
#SheAdventures is another remarkable program Outdoor Research started to help not only spotlight some incredible women athletes but to help empower other women to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. The program also helps educate women with technical skills needed in their outdoor sport as well as giving them the confidence to participate.
If you weren’t already aware, they have an adventure scholarship they give away every year. This year it was a guided climb of Mt. Rainer. Unfortunately, it’s too late to apply for that one, but there’s nothing saying you can’t give it a go next year.
If that’s not your cup of tea, they also do a monthly selection on Instagram for women out there inspiring the rest of us with their outdoor adventure photography. Tag your Instagram photo with #SheAdventures, and you might find yourself as one of the featured monthly winners on their website.
We Can Grant
Did you know, Outdoor Research also has a grant they give away to help develop programs started by individuals trying to improve the outdoors? If you’re trying to keep public land accessible to fellow adventurers, trying to improve land, so it’s a better experience, attempting to introduce underserved communities to the great outdoors, then your program might just qualify for a $10,000 grant to help improve the outdoor experiences within your community.
What else Outdoor Research has to Offer
Remember way back when, at the beginning of this article, where we said something along the lines of them having almost everything? Well, they didn’t stop at gear for the outdoor adventurer, they also make tactical-style clothing; fleece gloves, multi-cam jackets, and long underwear you can put under your uniform, just to name a few, are all sold by Outdoor Research, which might explain why they’ve been known to provide gear to our military troops.
You won’t find many retailers out there who do a lifetime guarantee, especially on outdoor gear. Whether you need to replace your equipment because of a defect in the material, a product failure, or workmanship, Outdoor Research will replace it. However, this does not mean they will replace items that were used outside of their intended use or for normal wear and tear. Even still, replacing defective gear whether you purchased it 30 days ago or 10 years ago is pretty awesome.
Even more good news, let’s say you didn’t actually purchase your gear through Outdoor Research, so long as it’s made by them, your Infinite Guarantee still applies.
Yet another deal Outdoor Research offers is their free shipping. Currently, if you spend over $99—which we all know isn’t hard to do, because you’ll probably spend that much on a jacket alone—you’ll get free shipping.
A second way to save money, along with free shipping is through their refer-a-friend program. When you refer a friend, not only do they get the option of saving $20, but you do too.
If Outdoor Research isn’t doing enough to get your attention, they also have staff dedicated to educating the community and the entire Internet. Verticulture is their blog, where they post lots of great resources and information on things like how to get started alpine climbing or a guide to packrafting.