At Peace, we work diligently to carry the highest quality outdoor brands. We look for companies that put quality first, innovate their products, and are aware of their environmental impact.
Often, representatives from these brands come to Flagstaff to hold staff training sessions so that our employees can learn about new products and best outdoor practices.
Most recently, five of our favorite brands hosted a climbing and educational gear clinic in Joshua Tree National Park. Five of our employees along with twenty other employees of outdoor gear shops in the southwest, ventured to California to learn about Petzl, Outdoor Research, Cotopaxi, Scarpa and Big Agnes.
Wicked, blow-your-tent-upside-down wind and a light snowfall made for a few days of chilly fun but the crew certainly made the best of it.
Here’s a snippet of what the group learned from some of our favorite brands:
Cotopaxi has a collection called Del Dia, in which they use other outdoor brand’s leftover fabric from large production runs to piece together beautifully colored, unique pieces of gear. Checkout their Del Dia Collection here.
Petzl is a family owned business that began in 1970 when Fernand Petzl couldn’t find gear adequate enough to support his climbing and caving adventures. Petzl now makes headlamps and some of the most innovative climbing gear on the market. One of their staple products is the GriGri+, which is a belay device with cam-assisted blocking and an anti-panic handle. It’s likely that if you’re a climber, you’ll need and want a GriGri+.
As biking has skyrocketed in popularity since 2020, they’re releasing a bike-packing tent this fall for those who want to take lightweight multi-day bike trips. The tent will fit right on a rider’s handlebars and is extremely lightweight.
Scarpa is known for their influence in the climbing, mountaineering, hiking and trail running communities. Jordan Cannon, a celebrity in the climbing world, star of short film, “Free as Can Be,” and a Scarpa brand ambassador, explained to us that after climbing in almost every brand of shoe, Scarpa is his go to. It was a pretty sweet treat for the group to meet Jordan!
OR is based in Seattle and was founded by a legendary outdoorsmen, Ron Gregg. Similar to Fernand Petzl, he couldn’t find the gear to support his outdoor pursuits, and so he began creating them himself. While all OR products are made in the US, they’re known for their quality apparel. Their rainwear, baselayers, jackets and down coats are arguably the best on the market.
What’s really admirable about all of these brands is that they’re filled with employees and owners who are outdoor adventurers themselves. This means, they’re passionate about creating the best gear possible to support the communities they love and are a part of.
Protecting the Spaces We Love
While it was great to learn about outdoor products, the brand representatives made a large effort to emphasize that we need to protect and care for the outdoor spaces we love to explore.
Joshua Tree is part of both the Colorado Desert in the easter portion, and the Mojave Desert in the western portion which contains the infamous Joshua Tree. Both parts of the park are a delicate balance of nature and contain fragile species like the Desert Tortoise and Peregrine Falcon.
One evening, everyone attended a public meeting with Friends of Joshua Tree and local climbers. Friends of Joshua Tree is a group that works to make climbing in Joshua Tree sustainable. The group works to minimize impact on trails, preserve rock art and indigenous cultural history and keep bolted climbing routes safe. The organization is currently working on a Climbing Management Plan that the National Park will use to regulate climbing in Joshua Tree.
The topic of conservation served as a great reminder that as Flagstaff and the surrounding area grows, we too, need to take care of the spaces we love. Learn more about the framework for minimal outdoor impact, “Leave No Trace,” practices here.