You know that feeling after you’ve just finished a good, hard 4-day hike up into the mountains? Raspy lungs from the cold winter air, tired legs, muscles humming from all the walking, (perhaps a crick in your back from the weight of your pack) and most importantly, a rejuvenated spirit from the whole experience, right?

Another one is in the books. Outdoor Retailers Winter 2012 Conference has wrapped and the more than 21,000 attendees are breaking down booths and heading home. At SBM, we’d usually spend a 4 day stretch outdoors hiking up a mountain in the snow, but this weekend, we attended the OR Winter show and shook hands with many product manufacturers as well as the owners and employees of some of your favorite brands. Why did we go? We were interested in hearing the buzz around the industry as well as seeing the new product lines that will become available in the coming months! We’re excited to share those with you as they roll out. But there was so much more to it than just the gear. SBM was reminded why we love this industry so much and specifically why we make this magazine.

Here’s the “Best of Show,” SBM style,

Outdoor Retailers Winter Market
The most “outdoors” you can get while indoors!
Outdoor Retailers Winter Market

We love sharing information about the outdoor community!

New Ideas! Sharing within the outdoor community has always been a touchstone for SBM. We’re so excited to see that the rest of the industry feels the same. This leads to new ideas, innovations and directions.

Outdoor Retailers Winter Market

The people are real and interesting and fun! As a side note, of all the world’s trade shows, this community is one of the fittest! So many athletes and well-exercised people out there! And they all do it outdoors, most of them in the wilds, like you and me!

Outdoor Retailers Winter Market
Real people

Giving back! So many of the product companies held promotions, raffles and giveaways to benefit non-profit organizations. Those organizations work hard to keep our wild places wild, our environments clean and our people educated about the outdoors. How can you not love that?!

Outdoor Retailers Winter Market
Giving back to non-profit organizations

We’re amped up by all the awesome people we met! We’re recharged, ready for the coming seasons out there, and already looking forward to the next one!

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