Sage was an 0R baby. Born August 2006; smack in the middle of the summer Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah. I attended the outdoor demo day in 100-degree heat, hiking trails for the Magellan scavenger hunt, the next day I went inside to the Salt Palace Convention halls for meetings with the various manufacturers of outdoors equipment and by dusk the contractions hit. My first thought was- hope I wouldn’t have to cancel the rest of my meetings. At 7 a.m. I’m in the recovery room making phonecalls to let everyone know I had my baby and I wouldn’t be able to make my appointment.
All of this was magical and said to me Sage was meant to be part of my life and part of the outdoor world. I wheeled her stroller around more than 1000 exhibitors at the 2007 Winter Show, breastfeeding in the bathroom and hunting for outdoor baby stuff to review. The Show is held twice a year and brings in an estimated $495 million to the Utah community- one largely comprised of kids and dogs. Sage has joined me at every OR since then helping me find the gear kids love, talking to companies for her own reports and getting to know the world she’ll grow up in.
Imagine my surprise when I was stopped at checkin and politely told that working media could no longer bring kids to the show- “didn’t I get the memo?” My jaw dropped.
The Outdoor Retailer show is not just about buyers and sellers of backpack and jackets. It’s everything related to the outdoors- a description that grows and morphs by the minute. It’s biking, hiking, snowshoeing, paddleboarding, kitesurfing, Nordic and backcountry skiing, yoga, even ‘festival going’. These are things we participate in as families and yet I was told networking media shouldn’t have kids with them because they’re supposed to be working. My kid is my work!! Perhaps this bearer of bad news has never been a working mother but Sage is a part of my team (and so’s my dog for that matter) and when my team is on the hunt for the best gear for the family it’s all eyes on deck.
Takoda testing the TUGG-a plastic ball that can be filled with water to create up to 20 pounds of wobbly resistance
They let me bring Sage in because I presented proof of her junior reporting skills but I really hope that this policy in general doesn’t stick. Kids (and pets) are an important part of the outdoors and it’s the media (attending the OR show) that can share and inspire that passion that perpetuates future explorers.