Appalachian Trail Days 2012 kicks off tomorrow in Damascus, VA and Osprey is ready to once again take care of thru hikers and their packs with care. There is something for everyone going on this weekend in the one town where main street and the Appalachian Trail (AT) are one in the same and a veritable slice of Americana can be tasted by all in this annual celebration of the AT.
Last month, the Osprey team helped to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Appalachian Trail Days. In just 3 days, we repaired more than 60 packs, fitted hikers for new ones and sent dozens of thru-hikers on their way. The following video captures just a bit from the event. We hope to catch up with y’all there next year!
The 25th anniversary celebration of Appalachian Trail Days is now complete and what a celebration it was as Osprey had the best and busiest Trail Days ever! Over a three-day period we repaired almost 60 packs and sent thru-hikers far and wide on their merry way to Mount Katahdin for an October rendezvous. We provided multiple free pack sizings and fittings as well as a wealth of information on pack options new and existing to get any thru-hiker comfortably down the trail.
Each year hikers, former hikers and aspiring hikers of the Appalachian Trail converge in Damascus, Virginia to celebrate at Trail Days. Osprey will be on hand once again to welcome hikers and provide free gear repairs and free pack fittings.
If you’re planning on going, here’s what we’ll be offering up for AT folks:
- Free, expert gear repairs from our traditional Tent City location in Damascus.
- Full display of all the new packs styles for 2011, free pack sizings and fittings as well as great gear giveaways!
- Trail Talk event with Osprey founder and head designer Mike Pfotenhauer from the Osprey Tent City booth Friday, May 13, 2 to 4 p.m.
- Meet Osprey founder and head designer Mike Pfotenhauer at Mt. Rogers Outfitters in Damascus on Saturday, May 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- In celebration of Trail Days 25th Anniversary all Osprey Packs and accessories will be 20% off at Mt. Rogers Outfitters, Damascus.
If you haven’t been on the AT, check out this short video to see why it’s so special…
What I learned at Trail Days:
1) Beauty queens hate water balloons.
2) Free wood and hot dogs offset any bad feelings about getting arrested.
3) Drums and bonfires provide hours and hours and hours of night time entertainment.
3) Yuengling beer is not Chinese.
4) Southern hospitality is alive and well.
5) Bikes built in the 21st century do not exist in Damascus, VA
6) Eat more meat, drink less coffee.
7) Never let someone else assign you a trail name.
Not that any of these observations make a bit of sense to the casual reader. Suffice it to say that #1 and #2 in no way apply directly to me (or anyone associated with Osprey Packs). Trail Days 2010 is over. We repaired dozens of packs, fit dozens of hikers, molded several hipbelts, all in the name of making the rest of our hiker friend’s journeys more comfortable. In the process, we’ve learned a great deal about our packs and how they perform on a long trail. That in turn gives us the information we need to build a better pack for you, no matter what your hiking demands.
See y’all at Trail Days 2011!!
Written by Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing
Osprey associate marketing manager Sam Mix attended Appalachian Trail Days in Damascus over the weekend. Here’s his take on the view from “Tent City”…
How best to describe the fun of Appalachian Trail Days without getting arrested?
If I had to sum it up quickly I would say a Bacchanalian celebration of the Appalachian Trail, the magnificent stretch of America it covers from Georgia to Maine and those who have, will and are planning to hike it. A true ‘merican celebration of sorts including a Hikers Parade and Talent Show, a wide array of vendors, presentations, food and drink; a rip-roaring, rockin’ good time for all, in short!
25,000 souls descend upon Damascus, Virginia for a cosmic convergence of sorts with Osprey Packs on hand in the mystical Kingdom of Tent City providing free pack and gear repairs, pack fittings and previewing all that is new in the realm of the Osprey for spring 09 – with a little of what is on tap for the fall as well.
Osprey Packs is here in support of that earth encrusted creature known as the long trail thru-hiker – especially those carrying Osprey Packs who may be in need of a quick repair or some good advice as they head down the trail. In a single season the Osprey Pack of an Appalachian thru-hiker will see several average lifetimes of usage – a true testament to Osprey’s 35 years of independent, innovative, bad-ass, burly design and the people who choose to push the capacity of human endurance – while having complete and total fun doing so. Osprey is also here in committed support of those who had the vision to establish The Appalachian Trail and the protection of the verdant and important ecological and historic landscape it encompasses.
So if you find yourself in Damascus and need your pack or gear repaired, need a pack fitting or expert advice on packs, please visit Osprey in Tent City near the outer edge of town, the fringe, if you will. Or stop in at Mt. Rogers Outfitters at 110 Laurel Avenue for an expert fitting and they will sell you that Osprey Pack for 20% off the regular retail price just to celebrate this unique, one of kind event known as Trail Daze!
Thanks for reading – I am headed out for a long walk in the woods.
The Appalachian Trail, completed in 1937:
* Is a unit of the National Park Service.
* Is the nation’s longest marked footpath, at approximately 2,178 miles.
* Is the first national scenic trail, designated in 1968.
* Crosses six national parks.
* Traverses eight national forests.
* Touches 14 states. Houses more than 2,000 occurrences of rare, threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant and animal species.
* Crosses numerous state and local forests and parks.
* Is maintained by 30 trail clubs and multiple partnerships.
Fun facts about the Appalachian Trail:
* Lowest elevation: 124 feet – near the Trailside Museum and Zoo at Bear Mountain, New York
* Highest elevation: 6,625 feet – on Clingmans Dome in Tennessee
* There are 165,000 blazes along the length of the Trail.
* More than 10,000 people have reported hiking the length of the Trail.
* It takes approximately 5 million footsteps to walk the entire length of the Trail.
* More than 6,000 volunteers contribute about 200,000 hours to the Appalachian Trail every year.
*Image and information courtesy of Appalachian Trail Conservancy