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Trail Days 2014: Celebrate the Spirit of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus

May 15th, 2014

Trail Days 2014 | Osprey Packs

The year 1987 was the 50th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail, which passes right through Damascus. That year, members of the Town Council decided to celebrate the anniversary with an event for hikers. At that time, there was no town park in Damascus, so the small festival was held in the parking lot of the town hall and behind the bank. The festival was held again the following year, the year after that, and every year that’s followed, growing to the tens of thousands. In the early years of Trail Days, a street was sometimes roped off for a dance, but there were no vendors. There were only the hikers and the cyclists who followed, who inspired the town to rebuild its economy, which had been devastated by flooding and the loss of most of its industry. Read more…

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AT Trail, Backpacking, Events, Hiking, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Hiking! Nantahala Outdoor Center’s Founder’s Bridge Festival is 4/4 & 4/5

March 31st, 2014

MCBRIDE081413NOC-110

Each year, thousands of hikers make the 2,180 mile trek along the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain to Katahdin. Each of those hikers crosses the Nantahala River along the NOC Founder’s Bridge, in Bryson City, NC.  Most of these hikers cross on their way north in early April, just before beginning the difficult ascent into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many more hikers enjoy the Appalachian Trail in segments, hiking one section at a time over the course of many years, or maybe just sticking to their favorite sections of trail. Read more…

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Active Lifestyle, AT Trail, Events, Hiking, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What I Learned at Trail Days

May 17th, 2010

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

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Events, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Product , ,

A Slice of Americana–backpacking style. Welcome to Trail Days…

May 13th, 2010

The hikers have begun to descend on Damascus.  We find ourselves in a world of kilted bald men with unkempt beards.  The women tend to be more, shall we say, varietal.  Yes, it’s another Trail Days and to say Damascus will never be the same is a misnomer, because quite evidently, it never was.  Crispy Critter, Buttercup, Blue Eyes, Dead Man Walking – just a few of the folks that have stopped by and said hello today.

This is the largest trail event (probably in the world) for one of the longest trails in the world.  It represents a desire that we all hold somewhere – to unplug and escape for months, to be in a place (both mentally and physically) where time does not matter.  It also represents the proverbial slice of Americana, the kind of thing that can only happen in – America.

Over the next few days we’ll repair dozens and dozens of packs – Osprey and any other brand.  We’ll meet more folks by trail name only and yes, we’ll see more kilts and beards – none of them on women.  This is our time to literally get in the trenches, to truly learn what our customers need our packs to do.  Every success and failure of our product is amplified here. What better place than the AT to learn if that pack really does what it is supposed to do?

Written by Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing

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Events, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Product, Uncategorized , , , , , ,

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