Did you know that your kayak, hammock, climbing harness, PFD, running socks, and mountain bike components may have been made right here in the mountains?
“The Blue Ridge Mountains are a mecca for hikers, bikers and paddlers alike, but not everyone realizes just how much of the adventure gear they’re using is manufactured right in Western North Carolina,” says Kyle Mundt, one of the founders of the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina.
On March 21, the Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC are hosting the first annual Get In Gear Festival from 12 – 4 p.m. at RiverLink Park in Asheville, N.C. This free event will feature raffles, races, gear clinics, product demos, and craft beer from local breweries. A portion of the proceeds will support the work of RiverLink, a local nonprofit working to revitalize the French Broad River.
“This event is a chance for these great companies to show what’s new for 2015,” continues Mundt.
Put new bikes and boats to the test, try on the latest backpacks, and talk face-to-face with the folks who made them. Outrider USA will even have its new line of electric bikes available for test rides.
The coalition of 26 outdoor gear manufacturers includes Eagles Nest Outfitters, SylvanSport, LiquidLogic, DeFeet, Native Watercraft, Recover, Threshold Provisions, Bellyak, Industry Nine, Watershed, and Cane Creek. The Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC have brought 470 jobs and over $6 million to the region. Thanks to their efforts, the outdoor industry one of the most rapidly growing sectors in Southern Appalachia.
Find out more about the festival and the Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC here.