I’ve been in Salt Lake City for less than three days but it feels like a week.

My Outdoor Retailer experience started when I arrived at Pineview Reservoir, location of this year’s Open Air Demo on Monday night, the Open Air Demo day had not started yet but I was there because I had won a glamping spot and because of the kindness of Brook of @brookalooktrout who gave me a ride as her boyfriend navigated. Glamping, it turns out means staying in a hotel like room tent with a picnic basket of goodies for dinner (I was a late arrival so missed some of the night’s activities like dinner and s’mores). Glamping on this occasion also meant enjoying local Utah wines and other beverages while a local jazz ensemble played music and then retiring to one’s “tent” by following a paper bag lantern lit path way. The bonus was getting some really nice goodies like a usb lantern from Backbone (glamping contest sponsor) and a solar charger/speaker system from Eton.

The only downside for me was that I woke up once cold and that I was rather dehydrated the next day (my travel to OR Show was eventful in a negative way but I’ll spare you the details).

Tuesday was fun, I saw some old friends like Martha of Action Wipes, James Mills of  The Joy Trip Project, and Randi aka @upadownamtnmama and had made new ones from the glamping group. Amongst the booths I saw some interesting products like a tether device for hanging gadgets off of you, an electronic device that allows one to text and email from anywhere via satellite, and inflatable SUP boards… which I had to touch to verify they were indeed the inflatable kind. I got out on the water and managed not to fall in. I was invited back for another session complete with pointers towards the end of the show but unfortunately didn’t make it as I had to catch a shuttle back to Salt Lake in order to then take a train to where I was staying.

Official Day 1 of the show is today… I’m typing this from the Convention Center. I’ve had official and unofficial meetings with StoneWear, Petzl, Osprey, Fox River, Travel Chair, Evolv and will soon be leaving to go to Twitter friend Sara Lingafelter’s talk and then on to 5.10.

Today, I also lost and found my phone. I left it at a computer station where I had brought up my email to check on appointment times. When I went back for it a nice man had taken the creative liberty of calling some folks on my contact list to tell them to tell me that my phone would be at his booth, but since I was there we instead talked a bit and I may be reviewing a product from his company. The kindness of strangers is something that has worked out well for me on this trip.

Well this is it for my semi-live dispatch from the conventi0n center, I’ve got  to run to finish out the day! More in a few days, including of course more practical reports on the gear and goods I’m seeing.

Photo from yesterday, more to come
Camera Phone Photo from yesterday, more to come