Some people’s favorite day of the year is Christmas. Others may say their birthday or New Year’s Day or maybe even Halloween. My favorite day of the year is the day the new spring equipment arrives at the store. Right away, like with any shipment, I take a look to see what is being delivered and there it is in big bold letters, EQUIPMENT. Right then and there I know it’s going to be great day.
You see, the timing of the equipment arriving is perfect; it always arrives in March. March, when we are still focused on selling parkas and warm winter boots, when there is still snow on the ground, and when we are still living in sub-zero temperatures. Don’t get me wrong, I do love winters, but by March I am just plain done with it. The day the new equipment arrives is the first sign that summer is on its way.
Four pallets with fifty-two boxes filled with future adventures. The other staff seems to be just as excited about the new shipment we’ve just received. You see eyes light up by the very mention of this new arrival. Like carnivores, we dig into the first pallet and start unpacking the boxes. The first thing that hits me is the scent of brand new nylon. It’s funny how a scent can stir up so many memories and emotions inside you when it first hits you. A Kaiju 6 tent comes out of the first box and I am immediately taken back to last summer when I first purchased the tent. I dream of my camping trip to Emma Lake with my family, sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows, hot sunny days at the beach, and jumping into the lake to cool off. Ahhhh….summertime, when the living’s easy!
A VE25 Summit Series tent comes out of the next box and that’s when the imagination really kicks in. Who will buy this tent? Will it be used to its full potential? Will it see -40 degree temperatures in the Arctic? Will it be pitched along the side of a mountain range in B.C. by a backcountry skier? I wonder if it will reach Everest basecamp someday.
Oh, so many possibilities coming out this box! The next box is opened and there staring back at me is my dream piece that I have been waiting months for, the W’s Fovero 70 backpack. I start to wonder, will this be the year I finally hike to Grey Owl’s cabin? Maybe I should look into hiking the Boreal Trail near Meadow Lake. It’s been a while since I’ve been canoeing on the Churchill River so maybe it’s time to head back there. All these scenarios involve me sporting my blue coral colored Fovero.
One of the larger boxes is filled with Basecamp Duffels in so many sizes and fun new colors. Which color will be a customer favorite? My bet is on the Stickerbomb print that is cleverly named since it looks like it’s covered in stickers from different adventures. You know, like you see on travelling musicians’ guitar cases or stuck all over Thule boxes on top of roof racks. With the opening of each box, opens up a whole world of possibilities and adventures.
Daypacks filled with laptops and school books or bike helmets and changes of clothes. Rolling luggage being wheeled through international airports and hotel lobbies. Sleeping bags pulled out of stuff sacks and lay out onto Thermarest sleeping mats. Where will all these pieces go? Will that backpack travel the world then get passed down from father to his son? Will that Basecamp Duffel bag see the back of a truck then thrown onto a boat, plane, or bus?
After the very last box is unpacked I am filled with inspiration. I have just spent my entire work day travelling the world, going on camping trips, bike rides, canoe tripping, backcountry skiing, winter camping, and even summiting Everest. Come on, what other day of the year could be that exciting? The North Face has the perfect motto. “Never Stop Exploring”. This motto says it all. To me, it means that you should never stop exploring the outdoors and what the world has to offer you. I also believe that The North Face equipment follows this same motto. Each piece is made to last for years of adventures….it also “never stops exploring”. So, which adventure will you be going on and what piece of equipment will you take along for the ride?
Lisa Walker, North Face Saskatoon Store Manager