Friday, May 29, 2009

Alaska Wilderness League in Nashua

We're excited to hear that the Alaska Wilderness League and the NH Sierra Club are hosting a talk in Nashua on safeguarding the last wild places in the U.S.

If you're in the area, come see and hear about Alaska's great wilderness areas, the threats they face and what you can do to help.

New Hampshire resident Richard Kahn's short film, "Native Voices" will also be showing at the event. The film include footage shot on a trip to Alaska last summer that was sponsored by the Alaska Wilderness League. Richard, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker,is currently preparing to return on his own for another summer in Alaska's western wilderness. Here's one of Richard's other films that was entered into the 2020 Vision Film Fest (looking back on the last 20 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska).

The talk will be at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 2 at the Nashua Public Library. As a side note, be sure to check out events at your local library. Every week, the Nashua library has events ranging from Portuguese cooking classes, talks on local trout fishing spots, free movies, concerts, tie dye classes, etc. It's a great local (and free) resource!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Trail Days Recap

Suzanne and I had a great time at Trail Days in Damascus, VA meeting all the visiting AT hikers (past, present, and future). We found that the pungent smell of thru-hikers seemed to go away the more days we went without a shower. We were able to give folks at the festival a sneak peek at a new NEMO trekking pole tent that is debuting in 2010 (right side of pic below). Stay tuned on the blog this week for some pictures!

We finally met up with Lion King who’s been testing out one of our new lightweight backpacking tents for 2010. Mike D. (aka Lion King) is a remarkable thru-hiker, having completed the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and America Discovery Trail. For those of you unfamiliar with the ADT, all you need to do is check out the map below.

We were lucky to catch the premier of his new documentary about the ADT hike at Trail Days too.

The buzz from this year’s influx of AT hikers was about Lion King’s kite experiment on Max Patch. Check out the NEMO tent he’s been testing for us.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May Beach Cleanup

Come join us this Friday, May 22 around midtide (noonish) for NEMO's monthly beach cleanup at Jenness Beach. For those interested in joining, please email Unlike previous winter months, we're expecting some shiny warm weather. Now if the surf would only pick up...


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NEMO Office Dog Profile Part 3: Finnegan

Age: 4
Breed: Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix- we think ??? You be the judge. Some say Hound, others say Shepherd.
Favorite Snack: Carrots, but only if they are peeled.
Pet Peeves: Not getting to the beach on a daily basis; I get cranky if I can’t get in the ocean. Getting up early in the morning. Not getting attention at almost all times of the day.
Favorite part of being at NEMO: Jumping over the dog gate into the warehouse and taking a nap in one of the tents set up out back.
First thing people notice: My handsome good looks.
Best known for: Lifting my leg when people come by…I’m a bit of an exhibitionist.
Greatest Fears: Being more than 5 feet from my Dad or Mom.
Favorite command to disobey: ‘Finn get off the couch’
Wishes NEMO would make: The perfect bed to go from the car to the campsite.
Best day scenario: To wake up late, go for a run in the woods, then hit the beach to retrieve in head high surf(I love that), take a nap in the sun, have some prime rib for dinner, lay on the couch, have a snack, and have someone petting me or rubbing my ears most all day long.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Catalogs Are In!

I was very excited going to work today, almost felt like Christmas; you know you're getting something but just hoping it's what you want! In this case, the proper checks were in place to make sure it turned out perfect, but there is always a little bit of unknown when getting a project printed.

The first pallet arrived and I quickly tore open the box on top to see what was inside. Wheew, it came out great! This year our NEMO catalog is 72 pages, quite a bit larger than last year! 5 new tents, 3 new sleeping pads and a pillow, plus a variety of new accessories! If you want one CLICK HERE to let us know.


Festivals for the Rest of Us

This weekend NEMO will be traveling to Trail Days in Damascus, VA and the New River Rendezvous near Fayetteville, WV. If you are around either of these areas be sure to stop by our booths to meet us, see some new products, and grab some stickers.

Trail Days, for the unfamiliar, is a nearly week long festival that takes over the tiny town of Damascus to celebrate the Appalachian Trail and the people who hike and maintain it. It's an event especially well attended by thru-hikers and thru-hiker alumni. I'm looking forward to catching up with some of my 2003 trail companions. Connie and I will be there today through Sunday showing off some current tents, debuting some future products, and helping to repair hikers' torn or battered gear.

Cam, Caitlin, and Tsuba are headed down to the New River Gorge for some fantastic climbing and to show off the NEMO product line. The festival is a fundraiser for New River Alliance of Climbers. Besides the planned climbing, bouldering, and dyno comps, attendees can also hit up "Dessertapalooza" and some Sumo pad wrestling.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Karma (Club) Chameleon

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with some of the members of Club Chameleon, a program in Newmarket, NH that provides an all-inclusive environment for kids ages 10-16 with experiences outside of their local surroundings. Club Chameleon’s philosophy is to focus on introducing kids to a variety of outdoor activities, along with community service and social events that help foster personal growth and self worth. They have mentors within the program and volunteer in their community. They currently are helping a local farmer. A cornerstone of the program is providing opportunities to interact with positive role models and teaching the kids to become mentors themselves.

I was visiting Club Chameleon to donate some tents. One of our goals is to get kids into the outdoors. Our thought is that if we teach kids the importance of being outside, not only will they be physically and mentally healthier, but they’ll understand the importance of protecting our environment. So, we gathered all of our returned tents and previous years’ demos, cleaned them and made sure they were in great working condition. Another bonus of the program is that we’re giving these tents a second life—the best kind of recycling.

On my visit to Club Chameleon, I had the chance to go through the tents with about 10 kids from the program. We set the tents up, crawled around in them, and basically goofed off for a while. We talked about how to properly position your tent and overall tent maintenance.

Part of the group was getting ready for an overnight trip up Sandwich Mountain, so they were thinking about which tents they wanted to bring. The girls of the group set out to rename each tent, giving Hypno EX, for example, the new name Connie. I told them NEMO's Connie would be very honored.

Through Club Chameleon, these kids not only go hiking and backpacking, but mountain biking, surfing, whitewater rafting, canoeing and more. Coupled with volunteer efforts in their community, I just think it’s an amazing program. Last fall, when I met Anneliese, the director of the program, she showed me the old tents the group was using. They were cheap, heavy, and in dire need of repair. I’m excited that we are able to give them something better, which will help the kids enjoy their experience that much more.

My next visit for tent donations will be to the AMC later this month. I’ll fill you in on their program next!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Adventure Anytime

I was excited to see a great photo of Tenshi highlighted on the opening page of the latest Men's Journal (Adventure Issue).

The article really struck a chord with me too, especially this quote from Yvon Chouinard discussing the current state of adventure:
Chouinard reckoned that one upside to the economic downturn might be more time,"because that's the problem today, we don't have any time. And that's why there are fishing guides and climbing guides and kayaking guides and tour guides and all of that, because we don't have time to learn to do anything, and so we hire people to take care of us." Real adventure, he said, is grounded in skill."The goal isn't to catch the fish, it's how you catch the fish."
Time is definitely precious and I'm lucky I work at a company that gives time off to pursue the adventures we are passionate about. I hope the spirit of exploring and engaging with the outdoors continues to grow independent of the news from Wall Street. And I encourage all of you blog readers from the US to participate in the "America the Beautiful Pass" program mentioned in the article. I am trying to make the most of my pass this year, and have already been impressed with what landscapes and activities can be found in the National Parks in our own backyard. Here's a pic from my most recent pass use, a quick climbing trip up to one of Maine's (and the US's) finest - Acadia. (That's Connie conquering an overhang on The Flake.)


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday NEMO!

Last Wednesday, we celebrated NEMO's 7th birthday with a day out in Quincy Quarries. We brought a few key ingredients: the grill, bean bag toss, comfy camping chairs, a new (huge) tent prototype, and great weather. Check out some of the action below!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Alison Gannett's Global Cooling Tour— Walking (or Biking) the Talk

I've always been one to push the green envelope. Last winter, I had a dream opportunity—to convert an SUV to a solar-powered plug-in gas-electric hybrid, enabling it to get 100 mpg. I dreamed of reforming the auto industry with this prototype and loved the idea of further reducing my transportation carbon footprint. I had already been working on reducing my energy use by another 50% in my green solar-strawbale home and was deep into the 100-mile diet, sourcing only local food, pasture-raised local meat, and growing my own food inside at 9,000 feet in Earthboxes. I even started baking my own bread products, all in five minutes a day. Little did I know that this greening experiment would not have the payoff I intended. The converted SUV had only reduced my transportation carbon footprint from 1.6 tons to 1.4—chopped peanuts in comparison to the rest of my work. Once I figured in the 70 ton carbon footprint of the construction of the vehicle, I knew that my mantra to do the little things was going to ring true again. I needed to consume less, not shift my carbon consumption to alternative energy, such as a PHEV vehicle. So, I sold my SUV.

My first attempt to live without a car would be my East Coast Global Cooling Tour. How to get from Colgate College, NY to New York City, to Boston to NH and then back to Colgate? Public transportation doesn't exist in these areas and I wanted to go beyond renting a hybrid vehicle. So, my first thought was to use a bicycle—why not get in spring shape while getting from event to event, while also throwing in visits to the family? Now if only the weather would cooperate...

My first Global Cooling Ski Adventure Show was held at Colgate College, in Hamilton, NY. Director Abby Rowe was beyond hospitable and in addition to organizing a great show, she arranged for a slick bicycle for me to borrow. As I stuffed my camping gear, my AirSupported Gogo, computer, and business clothes into my touring bags and strapped them onto my bike, (about 15 lbs total and no racks) I headed out into the chilly weather with a lofty goal of reaching NYC, 280 miles away in 2.5 days.

Winding through central New York dairy farm country was pure pleasure on back farm roads with names like "Potato Farm Road" and "Horse Hill Road". Day two slammed me with the 15% grades of the Catskill Mountains and even more "small" yet torturous hills along the picturesque Delaware River. Riding into the Big Apple turned out to be my favorite day with the remote Harriman Park and Bear Mountain, then heavenly bike paths and routes into NYC across the George Washington Bridge and then into the orderly mayhem of Time Square.

In NYC, I sourced cool farm-to-table restaurants in between meetings and my "How to Green Your Business and Save Money" presentations with National Geographic Adventure, Men's Journal, GreenTeam, and GlobalKinect. The farmer's market at Union Square proved that NYC was really making strides in the low carbon footprint arena.

Next, I was off to New Hampshire for meetings with to work on a potential collaboration to assist businesses in lowering their carbon footprint while increasing profitability. was started by the CEO of Stonyfield Farm yogurt, to rate businesses on their green or not-so-green efforts on climate change.

Nashua was the next stop, home of NEMO, for a photo shoot and facility tour. It’s always amazing to me how much work goes on behind the scenes that we never appreciate in our wonderful outdoor gear. NEMO’s progress is impressive as one of the only companies to make significant strides to green the tent industry. Yet beyond that, their gear is impressively strong and light. My Gogo was a crucial piece of gear that enabled me to pull of this feat of traveling the east by bicycle without panniers.

In celebration of Earth Day, Kate and Nicole at NEMO, along with their friends Harpoon Brewery, arranged a viewing of my slideshow in Boston. Along with NEMO and Harpoon, SmartWool, Patagonia, Osprey, EMS, and KEEN chipped in prizes for a silent auction and raffle, so we could raise money for my Save Our Snow Foundation. I started this non-profit to spread my Global Cooling Shows to schools and organizations around the world who want to help make a difference to save our planet. I use my four-step CROP framework to show people how you can reduce your carbon footprint while also saving money. It really helps folks get started or evaluate what steps they should do next in their home, business, school, event, community or government. The event rocked!

Luck was on my side for the final part of my journey. Rain and snow arrived while I visited with my mother (always pushing me to expand my horizons and supporting my bizarre career paths). Just as it was time for me to mount my bike again, the weather cleared and I prepared for a 450 mile tour of NH, VT and upstate NY, back to Colgate. What an amazing way to see your surroundings and meet folks, like Eris, 85 years old and still running her Lake Store in the Adirondack Mountains, not missing a day in 63 years. Descending from the mountains, temperatures soared to 90 degrees, buds bloomed and I found a ton of history, visiting museums and riding the "Tow Paths", a trail for the horses that pulled barges inland along the Erie Canal for hundreds of miles.

Selling my vehicle for Earth Day was a huge step, one that will not be easy and not always this green, but it sure felt good to take that first step. I encourage everyone to calculate their carbon today at