Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 57

EARLY START
The author at
Alpine Scout
Camp in 1956

I learned first-aid and how to administer lifesaving artificial respiration. As my outdoors
skills improved, I eventually qualified for,
and was elected into, the Order of the Arrow.
This was an elite camping brotherhood, and
I proudly wore the white sash with the red arrow over my uniform. More importantly, having these skills made me confident I could take
care of myself in an environment with no asphalt, brick, or steel. From that point on, I no
longer cared how my rowdy friends felt about
me or the "chump" Boy Scouts.

SPENDING SUMMERS IN THE MOUNTAINS,
I began to sense the natural world had a certain
rhythm and pace. It was slower, more deliberate, and somehow more authentic than the
artificial, helter-skelter rush of city living. It
was a tempo I came to accept and appreciate. I
learned not to fight or resist it, but to let it carry
me at its cadence, to deal with things as they
happened, to go with the flow and to live comfortably in the present. I also learned to savor an
exhilarating sense of freedom. In the backcountry, there were no traffic lights, signs, restrictions, or people telling me where to go and what
to do. You could roam the open country, blaze
your own trail. Best of all was the feeling of being independent and self-sufficient, knowing
all I needed was what I carried with me-both
in my pack and in my head.
Armed with this emerging confidence, I became the first in my
family to go to college, earning a degree in psychology. From there, I
moved into the corporate world, rising steadily to management positions in marketing and consumer research. In 1975, at age 31, I quit
my job to attempt another family first: I would start my own marketing research and consulting business. Today, JRH Marketing Services
is the oldest and most experienced Black-owned company of its type
in the U.S., and in 2016, I was elected into the Marketing Research
Hall of Fame.
But during all these years, the lure of the wild kept calling me like
a siren's song, and I kept going back. I needed to know what was out
there and to find out by seeing it for myself. I went to mountaineering
school, obtained a wilderness guide license, and even started a small
outfitting business out of NYC: Brokenbo Wilderness Expeditions.
Weekend trips to the Catskills became weeklong trips to the Rockies,
then multiweek trips to the Andes, the Alps, to Patagonia, Lapland,
the Outback, the Yukon, Greenland, and to deserts, mountains, forests, and jungles around the world-unsupported, self-financed, and
mostly alone. My curiosity was insatiable. I wanted to see glaciers,

caribou migrations, forest fires, icebergs, and
grizzly bears. And as a social psychologist
with an urge to roam, I also began visiting
indigenous people in far-flung places. In
1993, I became a member of the Explorers
Club, and, more recently, I wrote Way Out
There: Adventures of a Wilderness Trekker,
a book about my adventures. And the call of
the wild continues; at age 76, I am still an active and enthusiastic backcountry traveler.

OVER A SPAN OF MORE THAN 60 YEARS, I
learned a lot about the natural world, and, in
the process, I learned a lot more about myself:
how a 13-year-old city kid went from summer
camp to remote expeditions; how the natural world gifted me with a level of maturity,
insightfulness, tolerance, fitness, sensitivity,
and a respect for the environment I might not
have acquired otherwise.
These benefits are still available to those
who are willing to spend time outdoors, and
my book has given me a platform to make
people aware of this and to motivate them
to go out there and, in their own way and at
their own pace, experience all the physical,
mental, and emotional growth and development that awaits them.
The natural world is the great equalizer.
It doesn't care if you are rich or poor, Black
or white, young or old, gay or straight, male
or female, liberal or conservative. When you spend time in nature,
you begin to realize how insignificant you are. Being out there can
teach you humility, and with humility comes mutual respect and
tolerance. You become less self-absorbed, less confrontational, and
this, in turn, makes it easier to respect others and to work together
for a common good.
These are the lessons I've learned, and I am especially committed to
taking this message to young people because they are the key to our future. We need to make the investments that will allow more youth-regardless of race, culture, or socioeconomic background-to experience
nature and to find out who they are-ideally before they are taught how
to hate. I want them to realize life can be an adventure and whatever
they want to accomplish, if they have the passion for it and are willing to
work hard to achieve it, they can make it happen.
If I can do it, anybody can do it. O.R.

Courtesy J. Robert Harris

WHEN YOU SPEND TIME
IN NATURE, YOU BEGIN
TO REALIZE HOW INSIGNIFICANT YOU ARE.
BEING OUT THERE CAN
TEACH YOU HUMILITY,
AND WITH HUMILITY
COMES MUTUAL RESPECT
AND TOLERANCE.

-Lifelong New York City resident J. Robert Harris has completed over
50 multiweek treks across the globe, all unsupported, most of them alone.
Learn more about him and his adventures at jrinthewilderness.com.

Summer 2020/ OUTDOOR RETAILER 57


http://www.jrinthewilderness.com

Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020

OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2020
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
RETAIL 101
MARKETING
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
FLOYD LANDIS
AMY HATCH
EMPLOYEE OF THE MON
RESEARCH
THE COVID-19 TIMELINE
HEROES IN CRISIS
ON BLACK JOY
BREAD+BUTTER
SUSTAINABILITY
HOT PICK
THE VIEW
HOW I GOT HERE
#SHOPLIFE
FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2020
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 9
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - RETAIL 101
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 16
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - FLOYD LANDIS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - AMY HATCH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - EMPLOYEE OF THE MON
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - RESEARCH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - THE COVID-19 TIMELINE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 26
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 28
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 30
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - HEROES IN CRISIS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 34
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 36
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - ON BLACK JOY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - BREAD+BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 43
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - SUSTAINABILITY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 46
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - HOT PICK
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 52
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 54
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - HOW I GOT HERE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - #SHOPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2020 - Cover4
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