Jennifer Pharr Davis - The Trailblazer Partners
Jennifer has built relationships with a handful of outdoor companies over the years. These are brands she used before having a formal partnership, and her love has only grown the more she's gotten to know them. Like Jennifer, they are focused on sustainability, craftsmanship, people over profit, and doing things the right way.
Read about them below and visit their websites. We're sure you will fall in love the same way Jennifer has.
When Jennifer became pregnant in 2012, it was the first time she really thought about how she was treating her water, what she was putting into her body and how that might have an effect or the baby growing inside her. She did a little research and came across Sawyer Products, a Florida-based water filtration company that also makes sunscreen, bug spray and emergency first aid equipment. Besides loving the idea of taking bad stuff out of the water naturally and without using chemicals, she loved the way Sawyer was doing all sorts of good for people in developing countries around the world. She jumped on the Sawyer train in 2012 and has never looked back. Now Sawyer filters are almost all you ever see thru-hikers carrying these days. Not just because of Jennifer, of course. But because they make the best water filters on the planet. Check them out and you'll see why.
When Jennifer was gearing up (literally) to hike across the state of North Carolina in 2017 on the 1,100-plus mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail, she heard about a little old sock company in Mt. Airy in the Piedmont. Farm to Feet was doing things the right way. Sourcing wool from ranchers in the Northern Rockies, using the same craftsmanship that textile workers have made North Carolina famous for since the early 20th century, and replacing their highest quality garments with a brand new pair if they ever wore out. Jennifer loved Farm to Feet's story, the fact that they were American made and based in North Carolina. But more than that she loved that they were the most comfortable and best-looking socks she'd ever worn.
The joke in Asheville is that everywhere you look you're gonna see a Subaru with a dozen bumper stickers on the trunk. 99% of those Outbacks with the "Keep Asheville Weird" sticker on them probably came from Prestige Subaru. Prestige has wonderful people and a wonderful product. And they're as committed to the environment and getting people outdoors as any dealership in America. We're grateful they've helped us get to trailheads in the Smokies, Big Bend, Glacier National Park, and everywhere in between.
The story of Asheville-based Astral Designs is really the story of its founder, Philip Curry. After selling his first successful gear company to Patagonia in 1999, Philip turned to biodynamic farming. But the question kept nagging him... Could he protect more land and water by managing his small farm, or by getting back in the outdoor equipment business? Fortunately for all of us, he chose the latter. Now, Astral makes some of the best-fitting, best looking trail shoes on the planet. Want something for hiking the trails outside of town? Great. Wanna grab a beer or go to a concert afterward? Terrific. You won't need to change shoes because Astrals fit perfectly in both settings. In a market dominated by huge corporations, Astral puts nature first in all their business and product decisions. What could be better than that?
May 8, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.
The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).
SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan