5 Ways to get More Involved in the Outdoor Industry
Many people have a passion for the outdoors but don’t know you can make a difference and/or have a career within the outdoor industry. As defined by Colorado College, the outdoor industry is composed of companies that promote exploration in the outdoors through facilitated recreation and/or distribute/manufacture outdoor apparel, gear, equipment, accessories, and footwear for outdoor activities. From climbing to camping, the outdoor industry has room for everyone!
5 Ways to get More Involved in the Outdoor Industry
The outdoor industry is an exciting and dynamic field that offers countless opportunities for growth, learning, and making a positive impact on both nature and people. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your career, getting involved in the outdoor industry can be immensely rewarding. In this blog, we will explore five effective ways to immerse yourself in this vibrant community and contribute to its growth and success.
Staying informed about the latest news, trends, and developments in the outdoor industry is essential for anyone looking to make a meaningful impact. Regularly read industry magazines, newsletters, and follow relevant social media channels, as they provide valuable insights into areas of success and challenges faced by the industry. By being up-to-date with the current happenings, you can ensure that your contributions are relevant and effective, regardless of your career stage.
Read up on industry news and trends
Keep in mind, things do change! From belay techniques and best practices to new gear and improvement to equipment, you want to be current on the latest outdoor industry knowledge. Here are some resources we recommend you check out to get your started, but by no means encompassing:
- Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR)
- The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education: AORE News (Emails and Newsroom at aore.org)
- Outside Magazine
What other resources do you know about that we can share with others?
Participate in Education — virtual and in-person!Continuous personal and professional development is crucial for your growth in the outdoor industry. As mentioned above, it is important to stay informed. Some topics require hands-on training or more in-depth knowledge, so we recommend you find resources to dive into the topics that interest you.
You can find virtual or in-person educational opportunities to engage in such as workshops and seminars. There are also certification courses to take to help boost your resume and expand your knowledge and skills.
Invest in yourself, as it not only enhances your capabilities but also empowers you to positively influence and lead others. Networking during these events can open doors to new mentors, career opportunities, and collaborations within the outdoor community. Here are some resources we recommend you check out:
Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to the outdoor industry while fostering personal growth. Whether it's serving on a committee, contributing to fundraising efforts, or lending a hand in organizing events, volunteering strengthens the industry and builds a sense of community. Through volunteering, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the industry's inner workings and develop meaningful connections with like-minded individuals.
Sign Up to Volunteer
There are so many ways to volunteer, from boots on the ground to virtual opportunities. Here are some resources we recommend for finding volunteer opportunities:
Conferences are excellent platforms for networking, learning, and sharing knowledge within the outdoor industry. Seek out regional and national events that align with your passions and interests. Participating in conferences will expose you to diverse perspectives, innovative ideas, and the latest advancements in the field.
If conferences have an exhibit hall, you will have even more opportunities to connect with others. Exhibit halls are a great place to see outdoor gear in person or find new organizations to support.
While in-person meetings offer invaluable face-to-face interactions that can lead to lasting professional relationships, sometimes they aren’t always possible. There are also virtual conferences and summits to help connect like minded industry professionals.
Here are the top industry events we recommend:
- Wilderness Risk Management Conference
To truly immerse yourself in the outdoor industry, consider becoming a member of an organization or association that aligns with your interests and goals. These groups provide opportunities for collaboration, advocacy, and professional growth.
Join and Engage with Organizations
Whether you are passionate about a specific outdoor activity or dedicated to environmental conservation, there is likely an organization tailored to your interests. By working collectively with others, you can drive meaningful change and positively impact the industry and the environment.
While there are a myriad of organizations within the industry and that support the industry, here are some organization we recommend connecting with:
Climbing Wall Association (indoor climbing)
American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) (outdoor climbing)
Professional Climbing Instructors Association (PCIA) (outdoor climbing)
American Canoe Association (ACA) (paddlesports)
American Whitewater (paddlesports)
America Outdoors Association (guiding)