Denver Author Releases History of Outdoor Gear Book; Will Speak in Boulder

Denver Author Releases History of Outdoor Gear Book; Will Speak in Boulder

No escape to nature is complete without a trip to an outdoor recreational store or a browse through online offerings. Nowhere is this more true than in Colorado. Holubar, Gerry, and Frostline are among the first outdoor companies that helped establish Colorado as a hub of innovation for the outdoor industry after World War II. 

Author Rachel S. Gross

Historian of gear and history professor Rachel S. Gross has released a new book of interest to Colorado outdoor enthusiasts: a history of the outdoor industry. “Shopping All the Way to the Woods: How the Outdoor Industry Sold Nature to America” (Yale University Press) is a “A fascinating lineage tracing our industry’s first moments through today’s cutting-edge goods and exploring how our products and messaging evolved through the years to inspire America’s outdoor identity.”

A review in the Wall Street Journal argued that this book is relevant even for the average consumer: “A century ago, no New Yorker would have worn to the office the same clothing he wore to go fishing. Now the North Face fleece is as common to those facing the laptop as facing the hiking trail.”

Gross brings personal passion and academic expertise to the topic: she spent a year backpacking around the world and thirteen years traveling to libraries and archives to document the history of outdoor clothing and equipment.

In addition to scheduling interviews and talks in the region now, Gross is also speaking at the Boulder Bookstore on June 25 (with special guest Jonathan Degenhardt of Deuter) and the Museum of Boulder on July 17 (with special guest Trent Bush of Artilect). “Shopping All the Way to the Woods” was released in March 2024 and is available from Yale University Press, Amazon, Audible, or your local bookstore.

Rachel S. Gross is a historian of the outdoor gear and apparel industry and an outdoor enthusiast. She is assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, a history tour guide, and a curator of museum exhibits. She lives in Denver, CO.

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They call me "NewsHound IV," because I'm a clever Finnegan, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was a rescue pup and glad to be on the scent!

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