Thursday, April 16, 2015

NEW Virga 26 Backpack is now available!


 Our Virga 26 backpack is now available!  
• 1 lb., 26 liters
• Frameless suspension
• Fixed padded belt
• 10 MM webbing straps
• Internal hydration hanger
Great summit / travel / ultralight hiking backpack! While it is minimalistic by design, it carries the essentials comfortably and securely.
More details: http://bit.ly/1D8uekB

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Backpacker 2015 Spring Gear Guide


Backpacker Magazine featured Granite Gear's new Virga 26 and Cross-Trek 32" Wheeled Duffel in the 2015 Spring Gear Guide. 




Friday, March 13, 2015

Five questions with Justin “Trauma” Lichter

Granite Gear athlete and accomplished thru-hiker, Justin “Trauma” Lichter just finished the Pacific Crest Trail, making him the first to complete the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail during winter months. So naturally we had a few questions about his accomplishment.

What was your first thought most days while waking up? Falling asleep? 
It was really dependent on the conditions. Some days my first thought waking up was "sweet, it is going to be so pretty today" and other days it was "do I really have to put these shoes back on and get out of my sleeping bag right now". At night I don't think I thought of anything. I would fall asleep exhausted as soon as my head hit the pillow (any extra clothes in a stuff sack).

We know an expedition like this has a lot to do with endurance but how did you stay mentally strong?
I think the mental challenge can be just as hard as the physical challenge. It's important to learn from previous days and experiences but to also be able to put them behind you.

How did you train for this, and would you do anything different now?
We didn't train specifically for this trip physically. The planning for this trip was a culmination of skills gained on previous trips and tune-up trips to get our gear dialed. We worked on this for a few years. We also pieced together logistics and a resupply strategy as it got closer since many of the standard resupply options in the summer are closed in the winter.
 
If you could bring one luxury item with you (weight does not matter), what would it be?
Weight does matter so I am not sure how to answer this question. If weight didn't matter then I might pack a house with TV and a heater. But realistically my luxury item is carrying a small book to read at night.

Did you sing any songs in your head or out loud while hiking and why was it Katy Perry’s “Firework”? (we joke)

I can't say I have ever even heard that song! I always get different songs stuck in my head but I have to say that The Proclaimers are probably the most common song going through my head.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lichter and Forry Complete First Winter Thru-Hike on the Pacific Crest Trail

Two Harbors, MN – March 1, 2015 – At 1pm on March 1st, Granite Gear athlete and accomplished thru-hiker, Justin “Trauma” Lichter and hiking partner Shawn “Pepper” Forry have finished the Pacific Crest Trail, making them the first to complete the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail during winter months. 

From October to March, Lichter and Forry found themselves battling frostbite, icy ponds, frozen ski bindings, blinding whiteouts, 80 mph wind gusts, negative temperatures, and many other unpleasant conditions. However, with over 55,000 miles of trail experience between them, Lichter and Forry were able to meet the conditions with safety and confidence. Detailed packing and preparation also played a major role in the safety of their trek, and Lichter and Forry are pros at packing the best ultralight gear. On the trail, Lichter and Forry carried various Granite Gear backpacks and stuff sacks. View Lichter’s full list of gear here. 


“We set out on this adventure to challenge ourselves and test our physical and mental limits and skill sets,” said Justin Lichter. “We also want to open the door and hopefully show people that the winter can be a beautiful and amazing time to experience the outdoors.”




Lichter and Forry have worked closely with the PCTA along their trek, and plan on continuously acting as stewards to protect and preserve the trail. Viewing the PCT as a capstone and symbol for America’s value of wilderness and conservation, Lichter and Forry would like to see the PCT respected enough so that people will enjoy it many generations to come.


For detailed stories around each stop on the trail, read Justin Lichter’s blog and Shawn Forry’s blog. View more photos from the trail here. To learn more or schedule an interview with Justin, please contact Shelly Smith at Shelly@DarbyCommunications.com


About Justin Lichter

Justin Lichter has hiked the equivalent to almost one and a half times around the Earth, and in one year hiked over 10,000 miles. (In total, he’s racked up over 35,000 miles!) His accomplishments include hiking unsupported from end to end through the Himalayas, through the Southern Alps of New Zealand, through Iceland and Norway, across the United States six times, and over 1800 miles through Africa. He is a ski patroller and enjoys backcountry skiing, Nordic skiing, biking, surfing and anything else outdoors and active. During his trek through the Himalayas, Trauma proudly carried the Leopard AC and found it to be the perfect pack for the treacherous 1500 mile hike. Justin is the author of Trail Tested and Ultralight Survival Kit.

About Shawn Forry

Since 2003, Shawn has hiked over 20,000 miles through 26 states and 7 countries, including Nepal and New Zealand and most of Europe. Long distance backpacking has taught him determination, problem solving, compassion for fellow neighbors and the environment. He is currently residing in Truckee, CA (winter) and Midpines, CA (summer) and works as an Outward Bound Lead Instructor and Wilderness Adventures Musher.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Granite Gear Hires Hartford Sales Group to Reinforce West Coast Territory

Granite Gear, award-winning manufacturer of legendary backpacks, packing systems and travel gear, announces today their partnership with The Hartford Sales Group. The team is joining Granite Gear’s sales force with four reps in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

For over 30 years, the highly esteemed sales agency has represented some of the top outdoor brands in the industry including Adidas Outdoor, Five Ten, PowerBar, Feetures! and Timex. The Hartford Sales Group, managed by Larry Hartford, has an extensive network that includes outdoor stores, travel goods stores and sporting goods stores. With their reach to more than 600 accounts, Hartford will help grow the Granite Gear brand, and ensure that the right stores are carrying the best and most innovative backpacks and travel gear on the market.

“It is very exciting to align with such an energetic, driven group of reps who support our brand on the West Coast,” states Rob Coughlin, Granite Gear VP of Sales. “The team comes equipped with years of experience and expertise in the outdoor industry and an innate understanding of our brand.”
Hartford Sales Group is a dedicated group of reps that focuses on building long-lasting relationships and offering personalized service to each customer.

“We have been very fortunate to represent some of the most quality and innovative lines in the industry, and work with people who share our work ethic and love for the outdoors – and Granite Gear fits right into that culture.  We look forward to the journey,” said Larry Hartford.
This new partnership, effective immediately, will continue to help drive Granite Gear forward as a top backpack manufacturer in the world.  For more information about The Hartford Sales Group, please email Larry Hartford at larry@hartsale.com.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Granite Gear Announces Partnership with North Brand Agency

Granite Gear, award-winning manufacturer of cutting-edge outdoor and lifestyle products, is pleased to announce their partnership with Portland, Oregon-based brand agency North for the upcoming year.  Effective immediately, North will assist Granite Gear with marketing strategy and creative campaigns as the company continues to make waves in the outdoor industry.

In the past year, Granite Gear has delved into the adventure travel market with the release of their Cross-Trek Collection and has revolutionized the school backpack market with their technical Campus Collection.  The brand has continued to add versatility to their offerings with the addition of lightweight packable duffels. North will be pivotal in developing messaging that speaks to Granite Gear’s Two Harbors, Minnesota heritage and to the consumer who needs quality technical gear for their travels and adventures.

“We have made huge strides in developing a product line that touches every corner of the outdoor and adventure travel markets,” says Rob Coughlin, Granite Gear’s VP of Sales and Product Development.  “We’re thrilled to be partnering with North so that we can share the unique story of our brand and continue to reach a blended outdoor audience.”

About North
North is an independent advertising agency that creates fans for good brands. We're in love with creativity, and believe fans are earned, not bought. So we think less like traditional marketers and a little more like musicians who care about results. 

We work in a big, open, light-filled space in beautiful Portland, Oregon, designed for smart, curious people to think, make, do their best work, collaborate, grow, have fun, be honest and kind to each other.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lonnie Dupre is First Solo Climber to Reach Denali Summit in January

Granite Gear athlete, arctic explorer and climber, Lonnie Dupre became the first to summit Denali in January – alone. With just six hours of sunlight each day, 100 mile per hour winds and temperatures reaching 60ยบ F below, January is a daunting time on Denali, where elevation of 20,237 feet makes it North America’s highest mountain. Dupre achieved his goal in 25 days and reached the summit at 17:04 (CST) on January 11, 2015.

Dupre spent a total of 60 days during the last 3 winters on Denali, during which he made 2 fast ascents to 17,200 feet, only to be thwarted by bad weather just hours from the summit. Only nine expeditions, totaling 16 people, have ever reached the Denali summit in winter, and six deaths occurred during those climbs. Of these previous winter expeditions, four were solo, but none were achieved in January, the darkest and coldest time of the year on the mountain. Only a team of three Russian climbers has ever successfully summited Denali in January.

“It was an amazing trip and challenge, but I wouldn’t want to repeat it,” Dupre laughingly said.  “It was the type of journey where one had to be on his toes at all times, monitoring the weather, available daylight, overall plan and supplies all while being at high altitude.”

Currently on his descent from the summit, Dupre is wearing his Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70L backpack, and pulling a 5-foot sled. On the lower elevations, the sled was packed with 165 pounds of supplies, and Dupre then switched to backpacking his supplies up the steeper parts. Dupre is also carrying 175 bamboo wands to mark the route, dangerous crevasses and his camps, increasing his chances for a safe return, which is when most climbing deaths occur.

Lonnie Dupre and the One World Endeavors team will be showing their first adventure documentary, Cold Love, at the upcoming Winter Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, January 23rd at Brewvies Cinema Pub. Free showing starts at 6pm.  Learn more about the film and Dupre’s summit at OneWorldEndeavors.com.


Photo credit: John Walter Whittier 

About Lonnie Dupre & Cold Love
Lonnie Dupre, a resident of Grand Marais, Minnesota, brings 25 years of Arctic exploration to his most recent endeavor. His accomplishments include being the first to circumnavigate Greenland by non-motorized transport, and reaching the North Pole in two separate expeditions. Dupre has also worked to bring worldwide attention to his concern over the environment.  “I spent a lot of time this past year trying to figure out how to inspire folks about our need to do something about climate change,” said Dupre. “So, we have made a one hour film called Cold Love, which is about Arctic adventure and the world’s need - people’s need - for snow and ice. Snow and ice are important in our polar regions because they help reflect the sun’s energy back into space.  Basically, the planet’s polar regions act as a thermostat to keep our planet cool.”  The documentary will be entered in international film festivals and offered on CD in 2014.  As a solution to help combat climate change Dupre is donating the profits from the sale of his book, Life on Ice: 25 Years of Arctic Exploration, published by Keen Editions, between December 15th and February 15th, 2014, to The Nature Conservancy’s campaign “Plant a Billion Trees.”  Each Life on Ice sale will enable the planting of 11 trees.