8 More Amazing Outdoor Companies in the Blue Ridge Region
The Blue Ridge Region is blessed with many adventure options. Not only are they hosting the largest media only gathering in the outdoor industry, Outdoor Blogger Summit 2018, they are home to top rated outdoor activities, including Virginia’s Blue Ridge recently being granted Silver status from IMBA, International Mountain Biking Association. From mountain biking in Boone to rock climbing Rumbling Bald, the many scenic landscapes of the Blue Ridge has bred some amazing outdoor companies. Getting lost in the Great Smoky Mountains and finding yourself on the Appalachian Trail, outdoor companies like Harmony House Foods and Polarmax aid in exploring the many awesome environments to be found. For white-water enthusiasts, companies like Jackson Kayak and Astral Designs can be found on many of the major rivers nearby like the iconic Nantahala, and just like a simple cruise down the Blue Ridge Parkway, the adventure possibilities are endless with the many amazing outdoor companies in the Blue Ridge region.
Astral Designs – Asheville, North Carolina
A longtime industry leader in Personal Flotation Devices (also known as life jackets), Astral Designs has helped ensure safe water activities since 2002. Since that time, Astral has gone world-wide from their Asheville headquarters to become one of the number-one suppliers of Mens’, Womens’, Childrens’ and Canine water safety devices. In 2012, this expanding company began to include footwear for water and land activities.
Blue Ridge Outdoors – Charlottesville, Virginia
For everything adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine has been delivering quality journalism for over 23 years. Featuring festival guides, gear reviews and Trail Mix music playlists, this adventure publication is the clearest window into the Blue Ridge culture and lifestyle. Online or in-print, every article and page of Blue Ridge Outdoors inspires adventure and a great life outdoors.
Dirtball Fashion – Hickory, North Carolina
A fashion line for all the dirtballs out there, this first-class, fashion brand based out of North Carolina provides ultimate comfort and style for the outdoors. Alongside a stylish selection, all products from Dirtball Fashion come from an eco-friendly process that relies on recycled materials. That means everything from American Cashmere Sweaters to moisture-wicking copper-infused compression socks at Dirtball Fashion use recycled content for a comfortable and sustainable fit.
Elemental Horizons – Southport, North Carolina
A lightweight and ultra-lightweight backpack and accessory producer, equipment from Elemental Horizons is made to go the distance. Packs like the Aduro, Aquilo, and Kalais can often be found on long trails like the Appalachian Trail, and new designs are coming out every year. Featuring other minimalist-minded accessories like trail wallets and diddy sacks, thru-hikers can receive extra special savings by bundling items together.
Gurkee’s – Morgantown, West Virginia
Established in 1984, Gurkee’s has been making handmade rope sandals and accessories for nearly 35 years. The high standard of quality and comfort put into each sandal has been the not-so-secret formula of success for Gurkee’s, and the handmade in the USA attributes help keep this growing company connected to its roots. Outside of the long list of styles and sandal collections, Gurkee’s also specializes in handmade belts, rope bracelets, and pet leashes.
Harmony House Foods – Franklin, North Carolina
Located near the Appalachian Trail, Harmony House Foods has been supplying hungry thru-hikers with quality dehydrated foods since 2005. Expanding well beyond the hiking community and including anyone that appreciates good-for-you dehydrated foods, Harmony House’s selection now includes dehydrated and freeze-dried vegetables, beans and soup mixes. Available online and through various E-commerce marketplaces, Harmony House Foods has quickly expanded over the years to include pantries near you.
Jackson Kayak – Sparta, Tennessee
An industry leader in kayak production and design, Jackson Kayak is synonymous with white-water action. Outside of their award-winning whitewater kayak selection, Jackson Kayak also specializes in fishing kayaks, touring kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Founded in 2003, Jackson Kayaks can be found in rivers and waterways across the world. Heavily invested into the community they belong; Jackson Kayak is also well-known to sponsor major events throughout the year.
Polarmax – Candor, North Carolina
A national leader in outdoor clothing based out of North Carolina, chances are if you have ventured outdoors you have come across a Polarmax product. Specializing in layering systems from the ankles up, Polarmax is well known for their tee’s, technical pants and fleece outerwear. With manufacturing in Candor and distribution in the nearby city of Southern Pines, Polarmax is proud of their low production footprint and 100% made in America status.
Amazing Instagram Accounts in the Blue Ridge Region
@blueridgenps – Official NPS Instagram page for the Blue Ridge Parkway
@earthcaptured – North Carolina-based photographer
@samanthabrookephoto – dog photos at their best
@jtm71 – Professional photographer based out of Church Hill, Tennessee
@dawnfirephotography – professional photographer based out of Asheville
@mitchellandrewphoto – All around adventurer and awesome photo taker
@solitarytravelerphoto – North Carolina based explorer of the outside
@oliviadwill – North Carolina based explorer
@cathyandersonphoto – Adventure photographer
@d_sapp1 – Brevard-based explorer and photographer
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