Get to Know Outdoor Research

lab-rat-logoIn 1981, Ron Gregg and a friend went for a trek to Denali. Ron had meticulously planned the trip with a 100 mile cross country ski approach to the base of the climb before taking on the mountain. Just over halfway to the peak of the mountain, Ron’s friend suffered severe frostbite and had to be airlifted out. Ron, stubborn as he was, refused a seat on the helicopter and instead skied his way back. The problem arose from the failure of his friend’s simple gaiters—a simple but so necessary piece of equipment for mountain climbing.

There’s nothing like a man alone in the wilderness with his thoughts. By the time Ron had skied his way down, he’d decided he could solve the gaiter problem and wasn’t going to go back to his old job. Instead, he founded Outdoor Research. Today, although Ron died tragically in an avalanche some years later, his staff carries on the mission of getting outside and away to spend time with those big thoughts and dreams you can only have when out in the wilds.

The most unique thing about Outdoor Research, or OR as it’s more commonly called, is the Lab Rat Program. While other outdoor gear companies listen to feedback from reviews and write-ups as their products are released and slowly make changes, Outdoor Research has a program where the average Joe outdoorsman can give feedback about their products. The Lab Rat program allows product testers to discuss OR products in a forum on their website. You can check into what people are saying before buying a product too, to get the inside scoop that lets you decide whether it’s really for you.

We carry some Outdoor Research products at Uncle Sam’s, so if you’re looking for gear for mountain climbing or just getting outside (because they’re more than a mountaineering company now), come visit us at our Evelyn Hills location.

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