There are endless barriers to trying something new: free time, travel time, equipment costs, lack of support, lack of instruction, fear of failure, fear of intimidation, fear of injury. The Camelbak Pursuit Series is aptly named because it aims to help people overstep so many of those barriers in order to pursue the outdoor activities they’ve always wanted to, or, as their website says: “Adventure daydreams, meet reality.”
The event is a three-day long smorgasbord of outdoor courses, activities, seminars, social get-togethers, and actual smorgasbords (from what I hear, the food is going to be amazing). The first Camelbak Pursuit Series is going to be outside of Salt Lake City, in the Wasatch Mountains, which means it’ll be the perfect place to try rock climbing, mountain biking, paddleboarding, yoga, and more. The beauty of the event is you just have to show up. The event staff will outfit you with some of the best gear out there and meet you where your skills are, in whatever activity you want to try. One of the brains behind the series, Julia Stamps Mallon, put it well. She said, “let’s say you love climbing, but have only climbed in a gym—you’ve always wanted to rock climb outside. This is a great opportunity to climb in this beautiful location with trained professionals leading the way.” And if you want to paddleboard after that, then hop into a yoga class after that, go for it. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure sort of weekend.
Though this is an outdoors event where most people will camp out, attendees won’t exactly be roughing it. After jampacked days, you can unwind at cocktail events, wine tastings, with live music. It sounds like there really is something for everyone.
In short, it’s a “great opportunity for the outdoor community to come together. It nurtures a kind of excitement to try something new,” said Stamps Mallon. It isn’t the experience level that brings that community together; it’s the shared feeling. That’s what’s making these kinds of events more and more popular. They get people together, in the outdoors, live and in person. So much of the outdoors sports world has a bad reputation of being exclusive and intimidating, but the Pursuit Series is looking to counter that with a welcoming spirit that, frankly, is refreshing. They want these three days to be “anybody’s weekend.”