Discover Outdoor Retailer

Townsend Bertram & Company was founded 30 years ago with the intention of being an entity of the community; a part of the Carrboro community of outdoor enthusiasts and a part of the outdoor industry collective. We have always believed in the power of connection to make change. Being an active member of the outdoor industry isn’t just important from a business perspective. When our industry joins together we have greater resources to conserve and protect the natural world we cherish. 


There are few times when everyone in the industry is together as brands and retailers scatter the globe. But twice a year, we all join together at Outdoor Retailer (OR), the leading business-to-business outdoor trade show in Denver, Colorado. The show always inspires, informs, and instills in me the value of coming together as an industry. Connection is at the heart of OR, creating a space where industry brands, reps, suppliers, retailers, educators and leaders meet. It is a show about discovery, not just of new brands and innovative products, but more importantly, a place to discover new friends in the industry and opportunities to creatively collaborate with brand partners. 


Before I ventured into the outdoor industry, despite growing up hanging out at the shop as a kid, I knew little about how speciality retail worked, where my mom found all the awesome products she bought for the store, and how she knew what brands would be marketing in the seasons to come. The first time I went to OR at sixteen years old as my mom’s sidekick, I saw the industry in all its parts coming together to form a vehicle for change. Through education, fundraising events, and meaningful conversations around the challenges facing our industry and the world, I saw how OR reflected our own values: community, passion and adventure. OR’s mission is to be a “force for the industry in recreation and trade policy, sustainable business innovation and increasing outdoor participation.” 


My favorite event at the show was the Conservation Alliance Breakfast. OR has been a long time supporter of the Conservation Alliance whose mission is to “engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. This year the topic was Defending Our Common Ground: American Public Land from Teddy Roosevelt to Donald Trump, presented by Timothy Egan. Egan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, a popular columnist and a National Book Award-winning author, took the audience on a journey through history of public lands, reminding us that President Trump’s decision to shrink public lands was the single largest cut of public lands in history. Egan’s moving presentation was not merely informative and insightful but a call to action. It encapsulated what OR is all about - discovery, connection and action; discovery of the power we have, connection to a mission greater than ourselves, and motivation to take action. To read more, check out this in-depth interview with Egan brought to you by the wonderful writers at SNEWS


OR and the Conservation Alliance Breakfast are reminders of the power we have as individuals and as an industry. We, and all of the other speciality outdoor retailers in the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, as well as thirty seven of the brands we carry are members of the Conservation Alliance. When you shop at your local adventure outfitter, you are not just keeping your dollars local, you are supporting conservation efforts around the country. You become a part of the larger outdoor industry community dedicated to keeping the wild places wild. The Glass Top Counter blog is dedicated to creating more transparency, so that consumers can see behind the curtain of our industry, discovering the power of coming together to be a stronger community dedicated to conservation.


Here is a list of the brands we carry and partners in the outdoor industry that are members of the Conversation Alliance!

Keen, Merrell, Patagonia, Arc’teryx, Black Diamond, Cascade Designs, Chaco, Darn Tough, Eagle Creek Travel Gear, ENO, Elemental Herbs, Fjall Raven, Good To-Go, Gregory Mountain Products, GSI Outdoors, Hydroflask, La Sportiva, Life Straw, Mountain Khakis, Nite Ize, Oboz, Olukai, Osprey Packs, Outdoor Industry Alliance, Outdoor Retailer, Outdoor Sports Marketing, Petzl, Prana, Royal Robbins, Salomon, Sea to Summit, Smartwool, Sorel, Stanely, Superfeet, Teva, Toad & Co, Vasque, and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. 

Comment below with a wild place you love that you want to ensure it protected for the generations downstream.