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OR Winter 2010: Score Cool Gear by Donating Dollars

In our ongoing Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2010 coverage, we already rounded up a list of happy hours, but what we like even better than free beer is buying awesome gear and having your money go to a good cause. So here’s a list of cool swag you can score by donating money to super cool non-profits and causes; you’ll have new gear to show off at home and feel good about supporting positive change… the ultimate for an eco warrior gear head!

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Help Haiti

An earthquake registering 7.0 on the Richter scale hit Haiti yesterday. Centered just outside of the populated capital, Port-au-Prince, the quake’s effects have been devastating. Within less than 24 hours the outpouring of international support has been impressive. So how can you take part? Here’s just a small collection of what’s out there.

1. Huffington Post has an ongoing list of relief efforts and how you can get involved that it is going to continue updating. Check it out here.

2. Matador is trying to use the power of its network of passionate travels to make a difference. They’re trying to get Jet Blue to sponsor a flight of volunteers to provide on the ground support. They need help with exposure, logistics and simply spreading the word. Take a couple of minutes to help out and re-tweet this message:

@JetBlue: If @MatadorNetwork could fill a plane with volunteers, would you fly them to Santo Domingo to help #quake vics in #Haiti?

3. CNN has compiled a list of organizations that will be providing support to the estimated 3 million people that have been affected by the earthquake.

4. Many people are engaging the Twitter community to raise awareness, as well as funds. Search “Haiti” and see what the latest updates are.

[Photo: ingro.comagenciadenoticias2.0 via Matador Change]

Update: Matador is working on talking to Jet Blue, but now they’re also collecting donations. Find out more here.

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Are You An Outdoor Influencer?

Our friend James Edward Mills of The Joy Trip Project is on the hunt for the “inluencer’s” among us. Do you have a blog? Are you on Facebook or Twitter? After a muddy trail run, or an epic paddle down your favorite river, do you share your adventure via your social media channels? If that sounds familiar — James is looking for you!

From The Joy Trip Project:

The social media mainstream is a force to recon with. In a crashing wave of millions individuals are making their opinions known around the world. Using Internet-ready smartphones, laptops and other web surfing devices Bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers, Flickrphiles, Podcasters and YouTubers set the course of the info-stream even while they’re navigating it. With clever ideas expressed in less than 140 characters or lengthy web log commentaries these jacked-in data hawks are moving the flow of conversation to new and exciting places. The best and brightest among them are the influencers, those individuals whose content is thoughtful, compelling and worth passing along to others

It’s these influencers that I follow to keep up to speed on what’s going on in the world outdoors. Even though they’re fully wired, outdoor influencers can put their gizmos down long enough to get outside for a long trail run, a mountain bike ride, a few telemark turns or even just a dogwalk to the local farmer’s market. When they come back they post their experiences to share with others and fuel the conversation. And now as a new media analyst for Channel Signal I’m looking to connect with as many outdoor influencers as I can. I know quite a few, but I aim to find more, many, many more.

Are you an influencer? Or do you know someone who fits the bill? If so, drop James a line and write to info@joytripproject.com. Now back to tweeting!

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Friday Faves: Snowshoeing, Chilly Pedaling + Epicocity

Commonwealth Basin, The North Cascades

It’s Friday and winter is undoubtedly here. And that has the Under Solen team stoked for some snowy adventures!

First on our list: Snowshoeing in a couple of the West’s signature winter playgrounds. Next week, Emily is hopping on a train for an epic journey to Whitefish to hit up the ski and snowshoe trails of Glacier National Park. Exploring Glacier’s backcountry and taking in the spectacular scenery with nothing but the crunch of your snowshoes is an experience that’s hard to beat.

A little closer to home, Anna has the North Cascades on her mind. She’s heading to Washington for a hut trip through Mount Rainier National Park icy wonderland.

If you love playing in the snow as much as we do, check out the Winter Wildlands Alliance. They’re working to ensure a safe, quiet, tranquil experience for every winter wildlands adventurer, now and always. We dig it.

And speaking of icy, biking in Portland this week has been brutal. With temperatures in the teens, bikers have braved the cold commute by bundling up like bandits. Check out some photos over on the Bike Portland blog.

© Adam Mills Elliot

While we’ve been layering to beat the chill, our friends at the Epicocity Project have been sweating it out in the Amazon jungle. On this expedition they made a successful descent of the River of Doubt to find and document the monster fish written about by Teddy Roosevelt in 1914, before a dam changes the ecosystem forever. But the biggest goal is to bring this story home. EP is working to raise awareness to the plight of these threatened rivers, fish species and the communities that depend upon them. These guys kick ass and we’re stoked to work with them.

Well, that’s it for this Friday. Keep up with us next week for more good stuff from Under Solen!

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Social Media Mobilizing The Masses

The way we take action is fundamentally changing. As brands, causes and individuals incorporate social media into their marketing and advocacy campaigns, the distinction between online and offline action is getting blurry. Action is not only on the ground, but the incredible reach of social networks is being realized with movements like 350.org and social media is making it possible to mobilize the masses in an instant.

From Beth Kanter’s Blog:

It’s real time and location based social networks are also impacting advocacy.

Joe Solomon has a post over at Netsquared called “Social Media Powered Hope” and reports:

Yesterday, the first ever hashtag made it into the center of the UN climate negotiations, #WeStandwithTuvalu (a Pacific island nation) — an action that was coordinated by SMS inside the conference in Copenhagen. The 350.org Facebook community has thrown their weight behind the Maldives President by leaving comments on his Facebook page. This wasn’t just an online petition, it was a new form of solidarity. Last week, a young climate leader inspired real people to light real candles of hope through a YouTube video.

Joe wants us all to show world leaders that the wired world means one that is more educated, connected, and actionable. The call to action:

Will you spread this Facebook postcard by clicking here — and then click “Share.”

Then click here to start a Vigil this weekend — and add it to the global map of thousands (<- there may already be one!)

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Social Media Upends Ski Resort Marketing

From AdAge.com:

Social media is playing a major role in accelerating the decision cycle of consumers who patronize ski resorts. As a result, one of the country’s largest such companies — Vail Resorts — has abandoned its long-time advertising strategies and practices. In their place, the billion-dollar-a-year corporation, which operates five major resorts and twenty hotels, has built a new in-house marketing operation that uses social media and other digital venues to constantly engage skiing enthusiasts in real time. In this nine-minute video CEO Rob Katz explains the dramatic changes.

 

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Send Anna to Copenhagen!

Under Solen co-founder and social media diva Anna Brones is competing to be Huffington Post’s Hopenhagen Ambassador.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen is only weeks away. And that means that a decision on the future of our climate is imminent. HuffPost in conjunction with Hopenhagen.org is sending one person to Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference to both represent concerns of people around the world and to report back daily as a HuffPost citizen journalist.

Anna sums it up best in her video: “We are the last generation that gets to decide if we act on climate change. So let’s act together and ensure that all of our voices are heard.”

So, vote for Anna. I’d recommend you give her a 10, too! But I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

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