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A Journey Deeper – Looking into the Fall/Winter Collection

You never really can prepare for a transcontinental journey. You think, you prep and you dream; then you sit back, close your eyes and feel the jets kick in and deliver you into the sky. Travel is so much more than just a function of moving. There are so many emotions involved. You close your eyes and wake up across the world, in a foreign place with people you haven’t met and you come together with a common goal.

Travel is that piece that opens your soul, trains your mind to challenge itself and pushes you to go further.

Travel is so much more than just a function of moving. There are so many emotions involved. You close your eyes and wake up across the world, in a foreign place with people you haven’t met and you come together with a common goal.

Descending from 40,000 ft on a Dreamliner 787 we passed by our first view of the Andes. The majestic giants rimming the coastal city of Santiago as we blasted into the clouds transcending the descent from the blue skies to the inversion layer that hung heavy over the winter city. Although we were here simply passing through on our way south, Santiago was stop number one on the trip. People don’t often think about the airport as a destination, but it tells you a lot about a place. The customs agents, the barista or bartenders, these are the people that you often find are the keys to the cities, countries, and continents that you are about to enter.

 

Through customs we went, assembling with the rest of our team from across the world. Gear, garb, cameras and coffee, the roughshod look of an overnight flight was across all of our faces. But quickly you go from strangers to friends. For the next week we were be a family. Sharing rooms, dinners, drinks and laughs as we pushed south.

The destination is Puerto Montt, a lakeside city in the upper reaches of the Patagonia jump off. From there, you name your adventure: desert, rain forest, lakes or rivers, the country of Chile is expansive with terrain, untouched, untrodden and incredibly difficult to reach.

For the next week we will be a family. Sharing rooms, dinners, drinks and laughs as we push south. 

But, we are by no means the first to be in search of the next destination. Across the world people are looking for that next spot, that bigger, faster and better place. But for us, Chile was more than just the next stop on the bucket list. It was an intriguing place with a heavy cultural influence; not just on the outdoors, but anthropologically. The history of the Chilean people is ancient and steeped in tradition and mystery. So much of the intrigue lies in the unknown. So deep is the jungle, mountains and terrain that you can still feel that ancient sense of adventure, the wildness that is harder and harder to find today. Not to say that this is a bad thing. Access to the outdoors is more important than ever, but so is being able to find your own space, to discover something that you can feel is unique to you. This was the purpose of the trip. Discovery.

We landed via the intra-country flight after a quick 2.5 hours in the air and upon landing in Puerto Montt, you could feel the transition. The city layers slipped past us as we loaded into the vans for the journey deeper. With five hours in the car we would wind our way from medium cities with buses and grocery stores, and hour-by-hour the towns shrank, the mountains grew and the encroaching sense of the wilderness was palpable.

So deep is the jungle, mountains and terrain that you can still feel that ancient sense of adventure, the wildness that is harder and harder to find today.

As we drove, houses turned to shacks and as we approached our jump off point to Lake Tagua Tagua, the people changed as well. This was a place where community had a different sense, a stronger pull. Your neighbors were more than shared fences, they were essential to the community and survival. One fished. One farmed. One had chickens, the other had cows. But don’t think that this was an impoverished place. It wasn’t rich, but it wasn’t poor and this struck us all as we shed the layers of our digital selves. It was only what was needed. Nothing more, nothing less.

It’s an idea that is central to the brand as well as to this community, this idea of essentialism. To pare down the layers to only what is truly needed. Focus on the essential and eliminate the rest. This is how we build and design our garments, our products and put purposeful design into each and every product. The same as the farmer, baker and butcher serve a community purpose. 

It is the idea of essentialism, to pare down the layers to only what is truly needed.

We arrived just as the sun finally set, just as the skies opened up. A torrential downpour started with the darkening sky. This was expected as the area is widely considered to be some of the harshest weather in the world. Cycling storms from the sea move from ocean to desert clashing with the dominant mountain ranges and high alpine creating a reactive space. Every element was in conflict. There was no easy road here. Everything was battling for space, dominance and superiority. 

To anyone that has ever been in bad, really bad weather, the gut reaction is to run. To move fast and to load gear in a hurry. But when you are preparing for a journey you need to hold back that urge to rush. In a panicked moment you might forget a key part of your gear. Drop a bag and break a lens. We could see that our guides understood this intimately. They all stood causally in the downpour, discussing the passage. Preparing the boat, gear, crew, and plan. In that moment of pause you forget about the rain, the cracking thunder and the wind. That’s why you must come with the right gear, because you need to be in the elements. There is no escaping them. In the wild, shelter is not a comfortable hotel, it's often at best the base of a tree or the shelter of a rock. If you don’t have the right gear you will be miserable. You will be wet, cold and you won’t be able to push on. We pushed on.

That’s why you must come with the right gear, because you need to be in the elements. There is no escaping them.

The crew loaded into the boat and as the wind whipped up the waves and the bow bounced across the passage, it was at this point where you could truly feel the reality of the past miles fall away. Watching the dock disappear into the fog, we all knew that we were a long way from where we started.

It was pitch black when we landed on shore. Greeted by Boris, our guide for the next week. Heavy with the days work, Boris took the lead. We loaded our gear and ourselves into the waiting cart that was pulled by two brazen oxen. A finicky bunch, this pair knew their role in this part of the journey. Hooves slipping on the steep climb to the cabins, we shook and jostled like so many people have done in the past. Oxen built this cabin, built these cities and for hundreds of years were the trucks of remote communities.

Watching the dock disappear into the fog, we all knew that we were a long way from where we started.

Finally we crested the last hill and found our cabins waiting. A warm glow from the windows, the curl of wood smoke and the smell of a home cooked meal awaited. We anxiously unloaded the gear under the cover of the porch, shed the layers of gear and arrived at what would be our home for the next week. Remote. Wild. Raw. The journeys that the week held would take us from epic waterfalls to remote deadwood lakes; from high alpine winter ranges to the flatland sands along the winding rivers. It was a journey of discovery for us all. To find the essentials, to learn to pack right. To prepare and to capture the moments that we were in to share with the world.

This is our Fall/Winter Collection and we hope you are inspired to explore your right to roam.

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