North Face Sponsoring Second Annual National Camping Month

SAN LEANDRO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The North Face, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, today announced June 2010 as the Second Annual National Camping Month, an initiative to encourage and inspire Americans of all ages to get outdoors.

“Our commitment lies in educating and inspiring passion for the outdoors and outdoor activity in all the company does.”

“The first National Camping Month became a nationwide grassroots initiative, with more than 50,000 individuals showing interest in outdoor education and camping,” said Steve Rendle, President of The North Face and VF Corporation’s Outdoor Americas Coalition. “The response from families and individuals reinforced the necessity of creating outdoor programs that are inviting and accessible to people of all abilities and walks of life.”

Building upon the great success of PlanetExplore.com, an online community to find local outdoor activities, and paralleling the Obama Administration’s Great Outdoors Month, The North Face will be holding free educational events, community activities and gear giveaways to inspire and encourage individuals, their families and friends to embrace the outdoors throughout the month of June.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2009 Special Report on Camping and 2010 Special Report on Youth, camping participation has increased almost 10 percent in the past two years, with friends and parents being the most influential in introducing camping as an outdoor activity. Nearly 60 percent of American youth ages 6 to 24 participate in outdoor recreation, with participation declining each year.

“The North Face sends expeditions to the far reaches of the earth, but the goal of National Camping Month is to encourage families and individuals to get outside wherever they find themselves – whether it be their backyard, a state campground, a multi-day adventure or one night of sleeping under the stars,” said Rendle. “Our commitment lies in educating and inspiring passion for the outdoors and outdoor activity in all the company does.”

OIA studies have found outdoor participation declines with age. Over the past three years the participation rate of youth ages 6 to 12 fell almost 20 percent for girls and 10 percent for boys. The OIA states this potential trend could negatively impact the future of conservation efforts that rely on individuals with a strong connection to and an understanding of natural systems and recreational landscapes.

The North Face retail stores will be offering a series of free clinics on topics such as how to select appropriate camping gear, pack a backpack, pitch a tent, make campfire meals and where to camp locally. The stores will also celebrate National Trails Day on the weekend of June 5 in partnership with the American Hiking Society.

In addition, The North Face, alongside The Outdoor Foundation, Backpacker magazine, and other industry leaders, will host the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit and Festival on June 19 and 20. The event will bring together tens of thousands of festival-goers, including 500 delegates, from across the country to celebrate active outdoor living while providing outdoor activities and advocacy raising awareness about the important role that the outdoors and recreational activities play.

To help consumers get the latest and greatest award winning camping gear, The North Face will be holding gear giveaways via Twitter (twitter.com/thenorthface) once a week during the month of June. For more information about National Camping Month including camping gear picks, and to find The North Face retail store closest to you, visit www.thenorthface.com, where online orders more than $125 receive free shipping.