Jeff Ryan, Author & Speaker

Three “Made in USA” Gifts that Give Back

I’m always on the lookout for new gear. This year, even with a limited travel schedule, I was thrilled to discover some American companies that are keeping the tradition of designing and manufacturing gear alive. One thing the three companies featured here have in common (other than making smartly designed gear and clothing) is that they believe in giving back to the outdoor community. Check ‘em out. I’m sure they’ll appreciate your support, too! One note — my endorsements come from personal experience. I have no affiliation with the companies featured and receive no compensation in return.

LightHeart Gear

Female/veteran owned LightHeart Gear combines premium fabrics like Polartec® Micro Grid Fleece (shown here on their hoodie) with sensible design. LightHeart makes clothing for men and women, as well as stuff sacks, tents and more.

LightHeart supports the Jason William Hunt Foundation’s efforts to connect at risk teens with life-changing outdoor experiences, Trail Dames — whose mission is to empower women to explore nature, and Hike for Mental Health, which promotes the benefits of hiking while funding mental health research and trail conservation.

Warm Peet Socks

I met Rick Oxner, the owner of Warm Peet at the Round Hill AT Festival this year. Rick is absolutely dedicated to helping others and his company makes a really good sock — with headgear soon to follow. The two pairs I purchased have been in constant rotation. They are super comfortable and are wearing great. 

Purchases from Warm Peet support Suicide LifelineThe Trever ProjectTeens to Trails, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Nordson Green Earth.

Appalachian Gear Company

Fans of natural fibers, rejoice! This alpaca (cleverly branded “All-Paca™) is simply terrific. I bought a crew neck pullover and a beanie, and they’ve been in daily use since the weather turned. The generous drop tail is a nice feature, too!

See also  How to Buy Hiking Boots

Appalachian Gear cares deeply about public lands. As such, they commit proceeds to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Outdoor Revolution, two organizations dedicated to being stewards of the land, inspiring others to enjoy public lands responsibly, and protecting them for future generations.

Fans of natural fibers, rejoice! This alpaca (cleverly branded “All-Paca™) is simply terrific. I bought a crew neck pullover and a beanie, and they’ve been in daily use since the weather turned. The generous drop tail is a nice feature, too!

Jeffrey H Ryan is an author, adventurer, photographer and historian. He has written several books about his outdoor exploits, his fascination with hiking trails and the people and places found just off the beaten path. His debut book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America's trail was hailed by the former Executive Editor of National Geographic as "a classic of nature and travel writing" and set off a national tour (in a 1985 VW camper, no less). His books are known for weaving a deep appreciation for history into walks across contemporary landscapes that give readers the feeling they are hiking right alongside. When Jeff isn't trekking, chasing down a great story or spinning yarns from his keyboard, he enjoys sharing his adventures with audiences who love the outdoors. He spends much of his time in his beloved native state of Maine.

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