Our 30+ Years with The North Face

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At Trail Creek, carrying The North Face brand is a no-brainer. Sure, we love their quality products, but we also connect with the brand’s message of encouraging exploration. All of us here get outside whenever we can, and inspire our customers to spend their free time exploring and preserving the wilderness we all love.

Thinking back on our relationship with The North Face, staff member Adam Crosby asked Ed a few questions about this long-time brand partnership.

Adam: How long have you been a TNF dealer? What attracted you to TNF?

Ed: We go back to the late 80’s.  Our store evolved from a hunting/fishing outfitter to a more outdoor oriented store, we looked for the best brands in that market space and TNF was at the top of the list. It has been a top brand for us ever since.

Adam: You say that Trail Creek has evolved. How has The North Face (TNF) changed over the years?

Ed: When we first became a TNF dealer, they had only a hand full of styles to choose from. Now there are hundreds. However, they never lost their commitment to quality, value, durability and style. They are still making products that outfit expeditions to the most remote, rugged terrain on the planet, but it is just as accessible to the weekend explorer in the local state park.

While some may see them as a big corporate monster, we still have a very personal relationship with the brand and the people who represent the brand. In fact, we are very close to the local sales rep group. (4 of their employees started at Trail Creek). Because of this relationship, we are fortunate to see behind the curtain and have gotten to know many of the people who work at TNF. What seems to the outside world as a big, faceless corporation, is in fact, a collection of many dedicated, passionate, kind people.  On top of that, they make some of the best, most innovative products on the market.

Adam: I understand that TNF selected you as a Brand Partner. What is a Brand Partner?

Ed: It is a select group of 80 retailers around the country that because of our excellent customer service, product knowledge and terrific staff, TNF has deemed qualified to carry the entire line of products including exclusive items from the Summit Collection.

Adam: What is the Summit Collection?

Ed: It is a kit of the most innovative product on the market. It is designed and tested by the athletes whose lives depend on clothing that performs under the harshest conditions in the most brutal of climates. The kit has a baselayer. a midlayer and insulating and a waterproof component. It is only available at a Summit Dealer.

Adam: Do you have a favorite TNF piece of clothing?

Ed: It would be hard to pick one, but I do have a jacket that has I’ve worn on some memorable trips. It is a shell called the Leonidas. The first adventure was on a bonefishing trip to Andros in the Bahamas. While far offshore in the backcountry, we saw a storm approaching and tried to outrun it in our small but fast flats fishing boat. We lost the race and motored into the rain at high speed. In spite of the stinging rain, we arrived at the dock dry and safe.

The other adventure that comes to mind was on safari in South Africa. We went to Tula Tula which is an elephant reserve. On our first evening, we set out to search for the herd in an open topped jeep. Just as we rounded a bend, the herd appeared right in front of us. It was one of the most breathtaking sights I’ve ever witnessed. At the same time, the skies opened up with a cold, driving rain. With no shelter, we just sat and watched the giants from the back of the jeep. We returned to the lodge in the rain, I was completely dry with an amazing story to tell.

The North Face: 50 Years of Madness


Named for the coldest, most unforgiving side of a mountain, pushing limits and challenging the status quo has run in The North Face’s blood since 1966 when the Grateful Dead played on their opening night at their single storefront home in the Bay Area of California.

From day one, co-founder Doug Tompkins believed that to feed your soul, you must embrace the wild. Growing a company and global movement that celebrates, encourages and enables exploration still fuels The North Face today.

At Trail Creek, carrying The North Face brand is a no-brainer. Sure, we love their quality products, but we also connect with the brand’s message of encouraging exploration. All of us here get outside whenever we can, and inspire our customers to spend their free time exploring and preserving the wilderness we all love.

The North Face evolved from a small mountaineering retail store to an international, year-round brand offering high-performance outerwear, gear and sportswear to outdoor enthusiasts looking for the ultimate fit and function.

Fifty years in and The North Face is still pushing the boundaries of innovation with game-changing product lines like the Summit Series. We are proud to be one of 60 specialty stores in the U.S. carrying this layering system built to navigate freezing mornings, warm afternoons and the final push to the top.

And, 50 years in, The North Face’s focus hasn’t changed. Practicality and the spirit of adventure still come with a single mission in mind: Get outside and NEVER STOP EXPLORING.

When you hit a milestone, reflecting on the past and projecting the future go hand-in-hand. We reached out to The North Face president, Todd Spaletto, and asked him to reflect on his 30+ year relationship with Trail Creek.


TNF store front on opening day, 1966.


This is what he wrote:

Dear Ed and the Trail Creek Team-

There are many things that make Trail Creek a special retailer, and a coveted partner of The North Face.  However, two powerful and distinct things come to my mind.

First, when Doug Tompkins co-founded The North Face he said his goal was to prepare both those taking their “first halting steps toward a new enjoyment of the outdoors…[and] to others, of more experience, The North Face will perhaps represent the logical culmination of years of searching for the finest in alpine equipment.”  Today, I do not believe there is a retailer embodying those words more than Trail Creek Outfitters.  Your store and staff are welcoming to ALL customers  – providing the very best customer service, and a welcoming introduction to the outdoors, while constantly carrying the very latest and greatest products for elite outdoor enthusiasts.

Second, I have a personal belief that there are two types of retailers.  Some retailers define themselves by the brands they carry.  They merely exist as a destination for brands a consumer may be looking for.  Then there are retailers like Trail Creek Outfitters…retailers that ARE a brand, and DEFINE the great brands they carry through Trail Creek’s curated assortments, superior customer service, and personal connection to the community.  Said different, The North Face is turning 50 because of the best in class retail experiences you and your team have created.

Ed, THANK YOU for being far more than a The North Face retailer.  Thank you for challenging us, supporting us, and being the very best possible ambassador for our brand!

Never Stop Exploring,
Todd Spaletto




Click to watch.





 prAa Collage

In 2016 year prAna celebrated 24 years in existence, creating apparel and accessories for fun-loving, soulful people who travel well, play hard and care about the impact they have on their environment.

And while there are a ton of yoga and sportswear brands out there vying for our attention, we choose prAna because they match our values – quality, sustainability, giving back, protecting our resources. Plus it’s really great looking clothing.

You see, the folks at prAna believe that when you reach into your closet, there should be something there that reflects who you are, how you feel and what you value most. That’s why they focused on the details, and aren’t afraid to hang it out when it comes to bold colors and whimsical patterns. We like their spirit.

Horny Toad is Now Toad&Co

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Change is good. And for Horny Toad, changing their name toToad&Co after 24 years just made sense. They’re still the same Toads, making the same great clothes…celebrating the company they keep.

The active wear company, founded on the idea that you should never have to choose between living well and doing good, rebranded to salute the partners they’re proud to call &Co. This includes Toad&Co’s customers, employees, retailers and reps, and the many non-profit organizations that align with Toad&Co’s mission to be responsible global citizens.

While we love the new name, we also like what Toad&Co didn’t change: it’s the same silhouettes and fabrics that you’ve always loved from Horny Toad.

They also didn’t change what’s best about being a Toad: Toads have a fun spirit and a commitment to great product and doing good. This means the majority of Toad clothes are created with the free spirit in mind and are meant to be dressed up or worn on the go. That’s why all Toad&Co products are made with long-lasting style and quality. For you, our customers, this equals comfortable clothing that should serve you well for years.

As a responsible company supporting many environmental organizations, you feel good wearing this brand, and we feel good selling it you.

Here are a just a few of the partnerships and organizationsToad&Co supports:

Planet Access Company (PAC) – Helping adults with disabilities live their fullest lives. Every purchase from Toad&Co is picked, packed and shipped by the PAC work crew.

Search for Adventure – Sends adults with developmental disabilities on once-in-a-lifetime trips through the adventure travel program.

The Conservation Alliance – A group of outdoor businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots organizations working to protect wild places.

1% for the Planet – One of the world’s largest environmental networks with a mission to build, support and mobilize an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet. Members donate at least 1% of their annual pre-tax sales to non-profits focused on sustainability.

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New Brands for 2014

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At Trail Creek we like to sell performance brands that not only look great and stand up to tough workouts, varied travel plans and everyday adventures, we choose brands that follow responsible, sustainable and fair trade practices. Brands that care.

To mix things up and add some variety to our selections, every-once-in-awhile we add a new brand we think you might just love, like the ones featured here that we added in the Fall, 2014. Stop in and check them out. We are certain you’ll feel good about your purchase.


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Osprey founder and head designer Mike Pfotenhauer grew up backpacking in his home state of Oregon, and wearing a backpack with an awful fit. Then, with the help of his mother, he learned to sew, and created his first backpack at age 16.

It wasn’t long before he was making packs for backpackers and travelers – drawn by word of mouth – who came to get measured for the custom-fitted, made-to-order packs, all built with intuitive features. Since he founded Osprey in 1974, every single product design bearing the Osprey name has passed through his hands, undergoing relentless scrutiny, and to this day Mike forges personal relationships with the sewing operators who construct the packs.

An outdoor industry leader in sustainability, Osprey’s products feature the All Mighty Guarantee: Free of charge, which guarantees that the company will repair any damage or defect in its product – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. In addition, all products are made with sourced sustainable materials, fair trade labor and the company supports a long list of environmental groups and organizations.


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Founded in a small warehouse in Toronto, Canada, over fifty years ago, Canada Goose has become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of extreme weather outerwear. Every coat is made in Canada and sewn in the same country from which the original founders drew their inspiration.

The company’s long-standing relationship with the film and entertainment industry blends rugged yet refined lifestyle with high-tech innovation. Canada Goose supports Polar Bears International as well as a number of charitable organizations and outdoor ventures that provide commitment to Arctic stewardship and the environment.


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This relatively young company, founded in 2003 by Tashi Sherpa, was inspired by the Sherpa companions who make the route, carry the load and lay the rope for every climber who goes all the way to the top and back of Everest and surrounding peaks. Tashi’s own uncle is a Sherpa hero living in total anonymity.

One of Tashi’s main goals in creating Sherpa Adventure Gear continues to be in supporting and honoring the Sherpas, who do so much for very little, so every product you buy makes a direct impact on the lives of these amazing people. The company donates up to $.50 for each item sold to The Paldorje Education Fund, which provides much-needed headstart scholarships to less fortunate Sherpa children. To further this cause, Sherpa Adventure Gear is in the process of setting up additional non-profit partnerships to benefit the health, education, and welfare of underprivileged Sherpa children.

In addition, Sherpa Adventure Gear employs local Sherpas in their office in Katmandu, and contracts with Sherpa artisans to create their beautiful, hand-made wool hats.


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Steven Izen, Lokai founder, created a bracelet to remind you to stay balanced because, he says, sometimes you hit a low point but need to remain hopeful, and sometime you hit a high point, but should remain humble.

The Lokai bracelet is infused with elements sourced from the highest and lowest points on earth.

Test Your Brand Knowledge: Play Match the Motto


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At Trail Creek we like to sell performance brands that not only look great and stand up to tough workouts, we choose brands that follow responsible, sustainable and fair trade practices. Brands that care.

Below are just a few of the brands we carry and the motto behind the company. Can you match the brand with motto?


1. Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
2. Never Stop Exploring.
3. Every Day is An Adventure.
4. There is No Such Thing as Bad Weather, Just Bad Clothing.
5. Born From the Experience.
6. Everybody Can Live Aloha, the Breath of Life.
7. One for One.
8. Spreading the Power of Optimism.
9. Responsible, Durable Goods.


• prAna • Life is Good • Patagonia • UBB • Olukai • Trail Creek Outfitters • Horny Toad • The North Face • TOMS


match the motto

Celebrating American-made


There are a growing number of gear makers producing products and apparel in the U.S.A. according to Outside Magazine writer Tom Vanderbilt. In his story he explores the new economics of insourcing, and here at the store we’re proud to support the American-made brands we sell.

Made in the U.S.A.

princeton tec


Princeton Tec has been pioneering new technologies and building lights for more than three decades. They make their gear close-by in New Jersey. We love Princeton Tec’s Fuel headlamp – designed to meet the widest range of applications while remaining small, lightweight and robust. Available in hues suited for everyone in the family.


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Wigwam Mills, Inc. proudly knits its Wigwam socks in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. And they support wool producers in our country by sourcing wool almost exclusively from American yarn spinners who buy from American wool growers. Their All-Terrain Hiker repels moisture, prevents blisters and cushions your foot. Hike on.


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Throughout its 35-year history, Croakies has remained a small company with a big heart. They create eyewear retainers and accessories that provide comfort, durability and functionality for active people of all ages, and use only the highest quality materials available. Nowadays ninety percent of Croakies revenue comes from products that are proudly made in the USA. Pick up your pair today.


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SmartWool believes that a thoughtful approach to living extends beyond the walls of their office and the boundaries of their industry. Along with giving back to the community through many advocacy programs, SmartWool knits their PhD socks right here in the U.S. The PhD Running Light Micro Sock is the perfect sock for reducing shock and abrasion in your high density impact zones. Gotta love happy feet.



Three friends created Cascade Designs after collaborating to produce Therm-a-Rest pads, the worldwide standard for outdoor sleeping comfort. Now, almost 4 decades later, Cascade Designs remains a private, family-owned company that still builds the vast majority of products in their Seattle, Wa., facilities. Next time you hit the trail, consider taking the Trail Scout mattress, perfect for light backpacking, car camping and adding essential warmth to cots. Sweet dreams.


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It’s no secret that Patagonia promotes environmentalism through many of the organizations they support, and that every product Patagonia makes is created by causing the least amount of harm to the environment. But did you know that many of their T-shirts are made in America including the women’s Live Simply Guitar T, made from super soft and comfy 100% organic cotton? It’s life unplugged.


More Featured Brands


Collect one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every item sold. Make T-shirts from 100% organic cotton. Get the community involved. These are just a few of the things we love about Philly-based United by Blue.

WHAT WE LOVE: The fit, the feel and the attitude. Oh yeah, we love the soft, comfy Tees, but we also have a thing for UBB’s dedication to preserving and protecting our oceans and waterways by collecting trash to make a difference. In fact, since launching in 2010, UBB has organized over 60 volunteer clean-ups and weighed in more than 83,000 pounds of trash. Check it out: Trail Creek and UBB summer clean ups. Contact us to get involved! (We’re at it again this summer.)

WHY YOU’LL LOVE UBB: You can’t resist the super soft, organic cotton slub jersey that is handcut/handsewn and stonewashed for vintage, sea-loving style. Just as awesome: every Tee is packed in banana-fiber paper topped off with a biodegradable hangtag. Why? Because UBB believes that individually wrapped plastic products are a wasteful and unnecessary step, so they just don’t do it. This way the packaging has a lower environmental impact, plus it’s really very cool.

An added bonus: hangtags are made of elephant dung embedded with flower seeds. Compost your package and plant the seeds. Very cool indeed.



Merrell Barefoot (Trail and Pace Glove) named Best Debut by Runner’s World Magazine, April 2011.


Long before Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run hit bookstores in May, 2009, runners experimented with barefoot running.

Maybe the most famous account is Abebe Bikila’s 1960 Olympic gold medal victory when the African runner set a new world-record running shoeless.

In a Wired Magazine article (July, 2009) Daniel Liberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University, says: “People have been running barefoot for millions of years and it has only been since 1972 that people have been wearing shoes with thick, synthetic heels.”

Liberman’s researched showed that barefoot runners tend to land on their fore-foot rather than landing heel first like runners in sports shoes. The result of a fore-foot approach is less impact shock for runners.

Still, there’s no doubt that McDougall’s blend of science, adventure, and “get back to nature” upped the interest in barefoot running and pushed the fever of the sport to take root. Curious racers wanted to lighten up their weighty footwear and unleash their feet onto bare ground. If the Tarahumara Indian tribe mastered barefoot running centuries ago, it was time for interested readers to give the sport a try.

Naturally, footwear manufacturers took notice too. Two years after Born to Run, barefoot gear is offered by just about every athletic shoe company, but only a few brands stand out.

Merrell’s Trail Glove and Vibram FiveFinger’s Bikila (name sound familiar?) are top-of-the-line running-specific models that offer the greatest barefoot-like reality. More and more athletes are wearing the minimalist footwear models, and many runners are fired up about simply cross-training with them.

When you transition gradually into the minimalist shoe, you can run more naturally and, in time, reduce your impact while strengthening lower leg and foot muscles.

Stop in and slip on a pair of this performance footwear and see what you think.


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Patagonia’s Mission Statement: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. Just a few reasons we love Patagonia.

WHAT WE LOVE: Thirty-plus years ago Patagonia began as a small company making tools for climbers, and evolved into creating outdoor apparel for what Patagonia refers to as the “silent sports:” climbing, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. Why specialize in outfitting the quiet work-out/hobby? Because Patagonia believes “reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection between us and nature.” And this love of nature and environmentalism is at the core of Patagonia’s values. Each year the company supports numerous environmental groups nationwide and promotes campaigns such as the Common Threads Initiative, bluesign Standard and the Footprint Chronicles. They also donate their time and 1% of their sales to eco-friendly organizations. Check it out: 1% for the Planet.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE PATAGONIA: Comfort, style and durability make up every article of clothing and piece of gear Patagonia offers. The details you’ll notice are as simple as chafe-proof inseams, contoured waistbands and lightweight, quick-drying fabric. Want 100% organic cotton? They’ve got that too, along with adventurous patterns and versatile clothing that can be adapted to your mood, whatever that may be (think skirt that doubles as a halter top.) Patagonia’s collections include baby and kids and casual designs you can slip on in case you get a chance to slip out into your chosen “silent sport” later in the day.

See for yourself: Get the details on the Nine Trails Skirt: Click HERE

See for  yourself: Get the details on the Board Shorts: Click HERE



(There really is no “Tom,” TOMS is short for Shoes for Tomorrow.)

Along with making stylish, comfortable footwear, TOMS gives shoes to children in need. Here’s how it works: For every pair of TOMS you purchase, TOMS donates a pair to a child in an underdeveloped country where families can’t afford to buy shoes.

It’s as a sole for a soul sort of thing.

In fact, since 2006, TOMS One for One movement has given over one million pairs of new shoes to children from poor villages around the world.

That’s a lot of giving.

TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie, chose to donate shoes when he witnessed countless barefoot children while traveling in Argentina in 2006. He saw the risks the children took playing, doing chores or walking miles to school shoeless. Besides getting cuts and sores on their feet, the children expose themselves to soil-related diseases, and in many cases, aren’t permitted to attend school if they don’t wear shoes.

Blake wanted to help these children, so he began with an idea to create the Shoes for Tomorrow Project, which he later shortened to TOMS. Traditional, age-old Argentine shoes inspired his design.

From the very first shoe Blake sold, one shoe was donated. During year one, 10,000 canvas shoes made their way to Argentina where volunteers placed a shoe on a child’s foot, making the experience memorable for both wearer and giver.

Today, volunteers still hand-deliver shoes. And, for TOMS, it’s not just about helping kids in need, it’s about giving, and educating people from all over the world about the idea of giving.


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Influenced by athletes and customers who help inspire designs. Motivated by quality products with purpose. Just a few of the things we love about prAna.

prAna is an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit, and the term has guided this company’s actions since the day they opened their doors in 1992.

WHAT WE LOVE: prAna started out making clothes for climbing and yoga, but their stuff was so good they added more clothing for other passions too. Plus, the materials prAna uses are environmentally conscious, so they create products that reduce environmental harm and supports the people making it.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE prAna: Purpose-built designs, contemporary style and unique color palettes make prAna’s clothing look good and feel comfortable no matter where you take your adventure. With so many collections to choose from—from travel wear to yoga pieces—the bright and lively styles are made to perform, but meant to be noticed.


Neve Designs

Neve Designs

Adventurous pattern. High style. High performance. (Need we say more?)

In Italian neve means “snow,” but in the U.S. Neve Designs means European inspired ski and lifestyle apparel made with the finest, natural performance fibers.

WHAT WE LOVE: This Colorado-based company brings together rustic mountain village appeal and modern design to create original, high quality clothing made in a variety of styles to fit your active lifestyle.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE NEVE: There’s that lush Merino-silk blend topped off with a touch of spandex keeping you comfortable and warm. And, of course, there’s the alpine charm and performance fit taking you from slopes to Sunday paper, to a walk in the woods.

Come on in and try on a sweater, hoodie or crew neck, and get a little piece of Colorado right close to home.