We absolutely could not wait to get to Damascus, Va for Trail Days this year! For those new to this event, Trail Days is a hiking festival held each year celebrating thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail. For over 30 years, the town of Damascus, Virginia has grown the event to feature live music, local craft vendors, exceptional local food and opportunities for manufacturers and brands to interact with their customer; the thru-hiker. Typically all of us outdoor companies come in on Thursday to start setting up and by Friday late morning the show is live. Things get busier in the afternoon and by Saturday, a beautiful symphony of thru-hikers and locals convene for outdoor fun.
As we're in the middle of Spring, our Yukon factory is jumping with hammock production and nearly every staff member was wanting to make the annual pilgrimage to the lush mountains and valleys of Southwest Virginia. But, lots were chosen and only a few of us could pull away from our stations in West Tennessee and make the trip to Trail Days.
Another reason for this excitement was that this event was going to be the maiden voyage of our new Yukon 'Bear Cage' Hammock Dome! It took a little math on Friday morning to get it together, but once assembled it was awesome.. Able to hold 12 hammocks 'fully loaded' and loads of room for displaying more, the hikers in attendance and general public had a great opportunity to see all of the new Vista hammock prints, Featherweight hiking hammocks and our Patriot doubles.
Thru-hikers loved being able to try out new gear the free 'Hobo Sacks' made from scrap hammock materials. The best use of one of these earned top billing on this blog post... a hiker made that sack the new home for your pet Chihuahua! Next year we'll be sure to bring more Hobo Sacks as the response was phenomenal, and it was great to find a use for material that would have been discarded in the manufacturing process.
If you come to Damascus in May, you better be prepared for rain, and the rains came! We took it all in stride though, finding time to play with rainfly and tarp configurations on the Yukon Dome. Above, are a couple of quality folks staying dry during gone of the afternoon downpours on Saturday.
Another added benefit to being part of this festival was being able to visit with fellow manufacturers both big and small, cottage makers and other companies who are about Made in USA products. Plus, near the entrance of the thru-hiker campgrounds you can find an army of some of the best gear repair workers in America today. Seriously, we saw Allyn 'Fix it Man' Morton repair a high end boot (who's brand name won't be revealed) in about 10 minutes for FREE. In 2 days his team of sewing wizards repaired over 200 pieces of gear for the hikers.
Come Sunday morning, in a heavy rain we said our goodbyes and packed up the Yukon Dome to head back to West Tennessee. Can't wait to get back next year to do it all over again. Do yourself a favor and put Trial Days on your bucket list. We promise that you won't regret it.
See you on the Trail,
Team Yukon, #hammockgamestrong