Unlike outdoor adventures I’ve undertaken before, the Shikoku Pilgrimage is unique in that you’re rarely far from civilisation and that it takes upwards of 7 weeks to complete. This means you don’t need to worry about food or cooking equipment but any gear you carry needs to be extremely durable and light. Read more
As a foreigner in China it’s not unusual to get stopped by people wanting to take your photo (especially outside big cities or at tourist attractions). This is OK the first few times but does get increasingly tiresome, especially when you don’t like having your photo taken in the first place. A friend of mine was recently looking for a way to deter said snappers so I put together a quick T-shirt design for her: Read more
Last year when I was living/traveling in China and South Korea I noticed that The North Face outdoor clothing & equipment brand appeared to be particularly popular and that there seemed to be many shiny-looking new stores all over the place (usually in the more expensive shopping malls). The same now seems to be happening in the UK this winter with North Face apparel definitely in fashion (not something I would know anything about mind you!).
A quick google confirms that rapid expansion is afoot and it appears to be crossing the boundary from being a niche brand you might find in outdoor/camping shops to one you find in department stores and individual retail outlets. No doubt you’ll soon be seeing North Face watches, aftershave, and all manor of other miscellanea! I find it interesting to see how many brands try to make this transition but whether there is longevity to this approach I don’t know. After their popularity peaks some continue to do well whilst others fade away. For any business constantly staying on the edge of the supply and demand balance is crucial to their success and in the case of such a global name the logistics of this is no easy task…
The stock of VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), the company which owns The North Face (amongst many other well recognised brands), seems to be on a downwards turn at the moment but hopefully people will by enough NF gear to survive the bad weather! Personally I think their products are very good, whilst its definitely on the expensive side, it’s usually well made, lasts a long time, and looks the part.