Meet Our Expert:
For Joss, assistant footwear and packs buyer at Snow+Rock, the mountains are where he's the happiest. Having travelled between France, Japan and Queenstown, New Zealand, he's passionate about meeting new people and finding new places to ski, climb, run or hike.
Working closely with the team on Our Planet collection, Joss knows the importance of finding brands that put our environment at the forefront of everything they do. We caught up with Joss to learn what motivates him to push past goals, how we can shop planet-friendly and our collective responsibility to keep the outdoors as accessible as possible - to anyone who wants to get out there.
What's the best part about working for Snow+Rock?
For me it’s the people. Working with a like-minded crew of outdoor enthusiasts who share many of the same interests ultimately means you'll get along. And having first started working here at 16 years old, I found it a really friendly place to work.
What motivates you to keep exploring the outdoors?
There are a couple of reasons. Firstly, shared experiences with friends and family. I've forged my strongest relationships with people I've met through hiking, surfing, climbing and skiing. And those relationships genuinely last a lifetime. To stay out there exploring the outdoors is my biggest motivator, and what makes me love the outdoors more than anything is the relationships I've built because of my adventures.
Also, there's always somewhere new to explore. There's always something new to see. I'm lucky to have spent time in the French Alps, New Zealand and Japan. But you don't have to venture that far because there's so much on our door step: the coastal paths, moors and highlands – it's incredible here.
Does team mentality help you push your limits?
I'm lucky to share my outdoor experiences with highly skilled people. And being part of new adventures with them has pushed my limits tons over the years. Being quite competitive, I like to feel challenged and like I've achieved something. Perhaps I ran further or faster or climbed a more challenging route – that sense of reward from beating personal goals alongside people you know and trust, there's nothing like it.
What has spending time in the mountains helped you achieve mentally?
Being in the outdoors, whether that's alone or with friends, it's easy to gain a sense of clarity. I find myself slowing down and taking in my surroundings. It allows me time to reflect on my place in the world. Problems in life can be challenging. So, being outdoors can help you gain perspective. Not only that, but I can't think of anything in my life that has allowed me to push past fears, reach life-changing goals, and build relationships, like hiking or climbing. Sometimes, that's all we need – outdoor fun and good friends.
Who do you like to explore with the most?
I spent most of my childhood on camping trips, walking coastal paths and exploring the outdoors with my family. It naturally brings you closer. Also, my partner is super active. She's always loved hiking, and we've spent most of our relationship living in the mountains together – which is awesome. There's something invigorating about witnessing another person's excitement when they discover new places; it increases the general mood because everyone is happy and there to have a great time.
Do you think it's important for people to be together outside?
Some of my fondest memories are with friends and family in the outdoors. It's the memories you hold close for the rest of your life. I like to explore with people who will help me get out of my comfort zone. Trail running, hiking and getting out into rugged terrain and extreme environments can sometimes scare me, but that's part of it. Getting an adrenaline kick is good for you; it's good for your mental health and adds excitement to life. Being out there with others and achieving a new goal is super rewarding
What do you look for when buying your outdoor gear?
The quality and durability of gear is crucial to me. By making that investment, you know it will last you a while. High-quality brands tend to put the environment at the forefront of everything they do, so by investing in those top brands, you're gaining a long-lasting product and reducing your impact on our planet.
Versatility is a critical factor too. I'd love to buy 10 jackets for 10 activities, but that won't happen. So having one or two jackets for hiking, running, and mooching around town is ideal. What works for me might not work for someone else, so it's important to chat with an expert and find gear to suit your life and activity choices.
Do you think the outdoors is accessible to everyone?
I've been lucky to experience the outdoors on my travels and where I grew up. However, only some have that same level of access. We can do a lot to promote outdoor activities for people without the same opportunities. It's for everyone to experience, but it can be frightening or intimidating if you don't have anyone to go with or learn from.
If a person is heading out there for the first time – it could be a hike, a climb or a trail run – it's our responsibility to share our enthusiasm and knowledge to help them along their way and make it more inclusive and enjoyable for everyone.
For instance, the outdoor industry is pretty male focused. Watching climbing or skiing videos, many athletes that get featured are male. So, as a business, we have an opportunity to shine a light on incredible women in the outdoors.
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How can we help our customers shop consciously?
We stock Our Planet products that call out the best of the best. Products with highly recycled materials carry less environmental impact through their supply chain. So, it's an easy way to know what you're buying and highlight those brands that put our planet first. Plus, our in-store staff have a wealth of knowledge. They use the gear themselves and love talking about it too. So, when it comes to your shopping priorities, they'll help you make the best decision for you and the environment.
Any final words of wisdom?
If you're unsure what gear to buy or want advice on new camping or hiking set-up, head into a Snow+Rock store to speak to an expert. Our in-store colleagues know what they're talking about and could save you money, stress and time.
So, whether that's a new lightweight backpacking tent for a multi-day expedition or the right socks for a planned hike this summer, make sure you find gear that will last you a lifetime. It's definitely worth it!
Thanks to Joss for sharing his story with us. If, like Joss, you're ready for your next outdoor adventure, visit your closest Snow+Rock store.
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