Gauging by our first-hand experience with the PCT (Pacfic Crest Trail) Days festival, we can honestly say that this event is a fantastic way to get one-on-one time with thru-hikers – to hear their authentic stories and perspectives. Our clients, Vasque, Granite Gear, Sierra Designs, and Backpacker all participated this year and felt the event was a worthwhile investment for several reasons.
What is it?
Located in the Marine Park of Cascade Locks, OR, PCT Days is an annual 3-day event that celebrates the Pacific Crest Trail and those who spend time walking from Campo, California to Manning Provincial Park, BC. The event promotes outdoor recreation and the products of exhibiting sponsors, with a focus on hiking, camping, and backpacking gear.
Aidan and Madison from the NPS 100 tour
5 Reasons PCT Days Gets Our Vote
1. Thru-Hikers: This is our main draw to this festival. Connecting directly with our core audience is an experience that is irreplaceable.
We LOVE Thru-Hikers for many reasons (we also love top 5 lists if you can’t already tell)
• They are the true product testers. They are using gear in the most extreme circumstances, and because of that they will provide the best feedback.
• Potential brand ambassador alert!
• They eagerly share their experiences. Their experiences even go beyond a product review to provide valuable creative content adding elements of storytelling for a partner.
• They love free gear (and food). Give them some swag and they’ll typically rock it or carry it with admiration. Provides a few billboards on the trail, too.
• People watching.
2. The Outdoor Community: With so many core hiking and backpacking brands coming together, you get the opportunity to see what other brands are working on, get together in a non-competitive setting, and discuss ways to work together.
3. Non thru-hikers, i.e. Portlandians: It’s common knowledge that Portland, OR is an ideal market for the young, urban, but outdoor enthusiast. If you want to reach a hip and creative market, get your gear on some Portlandians.
4. Location, Location, Location! The PCT, Cascade Locks, the Columbia River Gorge, Eagle Creek Trail, Tunnel Falls, Punch Bowl Falls - this area is work and play at its finest. Read about how to get to these destinations in this article by the PCTA.
5. PCT Organizers: Event director of PCT Days, Jason Waicunas, is incredibly organized and detailed, while also being warm and extremely welcoming. He caters to sponsors in a personalized way to ensure they’re getting their $$ worth. A few of our brands went with the Headline Exhibiting Sponsorship providing them the chance to host a booth event. The social media team behind PCT Days promoted these booth events helping to drive traffic.