How is this store different from EMS or Paragon?
We’re more outdoor-oriented than Paragon and have a more knowledgeable staff than both. I’m a huge outdoor enthusiast—I’m a rock and ice climber and a backpacker. I also do white-water canoeing and river-boarding, which is essentially white-water boogie boarding.
What are you doing in New York City, then?
My fiancée goes to school here. But there are things to do around here: I climb at the City Climbers Club on 59th and Eleventh. My fiancée and I are going to Harriman State Park, which is just about an hour and a half north of here. They have year-round no-frills shelters there. In the cold, it’s important to eat fatty foods—we melt whole sticks of butter into our pasta.
Is now a good time to go camping?
If you’re prepared, it’s the best time. We have four-season tents and sleeping bags that are rated by temperature—the best one is Western Mountaineering.
What are some pro favorites?
The coolest new thing on the market is Arc’teryx’s fully waterproof backpack.
I saw you also have dog packs.
Yes, we sell backpacks that you put on your dog. It’s a really great way to bring your pet out on the trail as long as you’re not going to do something super-super-technical; he can carry your food in his pack.
By the way, are you a former Boy Scout?
I am not; it’s not something I regret.