Adventure gear sales up as peak season arrives

The trekking and mountaineering season is on, and shops dealing in adventure gear in Kathmandu’s tourist district Thamel have brought out a wide range of climbing equipment and accessories.

A large number of foreign tourists and local adventure seekers have started flocking the tourist bazaar for trekking and mountaineering accessories. The March-May period is the best season for trekking and mountaineering in Nepal as it offers excellent weather conditions with hardly any rain. It is considered to be the second peak tourist season after the September-November autumn season.

Traders said that sales of equipment needed for trekking, hiking and mountaineering expeditions had shot up since the past few weeks and are likely to continue for the next one month.

“Normally, we see sales of trekking and mountaineering gear picking up between mid-March to mid-April,” said Ang Phurba, manager of Sherpa Adventure Gear on Lal Durbar Marg, one of the prominent adventure gear shops in Kathmandu. Sherpa Adventure Gear sells a wide variety of adventure equipment which it manufactures itself.

“Around 80 percent of the products we sell are homemade,” said Phurpa. Trekking products like down jackets, T-shirts, trekking boots, trousers and gloves are produced at the company’s own factory. “For adventure-friendly apparel, we use organic fabric,” he said.

Prices of these adventure apparel range from Rs 1,500 to Rs 20,000. “We also sell international brands.” Sunglasses, hats, duffel bags, water bottles, camping equipment and watches and barometers, all essential equipment, are available at the shop.

As customers usually prefer lightweight products for trekking as they have to carry many things, Sherpa Adventure Gear said that they had given priority to making their products lighter.

Sherpa Adventure Gear has dealers in Namche Bazaar in Solukhumbu and Pokhara. It also maintains retail outlets in the US, Canada, Taiwan, New Zealand, Japan, the UAE, Panama, the UK and Germany.

Another shop dealing in adventure gear, Mountain Hard Wear at Thamel, said that sales had started picking up from mid-March. They expect business to grow significantly by mid-April.

“Europeans and Americans are our major clients,” said Tendi Sherpa, managing director of Mountain Hard Wear. “Nowadays, young aspirants from Asian countries are also increasingly going for outdoor activities like trekking as they want to experience the thrill and gain new experiences in Nepal,” he said.

Mountain Hard Wear is an American adventure gear brand. It opened its Kathmandu showroom a decade ago. The company sells a wide range of equipment for trekking, rock climbing and mountaineering including tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and many accessories.

“Within a decade, we have seen an increased number of adventure enthusiasts in Nepal from around the world,” he said. “And the increased arrivals have been pushing up sales every passing year.”

source: ekantipur, 03 April 2014

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