Way back in 2012, I was chosen to participate in Columbia Sportswear‘s first #omniten program – an untested and very experimental program where they chose 10 outdoor writers and athletes from various backgrounds and locations and brought them to Sedona and the Grand Canyon to test out gear a season early.
More than just a simple brand ambassador program, the ten people on that first trip formed a very quick and very strong friendship as we tested out Columbia’s new gear in the searing desert sun and got the chance to rub elbows (and camp coffee) with professional outdoor writers and Columbia reps. We remained friends over the years as Columbia continued the program, picking ten new people each Spring and Fall to experience their gear in new environments.
In January of this year, the company gathered (almost) all 40 Omniten in Park City for a mysterious-event called the OmniGames, where we were paired in random groups of two and had to complete a series of ten challenges ranging from building a snow shelter to making fire in a blizzard to dog sledding. With your help, #TeamBeard dominated the final storytelling challenge and my beardmate Seth and I were on our way to the Kingdom of Jordan.
I’ve been light on the Jordan posts on the site – mainly because I’m still processing it and trying to figure out how to share everything with you – but if you’re interested, the hour-long documentary we shot while traveling around Jordan is finished and almost ready to air.
I got to see the premiere at Columbia HQ recently and although I may be biased, I think it does a very nice job of capturing the very different personalities of the ten semi-strangers who agreed to hop on a plane and travel across the planet with absolutely no idea what we were going to be doing. A trailer for the film came out this week:
Until then, anyone want to go back to Jordan with me?