Staff Profile: David A.

  2016-05-03 at 10:48 am

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Staff Profile: David A.

By Jane Marshall

Position: Hard Goods Buyer
Date started: 2008

Calling David a gear nerd won’t hurt his feelings. It’s something he’s proud of—his unabashed love of gear helped him become Hard Goods Buyer with Campers Village two years ago.

David has his Master’s degree in political philosophy and during his studies he worked in the outdoor industry. When an opportunity arrived to help open the Campers Village South store as assistant manager in 2008, he accepted. “I was always an outdoor person, so it was in my lifestyle to go camping, hiking, and backpacking,” explains David. He hasn’t looked back since.

David buys the right gear because he uses it himself. He’s tested out cutting edge ultralight tents that weigh around two pounds. He knows the weight and material composition of everything in his pack. Being a hardcore gear nerd is a label worn with pride.

Gear Advances

When asked about what’s cutting edge for spring David’s quick to note that gear is about evolution, not revolution.

“There are staple products we carry where designers made it right the first time,” he says. “Like the MSR WhisperLite Stove. My hiking partner’s had his for 25 years and when you put his beside my newer one, you can’t tell the difference. And there’s Coleman. We sell the famous two burner stove which is like what our parents had.”

For innovation, he notes NEMO spoon sleeping bags. “They’re different from a mummy bag, designed by a  group of engineers. If I’m a gear nerd, they’re off the scale.” The sleeping bag is spoon shaped with extra room at the arms and legs. “It looks weird, but try it and you’ll know. I had one of my best sleeps in the backcountry in it.”

Nuts and Bolts of Buying

Seeing into the future is normal for David. He’s regularly buying 8-12 months in advance. To predict what to stock Campers’ shelves with he relies on staff and customer feedback, combs outdoor blogs and uses personal experience to curate the best assortment. “I ask myself what I’d like to see in a gear shop.”

In the Outdoors

Whether it’s in the mountains or on the deck, David wants to maximize his time outside. He often commutes to Campers Village by bike. He loves running and will compete in the Grizzly, Edmonton Marathon, and Sinister 7—a 160 kilometre ultra race in the Crowsnest Pass. “My leg of the race is exposed. It has a couple of ridges and the highest elevations.”

“I take pride working for a local independent company. We’re in it to make sure people can enjoy  the outdoors as much as possible. I want to provide customers with everything they need—from a replacement buckle to an expedition tent.”

By Jane Marshall