The Cleanest Line

Weblog for the employees, friends and customers of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Visit to see what we do.

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    Jumbo Wild – We the People

    By Eliel Hindert

    If you didn’t look close you just might miss it, and we do.

    Gazing across the Columbia River Basin into the morning light on the Purcell Mountains, we pass right by the Radium Hot Springs municipal offices. It’s not difficult to do here, where human presence is a mere asterisk on the seemingly infinite word of nature.

    Editor’s note: Activism takes many shapes from protesting in the street to signing online petitions. One of the most important and effective things we can do is speak out at public hearings. Today’s post takes us into a hearing from earlier this year regarding the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort in British Columbiajust one episode in the 25-year battle over the Jumbo Valley. We share this story in conjunction with the release of Jumbo Wild, a new feature film by Sweetgrass Productions and Patagonia. As the film launches, we’re working closely with local conservation group Wildsight to help stop development and permanently protect the Jumbo Valley. Get film tour dates, watch the trailer and take action to help keep Jumbo wild at

    Doubling back we find it. Off-white, little signage, and looking more private dwelling than public office. This will be the staging ground for public input on the Official Community Plan for the recently formed Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality. A public hearing of sorts for an area without a public, where concerned individuals are given five minutes each to share input and opinion on the direction of the proposed Jumbo Mountain Resort.

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    Disaster Style on the Sierra High Route

    By Luke Nelson


    There is something unnerving about waking up shivering. I rolled over and did a dozen or so push-ups in an attempt to get warm enough to fall back asleep. My commotion led to Cody pressing the light on his watch.

    “It’s almost 4 a.m.,” I mumbled.

    “I’ve been cold for a while,” he replied.

    “Me too,” I said. “Let’s get moving.” 

    With that we crawled out of what we dubbed our Disaster Style Sleep Systems—emergency mylar bivy sacks, down pants and down jackets—and got ready to start running again. We were on the second morning of an attempt to cover the 195-mile Sierra High Route as fast as possible and we had been getting our butts kicked.

    Above: Rise and shine. All photos: Luke Nelson

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    Rainforest Relief – Why Patagonia SoHo employees scaled Coney Island to save the Amazon

    By Yasha Wallin


    In 1998 the Yankees swept their 24th World Series, Vice President Al Gore symbol­ically signed the Kyoto Protocol and two Stanford Ph.D. candidates established a little company called Google. It was also the year former Patagonia SoHo employees Aaron Petz and Teal Akeret, along with three other young activists, scaled the 250-foot Parachute Jump tower in Coney Island. Their goal? To hang a banner that read “NYC Parks Dept. Stop Killing Rainforest for Boardwalks & Benches.” It would go down as a highly effective grassroots operation to speak out for the Brazilian rainforest.

    Cover_3-70Editor’s note: Today we’re happy to share an excerpt from
    Living & Breathing: 20 Years of Patagonia in New York City, a commemorative book about our double-decade relationship with the Big Apple. Grab a printed copy at one of our four NYC stores or check out the digital version at the end of this post.

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    Lines in the Sand

    By Tim Rogers


    It’s right in front of me now, directly in my face. For weeks it had been little more than a vague concept we kept alive solely by reassurance and persistence, every day moving forward, every day pedaling closer to our fate, waiting to discover if it looked anything like we told ourselves it would. Now we’re here, at the end of the line.

    Amos, Liz and I hopped on our bikes in Washington State with our sights set on Zion National Park, and eventually Salt Lake City. Until now, the line had been a shimmering ribbon of road that stretched to the horizon—a line we couldn’t see the end of as it climbed through mountains, followed the winding path of an oxbowed river, and cut like a laser through the desert. We followed it diligently. Every day was a pilgrimage, every mile earned and etched into our bodies. The land we traveled though burned into our minds.

    Above: Awe and reverence. Arriving after the thousand-mile approach. Zion Canyon, Utah. All photos: Tim Rogers

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    2015 Adventure Film Festival – Inspiration and activism this weekend in Boulder


    Every year around this time, we are vividly reminded of our late friend and ambassador, Jonny Copp. Beside his innumerable climbing achievements, Jonny founded the Adventure Film Festival in 2003. He envisioned a community-based, mission oriented, outdoor film festival that tied indie film with art and activism. Twelve years later, it's an idea that's as important and popular as ever.

    The 2015 Adventure Film Festival is happening this weekend (September 12-13, 2015) in Boulder, Colorado. Check out the trailer and then visit for tickets, the full schedule and more information about satellite screenings later this year in Chile, New York and North Carolina.

    2015 Adventure Film Official Trailer. Video: Adventure Film. Photo at top: Jonny Copp Foundation

    Our Earth Tax – Patagonia Environmental + Social Initiatives 2015


    In the conventional model of philanthropy, the big funders—corporations and foundations—mainly support big professional environmental groups. The large national organizations (those with budgets over $5 million) are doing important work but they make up just 2% of all environmental groups, yet receive more than 50% of all environmental grants and donations.

    Meanwhile, funding the environmental movement at a grassroots level—where change happens from the bottom up and lasts—has never been more important. But these groups continue to be woefully underfunded.

    The funding paradigm is out of balance. We aim to change it.

    Above: Patagonia Environmental & Social Initiatives 2015. Pick up a printed copy at your local Patagonia store or read the digital version. Cover photo: Donnie Hedden

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    Our DWR Problem [Updated]


    Update: The majority of this post first appeared on March 6, 2015. It has been updated here with the most recent information about Patagonia’s work to improve chemical safety in our supply chain.

    Patagonia—as well as other high-quality outdoor outerwear suppliers—for years relied on a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) of a certain chemistry (described below) to bead up, then disperse, surface moisture from rainwear. It is necessary, even in a waterproof jacket, to prevent surface saturation. A soggy surface creates a clammy, wet-feeling next-to-skin climate even where water does not actually penetrate the surface. The DWR we used as a standard for years was a long-chain (C8) fluorocarbon-based treatment that is highly effective and extraordinarily durable. Unfortunately, its by-products are toxic and persist in the environment, a combination that makes it unacceptable despite its excellent performance. Governments around the globe have now required chemical companies to stop making C8 DWR, so every high-quality outerwear supplier has been searching for alternatives of comparable performance.

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    Dirtbag Diaries Podcast: Beyond the Lines

    By Fitz & Becca Cahall


    Maps. We’ve all studied them. Stuffed them into backpacks or the seatback pocket of our car. Maybe we’ve even been led astray by a map. But have you ever thought about the person who made that map? Or how that person might influence your initial impression of a landscape?

    “A map is not a perfect representation of a landscape. It’s an abstract representation,” says cartographer Marty Schnure. Today, we have a story about a mapmaker, Patagonia Park, and the process Marty uses to create a map—a map that she hopes will connect you to a place.


    Listen to "Beyond the Lines" by The Dirtbag Diaries on Soundcloud.


    Visit for links to past episodes, music credits and to pledge your support. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and DoggCatcher, or connect with the Dirtbag Diaries community on Facebook and Twitter. The Dirtbag Diaries is a Duct Tape Then Beer production. Graphic by Walker Cahall.

    All Better Now? The Refugio Oil Spill, Three Months On

    By Christian Beamish

    With ancestor chants evoking the original stewards of these shores, Chris Malloy, the Farm League crew and I put together a video short to comment on the Refugio Oil Spill. I did a voice-over at Todd Hannigan’s amazing recording studio based on some lines I wrote, but after a nip from the flask to loosen my chords, I went a little Kerouac and riffed poetic (or so it seemed at the time). And I wonder now about something I said.

    Above: Refugio – A Hell of an Oily Mess. Video: Chris Malloy  Still photo: Erin Feinblatt

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    Kiteboarding for a Cause

    By Jessica Salcido


    For the past few years, a small group of kiters here at Patagonia have participated in Kiteboarding 4 Cancer, a spectacularly beautiful kite race in Hood River, Oregon designed to raise money for the survivor-focused nonprofit, Athletes 4 Cancer.

    Cancer has impacted all of our lives—we’ve loved and cared for friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances battling the disease. We know about the treatments, the medications, the prognoses. For survivors, however, life after cancer looks quite a bit different from the lives they put on hold. When treatment concludes survivors must bravely discover their new “normal” in a world where others can’t possibly relate to their unique situations. Often, with little traditional medical support, they must navigate an entirely new physical and emotional landscape, complete with physical challenges, changes in appearance and a lingering uncertainty about the future.

    That’s where Athletes 4 Cancer (A4C) steps in. This nonprofit is dedicated to sending cancer survivors to outdoor adventure camps. More than just another cancer support group, Athletes 4 Cancer’s Camp Koru utilizes the transformational power of nature and the spirit of determination required by outdoor sports to restore and rebuild lives after cancer.

    Above: Aerial view of the colorful chaos. Hood River, Oregon. Photo: Richard Hallman

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