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Pondering New OYB Products to Cover the Bases

June 20, 2011

I like the idea of offering nifty but hard-to-find products to serve the possibly more exotic needs of everyday outdoor enthusiasts. I also like the idea of repurposing underappreciated existing stuff.

I like to cover my bases. (Not to say that I specialize in cockamamie schemes!)

I presently offer a hundred diverse books'n'mags that are classics in their areas and have no one to promote them much anymore. And I offer a few extra-nifty bags for bikers. ...And rucksacks'n'such for anyone.

Do I know of anything useful for folks in other topical areas that's otherwise not offered?

What kind of hardgoods could I offer skiers? ...Paddlers?

Here's a few notions I've come up with...

For skiers, I'm thinking of selling oldstyle NOS wood-frame Nordic Skates. They're supersweet, and at $50 or so are quite a bit cheaper than the new-era synth models.

I'm also inclined toward making and selling crazed ski-sleds. I'd just bolt old XC skis to the bottom of tub-sleds and glue in a foam pad. This makes for the world's fastest, smoothest, gentlest snow sled. Not bad. I was also thinking of adding pulk-poles and a waist-belt salvaged from old frame-type backpacks that languish for $1 apiece in thrift-shops. Maybe I'd also offer an optional Spark version with extended rear runners and a pusher-handle, for using as a kicksled or in addition to a skier. Of course, I'd have to test it first. But a kicker plus a skier might be fun for hauling around a couple people in one of the larger ice-fishing sized tub-sleds. Whew!

For paddlers, I'm thinking of making a run of anodized aluminum two-piece canoe-poles. Lightweight, high performance, strong. They used to be made, not anymore. I sure love mine and absolutely would not give it up. I bet there are others out there who'd appreciate one. $10 in parts (maybe less if I find a good local salvage source -- which I hear there is) -- cut'n'rivet then sell 'em for $50.

I'm still partial to the idea of offering an OYB branded repurposed Action Shirt -- a summer seersucker and a winter medium-weight Woolrich, each with 4 deep pockets on the front and 3 on the lower back. ...And with the OYB logo stenciled here'n'there. Classier, better and more versatile than lycra or most anything else you can find!

Going farther, much farther, afield, maybe I could get a FFL gun-dealer permit ($100/year, or pal up with a local gunsmith I know) and get into modifying and reselling old singleshot shotguns as break-down backpack/canoe/(bike?) guns chopped to minimum legal specs and greatly lightened. I would also decorate them with folk-carving, wood-burning, tacks and an embossed homemade sling. These are great old guns that languish in 2nd-hand shops for $50. T'would be fun to give 'em new life. Buy 'em in bulk for $40, spruce 'em up, then mark 'em up to a whoppin' $140. (I enjoyed getting my last turkey with my grampa's old gun -- it patterns tighter than anything else I have. I realized that it's just about my favorite firearm. I've used it more than anything else. I should decorate it. Then why not spread the joy?)

If I could sell a couple dozen of each of these a year, that might be kinda fun.

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