DENVER - New Hampshire-based gear company NEMO Equipment has donated 250 sleeping bags to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to support its work in the youth and outdoors movement. The bags will be distributed among GOCO’s Generation Wild communities, which are coalitions of nonprofits, municipalities, school districts, and other partners working together to break down barriers to the outdoors for youth and families across Colorado.
NEMO Equipment is an award-winning designer of innovative outdoor gear, including tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, furniture, camp showers, and more. Its team of designers and engineers is motivated by a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainability.
The NEMO donation includes the all-gender Kyan™ and women-specific Azura™ sleeping bags featuring NEMO’s revolutionary FeatherCore™ construction using PrimaLoft® Silver insulation. The combination creates an ultralight bag that provides all the benefits of synthetic insulation with a 40% reduction in packed size, making it comparable to down in efficiency and perfect for youth engaging in outdoor programs.
The bags will be a valuable asset to Generation Wild coalitions, as many offer free or low-cost gear rentals to community members through gear libraries or partner organizations and programs. They will also be used on coalition-led youth camping trips and other outdoor excursions.
“On behalf of GOCO, I want to thank NEMO Equipment for this incredibly generous donation,” said Chris Castilian, GOCO executive director. “These new sleeping bags will be a welcome addition to the gear libraries and outdoor-adventure programs offered by our Generation Wild coalitions, working every day to create equitable access to the outdoors in their Colorado communities.”
Access to gear is often a barrier to the outdoors for many, especially among communities of color and other underserved groups. In a special report about barriers to the outdoors, the Outdoor Industry Association recommends expanding access to quality, affordable gear as a solution to get more young people outside. Additionally, a recent LA Times article featured BIPOC Camping Kits, an initiative to make camping more accessible for people of color by providing free equipment.
Big City Mountaineers, a Golden-based nonprofit that provides backpacking and wilderness experiences to city youth, coordinated the donation for GOCO and will help NEMO distribute more than 1,600 donated bags. Other Colorado-based recipients include Environmental Learning for Kids, cityWILD, Get Outdoors Leadville!, Jefferson County Outdoor Lab School, Women’s Wilderness, and the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver. The total retail value of the national-scale donation is more than $300,000.
"Big City Mountaineers and their program partners are leaders in breaking down barriers to outdoor access,” said Mike Welch, VP of global sales for NEMO. “NEMO has been supporting Big City Mountaineers for the last two years through a charitable giving campaign, donating a portion of sales over the Labor Day Holiday to support their mission to get more kids outside. We are incredibly excited to be able to support this mission further by providing gear that will enable adventures and learning outside for a new generation of students.”
“We’re thrilled with the partnership we have had with NEMO going on five years,” Big City Mountaineers’ Executive Director Bryan Martin added. “They have been there for us year after year making sure our programs stay strong and vibrant.”
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,300 projects in all 64 counties of Colorado without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.