Message from the CEO

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that after nearly fifty (50) years in business, HTO will be closing its remaining four stores and shutting down the business.

HTO has been an institution in the DC Metro Area since 1971. From day one the mission was simple: open a store that sells the greatest outdoor gear and apparel on the planet, hire only those who love the outdoors and who are passionate about health and happiness, and provide Positively Outrageous Customer Service to everyone. The retail landscape has changed so much within the last 36 months and the Company has decided that the time has come to begin to ‘wind down’ all company affairs, knowing that it never had to compromise any excellence standards on behalf of the community.

The community and the Company have always supported each other with such dignity and respect, and the Company will always be proud of the role that it played in helping to improve the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of people, employees and customers, within the DC Metro Area. During this transition, all customers and all employees can count on continued excellence and pride from all associations with the Company. HTO firmly believes that an orderly wind-down of affairs provides the best opportunity for professional closure and maximum success and efficiency in what are otherwise sad and nostalgic circumstances.

The Company wishes to thank all of its customers and team members (past and present) for nearly five (5) decades of committed loyalty, high standards, professionalism, association, trust, support, partnership…and most importantly…. friendship. And what a ride it has been – who would have ever imagined that Ground Zero for what is now internationally known as Specialty Active Outdoor Retail was going to be Kensington, Maryland, or, that a passionate and creative outdoorsman from Washington, DC would one day grow up to both pioneer an entire industry, and, to become the example and trend setter for how that industry would grow and evolve for nearly half of a century?

In advance, thank you for your continued support during this transition.

How Treadmill Running Compares To Outdoor Running

If you think about it, treadmill running and outdoor running appear to be two similar exercises. On the surface, these two have the same cardio benefits, same body mechanism, same movement. They even use the same muscles! But on a closer comparison, you can set a clearer picture. In this article, we compare treadmill running and outdoor running side by side, taking factors like weather, safety, benefits, etc. into consideration. Here’s a breakdown:

Weather
Treadmill: Rain or shine, windy or snowy, anytime of the day, you can hop on and run on your treadmill.
Outdoor: The weather is your number one consideration. Although, wind resistance intensifies your run so, why not?

Injury
Treadmill: Most treadmills have a one-touch incline feature that allows effective cardio workout at a lower speed and it minimizes the heel-strike impact. Repetitive runs of the same time and pace can strain the same muscles and joints everyday though.
Outdoor: Running outside decreases chances of hip flexor strain but increases your heel-strike impact. Elements like hills, grass or steps shifts the body movement so it creates variation on your run.

Safety
Treadmill: You can watch over your kids/family and stay at the comfort of your own home. You can also just zone out.
Outdoor: Dark, rocky or slippery routes can cause accidents. You can’t zone out at all. You need to stay focused because the roads are busy and constantly changing.

Competitive Running
Treadmill: Recommended for warming up and speed enhancement. The “consistency” sets your body to a different expectation when you actually race on the road.
Outdoor: It gives you the actual feel of the race. It prepares your body for similar conditions.

Shoes
Treadmill: You can wear the same shoes every day.
Outdoor: Most runners wear the same pair of shoes indoor or outdoor. Specialty shoes might be necessary on some circumstances, like rocky roads or icy trails. Check out our online store for specialty train running shoes: Men’s | Women’s

Results
Treadmill: Mostly targets your quads because you don’t have to push forward when your foundation is moving by itself.
Outdoor: Stimulates your hamstrings as well as your quads because you have to push forward and propel to move.

Benefits
Treadmill: You can monitor your heart rate, calories burned, distance and other fitness metrics in a quick glance. You don’t have to miss out on your favorite TV shows.
Outdoor: Fresh air and beautiful sceneries await you. A great way to get away from your busy life and from your gadgets. It’s just you, nature, and maybe a few friends.

Extra umph!
Treadmill: The convenience of having your bottle holder anytime on hot days. Treadmills do cost a lot of money. Knowing that helps in motivating yourself to exercise so your money gets its worth. Since the treadmill is all about convenience, it gives you NO excuse at all to skip a session.
Outdoor: Exposing your skin to the sunlight is the most natural way to get vitamin D, which helps absorbs calcium and phosphorus (just remember sun protection!). Running outside saves you money from actually buying a treadmill and the extra electricity cost it’ll yield. Why should you buy something you can do for free?

What kind or runner are you? And why?


Source: Women’s Running

Holiday Message from CEO; Top 10 List; 2015 Expectations

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Dear Friends,

Thank you for your ongoing confidence in HTO, Ltd, and thank you for supporting small, local business in 2014! We realize that you have a choice…and we’re so grateful that you continue to choose us!

On behalf of the entire company, please know that we’re constantly motivated and inspired by the opportunities that you give us to help you live a happier, healthier, more active lifestyle. Rendering Positively Outrageous Customer Service to all people (at all times, and in all instances), and striving to offer the authentic, magical, knowledgeable, and extraordinary outfitting experiences (on the planet) remains our top priority. Since 1971, HTO, Ltd has been dedicated to developing a Company Culture that is happy, fun, helpful, professional, passionate, energetic and kind for one reason: to better serve YOU!

To be honest, it’s not always easy…but our commitment to your 100% total satisfaction and to making positive differences the lives of our customers, guests and communities is what we value the most.   We feel…the more we know, the more we practice, the more we smile, and the more personal we are…the better your active outdoor experience will be! And you may not even be aware of it, but when you support small, local business, you’re making a positive difference in our lives and in our families’ lives. So thank you, sincerely.

We’re proud of what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. We’re so appreciative of the opportunity to help, service, assist, advise for, suggest, problem solve with, talk to, and interact with you…and we agree, specialty retail does still matter in 2014 and specialty retail is still the foundation of our community. You’ve done your part, and know that we’re committed to continuing to do ours in 2015 and beyond. We promise, individually and collectively:

  1. To provide every customer with a unique, one of a kind, powerful, mind blowing, extraordinary, magical experience that will be both transparent and authentic.
  2. To respect the rights of every customer to look around and to be inspired by their surroundings.
  3. To fulfill the company’s promise to be the absolute best, and to earn the opportunity to serve every customer.
  4. To not ‘sell gear’ – to outfit every customer for a happier, healthier and more active lifestyle.
  5. To render Positively Outrageous Customer Service to all people, at all times, and in all instances – to remember that all HTO, Ltd Team Members are empowered to make everything perfect for every customer.
  6. To listen to every customer and to make expert suggestions.
  7. To be energetic and electric and to wear my passion for the active outdoor sports lifestyle on my sleeve like a badge of honor.
  8. To do everything humanly possible to make quality differences in every customers life.
  9. To represent HTO, Ltd with professionalism and pride.
  10. To live the Active Outdoor Lifestyle.

The Top 10 Things HTO, Ltd won’t be doing in 2015

  • No longer ‘Price Matching’.
  • Producing or selling ‘house branded goods’, made to be sold cheaply and that will perform cheaply.
  • Training and/or developing our Outfitters any less because that’s what others do to save money.
  • Apologizing for selling the greatest and best outdoor gear, clothing, and products on the planet!
  • Offering free shipping on top of free shipping with discount codes for ways to get more free shipping with your existing free shipping.
  • Creating out of state call centers, staffed with ‘Operators’ rather than trained, vetted, gear and service professionals.
  • Raising our prices when nobody’s looking.
  • Lowering our standards because someone may not be looking.
  • Violating your trust and selling your email address.
  • Offering Drone Delivery

Thank you again for a great 2014, best wishes to you and your families this holiday season, and may your new year be filled with all the success and happiness you deserve!

And remember, you have our commitment to continue to do all that needs to be done to always offer you the most authentic, the most enthusiastic, the most magical, the most knowledgeable, and the most extraordinary service and outfitting experience possible.

Without you, there is no HTO, Ltd.

Happy holidays!

Sandy Cohan, CEO, HTO, Ltd.

Keep Your Cool

8 Easy Tips

Summer’s here and with it comes a lack of outdoor runners. The summer sun and hot temps send people straight to the air-conditioned gym! But you may want to reconsider. Here are couple tips we’ve come across from July’s issue of Women’s Running Magazine, and thought we’d share the useful information:

When you run in hot temps, your body learns to use oxygen and muscle glycogen more efficiently while improving your ability to regulate body temperature. Training outdoors when the mercury rises doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience!

1. Acclimate gradually. “You can’t beat the heat, but you can slowly acclimate to it and manage it as best as possible,” says Nashville-based masters runner Sonja Freiend-Uhl. A typical heat acclimation protocol comprises 10 consecutive daily exposures of running in a hot environment. These runs should be performed at your easiest pace possible, with walk breaks whenever needed.

2. Be realistic. The sun and heat can take a lot out of you, even once you’re acclimated. Adjust your pace accordingly, and don’t beat yourself up for going slow. “You’re working just as hard or harder than you would be at a faster pace on cool day,” says Amy Marsh, a four-time Ironman champion who trains in Austin, Texas. Professional distance runner Amy Cole agrees: “Have confidence that you are building fitness and will be able to run faster in cooler temperatures.”

3. Set your alarm clock. If you want to battle the heat, you’ve got to beat the sun. Cole begins most of her summer runs before 5 a.m. Have an addiction to the snooze button? Read on…

4. Call in reinforcements. Find training partners who will tackle the temps with you! The buddy system offers great accountability–you’re less likely to skip a run if you know someone is counting on you to show up.

5. Strip down. Summer is no time for modesty. Sweaty clothes can cause chafing, add extra weight and prevent additional sweat from evaporating. “Wear as little clothing as possible,” says Marsh, “so long as it’s legal!” Or if you’re more modest, go for loose, breathable tops in light colors and accessorize with a visor to block the sun.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!Check out HTO’s selection of Camelbak bottles to help you hydrate your runs

7. Map your run. Try to find shady places to avoid direct sunlight during your workout. If you haven’t tried trail running yet, summer is a great time to start. Forested areas can provide a respite from the brutal summer sun. Also, consider routes where you can refill your water bottles at public water fountains, gas stations or local run shops. You’ll be happy to have an oasis.

8. Chill, girl! “Don’t psych yourself out!” Cole stresses. “Prepare for the heat but don’t obsessively check the temperature before your run.” Don’t ignore your instincts either. If your gut is telling you it’s too hot, listen to it–and hit the gym instead.

How hot is too hot?


By Susan Lacke
July 2014, Women’s Running Magazine, pg 36-37

The Updated Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

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25 years of messenger expertise bring you Timbuk2’s updated Classic Messenger Bag. Designed in San Francisco with decades of user testing and consumer feedback in mind, the updated Classic Messenger features a new refined look, updated fit, and smarter organization. And it’s now available at HTO, in stores and online!

Check them out here: http://www.hudsontrail.com/timbuk2-classic-messenger-bags.html

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Don’t you need a new bag for all the activities you have planned this summer? Now’s your chance! Throughout this whole week, HTO will be giving away Classic Messenger Bags on our Facebook page, like us so you can keep up to date! It’s a classic reborn and ready to be worn for another century… we’d love for you to have one!