Your Local Retail Shop: 2 Foot Adventures
Shop Name: 2 Foot Adventures
Location: Julian, CA
Co-owner: Charlie Brown
Along the PCT there are a handful of gear shops where thru hikers can restock food and make gear adjustments. These resupply locations are paramount to a hiker’s ability to complete the entire trail. We had the opportunity to chat with 2 Foot Adventures based in Julian, CA, 2 Foot Adventures. This shop is on a mission to help every hiker make the trek from start to finish. They have a brick and mortar shop and three trailers that act as mobile storefronts to bring the gear to wherever the hikers need it. The owners, Charlie and Mary, are passionate about giving PCT hikers the support they need to make the infamous trek!
What’s the story behind 2 Foot Adventures?
Back in 2015 I was hanging out in a shop in Lone Pine and thinking about how they were not servicing the Mount Whitney crowd like I thought they should be. I saw this as a business opportunity and decided to start a gear shop servicing Southern California people who wanted to summit Mount Whitney. While I was putting pieces together for the business, I met Mary who has a ton of trail knowledge and knew she’d be a great business partner.
Since the Whitney season doesn’t start until May or June because of weather, Mary’s idea was to take care of the PCT hikers before that season started. We went hunting for a shop location in Warner Springs, bought a trailer, and opened our first shop in March 2017. As it turned out, the PCT became our real focus and we never looked back to our original idea for the shop.
What got you started in the outdoor industry?
I’m just an outdoor guy! My business is focused on the PCT, but for me, I just love the outdoors. I love to be on the trails outside and digging for fossils. Once I learned about Whitney and the PCT, I just wanted to be involved in helping the hikers. And that’s really where it all started!
How do you support PCT thru hikers?
The main way we support the hikers is helping them identify gear issues they’re experiencing and suggesting better products to make their thru hike better. At Mile 70 to 100 most hikers are determining what gear is performing well and what is not. We’re talking shoes, tent, sleeping bag, clothing, and any other gear they might have. Our Julian location is about 80 miles into the northbound PCT hike, so it’s a great place for hikers to stop and replace gear that may not be working. Our main mode is fixing gear issues. We’ll help hikers whose sleeping bags aren’t warm enough, backpacks that don’t fit well, and everything in between. We are focused on the immediate needs of the hikers and getting them back on the trail as soon as possible. If we weren’t there to help, some hikers might not make it very far.
To help spread the knowledge we’ve collected over the years, we also put together a series of blog posts called Trail Wisdom and some YouTube videos. In both, we share some really important information, advice, and tips for people hiking the PCT.
What makes your shop unique?
We own three trailers that are our mobile boutique spaces. This allows us to move locations. We typically set up shop for the season in one location and then will put the trailers away for winter. Next Spring I plan to move one of the trailers to a new location along the PCT where hikers could use another restock location and gear shop. Having the option to be mobile allows us to provide even more support to the hikers.
What are your most popular products for PCT hikers?
Shoes are our best-selling item and the biggest gear issue we see. Most people experience their feet swelling which makes their shoes fit differently. If hikers don’t get better shoes, they will get blisters, possibly an infection, and they might give up down the trail. We love the brand Altra and they are our best-selling shoe brand.
Products really depend on the problem that each individual hiker is having though! We are here to help with any gear issues the hikers might have.
About the Gear Tester
Kelly Knauf is on the marketing team at Outdoor Prolink. When she’s not doing handstands, you’ll find Kelly camping, snowboarding, and grooving on the dance floor.