My book project, Buckskin to Gore-Tex: The Outdoor Industry in American History, explores the cultural, intellectual, and environmental history of the outdoor gear industry.

Learn more about this work on the Highlander Podcast’s History of Gear Series or watch this lecture from the Rachel Carson Center in 2019. 

From Stetson hats and buckskin suits to army surplus tents and Gore-Tex rain jackets, outdoor gear and its marketing in catalogs, stores, and guidebooks are a means to understanding how Americans strove for an authentic mastery of the outdoors. I argue that consuming became central to Americans’ goal of mastering the outdoors.

Fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the Lemelson Center, and the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society helped support this research, as have the many grants and awards listed here. I’ve presented material at the annual conferences of the American Society for Environmental History, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Historical Association.