Rooted in the Blue Ridge: Blue Ridge Outdoors
Appalachia is known for Iits superb craftsmanship, and the world of outdoor gear is no exception. Some of the industry’s best equipment is made right here.
The idea for LightHeart Gear was conceived on the Appalachian Trail when a nurse practitioner and lifelong seamstress named Judy Gross realized that the four pound tent she’d be hauling around for hundreds of miles was inadequate and decided it was time to make her own.
“While hiking the Appalachian Trail, I met a guy who had a tent that, quite frankly, pissed me off. It was a lot lighter than mine and it was huge – like a palace,” Judy remembers from the experience. “I was schlepping a 4 ½ lb, 2-person tent. A tent that was really only large enough for 1 ½ people.”
With a strong knowledge of pattern making, she set about designing her own tent. The original plan was to just sew one for herself, but that was before Judy showed her prototype to a few friends and received some seriously positive feedback. She made the decision to launch the LightHeart Solo, and Lightheart gear was born. The unusual design of the LightHeart Solo provides for spacious headroom, allowing even tall individuals to sit up inside without hitting their head and plenty of length for sleeping comfortably.
What we recommend: The Lightheart Solo Tent
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