Have you ever wandered the aisles of Adventure 16 or REI and thought about what it would be like to work at an outdoor adventure store? Wonder no more! Meet Shoestring Warrior James Wade, Assistant Manager at Adventure 16, an outdoor outfitters store.
I like to be able to outfit people with everything they need.
When he’s not helping customers find gear for their upcoming adventures, teaching the deaf to climb, hiking or slacklining, he’s out exploring and living the vanlife. Check out his communities – ASL Climbing Network and a16tarzana and read on to learn what James’ favorite piece of gear is at the moment and what it’s like to be surrounded by adventure (or adventure gear) all the time!
Shoestring Warrior: James Wade
Assistant Manager at Adventure 16 and full time vanlife
What are your passions outside of work?
Climbing, hiking, slackline, and camping
How would you describe your level of camping experience?
My camping experience is good, I go out almost every week to camp.
Tell us about yourself!
I have a huge love for the outdoors. I help teach the deaf to climb at the ASL Climbing Network Meetup at Stronghold Climbing Gym. I also travel full time in my van.
When did you first discover your love for the outdoors?
I have been camping since I was a kid but found my love for it during my college years. I took off for a week camping by myself for the first time and never looked back.
What inspired you to work at an outdoor recreation store?
Being able to learn the products and help others find their passion for outdoor adventures.
Footwear, outerwear, accessories, equipment, climbing, backpacking…do you focus on a specialty within the store or do you help customers in all departments of the store?
I work with all of the departments in the store. I like to be able to outfit people with everything they need.
What do you enjoy most about working at Adventure 16?
Being able to help the customers get ready for an adventure and then hearing about it when they get back.
What are some perks of working at an outdoor recreation store?
Always being surrounded by people who enjoy the outdoors and hearing their stories.
We’re working on putting together a gift guide for the holiday season. What piece of gear are you loving right now and why?
The Arc’teryx Thorium AR Down Jacket! It is really comfortable and great for casually walking around and it’s durable and warm.
Are there any challenges you’ve overcome as a professional in the retail world and a member of the Deaf Community?
No challenges, I never let them become a challenge.
Always go for it!
Where’s your next adventure?
Hitting up Bishop and Joshua Tree as much I can for bouldering this season.
The perfect s’more? (if you don’t like s’mores, what’s your favorite campfire dessert?)
Oh man, I have only had this once but I will never forget about it and should have it again – Reese’s Brownie Smores. It was sooo good!
Photos © 2017 James Wade
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