This article originally appeared on Patch.
If you're planning to head out of the city for a hike anytime soon, there's one particular neighborhood storefront you'll need to know about: Gear to Go Outfitters, on Garfield Place just east of Seventh Avenue.
The shop is a well-curated boutique that sells the highest quality hiking and camping gear, but it's not just a store—it's an experience.
"I've set out to create a real community gathering place for everything camping-related," said owner Kevin Rosenberg, who was formerly a Navy pilot. "We've got a great selection of goods, but we do a lot more than just sell the gear."
Owner Kevin Rosenberg
To understand Gear to Go, we'll need to start at the beginning.
"Kevin hiked 1300 miles of the Appalachian Trail!," said Asa Merritt, an avid hiker who's one of Kevin's employees. "Hiking is his life, and he loves being able to share that with the neighborhood."
Rosenberg started an online store a few years ago, and it quickly became a major resource for everything outdoor-related. He set up a table on Seventh Avenue near Carroll Street around that time, selling some of the less cumbersome equipment. He also began leading expeditions into the wilderness with a team of highly-trained guides.
This past April, he was finally able to realize his dream and open the store.
"I replied to a Craigslist ad about two and a half years ago asking for hiking guides, but I wasn't expecting to be put through such extensive training," remarked Merritt. "We're the only outdoor store in the city that licenses our guides."
Along with working in the store, most of Gear to Go's employees also lead weekly hiking trips, and that's why they needed to be thoroughly trained. They took water safety courses, a Red Cross training program, and arduous New York State Guide Exams.
It's clear that Kevin and his employees really care about what they do, and are looking to deliver much more than just merchandise. Along with the weekly expeditions, they offer classes in the store's basement, and are planning backpacking trips later this year to Arizona and Iceland.
"You can go to lots of stores and find every hiking and camping item imaginable, but that's not what we do here," said Merritt. "We don't sell anything that sucks. We carry what we believe in."
Gear to Go Outfitters, 217 Garfield Place Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-399-7848.