SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT TO HIKE OVER 900 KILOMETRES OF TRAIL THIS FALL/WINTER
STONEY CREEK, ON (September 25, 2023) – Canadian cold-climate footwear brand Baffin is thrilled to announce a new product testing expedition, an end-to-end hike of the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath. Baffin’s Senior Vice President of Commercial, Mark Hubner will cover over 900 km, from Tobermory, Ontario, through the Niagara Region by the end of the Winter season. The expedition will commence on September 26, 2023, with Hubner accompanied by Baffin’s President Paul Hubner.
Since 1979, Baffin has earned a reputation as the leader in the cold-climate footwear industry by providing customers with high-performance products they can trust to protect them from the elements on any adventure. These products are proven by Baffin through real-world experiences and in the coldest moments on Earth, because proving performance doesn’t stop at certifications or in a lab. The team at Baffin executes product testing in real-world applications and environments to validate confidence and deliver the highest quality product. This philosophy has driven Baffin to every corner of the Earth, with expeditions to the North and South Poles, Machu Picchu, Lake Ontario, the Rocky Mountains and more, putting Baffin products to the test.
According to the Bruce Trail Conservancy, one of Ontario's largest land trusts that acquires, protects, and restores the vulnerable habitat and biodiversity of the Bruce Trail, over 400,000 people hike the trail each year. Only 4,440 people have recorded a completion of the end-to-end hike of the Bruce Trail. This intense trek would take over 30 days of continuous hiking to complete, but many spread their journey over several years.
Providing an even greater challenge, Baffin will complete its expedition in the Winter. This season offers a unique and more arduous experience, with the changes in climate affecting the terrain and conditions along the pedestrian-only trails. The likelihood of inclement weather throughout the expedition means Baffin will have to select their footwear appropriately, using boots made for 3-Pin ski touring and snowshoeing when hiking alone is not possible.
The end-to-end hike of the Bruce Trail is Baffin’s first large-scale product testing expedition since 2018. Each week from September through March, Hubner will hike a portion of the trail, camping on backcountry sites along the way. He will be joined on select legs of the trip by members of the Baffin team, partners, and high-profile Canadian guests, along with his family – many of whom have partaken in Baffin adventures in the past. This expedition will allow real-world testing opportunities for various Baffin products, from current in-line boots to upcoming Fall/Winter 2024 launches as well as new product that is still only in its development stage.
“The cold has been in the company's DNA since the initial manufacturing operation was founded in 1979 by my grandfather, Peter Hubner, who became inspired to create insulated boots by his trips to Baffin Island. Decades later, three generations of Hubners have taken Baffin products across the Globe and to the coldest places on Earth,” says Hubner. “While these global expeditions have been extraordinary, we have a diverse natural playground in our own backyard. The Bruce Trail has been a part of Baffin’s story for years, with product testing, team-building outings and weekends spent on the trail inspiring us all. I look forward to not only challenging myself, but connecting with the Baffin community and my family, including my young son, along the way. I’m thrilled to embark on an end-to-end expedition and to introduce a fourth generation of Hubners to Baffin’s real-world testing philosophy.”
As the climate and elements change throughout the season, the Baffin products worn and tested will align. Baffin uses a Real-World Tested™ (RWT™) system to recommend cold comfort levels associated with Baffin footwear, to bridge the gap between product and application. All five cold comfort levels will be tested throughout the expedition, beginning with Elemental Rated products, Baffin’s most foundational boots; made to keep the elements out where mud, rain and wet conditions may be present. During the most extreme weather conditions, products will be represented up to Polar Rated which are made for the coldest moments on Earth. These boots are made to conquer the most barren and remote environments on the planet, where the climate demands the most comprehensive inner boot system to keep the frozen elements out.
Baffin has been a supporter of the Bruce Trail Conservancy for the past decade, helping fund the conservation programming designed to conserve, restore, and manage land along the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere and to protect its ecosystems for the benefit of all. This year, Baffin launched the Trail Conservancy Project in partnership with the Bruce Trail Conservancy. To prevent the spread of harmful, invasive species along the trail Baffin has committed to building 100 co-branded boot brush stations by 2025. This adds to the existing 35 stations currently located throughout the over 900 km of main trail.
As a part of the ongoing citizenship efforts with the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Baffin will be raising money throughout the expedition to support the organization as they care for protected natural lands, a critical step to building nature-based solutions to address the climate crisis.
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Baffin Ltd. is an innovative, leading outwear company based in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada with a core focus on technically advanced, innovative footwear and high-performance apparel. Baffin designs, develops, and field tests footwear in the most demanding environments on the planet and is focused on being a global leader in footwear and apparel within the Outdoor, Industrial and Hunt and Fish categories. Baffin Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada Goose Holdings Inc.