For the upcoming “Small Business Saturday,” John takes us inside one of his favorite shops in Santa Fe, Tourist, the city’s independent outdoor store, for a look inside this wonderfully-merchandized space.
Google “Tourist Santa Fe” and you’re not likely to find this hidden gem of our community at the top of the search results. Perhaps that’s a good thing. As trekkers, backpackers, car campers, trail runners, cyclo-tourists, and through-hikers all know, the best spots take a bit of searching.
On Garcia Street, next to Garcia Street Books, lies Tourist, an outdoor gear shop. The name was inspired by an old Sigg “Tourist” aluminum cookset the owner Thayne had. Yet, I found the name of this shop fitting due to its setting. Santa Fe has long been a tourist town and trading post, even before the United States was an established country.
From the Camino Real to the Santa Fe Trail, people have used this place at the terminus of the Rocky Mountains as an outpost for commerce for hundreds of years. Before then, Indigenous communities used the Rio Grande Basin as a migration pathway for thousands of years. People have been living in and moving through this place for centuries.
Thayne’s love of touring, be it on two feet, two wheels, or four wheels, is embodied in the art of enjoying the outdoors. His selection and curation of products embody his endless pursuit of outings for pleasure, opposing the typical tropes of outdoor gear: “personal achievement and conquest.” Sure, a lot of the gear found on the walls and neatly placed throughout the space can help one in achieving personal goals but the overall vibe the store tells is one of enjoyment.
Thayne is trying to be more inclusive and expand the definition of what it means to be “outdoorsy” when you remove athleticism or other barriers (like unnecessary gear) from enjoying nature. Hiking is really just walking. Overlanding? It’s just car camping. I loved the old adage: “the traveler with the least gear on their back often has the most experience.”
His gear selection runs the gamut from vintage and modern used goods to car camping staples and ultralight backpacking/through-hiking necessities. I’ve bought all my recent bicycle touring accessories from Tourist over the past two years.
Thayne helped me select the Six Moon Designs Trekker shelter when I wanted a new UL tent!
When you come to Thayne with a problem for your upcoming outing, he provides solutions and honest responses. If he doesn’t have what you’re looking for, he’ll order it for you, but chances are his curated selection of goods will fit your needs. He won’t tell you what you want to hear to make the sale, he’ll tell you what you need to hear to inform your decision.
What I love about this store–and perhaps is an indicator of a good shop–is every time I set foot inside Tourist, I want to buy something for myself or a friend. With brands from all the major players in the ultralight game to bigger names like Snowpeak and Western Mountaineering, there is something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors. There are even über small manufacturers like Austere, ILE, Farewell, and others in the mix!
We’re all tourists when we travel and hell yeah, we deserve a shop like Tourist. Whether you live in Santa Fe or are just passing through on a trip, be sure to check out Tourist… We’ll make it easy for you to find it:
Tourist Outdoor Gear Shop
376 Garcia St Suite A
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM