Post Lockdown Vagabonds

The Coming Tourist Season Could Change Textile Markets.

Recently I penned this letter to my governor; the textile industry might find it of interest as well:

Dear State of Colorado,

Without being histrionic, I think we should consider that this coming summer could be the biggest Colorado tourist travel season in history, by far. My reasoning follows:

1. Cheap Fuel. Gas is currently cheap and should stay that way with fuel consumption low after a long spring where everyone stayed home.

2. Hard No to Air Travel. No one wants to get on an airplane now, just wait until there are a lot more infected Americans. Airports, bus and train terminals are being treated as hot zones. Travel by car with your family unit is far safer.

3. Cooped Up. With school lockdowns families will be stir-crazy by June. People will want to get out of town, and there are a lot of people in a lot of towns that can drive here.

4. Camp Zone. Camping will be considered the safest form of cross-country travel. Our organized campgrounds can barely handle a traditional tourist season; expect excess travelers spilling over into surrounding rural areas, rest stops, and parking lots. Gas station bathrooms will get hammered.

5. Leave Boomer at Home. The infection causing the freak-out is very rare in the young, who will really want to get out of the house by summer. Prepare for car camping kids.

Thank you for serving the big square state,
Kurt Gray

The textile industry might see its role shift with this movement in a couple of ways.

First is regarding the outdoor environment. Living outside in the Western U.S. during the summer requires robust sun, wind and storm protection. Simple things like umbrellas, awnings, and portable sun shades go a long way towards making road life comfortable when it’s sunny and hot. Thunderstorms are frequently exciting and contain enough wind and hail to test any tent or tarp.  Expect to see increasing importance placed on heavier, stronger, more durable materials, sun-rot resistance, and overall dependability.

Secondly is the social aspect. Have you ever used truck stop bathrooms to clean yourself for any length of time? And then traveled in a car full of people in the same situation? Odor resistant textiles could promote peace and family harmony for those on the road and rinsing their undies in grimy little sinks. Easy care and odor-free fabrics will find favor along with high SPF ratings and genuine versatility. Nothing like living out of a duffle bag to focus your mind on the garments you really need.

What happens after the vagabond camping and car travel scene explodes, and the hordes buy all the white gas and folding cots at the big box outdoor stores? Well, the caravanners will want something to do, and along with trying to stay clean, they’ll spend a considerable amount of time shopping for supplies and searching for ways to make their new hobo life a little easier. It is a good time to reach new customers and show a product’s worth in their lifestyle. Road trip retail could boom.

There you have it, my forecast is for the State of Colorado to be overwhelmed by bored, post-lockdown vacationers. I’m thinking now would be a good time to invest in a case of body spray and a teepee.

Disclaimer: Mr. Gray claims that he invented body spray when he mixed up his deodorant with Windex. Textile Insight’s Publisher may not share in his opinions or hygienic rituals.