With the passing of Doug Tompkins we reflect on the life of a friend, a true adventurer, and a champion of conservation.
Doug co-founded The North Face in 1966 with the intention of making the outdoors accessible to people of all backgrounds and capabilities. In the first The North Face mail order catalog, Doug wrote a letter to consumers expressing his desire to outfit the adventurer with gear that mirrored the proverb, “necessity before luxury.” With the creation of The North Face, Doug hoped to bring an end to the age of “gimmicks and gadgetry” he saw being produced in the equipment manufacturing industry and promised, “to provide adequate and practical items to those interested in mountain sports.” While Doug stepped away from The North Face in 1968, his dedication to environmental activism and land conservation inspires us to this day.
In 1990, he established the Foundation for Deep Ecology, which supports education and advocacy on behalf of wild nature . Two years later, in 1992, Doug founded the Conservation Land Trust, which works to protect wild lands, primarily in Chile and Argentina.
With his focus on conservation, Doug purchased two million acres of land in Southern Chile, helping to create one of the world’s largest private parks. Pumalín Park protects 800,000 acres of rain forest that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes. It is named in honor of the pumas that roam the park’s virgin forests. Doug’s land purchases also helped form the Corcovado National Park in Chile.
His unwavering commitment to protect the outdoors epitomized his core values as an environmentalist, a businessman and an adventurer. His tenacity in the fight for conservation is an inspiration to us and is a sentiment we strive to mirror. He will be deeply missed.
(Feature Image: Suki Hill)