The North Face Founder Dies In Kayaking Accident

By  | 
Douglas Tompkins founder of the north face

Image: WikiCommons/Sam Beebe

The North Face Founder Dies In Kayaking Accident

Douglas Tompkins, the founder of both The North Face and Espirit, died after a kayaking accident in Chile. Tompkins was 72. Tompkins was an entrepreneur and environmentalist. After founding The North Face fifty years ago, he grew it for twenty years until selling it to focus on filmmaking and environmental issues. In 1992, he founded the Conservation Land Trust, which preserved huge amounts of land in Chile and Patagonia.

Tompkins was with five others while kayaking in Chile. Their kayaking conditions were far from safe—cold water and extreme weather conditions. The group was hit by a large wave and capsized. A Chilean military patrol boat rescued three kayakers from General Carrerra Lake, while the other three were picked up by helicopter, including Tompkins. He was taken to the hospital where he died. Unfortunately, Tompkins was in the water for far too long.

Tompkins will largely be remembered for founding The North Face, but more significantly, he will be recognized for his passion and drive in saving the environment. He gave everything up to fight for environmental issues, and for those of us who love him for that reason, we must take this as a message to carry on his work with continued spirit.

We can also learn from his adventurous spirit. Tompkins did everything he imagined possible. He talked of grand adventures, then set out to do them. We must do the same and cherish life as he did.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.15.48 AM

Kate Wilke is the content manager at 301brands, and she's the editor of DailyBeautyHack.com, and the lifestyle editor at OhMyVeggies.com. When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on Instagram — @kateewilke

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *