5 newer outdoor products on display as Outdoor Retailer returns to Utah

Jun 18, 2024, 8:00 AM | Updated: 12:40 pm

An Outdoor Retailer sign is pictured outside of the Salt Palace Convention Center on Sunday. The ev...

An Outdoor Retailer sign is pictured outside of the Salt Palace Convention Center on Sunday. The event will continue in Utah through Wednesday. (Carter Williams,

(Carter Williams,

SALT LAKE CITY — Lukas Liedtke learned that heat can help treat the pain or itchiness associated with bug bites and stings while out on a kitesurfing trip a few years ago.

As an engineering student at the time, he remembers wondering if there was a way to combine what he just learned with a smartphone.

This led to the creation of Heat It, which first hit the markets in Germany — Liedtke’s native country — in 2020. His is one of the many outdoor-related companies in Utah this week as Outdoor Retailer returns.

The Outdoor Retailer tradeshow brings together new or familiar companies from around the world, which gets new products into stores. This year’s show started with a preview event on Sunday featuring various newer names and items such as Heat It.

Liedtke’s brainchild looks like a small USB drive that plugs right into a phone’s charging port. Plugging in the device instantly opens up an accompanying phone app and heats the device so it can be applied to the big bite. Relief is a minute or two away after that, Liedtke says as he demonstrates his product.

It entered the U.S. market within the past year after hitting 1 million sales in Germany, even landing a deal to sell in REI stores. Liedtke explained the company plans to target outdoor consumers first before expanding to a wider audience who might be interested.

Free skin cancer screening program visits Park City

All of this success has blown his own expectations out of the water.

“It’s funny. I thought I’d end up doing it for one or two years and then move on, maybe find a couple thousand people who like using it,” he said. “I still feel like we’re at the very beginning, even if 1 million units sold, and now I get to see the world.”

These are four other newer products or brands also on display this week:

A Utah startup takes on Spikeball

Liedtke isn’t alone in being surprised by how quickly an idea can turn into a global product. That’s exactly how Taylor Sanford, founder of Lehi-based Premier Spike, feels about his company.

He describes Premier Spike as a high-quality product in the world of roundnet, a fast-growing outdoor game most people associate with the brand Spikeball. He began designing a more durable version of a net in 2022. The final product, designed not to bend or break, went out into the world last year. It has since garnered sales in 36 countries with very little marketing to date.

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5 newer outdoor products on display as Outdoor Retailer returns to Utah