Douglas Tompkins, founder of outdoors juggernaut The North Face, died today. He was 71.
Tompkins is remembered not only for his huge contribution to the outdoors gear world, but also for his exceptional contributions to environmental conservation.
We are all deeply saddened by the news of Doug Tompkins’ passing. Doug was special to many of us. He will be missed. https://t.co/DXUaNLA9qV
— The North Face (@thenorthface) December 9, 2015
Tompkins died following a kayaking accident in Patagonia. He capsized in rough weather on Lake General Carrera with five companions around 11 a.m. He was airlifted to Coyhaique Regional Hospital. He died of severe hypothermia at 6:30 p.m.
We are beyond saddened to learn of Doug Tompkins’ death. He was a dear mentor to our company and good friend to many in the Patagonia family
— Patagonia (@patagonia) December 9, 2015
According to The New York Times, the entire party capsized. A military patrol boat rescued three of the boaters, and a helicopter lifted out the other three, it said. No one else was seriously injured.
— SNEWS (@SNEWSteam) December 9, 2015
Tompkins co-founded The North Face with Kenneth “Hap” Klopp in 1964. He later founded the popular 80’s brand ESPRIT clothing with his then-wife Susie. The North Face is now one of the largest brands in the outdoors world and is widely recognized as a leader in high tech apparel and equipment. Tompkins has also dedicated much of his life to environmental activism. He and his wife Kris are credited with preserving millions of acres of wilderness in Chile and Argentina. The couple was dedicated to park creation, wildlife recovery, ecological agriculture and activism.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 9, 2015
They also ran Tompkins Conservation, an environmental group aimed at protecting land in Argentina and Chile.
We recognize Tompkin’s tremendous contribution to outdoors recreation, and pass our condolences to his family.