Backcountry.com’s first sale, an avalanche beacon, shipped from a garage in a small town in Utah in 1996. With hard work, perseverance, and a serious passion for the outdoors, that garage marked the beginning of a real success story.
Nearly 20 years later, Backcountry.com has grown dramatically, but has stayed true to its roots and core values. Employees are encouraged to ride their bikes at lunch and take off to ski on powder days. This authentic outdoor passion is immediately evident on the site, which is home to a huge, rapidly-growing knowledge base as well as an enthusiastic community of customers.
Initially, ski, camp, and climbing equipment and clothing were Backcountry’s focus. While the lion’s share of its sales were jackets, pants, hats, and accessories, the company was better known for equipment, such as skis, snowboards, bindings, boots, backpacks, tents and sleeping bags. As implied by the name, touring equipment was, and still is, a core category, but the company has added many new product groups since the ‘90s, including mountain biking, kayaking, fly fishing, and later stand-up paddleboarding and even surfing. These days, Backcountry.com carries gear for every season, every climate, and every type of terrain on earth. It also features quality apparel from little-known brands around the world that its buyers have located in their search for intriguing new products.
Backcountry has always relied heavily upon an outdoor-savvy staff. One of its founders, Jim Holland, was an Olympic ski jumper. Pro snowboarders and sponsored skiers work in merchandising and marketing. Copywriters regularly miss days to compete in mountain bike races. Even the CEO is an accomplished climber. Expertise and authenticity have always been priority at Backcountry.com, and it shows in every aspect of the site and the culture.
From humble beginnings in a garage to one of the most trusted outdoor retailers in the world, Backcountry.com has come a long way in the last 19 years. Hard work and business savvy were key components, but it was passion for the outdoors that made Backcountry.com what it is today.