By Morgan Bernard
In the outdoor world, just like every other niche market, there are cooperate giants that dominate global sales and there are the little guys. While some of these corporate giants go above and beyond to maintain high levels of social and environmental responsibility and are worthy of our support, supporting small businesses is vital to the outdoor community. Whether you’re buying climbing gear, renting skis, or looking for a white-water rafting guide there’s a local shop that would love to your business. As a small business, Farm Brand seeks out opportunities to highlight other small businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. This post aims to highlight small businesses in the outdoor world that deserve your attention. So, if you’re gearing up for a trip out west, check out these businesses, and continue reading below for the Best Outdoor Gear Outfitters in the Rockies.
Folsom Skis (Denver, Colorado)
As a skier, nothing quite compares to riding gear made just for you. For custom skis built locally in Colorado, look no further than Folsom Skis. Folsom Skis is a 100% rider owned brand. They provide customers with an experiential-based custom fit process focused on the individual skiers’ needs. Each pair of skis is handcrafted at their private manufacturing facility in Denver, Colorado, and 95% of the materials are sourced in the US. With the ability to customize every aspect of ski production, from the core to the topsheet graphic, Folsom Skis are backed by a satisfaction guarantee and will to outlast any mass-produced product on the market. Folsom Skis may be a small batch manufacturer, but their clientele include some of the world’s top skiers, celebrities, and ski enthusiasts from all over the world. If you’re ready to design your dream skis, fill out a custom fit form or feel free to shop their online store if you already know what you want. Don’t miss their entire graphics selection as well.
Wilderness Sports (Summit County, Colorado)
Wilderness Sports in Summit County, Colorado is your one stop shop for all things backcountry in Colorado. This Colorado outdoor outfitter is a backcountry ski and bike shop that boasts a wide selection of gear and a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Wilderness Sports goes beyond providing gear and aims to be a knowledge resource for those new to the backcountry. In addition to selling gear, Wilderness Sports will also help customers maintain their back country gear with their full service, on-site bike and ski shops.
Ute Mountaineer (Aspen, Colorado)
Ute Mountaineer is Aspen’s leading family-owned outdoor outfitter. Ute Mountaineer has been selling high-quality outdoor gear to the Aspen community since 1977. Ute Mountaineer only sells and carry the gear that they use and trust. Beyond providing the Aspen community with premium outdoor equipment, Ute supports the community through events and outdoor education programs. Ute is so passionate about the outdoors that they employ a Pay-to-Play program for their employees, where they reward their staff for getting outside and being active.
Ski Trucks (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Skiing isn’t the cheapest sport in the world. Renting is expensive and out of the question for experienced riders who seek familiarity and peak performance out of their gear. With plenty of skiers and snowboarders opting for the newest models each season, there’s plenty of new gear floating around mountain towns all over the country. Ski Trucks in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been providing locals and visitors alike with quality used ski and snowboard gear since 1969. Late founder Jeff White began his ski shop out of his ’56 Chevy pickup while traveling from town-to-town chasing snow. Today, Ski Trucks is housed in a 24,000 sq. ft. shop located just west of the Utah State Fair Park at 1260 W North Temple. Ski Trucks is located near the Salt Lake City international airport, so it’s perfect for visiting skiers.
7even Skis (Salt Lake City, Utah)
What began as a one-man operation building custom skis in a Salt Lake City garage has since blossomed into one of Utah’s leading custom ski manufacturers. This locally owned custom ski operation is named after the owner Todd’s late Border Collie (Seven), who shared his passion for the mountains. Today, visitors to 7even Skis will be greeted by Sonic, a cheerful pup and the store mascot. Todd has been involved with ski manufacturing for most of his life, starting when he was just 13 at a local ski shop. After spending his twenties in the ski racing world, Todd took a brief hiatus from the ski world before returning in 2009 to start his business. 7even Skis is a culmination of Todd’s experience and expertise in the ski world. Each year, Todd releases a new line of skis that aim to encapsulate everything skis should be—fun.
Lone Pine Gear Exchange (Salt Lake City, Utah)
It’s no secret that enjoying the outdoors can be a bit pricey. Camping, skiing, biking, and climbing all require a vast amount of equipment, none of which is cheap. Lone Pine Gear Exchange in Salt Lake City, Utah aims to break down the financial barriers of the great outdoors by providing the local community with affordable access to quality outdoor gear. And if providing affordable access to outdoor gear wasn’t enough to have you racing to Lone Pine Gear Exchange, Lone Pine is also committed to protecting the planet and fighting climate change. For every purchase from Lone Pine Gear Exchange, the store plants a tree. “Trees have tremendous environmental benefits beyond the fact that they remove CO2 from the environment and clean the air we breathe. Planting trees supports biodiversity. Planting trees provides jobs. Planting trees provides integral food and resources to both humans and animals.”
Sunlight Sports (Cody, Wyoming)
Sunlight Sports in Cody, Wyoming is the Yellowstone area’s premier outdoor outfitter. Sunlight Sports is one of the nation’s oldest, family-owned outdoor retailers. The team at Sunlight is full of passionate outdoor enthusiast who make each customer feel like a friend. In 1971, Bob Newsome began Cody Outfitters with the mission to provide quality outdoor gear to the Yellowstone Area. 40 years later, the family continues that mission. On top of their stellar service and accolades like being named the Best Independent Outdoor Store in 2018, Sunlight Sports prioritizes community involvement in the outdoors with their giving program. Each year, 2% of the stores topline income is donated to local non-profits that facilitate outdoor accessibility for kids. So far, Sunlight Sports has donated over half a million dollars.
Laramie's Basecamp (Laramie, Wyoming)
Laramie’s Basecamp in Laramie, Wyoming isn’t your typical outdoor outfitter. Laramie’s Basecamp offers ski sales and rentals, as well as guiding and outfitting services. The team at Laramie’s do more than just sell and rent gear, they are committed to supporting and encouraging the pursuit of outdoor adventures big and small. Through programs like The Little Laramie Hikers, Laramie’s Basecamp betters the Wyoming community by encouraging and guiding young adventurers. If you’re looking for ski rentals in Wyoming, look no further than Laramie’s Basecamp.
At Farm Brand, our passion for the outdoors takes us all over the world. Wherever we go, we strive to support locally owned businesses who are committed to bettering their communities. If you find yourself out west this ski season or beyond, consider shopping local. Stay tuned to the Farm Brand blog for more outdoor content.