Western Edge Gear makes full-featured load-hauling packs for kids and hard-to-find accessories for adult gear. I started making gear in high school. After over 30 years in the Forest Service, military, land surveying, and seeing the incredible advancements in outdoor gear, I decided it was time to make good gear for my kids and their Cub Scout friends.
I spent most of my life hunting, hiking, and working in western Montana. I am now located in Dickinson, North Dakota—the “Western Edge” of the mid-western grass prairies minutes from the rugged Little Missouri Badlands where Theodore Roosevelt hunted and ranched in the 1880s. My kids and I love to hike and hunt in Badlands, frequently with their Scout buddies and parents.
My kids began hunting with me before they could walk—I wheeled them on my game cart to retrieve downed deer. As soon as they could hike, they started carrying a Kifaru E&E, which worked great for a canteen, sweatshirt, and snacks.
When they got big enough to go on longer hikes, many of which involve cross-country bush-whacking, and all of which require hauling lots of water in this dry country, my kids complained about their shoulder-hanger E&Es. I couldn’t find kid-sized packs on the market with the durability, comfort, and colors we wanted, so I built some with the same features as the best adult gear. The complaining has diminished (at least about uncomfortable packs), and now my kids can haul enough gear and supplies even for overnight backpack trips.