Wear & Tear


I packed out my first bull in fall 2011, cursing every step I took down the mountain. My streamlined backpack straps cut deep into my shoulders under the heavy load. The waistbelt bulged and threatened to bust if put under anymore strain. I pushed on, cringing as my load wobbled with the weight shifting back and forth. My body was completely worn out by the time I made it back to the truck with the final load.

It wasn’t until I packed out my second elk a month later that I realized I wasn’t being a complete sissy. My backpack … READ MORE >

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Mystery Ranch ISO 9001:2008 Certification is Official!

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If you had been visiting Mystery Ranch on a Friday at the end of June, you would have been surprised by all the hooting and hollering.

If you worked at the Ranch, you would know that really, we do this all the time.

But this celebration was something different. Dana Gleason, with great fanfare, and in front of a floor of momentarily motionless sewing machines, had just announced that our ISO 9001:2008 registration audit was over – and our auditor was recommending us for certification!

Now, for the acronymically overwhelmed, that last sentence may mean very little at first glance. … READ MORE >

Posted in Backpack Hunting, Disc Golf, Fire and Trail, Military & Tactical, Mountain Adventure, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch HQ, Stories from the Floor, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Don’t Tell My Physical Therapist

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The words of the surgeon cut through my oxy codone soaked brain more effectively than his scalpel through my shoulder.  “I can’t believe I’m saying this… but I think we might have to go back in there.”  We sat and looked at each other blankly.  I came to two realizations during this silence (1) I wouldn’t ride my bike again this summer, and (2) you shouldn’t purchase used body parts from Belgrade MT.

The bike crash I experienced on the summer solstice has resulted in two surgeries, 10 weeks in a sling, and god knows how many pain killers. I READ MORE >

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The Trio – Part 3


By Zack Boughton – MONTANA WILD

The spring had been a success but I was still anxious to fill my own tag. I had spent about 5-6 days looking for a bear and had yet to get an opportunity to chamber a round. It was mid-May and plans were put in place to leave early in the morning to give it another shot. 4:30 came too early, my eyes in a painful squint as I hit the lights and proceeded to get ready. We hit the trailhead just before sunrise, the temps in the low 40s and skies clear. After … READ MORE >

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ISO 9001:2008 Certification

Photo: Jayson Coil

In the Fire Service, safety is priority number one, and we respect the established safety standards of all agencies in the fire service. That fact drove us, over two years ago, to make a significant decision: to become compliant for the ISO 9001:2008 certification, a commitment that affects every level of our company here. After two plus years, and the accompanying costs, we have just completed our official audit for ISO 9001, and are proud to announce that we have been recommended for that certification.

What is ISO 9001:2008? It’s a quality management system whose primary goal is customer satisfaction, READ MORE >

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The Trio – Part 2


By: Zack Boughton – MONTANA WILD

We got out for another awesome hunt with our friend Tyler a few weeks after our first bear hunt. This time, the landscape was greener and the animals were more awake.  After a long morning of hiking and glassing elk, we made a gamble and switched locations.  We were positioned along a steep ridge where we’d seen lots of sign the year before, but as we climbed the mountain, we crossed snow drifts that were still 3-4 feet deep. We sank to our knees with every step, breaking through the crust, just trying to … READ MORE >

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The Trio – Part 1


By: Zack Boughton – MONTANA WILD

The speedometer dropped rapidly as I banked a hard left off of the highway and onto the loose gravel of the mountain road.  Snow banks stained dark brown with spring mud marked the way up and away from the river. We were back in the mountains and it felt good – it had been too long since we’d seen the white peaks looming in the distance.   With the sun rising I pushed the gas pedal deeper, anxious to burn some rubber off the old boots.

Western Montana saw record snowfall this winter – with … READ MORE >

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Innovation Invasion: The 3-Way Briefcase and Invader are LIVE


If you haven’t seen it yet, Inc. Magazine has featured Mystery Ranch in its list of the 25 Most Audacious Companies.

Photo: Travis Boughton / Montana Wild

The article defined an “audacious” company as “on the one hand…bold, courageous, even heroic. Yet, on the other, they are defiant, presumptuous, irreverent, and even cocky. They see a better way to do something and work to make it happen, fearlessly committed to not only making their vision a reality but also spreading that vision.”

We certainly feel that this is an appropriate assessment of what we stand for and how we … READ MORE >

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New Mystery Ranch Adventure Backpacks

New Adventure

We are excited to launch three new packs today, all designed by Dana’s son, D3. With backpacks in his blood, D3 designs with deep respect for and understanding of the history of pack building, and strives to improve on the classics using innovative materials and a fresh perspective on his father’s brand.

Designing packs for Adventure has been at the heart of my work since I first tried to trick out a custom version of one of Dana’s originals. Pack bags give me room to play as a designer, but the frame is hallowed ground since my dad takes pride


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Going big and going home – The first ascent of the Pisce Wall


About a year ago, my friend Tom mentioned that there was an alpine wall way back in the Beartooth Wilderness that not only had not seen an ascent, but had no name.  He had done a reconnaissance trip in 2009 to see what this thing looked like and exactly what it would take to get back there.  He told me about a 20+ mile approach, much of which was off trail and through swamps, down timber and difficult orienteering.  Apparently, other parties had tried to access the wall from different locations, but all had been skunked.  Often called the Phantom … READ MORE >

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