Category Archives: Mountains & Trails

Baker and Tai: from the factory to the flanks of Mt. Rainier


MEET RAY BAKER: The Ranch Boss at our Seattle location, he’s been with the company since 2004. The man is a stud, given a roll of Cordura, a pair of scissors, a needle and thread.

“He’s one of the best pack sewers and designers… ever,” says hunting guru and Mystery Ranch marketing director Mark Seacat.

Ray Baker, rockin’ the mutton chops, is photographing the trip. We’ll post his photos here when he gets back.

MEET BRIAN TAI: He’s an experienced firefighter who started consulting to build fire packs in 2004, and joined the Mystery Team in 2008. These days, he heads up sales development and marketing for our fire line.

Brian Tai does some explaining at the basecamp in Ashford, WA.

But this week, Brian and Ray will need more than superior sewing and selling skills to survive. They’re currently climbing the 14,411-foot Mt. Rainier with wounded veterans Derrick James Ford, Eric Andrew Cowan, and Gilbert “Mag” Magallanes as part of Camp Patriot, the organization that takes disabled vets on outdoor adventures.

Seeing as Ford and Cowan have each had a leg amputated, and Magallanes survived the blast of a 2000-pound bomb with multiple injuries, the folks at … READ MORE >

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France avec un sac à dos bleu



I find myself in the heat of France. Yes it is hot, hot, hot, and my route has been slightly altered so as to escape the afternoon asphalt melt fest.  By about 10:30 am, the tar on the road begins to get tacky and stick to the bottoms of my shoes. Already by this time, the sweat is dripping off my forehead… and what happened to the breeze? But I am not here to write about the heat.

I have completed my first week on the trail. WOOT!! And it has been incredible: little sleepy french villages, rolling hills, flowers and gardens galore. I actually feel like I am on a very long garden tour, passing through backyards… I now know four different ways to set up poles for beans, and one day when I have land and a garden, I shall try them all and decide which I like best.  I set forth on the trail with vigour and determination, ready for big long days covering many miles. Little did I know that the trail had other plans, being very much in charge, and offering challenge without hesitation.

On my second day, I encountered my greatest fear, a … READ MORE >

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Moving In… the Timelapse!

Moving into a brand new building this January was quite the event!  We captured the three day process through the camera lens… it only took 10,369 photos stitched together to make this video!… READ MORE >

Posted in Backpack Hunting, Dana DNA, Disc Golf, Military & Tactical, Mountains & Trails, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch on Denali, Playing with Fire, Skiing, Stories from the Floor, Trip Reports, What's Hot | 1 Comment

The Natural spot to go climbing in Montana


The day was perfect with rainy weather being blocked by the Paradise Valley Range plus sunny weather offering  a cool breeze.  We got about 5 pitches in for the day, taking it easy as we had a new puppy in our hands, making her “less than a hand count” trip out to the crag’s.  This place brings solitude as you are constantly surrounded by the noise of the water gushing through the rock and the serene green habitat with wild flowers everywhere makes it a destination area for climbers.  It still amazes me, when I go out climbing, that the hours can fly by feeling like I’ve only been there for an hour or two.  The present moment is definitely a part of this lifestyle and this is definitely a contributing factor to why I enjoy this sport.

Natural Bridge History Lesson

Montana has two Boulder Rivers. One is in the west central part of the state and runs into the Jefferson River near the town of Cardwell. The other Boulder River is a tributary of the Yellowstone and originates high in the Absaroka Mountains south of Big Timber MT. This Boulder River offers great visiting experiences for the Montana … READ MORE >

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Georgia on my mind….


Georgia is a curious place, especially for the mountain-minded. Not the Georgia of peaches and the American South. This is the Republic of Georgia that straddles Europe and Asia, the Georgia of the former USSR, the Georgia that’s home to the Caucasus Mountains: an incredibly unique East-West range of nearly endless, and largely unexplored, vertical. These mountains are a 200 mile long, 50 mile wide spine, cranking to Mt. Elbrus’ heaven-brushing 18,510 ft., that draws a sharp topographical line between the Black and Caspian seas. It was the idea of these mountains that inspired a team of Bozeman-based buddies to plan–and execute–the ski trip of dreams. Imagine: a stopover in Istanbul; mountain travel by old Soviet-era cargo helicopter; cocktails and turns with the President of the country; a beach day on the Black Sea; a swing through Engelberg on the way home; days upon days of pillow lines; exploring a strange and new place, of deeply embedded history and geography.

We were so impressed by the vision of this trip that we outfitted the guys with both prototype and production Mystery Ranch packs, to help them safely on their way. Sometimes, the best way to tell a story is through … READ MORE >

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Tailgate Alaska Video

Tailgate Alaska takes place each spring on Thompson Pass, Valdez Alaska.  For more information about the event check out

This video was shared with us by Erik Morrison who along with a few other Montanan’s made the journey north for the event.  Erik was wearing a Mystery Ranch Blackjack AE prototype during his trip.  For more information about our Blackjack pack, check it out here…

Special thanks to Erik for putting this video together and sharing it with Mystery Ranch!  We hope you all enjoy watching it as much as we have!… READ MORE >

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Dana goes REALLY BIG on the Facebook Pack Giveway!

Did you win?!  Watch the video to find out!!!


Posted in Backpack Hunting, Dana DNA, Disc Golf, Military & Tactical, Mountains & Trails, Mystery Ranch Employees, Playing with Fire, Skiing, Stories from the Floor, What's Hot | 10 Comments

Winter Wonderland Adventures with the Naya Nuki

Featuring: Naya Nuki

Snowshoeing up to Fairy Lake with friends Nathan and Tim, along with two snow-loving and energetic dogs, Cassidy & Mac, we headed straight into the face of the Chinook winds.  I was glad to have the Naya Nuki pack upon my back keeping me warm, while also holding snacks & electrolyte drinks to keep me fueled for the long 4-hour trek ahead.  The wind-swept snowy road led us on a gradual hill climb winding our way towards the lake with views of both the Crazy mountains & jagged peaks of the Bridgers.  Stopping for a brief lunch break among a stand of trees, I was thankful for the momentary break from the gusty gale.  Sweet & sturdy Cassidy took shelter behind the resting Naya Nuki, which acted as a perfect wind block for her medium dog sized body.  Just a short drive north of town, the Bridger Mountains frame the backdrop of the Bozeman, Montana skyline.  An outdoor person’s year round playground, I was very excited about exploring the snowy trail to Fairy Lake that brought us closer to the heart of the range.  A range of many peaks for which a few of our Mystery Ranch packs are named.… READ MORE >

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My introduction to antler hunting was a parody.  Seventeen elk sheds the first year and ten the second led me to think I had found a honey hole.  Assuming the following years would produce equally high yields I sold many of them to a local chandelier builder.  $350 was the reward – I had hoped for $900.

The secret spot was discovered the third spring.  Snowmobiles and four-wheelers had scavenged the place.  I witnessed two individuals chase down a six point bull on their four-wheelers, hooting and hollering, trying to get him to drop his antlers.  Their arrogance and lack of respect disgusted me.  Ethics should play a role in all types of hunting.

I’ve been shed hunting for eight years now.  After the grandeur of the first two years, I’ve come to value the antlers I find a whole lot more.  The sentimental value of each one, even if it’s chewed up, has more worth than the money they fetch.  Although the chewed up sheds usually do become dog bones.

My house is loaded with deer and elk antlers.  They are the primary decorative piece, despite my family’s and roommate’s objection.  In my kitchen alone there are twenty two … READ MORE >

Posted in Backpack Hunting, Mountains & Trails, Trip Reports | 12 Comments

Winners Announced!!! 2011 Mystery Ranch Photo and Video Contest


The entries have been received, the chads dimpled, ties settled with sewing machines at 20 paces and recounts recounted. We are proud to announce and showcase the winners of the 2011 Mystery Ranch photo and video contest. Congratulations to grand prize winners Ryan Krueger, Matthew Irving and KGB Productions and thanks to everyone who entered your unbelievably awesome photos and videos.… READ MORE >

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