Wilderness Experience is Back! Limited Edition Original Klettersack on Kickstarter

May 8, 2019

Using original pattern, materials, and quality, Wilderness Experience will offer Limited Edition of iconic daypack beginning in July 2019.

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. – Wilderness Experience, the iconic outdoor gear brand founded in 1971 by Greg, Jim and Laurie Thomsen, is making a comeback with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign offering The Original Klettersack™ featuring the original pattern, materials and quality from 1974 as a numbered Limited Edition beginning in July, 2019. One of brand’s most successful items, The Original Klettersack was introduced in 1974. In the last 45 years, the Klettersack design has been copied countless times, often using the same name, and has become a true icon of the outdoors. The Kickstarter campaign starts May 7, 2019 and goes until June 30, 2019.

“After decades of working with other outdoor companies and 13 years of retirement and travel, I began to feel nostalgic,” said Jim Thomsen, founder and first president of Wilderness Experience, Inc. “It’s really exciting to think that a product we made 45 years ago and, which was loved by so many, is relevant today. I am inviting old and new friends to join our Kickstarter community to relaunch a favorite brand that brought pleasure to so many outdoor devotees.”

Wilderness Experience was founded originally as a guide service in southern California bringing urban children into the outdoors. To supplement this company, this veteran team of outdoor enthusiasts worked in a mountaineering store and started to make equipment that better addressed their backcountry equipment needs. After purchasing a sewing machine and coming up with several prototypes, they decided to start selling backpacks adorned with the extra embroidered labels from their guide company. Wilderness Experience went on to manufacture backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, luggage, apparel and Gore-Tex products. It was the first outdoor company to complete a public stock offering.

Today’s version of The Original Klettersack has the same performance attributes including: a narrow profile for excellent range of motion; a slanted bottom which shifts weight forward and allows movement downslope with less chance of the bottom catching; a zippered top pocket; a smooth nylon back with six-inch-wide foam padding for comfort and airflow; eleven accessory patches.  At 28 liters it is the ideal volume for hiking, ski touring or climbing, even though it is made from super durable 1000d Cordura, the simple design keeps the weight below most other packs in this size range. The Cordura nylon bottom weighs 22 oz.  The leather bottom weighs 24 oz.

“Really the seventies was when Wilderness Experience came into being and shot up the ladder, inventing all the new packs and tents,” said John Long, writer and climbing historian. “Basically it went from us using old army/navy stuff in the early seventies to the late seventies where things are not really that different from what they are today.”

The Original Klettersack was a favorite of respected climbers including Alan Bard, John Bachar, Fred Beckey, Jim Bridwell, Jim Donini, Ned Gillette, Beverly Johnson, Ron Kauk, John Long, Galen Rowell, John Roskelley, Kim Schmitz and so many others.

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The Original Klettersack™ and Wilderness Experience® trademarks are owned by Icon Originals LLC, Jim Thomsen, President.