Hill People Gear | Real Use Gear For Backcountry Travelers
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What We Do

There is a bewildering array of outdoor gear you can choose from in this day and age, with REI and EMS being almost as common as 7-elevens. However, the popularity of outdoor pursuits have pushed a lot of gear design in the direction of fashion rather than function. "Fast and Light" is just as much of a fashion imperative now as the neon clothing colors were a few years ago. In some cases there is real function there, and in some cases not.

At Hill People Gear, our focus is timeless designs that solve unsolved problems using the best advantages of modern materials. We think in terms of what will work for someone living close to the land day in and day out over a period of time. Some of our products will appeal to hunters, some of them will appeal to soldiers, and some of them will appeal to folks who are looking for simple, functional, and reliable gear. Most of all, we'd like to think that our gear would be the first choice of our "Hill People" forebearers if they were around today.

Hill People Gear is a small family owned company located in Western Colorado. Unless otherwise specified, all products are made in America out of American materials. This means when you spend your hard earned money with HPG, you are helping support American jobs and American families. Yes, the purchase price is higher than products manufactured out of foreign materials in foreign countries, but when you look at the bigger picture, the cost is less. 

Evan Hill | Founder, Design, etc.

Evan Hill

Evan grew up in the west, including tenures in Colorado, Alaska, Washington, New Mexico, and West Texas. Always on the edge of town, always outdoors. He started sewing using his mom's machine when he was 12. Early on, he sewed a pack that included a side panel design that came out on a Lowe pack the following year. Since the Lowe brothers were heroes of his, Evan was gratifed. His early outdoor resume is rounded out with numerous outdoor adventures both inside and outside of the Boy Scouts, culminating in the rank of Eagle Scout.

Evan went on to major in Anthropology while serving as a forest fire fighter on the Wyoming Hotshots in the summer. After college, he spent over a decade involved in web and software design and architecture in the dot.coms of Seattle. After a welcome return to the land in the form of moving his family to central Oregon, Evan turned the design and engineering skills he had honed in the dot.coms back to a problem area much nearer and dearer to his heart.

Scot Hill | Founder, Operations, Etc.

Scot Hill, Operations and Finance

Scot grew up alongside Evan across the American west, and also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He parlayed his Boy Scout experience into 5 seasons with the Forest Service as a trail crew member and wilderness ranger. Scot worked in the San Juans of southern Colorado and the Gila of southern New Mexico performing a wide gammut of duties including horseback patrol, horse packing, trail construction and maintenance, fire fighting, sawyer / feller, and gear buying.

On the San Juan, Scot was very involved in Leave No Trace instruction and wilderness preservation. He gained some notoriety with his hard line stance about not using helicopters to evacuate people from wilderness areas who didn't have life threatening injuries. Above all, Scot spent months on end traveling and living in the back country during his tenure with the Forest Service.

Today, Scot is an environmental consultant and master of the "why can't you design a piece of gear that does such and such" question.

Kevin McDowell | Operations Manager

Kevin McDowell

Kevin was raised in the Mojave Desert of Arizona and joined the Marines shortly after high school. During his time in the Marines, Kevin's duties included deployment to Iraq as a Combat Advisor conducting patrols and raids with the Iraqi Police, loading bombs on FA/18 aircraft on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, and Forward Observer in the Marine Corps Reserves.

After getting out of active duty, Kevin worked as a Range Safety Officer at a shooting range while attending school for forestry. After his studies, Kevin worked for the US Forest Service doing fuels mitigation, timber sale operations, and wildland firefighting -- including a season as a crew member on the San Juan Hotshots.

Nick Boyle | Product Specialist

Nick Boyle

Nick is a Wisconsin native. Listening to his father's stories of backpacking across the Grand Canyon sparked his passion for the outdoors. He began his career with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a Law Enforcement Ranger and currently works as a police officer in the Milwaukee area. Nick serves as a Patrol Officer and Firearms Instructor. He has training in a wide variety of law enforcement topics to include SWAT, active shooter response and marine law enforcement. In addition to his day job as a patrol officer, he teaches both shooting and wilderness skills for In Extremis Consulting. Nick is a WWII OSS and SOE history buff and active HAM radio operator. His keen eye for product function, solid grounding in backcountry skills, and monumental level of patience led us to recruit him for his part time role with us as a Product Specialist.

Brooke Edwards  During her tenure with Hill People Gear, Brooke saw her responsibilities and time commitment grow to the point that her family was often getting the short end of the stick. Finally it got to be too much and she decided to fully clear the way for someone fresh to take over her responsibilities and help grow the company. Brooke is doing well and still very much a friend of HPG. You can follow her photography on https://www.facebook.com/BEdwardsphotography.
Edward Curtis Canyon De Chelly
When humans first set foot in a new continent, they came in small groups under their own power, bringing only the gear they needed. Most simply called themselves The People. Over time, those who chose the rougher freer life of the up country came to think of themselves as the Hill People.
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