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$23,941
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197
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36days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, July 1 2019 6:59 AM UTC +00:00.

Icon Originals LLCBy Icon Originals LLC
First created
Icon Originals LLCBy Icon Originals LLC
First created
$23,941
pledged of 20.000 $pledged of 20.000 $ goal
197
backers
36days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, July 1 2019 6:59 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Background


Wilderness Experience®  was founded in 1971 by Greg, Jim and Laurie Thomsen as an outdoor school and guide service. The following year Wilderness Experience®  began manufacturing outdoor products in Chatsworth, California. Wilderness Experience packs were used on major expeditions around the world by many top mountaineers. By the 1980s the product line included backpacks, sleeping bags, tents and apparel. Wilderness Experience®  was the first Outdoor company to complete a public stock offering and was listed on the NASDAQ. In 1985 Wilderness Experience®  had seven factories in the USA with hundreds of employees and was shipping thousands of products each day.

1975 Wilderness Experience employees.  That's Jim Thomsen in the front row with the beard and Greg with the dog.
1975 Wilderness Experience employees. That's Jim Thomsen in the front row with the beard and Greg with the dog.

By 1986 Jim and Greg had sold their stock in the public company and founded new companies and careers in the outdoor industry. Jim left to own a couple of mountaineering stores, form a sales representative business and finally to become President of an International division of VF Corp where he was responsible for the JanSport, EastPak & Kipling brands. He was also part of the VF Corp acquisition team that purchased EastPak, The North Face, Vans, Kipling and other major brands.

After leaving Wilderness Experience, Greg traveled throughout Asia, Africa and Europe on climbing adventures until finally accepting a position as Director of Marketing at Nike. In 1990 Greg founded American Sports Group, which designed and sourced  products for many outdoor brands. Over the following 18 years Greg also founded and sold a number of companies and brands until finally selling everything in 2008 to take a couple years off and travel around the world with his family. Today Greg is working to help establish adidas Outdoor in the US. 
 

Jim retired from VF Corporation in 2005. He and his wife Katie bought a sailboat in Europe and sailed around the world for the next 10 years. They visited 50 countries and logged over 50,000 miles. If you want to read about Jim and Katie's sailing adventures:  http://www.tenayatravels.com  After Jim and Greg left the company Wilderness Experience, Inc. went through a series of corporate owners. As it was not a priority to any of the subsequent owners the brand eventually died. 


For more information about Wilderness Experience®  and copies of catalogs from the 70s and 80s go to:  https://www.wildernessexperience.net or visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WildernessExperienceInc/

1976 catalog photo of the Klettersack.
1976 catalog photo of the Klettersack.


The Klettersack

  • Wilderness Experience®  introduced the Klettersack in 1974 and it quickly became a favorite of many of the top rock climbers and mountaineers of the day 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. It was such an iconic design that both the design concept and the name have been copied by many companies over the past 45 years. What they weren’t able to copy was the material and manufacturing quality.
1976 Klettersack advertisement.  Jim Donini in Yosemite.
1976 Klettersack advertisement. Jim Donini in Yosemite.

Many of the 1970s Wilderness Experience®  Klettersack packs are still in use today, some by the 3rd generation of users. 


In 2019 Jim Thomsen was able to reacquire the original Wilderness Experience®  trademark. He is responsible for the reintroduction of The Original Klettersack™

2019  The Original Klettersack™. Available in Royal Blue, Rust and Navy Blue - You make the color choice after the Kickstarter project ends on June 30 when you give us your shipping address.
2019 The Original Klettersack™. Available in Royal Blue, Rust and Navy Blue - You make the color choice after the Kickstarter project ends on June 30 when you give us your shipping address.

The Original Klettersack™ (2019 edition)

The Original Klettersack™ will be made using the original pattern, the same high quality materials and hardware, and will be built to the same exacting standards.



Available with Leather Bottom or Cordura®  Bottom
Available with Leather Bottom or Cordura® Bottom
2019 Klettersack
2019 Klettersack

Specifications:

Capacity: 28 liters (1700 cubic inches)

Foam Padded Back - Full Length, 6 inches wide for comfort while still allowing airflow

YKK® Zipper on Top Pocket

Weight: Cordura® Bottom Model - 22 oz

Weight: Leather Bottom Model - 24 oz

Justin Olsen.  2019 Klettersack.
Justin Olsen. 2019 Klettersack.
Justin Olsen using the 2019 Klettersack.
Justin Olsen using the 2019 Klettersack.

Other Products

In 1973 the first Wilderness Experience®  magazine ad appeared in Summit Magazine, “WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE®  Packs for Mountaineers.”  The following year we put that design on T-Shirts. We will be reproducing this original advertisement’s artwork on T-Shirts available for pledges of $25. 

T-Shirt - Packs for Mountaineers. Available in Black, Navy and Sport Grey and in five sizes: small - 2XL.
T-Shirt - Packs for Mountaineers. Available in Black, Navy and Sport Grey and in five sizes: small - 2XL.

       And as a sticker:                                                                  

3 inches x 4.5 inches.
3 inches x 4.5 inches.

One of our early products was a simple two section briefcase. Jim still uses his original Wilderness Experience® Keep On Truckin' Briefcase, so he wanted to make it again.

The Keep On Truckin' Briefcase is 16.5 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Available in Navy Blue, Rust and Royal Blue.
The Keep On Truckin' Briefcase is 16.5 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Available in Navy Blue, Rust and Royal Blue.

 Over the years Wilderness Experience® made a number of different pouches and  small cases. We think this is one of the more useful sizes.

The Stoney Point Pouch.  5 1/2" x 9"
The Stoney Point Pouch. 5 1/2" x 9"

Where will we make The Original Klettersack™?

One of the biggest problems in finding a sewing factory to manufacture the Original Klettersack™ was finding one that can use the same materials Wilderness Experience® used in the 1970s. Current packs are made with lighter pack cloth, weaker thread, and less padding in the straps. This makes the pack somewhat lighter, but far less durable – they won’t last until the mid-21st century. The Original Klettersack™ will.

Of equal importance was finding a factory that follows the ethical standards originally established when we hired our first workers in the 1970s. We believe that employees should be treated with respect, should earn a living wage, and should be valued as a part of the “company family”. Wilderness Experience® must have succeeded in this vision as many former employees are still friends, and we often get together as members of the ex-Wilderness Experience® community.

Over Jim's working career he has made a lot of backpacks, both in the USA and in many other countries. When Jim was President of JanSport, EastPak and Kipling International he was responsible for producing up to a couple of million backpacks a month. He visited more than a hundred factories that produce backpacks, so was able to choose the best factory based on experience. We are really proud of the company that will produce this reintroduction of The Original Klettersack™.

They are located in Vietnam. They have a 5 day work week, support for worker's families, overtime pay (including dinner!), a full time nurse, and a minimum working age of 18 years old. More importantly, they are part of the Fair Wear Foundation, a foundation committed to upholding labor standards and making life better for their employees. We encourage you to look into the Fair Wear Foundation and the companies that support it:    

https://www.fairwear.org/about/mission-vision/

We have received production samples for The Original Klettersack™ and they meet all of our demands for authenticity, materials and workmanship.


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

For international orders: When you receive your tracking number, please keep an eye out for the package. Every country has different customs policies. Our prices do not include VAT, GST or other country taxes. You will be responsible to pay customs duty.


 For international customers who are required to pay customs, you will receive an email or call from your local post office or local customs authorities. Once you make the payment to the customs broker your order will be processed for final delivery. 

Risks and challenges

There are risks and challenges with any business. I have owned or managed a number of businesses, from very small to very large. I have The Original Klettersack™ production samples which meet all of my demands. The material and labor costs are negotiated, and I am working with a manufacturer I have worked with in the past, so I have done everything possible to minimize the potential for manufacturing problems. I am using a Kickstarter recommended distribution center which should reduce the potential for distribution issues. From experience I know there will be problems and I have tried to account for them in the projected timeline. I am confident that I will complete this project. If you have any questions, please ask me.

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    Thank You!

    A huge THANK YOU and your name as a sponsor on our website: wildernessexperience.net.

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    Sticker - Packs for Mountaineers

    A sticker of our original ad in 1973: Wilderness Experience® - Packs for Mountaineers

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    T-Shirt - Packs for Mountaineers

    T-Shirt - Wilderness Experience® - Packs for Mountaineers. This is a copy of our first magazine advertisement in 1973 and our first T-Shirt-1974.

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    Keep on Truckin' Briefcase & Pouch

    Keep on Truckin' Briefcase. Cordura® Nylon. Two zippered sections.
    Retail Price: $40

    A Stoney Point Pouch. Cordura® Nylon.
    Retail Price: $15

    Total Retail Price: $55

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    EARLY BIRD - KLETTERSACK Cordura® Bottom

    EARLY BIRD - The Original Klettersack™ Cordura® Bottom. 40% off.
    Retail Price: $125.00

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    KLETTERSACK Cordura® Bottom

    The Original Klettersack™ - Cordura® Bottom. 30% 0ff.
    Retail Price: $125.

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    EARLY BIRD - KLETTERSACK Leather Bottom

    EARLY BIRD -The Original Klettersack™ Leather Bottom. 40% off.
    Retail Price: $150

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    KLETTERSACK - Leather Bottom

    The Original Klettersack™ Leather bottom. 30% off.
    Retail Price: $150.

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    EARLY BIRD - EVERYTHING Cordura®!

    The Original Klettersack™ Cordura® Bottom
    Retail Price: $125

    Stoney Point Pouch.
    Retail Price: $15

    T-Shirt- Packs for Mountaineers.
    Retail Price: $25

    Keep on Truckin' Briefcase.
    Retail Price: $40

    Total Retail Price: $205

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    Klettersack Cordura® bottom + EVEN MORE!

    The Original Klettersack™ with Cordura® Bottom.
    Retail Price: $125

    Stoney Point Pouch.
    Retail Price: $15

    Keep on Truckin' Briefcase.
    Retail Price: $40

    T-Shirt- Packs for Mountaineers.
    Retail Price: $25

    Total Retail Price: $205

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    EARLY BIRD - EVERYTHING Leather!

    The Original Klettersack™ Leather Bottom.
    Retail Price: $150

    Stoney Point Pouch.
    Retail Price: $15

    T-Shirt - Packs for Mountaineers.
    Retail Price: $25.

    Keep on Truckin' Briefcase.
    Retail Price: $40

    Total Retail Price: $230

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    Klettersack Leather bottom + EVEN MORE!

    The Original Klettersack™ Leather Bottom.
    Retail Price: $150

    Stoney Point Pouch.
    Retail Price: $15

    Keep on Truckin' Briefcase.
    Retail Price: $40

    T-Shirt- Packs for Mountaineers.
    Retail Price: $25

    Total Retail Price: $230

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    Limited Edition - numbered & signed

    Limited Edition - The Original Klettersack™ Leather Bottom - Royal Blue.

    Production Numbers #11-#50 and signed by Jim and Greg Thomsen.

    Packs will be hand signed and numbered under the top pocket.

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    EVERYTHING for two of you!

    TWO The Original Klettersack™ Leather Bottom.
    Retail Price: $150 each. Retail Price: $300

    TWO Packs for Mountaineers T-Shirts.
    Retail Price: $25 each. Retail Price: $50

    TWO Stoney Point Pouches.
    Retail Price: $15 each. Retail Price: $30

    TWO Keep on Truckin' Briefcases.
    Retail Price: $40 each. Retail Price: $80

    Total Retail Price: $460.

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    Outdoor Retailer Trade Show Package

    The Original Klettersack™ Leather Bottom - Royal Blue, Serial numbers 1-10, Signed and numbered under the top pocket by Jim & Greg Thomsen.

    A pass to the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Denver.

    One night hotel room close to the convention center.

    Dinner with Jim Thomsen, the first President of Wilderness Experience® and other early employees.

    The Trade Show happens three times a year. The first is in June, but the pack will not yet be available. Still the Summer show is really fun!

    Future shows are November and February.

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