Compass: Charting the Evolution of Outdoor Gear

Sierra West History

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Rick Scott and Richard Kelty first meet at Kindergarten

Richard Kelty’s father owned Kelty Pack, the outdoor company that made the first aluminium frame packs


Founded by friends since kindergarten; Rick Scott, Richard Kelty and John Beaman

started with $600 cash, $2,400 in credit and a $316.03 sewing machine

first product was nylon covered foam sleeping mat

Kelty Pack’s retail store placed an order for 1,000 mats

sewing 10-12 mats per hour themselves, they manage $20,000 in sales

clientele reaches 30 retail stores in California


move to Santa Barbara, California

circa 1976

First manufacturer to wholesale Gore-tex products

However 1,000 first-generation of Gore-Tex jackets made for L.L. Bean are return due to delamination


develop the FAD line of budget priced Gore-tex outerwear

product line contains Gore-Tex apparel, urethane rainwear, down comforters, tarps, stuff sacks, first-aid kits, etc


Received a tongue-in-cheek plaque from Early Winters for the best non-Early Winters tent


introduce LITE (Lightest Imaginable Travel Equipment) Gear: ultralight outerwear, daypacks, sleeping bags and a frame pack


large soccer shorts designed by Colorado River boatman named Gib Mann and Joy Moran are termed “Big Dogs”

Big Dogs are a retail apparel success


Lost Eddie Bauer private label account when they shifted production to cheaper offshore manufacturers


Backpacker magazine labels them “one of the top ten backpacking companies in the U.S.”


Rick Scott and Rich Kelty end their partnership

Rich Kelty spends next 10 years in sunglass business, before moving into construction industry.

Rick Scott stays with Big Dogs business


Big Dogs declares bankruptcy


new management acquires company and focuses on Big Dog sportswear

Sales are $11.4 million USD

Has five retail stores

Rick Scott stays on for five years in the marketing department


company goes public (to pay off debt and raise money for further expansion.)

Sales reach $68.7 million USD

Has 134 retail stores, from Hawaii to Maine

Rick Scott leaves and gets involved in the real estate industry


licensing name and logos to products like backpacks, hot sauces, and toys.


sales exceed $115 million USD


one sale quarter trade provides a net income of $1.9 million on revenue of $30.2 million.

the Big Dog Club has over 30,000 members


changes its name to The Walking Company Holdings

operates 200 retail outlets in 35 US states


The Walking Company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection


exits bankruptcy


The Walking Company launches “New Outdoor Lifestyle Brand”, Sierra West

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