ST. GEORGE — Two Utah outdoorsmen have taken their passion and knowledge for hunting and funneled it into a global clothing and gear company for the extreme hunter. Skre Gear’s “Extreme Mountain Gear” combines the science of concealment with high performing materials to create extreme hunting apparel designed for performance.
Skre Gear founders Mike Nielson and Travis Roundy love to hunt. Their passion for the sport was instilled in them at early ages. For both Nielson and Roundy, hunting was a natural part of their young lives — experiences that they both loved.
“I cut my teeth on hunting,” Nielson wrote on Skre Gear’s webpage.
There Nielson relates a family hunting legend in which his father bagged the “buck of a lifetime” at the age of 16.
To this day, Nielson said, the buck adorns Nielson’s father’s fireplace — along with one Nielson’s grandfather took — and acts as a constant reminder why he loves the hunt so much.
Roundy tells a similar story of growing up in rural Utah as the eldest of seven boys. For Roundy’s family, hunting was a way a life. It was something that was in his blood, he said.
But it also became a passion.
“I caught the mule-deer bug probably worse than anyone I know,” Roundy said.
The two co-founders’ passions have led them both on lifelong pursuits hunting throughout Utah, across the United States and around the world.
Nielson and Roundy met at a hunting trade show almost 15 years ago and became fast friends, Roundy said. The pair have shared many hunting adventures together – often in extreme conditions.
Along with their love of the hunt itself, both Roundy and Nielson love the gear that comes with it.
“To say I’m a gear junkie is grossly understated,” Nielson said.
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Proper hunting apparel is a crucial part of a successful hunt, one that Nielson said could potentially mean the difference between life and death, depending on the conditions in which a person is hunting.
One of the impetuses for starting their own extreme apparel company came from a three-week backpacking hunt in Alaska the two were on, Nielson said.
“Living out of backpacks for three weeks, and packing out five animals, we did a lot of hiking and a lot of sweating. We crossed expansive glaciers, navigated large crevasses, and scaled steep mountains,” Nielson said. “It was the hunt of a lifetime. I learned a lot about myself on that hunt. I also learned the value of having quality gear with an effective concealment pattern.”
Fit, durability, packability and breathability all play key roles in designing and manufacturing Skre Gear, Nielson said, adding that all of the company’s products are made from the best materials available, including 100 percent merino wool from New Zealand.
One of the major things that sets Skre Gear apart from other hunting apparel companies is its unique camouflage design.
Roundy and Nielson worked with one of the top concealment designers in the world to create a technologically advanced concealment pattern that can operate smoothly in a variety environments and biomes, Nielson said.
“We incorporated a lot of science,” Nielson said.
In 2015 Roundy and Nielson began field-testing the apparel throughout the hunting season and in 2016 a full performance lineup of Skre Gear’s “Mountain Stealth” concealment apparel was made available to hunters.
Products are available on Skre Gear’s website and include layering kits for variable weather patterns, hats, vests, seasonal bundles, rain gear and more.
Skre Gear cannot be found in outdoor retail stores, Nielson said. The company’s business model is a marriage between the highest quality product and the best reasonable price.
Buying directly from the source cuts out the middleman and limits retail markups, Nielson said.
Though a fledgling company, Skre is already selling its “Extreme Mountain Gear” product line around the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Spain as well as countries in Africa. It is a testament to the passion that drives him and Roundy, Nielson said, and proof that entrepreneurship is alive and well.
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