The SITKA Gear story started on a September morning several thousand feet up from the tent, soaking wet from sleet and sweat, cold, and completely fed up with gear that was clearly not up to the task.
Under the shelter of a gnarled Whitebark Pine on that remote ridge, surrounded by a chorus of bugling bull elk, the question was achingly clear: why was hunting gear so inadequate?
We knew it wasn’t because hunters don’t require technical gear. We were living proof, and we knew there were many more like us across all climates and pursuits. From the hottest to the coldest conditions and through constant and extreme changes in activity levels, hunting demands much from our bodies, minds and the gear we take with us into the wild.
The obvious parallels were climbing, mountaineering and skiing. If we had been wearing mountaineering gear, the experience would’ve been completely different. But we also knew it wasn’t that simple. In addition to facing extreme weather and terrain, hunting includes a major X factor: it requires testing our human mettle against wild animals in their domain.
We started with the biggest problem: hunting big game in extreme mountain environments, which required advanced fabrics and designs that could stand up to dynamic external conditions while also keeping the hunter dry from within. It was soon obvious that the need for technical hunting gear solutions crossed all pursuits. Waterfowl gear never did justice to what duck and goose hunters required. Whitetail gear never gave deer hunters the tools they needed to minimize scent and stay quiet and warm enough in the stand to effectively hunt throughout the season. Traditional camouflage was always based on how humans saw the world instead of scientifically understanding animal vision and learning how we can exploit it.
And because the life of a hunter is not defined by any given season, we now offer gear to serve the hunter year round. Whether or not we have a tag in our pocket, there is no off-season for the SITKA Tribe. We dream about it all year. We prepare for it fanatically, and we need gear that will support our passion and allow us to push our limits, to immerse ourselves in wild places and to interact with the natural world on a deeper and more meaningful level.
Innovation became an obsession, and we continue to approach our mission methodically, one problem and one solution at a time, constantly refining, constantly questioning ourselves in an effort to enhance every aspect of the pursuit.
While we believe our gear fundamentally improves hunter safety and success, our ultimate mission at SITKA is to solve these problems so hunters can focus less on their gear and more on the extraordinary experience hunting provides.