This summer is already looking as if it is going to be a gorgeous one with the weather allowing us to venture outside for pool parties, picnics, and outdoor adventures. Although the lack of snow has left a lot of the land pretty dry, one can’t help but enjoy the blue skies and breezy sunshine-filled afternoons. I plan on doing a lot of hiking, fishing, camping, climbing, and backpacking this summer, meaning that I have been looking into getting some much needed gear for my escapades. But rather than look into mass-market items and corporate companies, I like shopping local when it comes to my gear. Recently I realized that a guy I knew in high school has been pushing his new company, Mile High Mountaineering, into the spotlight. They specialize in backpacking gear, and the packs they have for sale are not only quality products, but are stylish as hell.

Jeff Popp, the founder of MHM, is the typical Colorado outdoors-man, and he believes that backpacks are the single most important item needed for the outdoors. They carry items needed for survival, and necessities that make camping and trips to the mountains as much fun as they are. So, instead of following the typical career of trying to find a job after graduating from the University of Colorado, Jeff followed his dream of making quality backpacks that people in Colorado and all over the world can feel good about using on their trips. By using only the best fabrics and putting his heart and soul into his products, Jeff has found a passion that he can share with fellow adventurers around the world. He is all about the little guy, and his business is run by him and his friends.

MHM offers five different styles of packs, ranging from simple and compact to technical and roomy. Their designs are sleek, and the compartments and features of each pack are outstanding. I hate being an advertisement, but when a local company makes you feel this good about what you are buying, it’s simply too hard not to promote them. If you plan on getting out on the trails this summer like I am, these packs are definitely worth a look. They also sell compact pillows as well as several other types of smaller bags. Seriously, these guys “have your back.”

Louie Garramone is a ski bum currently living up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He loves chasing reindeer, doing donuts in the local parking lot, and climbing unbelievably high mountains for no reason at all. As an outdoor enthusiast, he loves nature and has a massive rock collection. Read more about his escapades and natural highs, or follow him on WordPress.