The Birth of common gear

The Birth of common gear

In the heart of San Francisco, a city renowned for its innovative spirit and beautiful landscapes, common gear was born. This is the story of how a simple need for a bottle cap led to the birth of common gear.


A Passion Born on the Trail

Ray Aldridge, the founder of common gear, grew up backpacking in the Sierras. His parents, who met on a Sierra Club backpacking trip, introduced him to the trails at a young age. With a mother who continued to backpack even while pregnant and parents who took him on trails as soon as he could walk, Ray's love for the outdoors was inevitable. This passion, combined with his formal education as a materials engineer, set the stage for the creation of common gear.


The Missing Cap that Started it All

It all began on a multi-day backpacking trip when Ray lost the cap to his *favorite* ultralight water bottle - the standard Smart Water bottle. This seemingly small inconvenience turned into a significant challenge during his journey. Determined to find a solution, Ray returned home and embarked on a mission to design the perfect bottle cap and tether. After five months and hundreds of prototypes, the first common gear product was born.


San Francisco: The Heart and Soul of common gear

Ray's upbringing in the Bay Area positioned San Francisco as the perfect base for developing common gear. The city's proximity to the Sierra Nevada mountain range and its rich history of technological innovation provided the ideal backdrop for the brand. The high-tech manufacturing facilities and knowledge available in Silicon Valley enabled the use of cutting-edge carbon fiber composite polymer construction in most common gear pieces.


Solving Simple Problems with Uncommon Solutions

From its inception, common gear's ethos has been clear: to solve simple problems faced by ultralight backpackers. The brand's name, "common gear," encapsulates this vision. It represents gear that isn't overly complicated but becomes a staple—a common piece of equipment that backpackers won't leave home without.


A Bright Future Ahead

Though common gear is still in its early days, its trajectory is promising. With a commitment to manufacturing in the USA and a vision to continue creating products that enhance the backpacking experience, the future is bright. Ray's hope is to keep the focus on the trail, ensuring that the gear serves its purpose without overshadowing the beauty of the journey.


In Conclusion

common gear's story is a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and determination. This brand has carved a niche for itself in the ultralight backpacking community by solving problems that have simple yet overlooked solutions. As Ray puts it, it’s about creating products that "make my experience in the mountains less about the gear and more about enjoying the trail."
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