Go Nice Places Do Good Things
There was a time when we had a lot more free time, we worked in outdoor shops and got ourselves kitted out.
We travelled, did some routes and life was good. Then our gear started falling apart, we were no longer students and we balked at the cost of replacement kit. We realised the passing years had taught us something, we had the skills to create something new.
And therein lays the story of how Alpkit was born. Born out of a passion for the outdoors and not accepting the price of high-performance gear.
Ordinary people trying to make some thing extraordinary.
And why Alpkit? It's just a name... we go to the alps, we climb, we ride, we swim, we run, we board, we visit our in-laws.. we make kit.. we didn't want it to be complicated.
We love to be outdoors, talk about being outdoors and hearing about people being outdoors. We love the mountains, we love the lakes, the forested trails. We truly believe getting outdoors is good; I can’t remember when we first coined the phrase Go Nice Places do Good Things but it stuck.
It is a great privilege to have been tasked with writing this page. Col or Nick could equally have made a great job… sorry, if you are new to Alpkit I have got ahead of myself.
Col?, Nick? and who am I? Here is a very brief recap… Alpkit was formed in 2004 by Col, Nick, Jim and Kenny (that’s me). Our early history is out there for you to see, Col did a great review back in 2010. If you have time to spare you can even work back through the Waybackwhen machine.
The why behind Alpkit really started so much earlier. Nope, it didn’t drop out of a spreadsheet, on a set date, with a packet full of funding to propel it into the world. Actually it was launched on a shoestring backed by years of finding adventure in the mountains, and that’s the truth.
I dare say we were also seduced by the innovations that made everything just so damn cool. Mysterious fabrics that could actually breathe, sleeping mats that inflated all by themselves and ripstop nylons which when stretched over bendy poles could provide shelter on top of an inhospitable mountain top.
You can’t get enough of that kind of stuff.
Mix that in with a spoonful of romanticism from earlier times, stories of absolute heroes who made journeys to remote and unexplored lands, committing self-supported, self-suffering adventures, discovering all of the nice places, doing all the great things and publishing awesome coffee table books.
Yes, Alpkit existed way back when, it was just that it took until 2004 before it finally got captured in a squash court sized unit at the foot of Mount Ilkeston.
So where is Alpkit today? The company has grown, it has outgrown the squash court and shards of ice no longer fall on our heads in winter. Our resilience may have surprised some, but hiking up mountains in all weathers teaches you a lot about pig headed perseverance.
I really believe Alpkit has survived these years thanks to the support of our customers and their stories. We simply have the best customers. The relationships forged with our customers has always been direct.
While the fundamental ethics and values of Alpkit today have not changed over time it is now a much greater team effort. The team is many and spread out all over the country.
This is in an industry that genuinely cares about how it behaves and how it operates. I am proud Alpkit is part of this, and proactive in leading change in areas such as single use plastics, phasing out.
Many of you reading this will have accompanied this company on its journey. Some of you are still wearing stuff from the early days and that makes us enormously happy.
So thanks to David for inviting me to write this piece, thank you for visiting, enjoy your stay.