Backcountry Summit is a Hit Among Brands and Media
Check out photos and read the full event recap after two full days of networking in the Montana Backcountry.
The Backcountry Summit kicked off TREAD’s Traction Series outside White Sulphur Springs, Montana, in the Big Belt Mountains. Designed as a new concept for connecting brands and media, it was two full days of great conversations, education about backcountry survival and skills, and product demonstrations from outdoor brands.
The Backcountry Summit featured outdoor education thought leaders, including Creighton Greene of SCOUTE Arms, Laura Zerra from Carbon TV’s “Decivilized,” Alaskan guide and owner of Outfitter Services Caleb Stillians, U.S. Fish & Wildlife grizzly bear specialist Amber Kornak, Jordan Jones from the television show “Alone” and Julie McQueen of Carbon TV.
Attendees learned survival skills, hydration safety, firearm operation and more from the best in their respective fields. Media from The Men’s Journal, GearJunkie, Huntin’ Fool, OVR Mag, Recoil, and UCan Outdoors participated in the event, fostering relationships and sharing experiences in the remote setting. Brand sponsors included Loft Gear, Canyon Coolers, SCOUTE Arms, Schnee’s, Mystery Ranch, Winchester Ammunition, Montucky Cold Snacks, Shiftpod and Guzzle H20, using the opportunity to lead seminars and demonstrate their products.
The presenting sponsor of the event was the Montana Department of Commerce. Its mission is to attract companies to Montana by cutting through red tape, providing a business-friendly environment and welcoming those that want to start and grow a business. With the outdoor recreation industry vital to Montana’s economy, the Backcountry Summit provided a unique opportunity to network with brands and the media.
The event kicked off with media and attendees meeting at Schnee’s showroom in downtown Bozeman as they arrived from all over the country. The group then caravanned north through the scenic Bridger Mountain Range on the way to White Sulphur Springs. The remote site of the Backcountry Summit was about 30 miles west of White Sulphur Springs on a dirt road on private land.
Greeting the media was live music and a barbeque as they settled into camp and found their Shiftpod tents on the side of the river. The first night, the group enjoyed a warm welcome from the State of Montana and learned more about the importance of outdoor recreation to the state. Meeting new friends and networking around the campfire comprised the rest of the evening.
The next morning, the group learned about bear safety and identification, ecosystems and information on the Endangered Species Act as it applies to grizzly bears. Guzzle H20 also presented its innovative water filtration systems and explained what to look out for regarding backcountry hydration. The group then headed out for a hike with stops along the way to learn about building a survival kit and shelters, backcountry first aid, medicinal plants and more.
After hiking the better part of the day, the group arrived at the backcountry camp, where they enjoyed some downtime. Loft Gear presented its brand-new Station 150, and the media got an exclusive hands-on look at the product before its official launch.
One of the highlights of the evening was the backcountry dinner featuring a Montana tasting menu by Chef Tyler of Velma Elaine. Participants tried out local cuisine and game meat they had never encountered before. Everyone got plenty of protein to fuel the rest of the adventure!
On Wednesday morning, the group heard from Winchester Ammunition, an American legacy brand, about its new Big Bore ammunition for backcountry and predator defense. Afterward, the group headed out to the range with SCOUTE arms. There they rotated through three different stations to test their skills in understanding elevation adjustments, overcoming less-than-ideal shooting positions and shooting different models of rifles at various distances. In addition, there was a fourth station where the group shot two different types of pistols to help teach bear defense and the proper way to draw from a Razco chest holster. It was a great way for the group to learn from the highly-skilled Creighton Greene of SCOUTE Arms!
After two full days, it was time to head back. The group hiked to base camp before returning to the Bozeman airport. Those with a little extra time enjoyed soaking in the river on a hot Montana day. Throughout the event, there were great conversations, new skills learned, products used firsthand in the field, and new friendships and connections made. The Backcountry Skills was a memorable experience for everyone, and we are already looking forward to next year’s event.