017: Jim Thomsen- A life connected to Adventure

July 25, 2017

This episode is with Jim Thomsen. Jim and his brother Greg are two of the pioneers of the outdoor industry. We talk about how he and Greg wound up owning The Mountain Shop, one of the first outdoor retail stores in So CA, how Wilderness Experience began and Jim’s experience with JanSport.

Show Notes


Jim grew up in southern California and his Dad was a banker. He would pack up the family for summer holidays and go camping, hiking and backpacking in Mammoth Lakes. When Jim was 12 and his brother Greg 10 ventured off and climbing Crystal Crag!

first outdoor job

Jim's first job in the Outdoor Biz was with Kelty Pack in 1967

Things we talked about

Ski Hut, Kelty Pack, Camp Trails, Alp Sport

the UCLA Mountaineering Club

how Wilderness Experience . . . and ended.

Eiger Mtn Sports, Liberty, YKK, Talon, Millet Packs

Don Lauria (“great, all the world needs is another pack company”) and Westridge Mountaineering

Routines, tips

Jim reads a book a week


If you're young there are still opportunities for innovation in the outdoor biz. Create something innovative and start a company!

Favorite Books

As Jim reads a book a week he didn't mention any favorite but two recent books he liked are:

Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

Best Gear Purchase under $100

Goal Zero Solar charger for his camera batteries

Connect with 


Tenaya Travels


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