15 Amazing Outdoor Companies in North Carolina
In addition to the many outdoor activities here, the Tar Heel State is also chock-full of amazing outdoor companies and innovators that help get you outside. Whether it’s hiking on the Appalachian Trail or cruising down the Blue Ridge Parkway, whether you’re fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains or whitewater rafting on the Nantahala, maybe you’re grabbing some crag up at the Linville Gorge or ripping some singletrack down at Warrior Creek, the only thing that rivals the amazing outdoor opportunities found in North Carolina are the amazing outdoor companies that inhabit the same space:
American Backcountry – Asheville
American Backcountry is your first choice for custom made, moisture-wicking apparel. Whether you’re looking to go wholesale on your own graphic tees, are a part of the Boy Scouts of America and outfitting a new troop, or you want to declare your love for the outdoors via American Backcountry’s National Park Apparel, American Backcountry can help get your message across.
Astral Designs – Asheville
Astral Designs can help save your life. That’s because this Asheville located gear producer creates technical lifevests that allow you to tackle the big challenges in life. Astral Designs’ lifevests range from river and recreation, ocean and fishing, and are specifically designed for both men and women. Alongside their world-renowned lifevests, Astral Designs also has a solid product line of Astral Designs Footwear that blends together a light casualness with outdoor capabilities.
DeFeet – Hildebran
Hand-knitted in the USA, DeFeet out of Hildebran has been delivering comfortable socks made to last since 1992. DeFeet’s collection of high-quality sock wear includes Snow, Cycle, Court, and special designed High Rouleur lines, making these socks great for any occasion when you find yourself outdoors exploring North Carolina and beyond. Seeing that they have nearly perfected the sock, DeFeet has also recently been adding to their Technical Baselayer selection, helping you stay completely cool on any adventure.
Eagles Nest Outfitters Inc – Asheville
Eagles Nest Outfitters, perhaps better known simply as ENO, has made quite the name for itself in being one of the top brands when looking for hammock and hammock accessories. Ideal for the backpacker or casual outside enjoyer, ENO not only has the SingleNest, DoubleNest, and ProNest Hammocks to get you off the ground, but with accessories like the DryFly Rain Tarp, Guardian Bug Net, and Ember 2 Under Quilt, you can hang comfortable in any season or weather.
Harmony House Foods, Inc. – Franklin
Harmony House Foods in Franklin was first created in the kitchen of your average household as a way to provide quick, easy, and healthy dinner options for the family. Once the first Dehydrated Soup Mixes hit the market, consumers took notice and began sending in requests for more recipes and individualized dehydrated items. Fast forward to today, and this business is still located near the Appalachian Trail and provides a wide variety of dehydrated cooking options such as Dehydrated Vegetables and Beans, Freeze Dried Fruits and Berries, and a complete line of Vegan Friendly Soup Blends.
Jarrett Bay Boatworks – Beaufort
Jarrett Bay Boatworks may have started as a dream nearly 30 years ago, barely affording to install a telephone in their Beaufort location, but these days, with an art form nearly perfected, Jarrett Bay Boatworks is now an international boat manufacturing icon. With over 90 custom fishing boats in their portfolio, Jarrett Bay has an interesting story helped along by the Beaufort community, and continues today to be a consumer-driven passion.
LightHeart Gear – Asheville
Tired of lugging around heavy gear on her 2006 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, Judy Gross (AKA HeartFire), and current creator of Lightheart Gear, took matters into her own hands to lessen the backpacking load. Since then, LightHeart Gear has come out with some of the lightest tents and shelters on the market including Solo, Dou, & Tarp Tents, and an ultra-large and light SoLong 6 series. And to keep you dry outside the tent, LightHeart Gear applies their technology towards a versatile line of Rain Gear as well.
Misty Mountain Threadworks – Banner Elk
Misty Mountain Threadworks was not only built for areas like the High Country of Western North Carolina, but it was first created in those sacred moments found climbing the very same crags. Through their Grassroots History in which most climbing companies are born, the first harnesses and slings to come from Misty Mountain were built by passion and a little ingenuity. Fast forward to today and Misty Mountain has grown to be a top of the line brand for climbing harnesses for Program Development, Recreational Enrichment, and Big Wall Expedition climbing uses.
Native Watercraft – Fletcher
One of the top manufacturers of fishing kayaks, Native Watercraft has a hugely impressive line of boats made to get wet and pull in the trophy fish. With boats like the Ultimate Solo for low-seating anglers, the Manta Ray Angler for bigger waters, and the Slayer Propel which includes the innovate Propel Drive that allows users to cruise forwards or backwards, Native Watercraft can meet all your fishing craft needs. But the fun doesn’t stop with the boats; Native Watercraft also offers a wide selection of fishing accessories including Hatch Covers, Seat Tool Organizers, and Anchor Trolley Systems.
Outrider USA – Fletcher
Feel the future with Outrider USA, a unique company out of Fletcher that manufactures innovate 3-wheeled, off- and on-road electric vehicles. Whether you’re taking the Alpha down the road or the Horizon model down the mountain, you’ll be sure to feel the excitement of what could be the future of travel and trekking. With a slick design to cut down on your resistance and a durable frame to handle whatever you throw at it, these vehicles are sure to be springing up beyond North Carolina in the near future. To witness some of the action yourself, be sure to check out these awesome videos from their library.
Rightline Gear – Asheville
Rightline Gear is looking to make your vehicle ready for your next adventure by providing some of the most versatile storage accessories on the market. Rightline might be best known for their wide selection of Car Top Carriers, but they’re also making quite a name for themselves when it comes to both their SUV and Truck tents. Whatever it is you need to haul, Rightline Gear is making sure you can carry it, and whether your adventure is in North Carolina or beyond, Rightline Gear is making sure you are well prepared.
SylvanSport – Brevard
The SylvanSport Go Trailer is the Swiss Army Knife of tow-behind trailers. With a rising platform and a various-use rack, the SylvanSport Go can hold your bike, transport your boat, keep your supplies safe, and at the end of the day can convert into a multi-functional shelter to let you sleep soundly in a natural environment. All this and more has led the SylvanSport Go to receive many accolades, including a Men’s Journal Gear of the Year Award, a Best of Adventure Gear from National Geographic, and a spot on Bloomberg Business Design Award Winner. Be sure to check out the SylvanSport Go for yourself and see what all the excitement is about.
Swaygo Gear – Asheville
Swaygo Gear is all about creating simple designs that can go the extra mile in extraordinary situations. Specializing in low-profile caving backpacks and gear, out of necessity the Swaygo Gear Packs are essentially a superior-designed dry bag with shoulder straps. But don’t let the simple design fool you, the folks at Swaygo ensure that when it comes to their packs, as well as their other gear such as Sight Lights, Rope Traps, and Chicken Loops, the simpler it is for you to use, the more technology they put into it.
Threshold Provisions – Asheville
Perhaps the most important aspect of healthy living on the trail is getting the right calories and fuel back into your body. And while there are many options in sport nutrition out there, do they all sound as tantalizing as Threshold Provision’s Mango Maté or Pistachio Chai Nutrition Bars? Featuring a full line with even more delicious options, including Wild Pacific Salmon Jerky, you can buy these fuel sources individually, as a Variety Pack, or through a monthly subscription plan such as The Scout or The Shackleton to receive a shipment right to your doorstep.
Tsuga – Boone
Tsuga was born out of solution-orientated thinking, and this ideology can be found throughout their lines of Water Filters, Shelters, All Purpose Bags, and Utility Buckets. This Asheville located company is just the right size to share their utilitarian products with a wide range of customers, as well as focus the required attention to deliver hand-craftsmanship in every product they release. Alongside that small company culture comes the ability to take on custom jobs, and Tsuga is happy to deliver whatever you need with past projects including customizable packaging, outdoor patio enclosures, and durable rain covers.
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