Colorado, Utah, and the Pacific Northwest have long reigned supreme as the ultimate hubs for outdoor adventuring in the United States, but we now have undeniable proof that Texas — and specifically, Austin — is catching up fast.
Located right in the heart of Texas, we Austinites live within reasonable driving distance of every Texas hiking and mountain biking trail, natural swimming hole, state and national park, and mountain range worth mentioning. We’re known for highly valuing and fiercely protecting our trees and green spaces, and as an overall culture, we try to play outside as much as possible.
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On the entrepreneurial front, we’re seeing an influx of natural food companies like Bearded Brothers, EPIC, and Thunderbird who have dedicated themselves to fueling our adventures with organic energy bars that are actually healthy.
Our fair city is also home a handful of gear-focused outdoor lifestyle brands, including ClimbTech, Gossamer Gear, Howler Brothers, and YETI. We’re planning to sit down with all of these adventurous geniuses soon, but for now, we are thrilled to introduce you to Kammok, an up-and-coming outdoor gear and adventure company, which is headquartered right here in ATX.
Kammok was dreamed up by CEO Greg McEvilly in 2010 after he burned out working in commercial real estate. McEvilly decided to return to school to earn a Master’s degree in cross-cultural communication. During this time, McEvilly identified his two greatest passions in life: encouraging and experiencing outdoor adventures, and loving and serving each person that he meets along the way.
Shortly afterwards, McEvilly’s brother introduced him to hammock camping for the first time. As they discussed possible design improvements that would enhance existing camping hammock technology, revelation struck.
“I had a sudden epiphany: ‘What if a lightweight, comfortable camping hammock could be used as an alternative bedding solution for orphaned children in struggling communities or in disaster relief camps? This would get them off the ground at night and the built-in mosquito netting would protect them from biting insects,” McEvilly told Austin.com.
“That was the initial inspiration that set Kammok into motion,” he continued. “Since then, we have been focused on producing the best products for outdoor adventure and giving back to empower people in need & invest in our natural resources. We give top-line revenue to a local non-profit UBUNTU who does incredible social and environmental development work in Kenya. We are also a 1% For the Planet member and a certified B-Corp.”
Sporting the official motto “outdoor gear for the socially conscious adventurer,” Kammok currently sells packable camping hammocks and relevant accessories like bug nets, appropriate installation hardware, and rain flies, as well as insulated down quilts and sleeping bags — all produced using ethical and environmentally friendly practices.
Each Kammok product is named after a wild animal based on the role it performs. For example: their cozy trail blanket, the Firebelly™, is so named for its ability to recycle heat back to its user in a similar way that a Fire Belly Newt’s skin helps it maintain equilibrium. McEvilly went on to explain that the business’ name is also inspired by a specific critter: the female red kangaroo.
“The female red kangaroo symbolizes our core values of love, community, and adventure in a powerful way,” said McEvilly. “She nurtures her young, the joey, in her pouch, protecting it from the harshest conditions in the Australian outback, but she does not do it alone. Kangaroos adventure in groups of ten or more, and these groups are called mobs. That’s what the extended family of Kammok — what we affectionately call our MOB (Moving Others Beyond) — celebrates all over the world. We advocate living this adventure, #TheRooLife, every day.”
To Kammok, constructing their products with only the highest quality materials and serving their customers fair prices and lifetime product guarantees are large parts of what it means to care for and equip their global family to live and adventure well.
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