Back in the spring of 2016, Gilad Nachmani went on one of his many trips to the Scottish Highlands where he broke his last commercially made trekking poles near Cnoc na-Gareig. Frustrated with the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on a new pair, he set off to prove you can make better trekking poles, resulting in our very first product, the Vertex.
In 2017, after a trial by fire in hardware manufacturing (and a move from the UK to the USA), Cnoc Outdoors was established and ready to make the first item on Gilad’s perfect gear list: a simple, light water collecting bottle that would work with his Sawyer Squeeze. After lots of development, handshaking and a successful campaign on Kickstarter, and the Vecto was born.
Meanwhile, the Vertex poles had a small but passionate fan base but they had drawbacks - made overseas, redesigns were slow and painful. Eventually, we went through the challenging - but rewarding! - process of bringing the manufacturing of our poles in house, resulting in our Diorite carbon fiber telescopic trekking poles. They are, as far as we know, the only carbon fiber trekking poles to be made in the US. We were so proud of them we launched them into their own brand, Diorite Gear, to give them their own spotlight - as well to better support our carbon fiber products as their trajectory started splitting off from the growing hydration focus of Cnoc Outdoors.
Which leads us to today! An ever growing company behind two outdoor brands. Meet the team behind Minimal Gear below.
Minimal Gear is not just a company, it is a community of like minded people, developing, creating and recreating together. This is what is important to us (aka: values) and what is a part of everything we do in Minimal Gear:
Our products are constantly getting improved based on testing, customer feedback and returns. We encourage customers to contact us if they need a product that does not yet exist, have an improvement to any of our gear or just have a wild idea they'd love to try. While perfecting our gear list, there is no such thing as an idea that is too odd, so let us know what you think is missing.
We always strive for design perfection, not just making what sells. Our gear makes perfect sense to the experienced hiker but might have a bit of a learning curve at the beginning. Once you get your hands on what we make, it will feel like the most natural connection. Like you and nature.
Outdoor recreation is a vital part of keeping us healthy and happy, and we believe that every person deserves to enjoy it safely. People from all cultures, backgrounds and life stories deserve a place in the outdoor community, narrative and industry, giving space to all the voices that take part in outdoor recreation.
From less “disposable” design, to robust materials, to limited packaging that is recycled and recyclable, we want to make sure our impact on our environment is minimal. The majority of our staff either bike to work or work from home; we encourage our team members to know all the Leave No Trace principles and make sure it is part of how we exist in our daily lives.
From financial support for conservation to inclusive outdoor recreation and beyond, we give when we can and then some. Sometimes it is something small and sometimes we go all in, like our Autumn Outreach campaigns. Learn more about how and who we support here.
We know that making good gear means that everyone who works with us puts their heart and soul into what they make. We always try to be fair and supportive with our factories, suppliers, and services. We don’t negotiate the lowest possible price but try and find the right point at which we can support everyone around us. When you buy from us, you better the lives of everyone in our supply chain, domestically and internationally.
We work with small producers, in small batches, and with simply functional materials. This allows us to constantly tweak and update our designs, materials and decisions which leads to better results. We listen to our suppliers and partners to learn from their experiences, which translates to better gear that we all get to enjoy and improve.
Gilad Nachmani is Minimal Gear's founder and owner. His official job duties include a little bit of everything - no other employee wears as many hats. Born in Israel, Gilad’s outdoor adventure resume is very international and includes some of every kind of adventure - from backpacking to bikepacking to introducing the outdoors to his children.
Mika Nachmani is Minimal Gear's co-founder. While she doesn’t have a day to day role at the company, she was integral to its founding and is involved both in HR and strategy. While Mika will downplay her own outdoor resume, she’s backpacked, bikepacked, and traversed long distances all sorts of ways, often with a few kids in tow.
Adrian is our lead fabricator. He builds every trekking pole, tent pole, and stake that comes out of our warehouse. He’s Gilad’s sounding board when brainstorming new products as well as ways to improve the ones we currently make. Adrian went to an environmental middle school here in Portland that resulted in a lifelong love of the outdoors, and he knows the trails around our neck of the woods in Northwest Oregon better than anyone - it’s not easy to find one he hasn’t backpacked.
Kyle is our logistics and social impact manager. He manages our Portland warehouse - when you open your box of much anticipated gear, it was likely Kyle who lovingly packed it for you. He also heads our social impact initiatives, like our staff trail work, outreach programs, and our B Corp status. He’s a former PCT thru-hiker and it’s rare for there to be a weekend he isn’t out on some mountain or another.
Becky is Minimal Gear's marketing manager. She works to spread the word about our two brands and manages our newsletter and blog. She’s hiked the AT and the PCT and is currently trying to become a better trail runner to achieve a better mileage to life balance.
Kate is our Customer Support Coordinator. She handles all things relating to your experience communicating with us, like customer inquiries and warranties. She’s a multi-time thru-hiker, including thru-hikes of the AT and the PCT.
Feel like you should be part of our agile and growing company? Check out which positions we are hiring for on our Jobs page. If you are a hiker with the right skills, we want to hear from you. Really, we do - so get in touch.
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