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Osprey Packs: 40 Years in the Making, Part 1

Osprey Packs just released episode one of a four-part series about their 40-year history in the outdoor industry.

Mike Pfotenhauer founded Osprey Packs 40 years ago this year. As he says in this video, “I had simple hopes; I merely wanted to work for myself.”

He made his own bike frame, his own panniers. As Diane Wren, Osprey Packs co-owner explains, “when he was a teenager, he built a redwood canoe; he made all my maternity clothes; he cuts his dad’s hair; the man can cook…He’s a super handy guy.”

As Pfotenhauer explains, he just enjoys life more when he’s responsible for creating much of what he uses: “My personal philosophy is that I enjoy life more if I am surrounded by things that I build myself; I understand my surroundings and I connect better with my environment.”

This video talks about the early days of creating Osprey Packs, back when they were sewing in California. As Wren explains, early on labor was their key issue, rather than demand: “We had a hard time in Santa Cruz keeping people working. If the Grateful Dead were in town or the surf was up, people would not show up.” So, they moved to Dolores, a small town in Southwestern Colorado. When they went to visit, they found a factory that was closing the next day. It was a perfect fit, and they viewed it as a cosmic sign. Osprey’s company grew quickly and they eventually expanded and moved down the street to Cortez.

In the video, Osprey employees talk about the rural lifestyle and the the convenience of outdoor exploration in the area. We’re looking forward to the next few episodes. As you probably already know if you’re a regular reader of the Rock/Creek Chronicle, our staff is pretty much gaga over Osprey Packs.

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