Wish I could talk about my decades of successful Silicon Valley experience working for Google or somebody important, like other e-commerce owners. Didn't happen. And it might be a better story if I could say I've been camping and backpacking since I was 3 years old. Not exactly the case either. The reality is I grew up on a poor excuse for a farm in the middle of nowhere, and so the last thing I wanted to do after I was old enough to leave home was spend more time outdoors "roughing it" - I'd had enough of that. But like the prodigal son, I came back around.
The genesis for our online rentals came about some decades ago when I thought owning a Samoyed was a good idea, and had to walk it several thousand miles over a few years to keep it from chewing up the places I called home in KY, TN and TX during that time. Some of that time was on trails in the woods, which led to finally buying some backpacking gear to head out on some overnights with some friends.
That proved to be an expensive proposition, but trying to rent at a local retailer got me the second-class citizen experience at the hands of the store clerk. I figured there had to be a better way, which led to LowerGear, the first online camping gear rental company in the whole wide world. That was over 16 years ago, and while there are a few other online rental guys out there now, we figure we're the best of course. From a part-time at-home operation at first, we now have a 6,000+ sq ft warehouse facility and retail store in Tempe AZ, and partner with others around the country and in Europe. Not exactly lightweight backpacking related, but we are also the largest dealer of Hobie kayaks in Arizona, selling out of our retail store in Tempe and our second location in Lake Havasu (known as Southwest Kayaks there).
I still try to get out on a couple of backpacking trips each year, and just grab the same gear we offer for rent or sell at our retail store. Nothing beats the Sierras, IMHO. On weekends I hike the McDowells near my home, or tool around in a Hobie kayak. And, I nearly always have a few pups around the house I foster for the Arizona Humane Society. If puppies trust me, so can you. See my Owners' Guarantee.
Thanks for visiting!
Dallas Shewmaker, Owner
30+ years in the advertising business tells me to lead off with a baby or puppy. I don't have babies, but here are 3 of the way more than 100 pups I've fostered for various Humane Societies in KY, TN and AZ. Must be a nice guy in there somewhere.
An oh-wow moment for me in Sequoia National Park along the High Sierra Trail some years ago. I leave the big packs at home now and travel a little lighter these days.
Uh, don't step back - Colorado River rapids somewhere in a Primitive Area in the Grand Canyon. Note I'm a big fan of hiking poles, as you should be too.
This sign is on a popular trail in the Canyon, but I ignore it and then some on the "Arizona Death March" - hiking from the South Rim to the North Rim and back - in one shot, in about 16 hours last time out. About 45 miles or so on the route I take, up and down about 20,000 ft elevation change. It's a serious day hike. Feel terrible after doing it, but keep at it - have done it 7 times, for some reason.
Not just a landlubber, I get involved with watersports just a little bit too.
Obligatory group shot of team I was part of that mapped a section of the Continental Divide Trail for a Backpacker Magazine project. The part we did was about 50 miles around Butte, MT.
On top of Whitney - about 14,500'. I've sucked wind to the top 5 times so far myself; even catching sunrise up there one year. We have outfitted hundreds of backpackers from all over the country scratching this one off their hiking bucket list