podcastsmall business war stories

Mystery Ranch: Backpacks Built for the Mission from the Heart of Montana | Dana Gleason

Mystery Ranch: High Quality Backpacks for Everyone | Dana Gleason

Dana Gleason founded Mystery Ranch, a company that manufactures packs and load carriage systems for military, hunting, wildland fire and mountaineering customers.

Dana has been involved in the outdoor apparel and gear community for 43 years and is considered a legend in the industry. He began creating gear for climbing, backpacking, and skiing in 1975.

In the last 15 years, Mystery Ranch discovered the need to create high quality packs for specialized customers such as military, firefighters, and rescue teams.

This week on Small Business War Stories, Dana Gleason join us from Bozeman, Montana.

Three reasons to tune in this week: 

  • Learn the origins behind the name Mystery Ranch. 
  • Learn how the company decides who to hire based on values and skill.
  • Learn how Mystery Ranch began a relationship with the military that would significantly alter its business model and design strategy.

Listen to the podcast:


This episode is part of the Soul of America tour sponsored by Freshbooks. During October 2017, I took my second tour of America. I drove with my puppy Muddy Waggers, my guitar, and my podcasting equipment with the goal of recording podcast episodes with small business owners throughout the heart of America.

If you have any questions or comments about today’s episode, please leave them below.


Pablo Fuentes

Pablo Fuentes was the Founder and CEO of Proven. He was also the host and producer of the Small Business War Stories podcast. Pablo is currently the Founder of makepath, a spatial analysis firm. He is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and UCLA. He loves dogs, film photography, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is also a blues guitar player and builder.

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