SIG Sauer Academy

FirstSpear Friday Focus – OEM Partner Series, Hill People Gear

This Friday Focus we have another installment of our FirstSpear OEM Partner series where we take a look at one of the great American companies FirstSpear manufactures equipment for. Today we are taking a look at one of FirstSpear’s very first OEM Partners, Hill People Gear, and two very popular items now available in all new Elk Brown.

HPG Operations manager, Kevin McDowell says, “The new Elk Brown is a rich earth tone that is at home in a variety of environments from woodland to desert to urban. It reminds us of the past while being perfectly suited for the tasks of today, which is why it takes it’s place as HPG’s flagship color.”


Designed and tested in Western Colorado and named after “the brothers to the bear” who ranged from the front slope of the Colorado Rockies out into the desert wilderness of the Colorado Plateau in eastern Utah. The Utes are an independent and adaptable people who inhabited a wide variety of landscapes from slickrock canyon to alpine bowl.

The pack we have named after the Utes is similarly adaptable, designed to handle loads from 20 up to as many pounds as you can safely carry with equal aplomb.

M2016 Butt Pack

HPG’s rendition of the venerable military butt pack can be used as shoulder bag, lumbar pack, and top pocket. This is a panel loading pack with some internal organizational options and significant external expansion via lightweight FirstSpear 6/12 PALS cut fabric and compression straps.

4 Responses to “FirstSpear Friday Focus – OEM Partner Series, Hill People Gear”

  1. Jeb says:

    As someone who lives in the land of the Ute and pretty damn close, right down the road, from Slickrock Canyon…I won’t comment on the social and legal issues created by the Ute. I mean, people avoid Towoac for a reason. Could of named it Notah, Dineh, the Nav…anything associated with the Navajo. Instead, Its named after the Ute. HPG should donate a bunch of packs to the tribe so I can watch them ruck their beers in high speed bags on Hwy 491. I love this pack but the story behind the name makes me vomit and my Navajo friends would steal it just to burn it.

    • Evan Hill says:

      There is a long and complex relationship between the Dineh and the Ute, no doubt going back to the time when they were the same people coming across the Bering land bridge. It’s not our intention to take sides with the Ute over the Dineh, and have more friends among the Dineh than the Ute.

      That being said, everything you’re talking about is recent history. Go back 150 years and the Ute people did an admirable job of dealing with the massive influx of Europeans into their traditional homeland with all of the inevitable change that brought. If you want to go into detail, it’s really hard to fairly judge any of the tribes’ behavior after their cultures were completely overwhelmed and their genetic susceptibility to alcoholism came to bear. There are lots and lots of ugly stories from all over Indian Country – including the Navajo Nation.

      Add to that the fact that our headquarters is square in the heart of Ute country – not Dineh country. Although we venture down into Dineh country from time to time, most of where we spend our time is historic and pre-historic Ute country. That makes our choice of names completely appropriate.

      The portion of sales from these packs that we’ve been donating to the Ute tribe since the very beginning goes to the educational fund of the Northern Ute bands that were relocated to Fort Duchesne in northeastern Utah.

      • Jeb says:

        Evan, thank you for the accurate and honest response. I know integrity goes hand in hand with the business ethics. I’m not really on a side or opinion that matters, but as someone who lives and creates economic advantages in this county I have a pretty close perspective. Our county jail, although does have its share of the Dineh, it is over populated with a majority of Ute. I employ a person who also works at a grocery store in town, 84% of all theft there is Ute offenders. They are statistically attributed to the majority of property and small crime. Coincidentally the Ute live financially better than the Dineh or the white/Hispanic community in this county. They also have amenities on their Rez that the Dineh simply do not. The alcoholism is relevant within all tribes, IMO, however I’ve seen it to varying degrees that can be applied as a whole to the tribe versus individuals amongst the tribe.

        With all that said, I’m pretty intimate with the land this pack is associated to and it’s some of the most beautiful and rugged in the country. I love many things about this community and the terrain/land. Very rich in history and culture.

        Evan, ever in the area again the beers are on me. If you mentioned Slick Rock you know of both towns proportionate to it within miles. I’m in the big one unless shooting on family land in Summit Point. And yes, Sir, I look south from my little prairie and see the Sleeping Ute snoozing everyday. I highly respect your response to what I said.

  2. Ryan D says:

    Elk Brown is a great looking color, I can’t wait to see it in person.