For all you entrepreneurs out there, this week's guest is proof that with hard work & dedication, your dreams can become a reality. Avid outdoorsman, Dennis Stokes is here to talk about his new Hunting Pack Company, Initial Ascent. Brandon shares how he met Dennis at the Western Hunt Expo this year & what impressed him most about the packs that make them stand out from the rest. Dennis talks about his background in animal nutrition and how his children helped get him back into the outdoors, which eventually lead to creating Initial Ascent. He talks about the 14 generations of packs they went through before creating the perfect pack, including the Integrous Frame, the suspension system, the IA4K Bag and The Pannier Load Carrier. Dennis also talks about the upcoming expos they will be attending in Colorado, Utah & Wyoming (see show notes for links) and the 10% off code they are offering to past & present military & first responders.


:56- Podcast start. Brandon intros Dennis Stokes and his company Initial Ascent.

4:28- How Brandon & Dennis met at Western Hunt Expo and what impressed Brandon about Dennis and the Initial Ascent packs. Dennis talks about getting to debut his packs at Western Hunt and what the experience was like -

8:13- Dennis' journey from growing up in Northwest Florida hunting and fishing. He talks about reading Where The Red Fern Grows and how it was something that helped him always push forward and work hard for what you want.

11:04- Dennis talks about getting his degree in animal nutrition and then moving to Idaho to work in the dairy side of the industry. He also talks about what it was like to move from the east coast to Idaho and experiencing what western hunting was all about - -

16:30- Dennis & Brandon talk about watching their kids gain a love for hunting and being able to experience the hunt with them in the woods.

18:54- Dennis talks about how his son helped put him on the path he is now with initial Ascent by wanting to go see Ted Nugent at the Western Hunt Expo.

22:02- The story of how Dennis & the other owner of Initial Ascent, Joe Elliston, met and created a bond through hunting that then started them on the journey of starting Initial Ascent.

32:49- What the 3 year process has been like to create the perfect pack from finding the best frame and material and not quitting until they got it right.

35:12- What the Integrous Frame they use is and why they selected this frame in particular. Dennis also talks about why the frame was so important to them and how it took 14 generations of frames to get the exact one that they wanted -

40:37- Brandon talks about one of his favorite features on the pack, the rifle notches. Dennis talks about how important these notches were for Joe & the hard work it took to pull them off -

43:09- Dennis talks about the final product of the carbon fiber frame from the way it is constructed with layers & only weighing 18 ounces. He talks about how different it is from any other frame out there because it is pliable, allowing movement.

45:00- Dennis talks about all the testing that went into the other aspects of the pack including the shoulder straps & how well received the pack was at the Western Hunt Expo -

49:56- The highs & lows that Dennis went through in creating his idea of a perfect pack.

53:23- Dennis talks about how things have been since releasing the pack and now meeting the demand.

54:48- Where the name Initial Ascent came from and how the mountain man logo came about.

01:03:21- What else the pack has to offer that sets them apart from the rest. Dennis talks about the color coded buckles for easy use, the top mounted bladder system for easy access and the 3-point locking system on the shoulder harness.

01:08:41- Dennis' band Chicken Dinner Road. Dennis talks about where the name came from and how much fun he has had playing in the band for the last 13 years - - -

01:13:03- What shows Initial Ascent will be going to next including the 2018 Desert Challenge in Utah on April 28th & 29th - the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Grand Junction Banquet in Colorado on March 31st - & the Wyoming Hunter and Angler Expo in Coyote Wyoming May 4th & 5th -

01:15:08- Dennis talks about how important our military & first responders are to him and Initial Ascent and the 10% coupon code they are offering to active or former servicemen or women. Email for the 10% code.

01:16:09- Wrapping up & where to find Initial Ascent - - -