The Story of Exped

by Christian

The Story of Exped I always enjoy to hear and read about the origin of outdoor companies. One story I have never been aware of is Exped's. I always just assumed that being a company located in Switzerland, their origin is to be found in the Swiss alps but of course, that is only part of their story. 
As it turns out, Exped is relatively small outfit founded and run by Andy and Heidi Brun who as newlyweds went on a 9 month stay in the remote wilderness of Canada's Arctic Circle and lived in a self-constructed shed, completely off-the-grid and self-reliant. 

That was more than 30 years ago and I assume it is safe to say that this experience forever influenced the couple and the gear company Exped in their design ideas and philosophy. In fact, their company mission should be very close to every light hikers heart:

Producing quality outdoor gear while advocating a minimalist, purist point of view to wilderness travel.”

I very much like Exped's gear, I've said it before, their attention to detail and their unique designs are top notch. Overall I find their equipment to be absolutely en par with the likes of MSR or the british outfitters. I am preparing for another traverse of the Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca, next week and I am bringing the new Synmat UL 7. I am always a bit cautious about using air mats on remote alpine hill walks, but I don't want to have the bulk of Ridgerest strapped to my pack, so we'll see how this goes. Hopefully I won’t have to eat my words, when I return :)

Check out the whole story of Exped on the REI Blog

Consider the unconventional path to romantic bliss traveled by 2 lovebirds from Switzerland shortly after their 1980 wedding while both were still in their wide-eyed 20s:

• Step 1: Agree to abandon civilization—so long to electricity, indoor plumbing and urban conveniences.
• Next, pick a remote patch of Canadian wilderness close to the Arctic Circle; hire a bush pilot to leave you there.
• Spend 6 weeks building a primitive cabin by hand; spend the next 9 months (a full winter included) in that faraway location.

Imagine, 2 people living in their own off-the-grid Eden on the edge of the Canadian Arctic. Picture the cozy intimacy that the 2 of them shared inside their handcrafted master suite. “Well, it was not such a nice cabin,” Heidi concedes. “It was more like a shed.” Andy: “You would call it a shack nowadays.”…More at Would You Take a 9-Month Honeymoon in the Wilderness? Andy & Heidi Brun: 'We Do'

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