DirtBags was born in August of 2015 on a husband/wife bike-packing trip through the Black Hills of South Dakota. In preparation for the trip, Heath dug out the old sewing machine and began excitedly creating bags to haul all the necessities of their adventure, while Emily remained skeptical of both the bags and the “fun” trip in store.
As fate would have it, they were on to something big. In the evenings after an exhausting day of biking, Heath and Emily discussed the importance of not just bike-packing and communing in nature, but the dream for our culture to slow down, take a breath, and get back to the simplicity of true happiness and intentional living. Compared to the racing mentality with which they were familiar, where every ounce and little detail had to be perfect, bike-packing took a more laid-back approach. They found this brought profound satisfaction.
So Heath and Emily decided to sell their high-quality, handmade gear to support others in their adventures, while simultaneously promoting an approach to outdoor sports that leaves enthusiasts feeling more whole, connected, and inspired in their everyday lives.
Dirt Bags’ dream is to make bike-packing and immersion in nature not just available to the hardcore athlete, but to anyone looking for solace and the chance to get to know themselves better. Not only do we want more people to discover bike-packing, but to enrich lives and communities by recognizing the potential of the human spirit. Dirt Bags is a company inspired by what we discover in ourselves in the outdoors. We make quality gear to help support those experiences for a lifetime. Our company is built on trusting and embracing creativity, flow, and the entire outdoor community. We make more than just gear; we make gear that supports a revolutionary lifestyle.
Dream, design, cut, sew.
My innovation and creativity comes from spending time outside, moving my body, and freeing my mind. When I haven’t been outside, I just feel different- slower, less in-touch. Some of my most creative moments have occurred during my 20-minute daily bike commute to my day job as a science teacher.
My nights and weekends are spent in the garage/lab- designing, creating, fixing, and tinkering. I have always enjoyed problem-solving and working with my hands. I owe this ingenuity to my father, who patiently taught me to fix anything I needed to. I try to pass this same characteristic to my children by teaching them to design, and build anything they can dream of.
My mother, who felt that boys should be able to cook a meal and patch a pair of jeans, taught me to sew. Even as a teenager I built my own bouldering pads and custom backpacks. For me, sewing is a creative outlet in which I bring to life my ideas with my own hands.
This is the process of innovation I bring to Dirt Bags. I seek to do things differently by developing original designs, using unique materials, and incorporating visual aesthetics into all of my designs. Dirt Bags isn’t about lightweight gear that will break records, but gear that will give you years of use, and can then be passed on to your children.
Jack of All Trades