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In 1952, Dick Kelty, a carpenter, builder, and avid outdoorsman, started making backpacks for his friends in the Sierra Club for 24 bucks a pop. His friends were grateful. These 24-dollar packs revolutionized backpacking, implementing for the first time Kelty's ideas of a hipbelt and lighter aluminum frames. Soon, Kelty and his friends were exploring the Sierra Nevadas with heavy loads, no shoulder pain, going farther, longer, and happier into the wilderness than ever before. Five years later, Dick Kelty quit his carpentry business to start an outdoor gear company. Staked out in an old garage, he welded aluminum tubes into frames while his wife, Nena, cut, sewed, and fitted the pack bags. Today, Kelty gear promises the same dedication to innovation and getting outdoors that Dick Kelty had forty-eight years ago. Kelty started as a company making it easier for friends to enjoy the wilderness, and that's what Kelty still does. Kelty just has a few more friends.

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