Fueled by the back-to-nature craze of the 1960’s, Skip co-founded JanSport in 1967 in a spare room above an office belonging to his uncle. JanSport initially focused on external-frame backpacks, but by the mid-1980’s day packs for toting around students’ books made up over half of their sales. In 1972, he also had a hand in designing the first dome tent, an outdoor industry-changing invention.
BCM would not be where it is today without Skip’s steadfast and unwavering support. In 1997, JanSport, through Skip’s leadership, stepped up and provided BCM with $100,000 in funding. The generous gift allowed us to move our headquarters from Miami to Denver in order to be closer to more backcountry destinations, and hire our first executive director. The ripple effect of this action has continued to affect the lives of the teens we serve and their families today. Countless youth have brighter futures because of Skip’s action.
Not only did he drive funding to our organization from throughout the outdoor industry at a critical time in our development but he also got involved personally going on many trips over the years. Many times the kids had no idea they were hiking with an outdoor legend! He just wanted to be there for them.
“I have seen firsthand what a difference an extended trip in the outdoors can make in turning one’s life around in a positive way” – Skip Yowell
Skip touched each one of us who had a chance to know him. To call Skip a legend is an enormous understatement. More importantly, he was always the nicest and most genuine person. We will work hard to honor the legacy Skip has left here at BCM.