I met Paul ‘Skunk Ape’ Thomas in 2015 while hiking the PCT. Cheerful, generous, and full of subversive humor, he quickly became one of my favorite people on trail. 2017 has been a busy year for him, what with starting up a new business producing handmade lightweight fanny packs that can be attached to existing pack straps or worn on their own with optional belts, and recently getting married! I have the original Astronaut, and I love it; it has basically replaced my purse. I use it on dayhikes and in town so I don’t have to lug around my entire pack. I’m proud to be a brand ambassador for Thru., not just because Skunk Ape is a great friend, but because he is turning out some high-quality goods! So, if you’re in the market for a sweet upgrade to add storage to your existing kit or just want a small convertible bag for day-to-day, check out Thru and #getyourfannyoutthere!

What is the primary function of this business? Gear manufacturing & retail

How much of your revenue do you estimate to be related to public lands? 75%

What are the primary activities your clients or customers do on public lands? Thru-hiking National Scenic Trails

Why Norfolk? I have family here and it is where I met my wife!

What are some of your favorite spots on public lands nearby? The Back Bay Wildlife Refuge is great. I also try to get out to Greyson Highlands about once a year. Most of the fun stuff for me is in the Blue Ridge area.