Your company or trading name
Tuff Possum Gear
Tell us about where you’re from, what you do, how it all started and why you enjoy it.
My story really starts a few decades ago in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks, with a boy named Richard. Camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, digging herbal roots, and trapping were a regular part of his life. He would often have his mother sew up pouches and bags for his outdoor activities. His pouches and bags became more complex, until one day his mother said “This is the last one. From now on, you make them yourself.” So he learned to sew, and ended up making a few more pouches, bags, and even a simple rucksack. That young man grew up and today he is my father. I grew up loving many of the same great outdoor activities: camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, etc. I too needed pouches and bags sewn. I would bring my requests for pouches and bags to my mother and she would sew them for me. Just like my grandmother did for my father.
They say history repeats itself, and I guess it’s true, because in the fall of 2012 when I brought a small pack design to my mother she said, “I’ll sew this one yet, but they’re getting too complicated. If you want more, you need to learn to sew and make them yourself.” A few months later a family friend gave me a sewing machine, and I started sewing my own pouches and bags. By the summer of 2015, at age 16, I began making my projects with quality fabrics like 500d CORDURA nylon.
I began to post my projects on an online discussion forum. Soon members of the forum began asking to buy my pouches and bags. That continued until November of 2017, when I launched Tuff Possum Gear. As long as I can remember growing up, I have always been opinionated about the design of things I use and had an appreciation for high quality pieces of gear, tools, appliances, etc.
I’ve never been a fan of “fancy”, but I’ve always wanted the “cleanest” and most intuitive to use. Add in my passion for people and community, and it really just comes together in an amazing adventure where I am blessed to be able to mesh both of those things together and make an income to support my family with!!
What are your aims and are there any items or products you’d love to make?
We are known primarily for sewn Cordura nylon goods, but this past winter and spring we have really started branching out into some other “hard goods”. My aim is to solve problems and provide a full spectrum of trustworthy adventure goods. We are working on some knife and tool related designs. I would love to have a line of simple minimalist leather boots someday, but that is a decade or two away.
What do you consider your greatest achievement in the work you do associated with EDC?
I think the greatest achievement is the social media content we have pushed surrounding our Med Pouch, getting medical (Stop The Bleed/CPR/first aid) training, and carrying medical supplies for emergencies such as wrecks, shootings, stabbings, chainsaw accidents, etc.
Hearing the feedback from folks that they were inspired to take a day long class or put together a trauma first aid kit for their vehicle or EDC bag. Anything surrounding the protection and service of others, whether in medical, security, combatives, or firearms make me happy to see folks being inspired to carry and become proficient at.
What is the best thing you have made and why?
I am most proud of our Shackleton EDC Satchel. At the moment it is our “crown jewel”, but may be surpassed by the upcoming backpack when it is finished.
What EDC gear is in your pockets right now?
Left front pocket: iPhone 11pro in an Otterbox case with a pair of flat Bogata lockpicks and a $20 bill in a recess behind the case. GiantMouse Knives “ACE Clyde”
Back left: One of our Survival Notebook Wallet’s with the included mini Rite In The Rain notebook, some flat survival kit items like water collection bags and purification tablets, lock bypass tools, emergency cash, teeth flosser, etc.
Back right: An Ezra Arthur No.6 leather wallet with cash and cards.
Front right: Streamlight Protac 1l-1AA with Thyrm Switchback Ring. Fisher Space Bullet Pen. My keys with an Exotac NanostrikerXL, a TEC Accessories clip, and some lockpicking tools from our Tuff Possum Gear Entry Kit.
On my Belt: A Shivworks ClinchPik knife. A Glock 43X with Shield Arms 15rd magazine, in a Tenicor Velo4 appendix holster.
What’s the favourite piece of EDC gear that you own?
Probably my custom fit, charcoal gray, 100% wool Lester River Bushcraft Field Jacket
What EDC item would you love to own and why?
I would like to own a classic plain Chris Reeve’s Sebenza someday. Such well designed.
A random fact about yourself that readers won’t learn anywhere else
I was homeschooled and count that as an incredible gift that allowed me to start working for another small business (machining aftermarket Mustang parts) at the young age of 15. Those years of working in the day and schooling when it fit my schedule really shaped my desire to build a small business. It gave me the flexibility to work part time there AND sew gear part time as well.
If you are on social media or have a website please include the links here so people can find out more about you
@tuffpossumgear on Instagram