Our Story

How it Started

The genesis of Mountain Side Gear Rental came about in early 2010 when self-proclaimed camping guru John Hildebrandt was talking some fellow Scout parents out of buying cheap camping gear and investing their money in premium, high-quality gear. The other parents asked “Why should we spend all of that money if we are only going to go camping once?” to which John said “Good Point.” John did some research, put a plan together, invested money in gear and six months later was delivering high-quality camping gear rentals, making it really easy for people to get outdoors and save a lot of money.

Over the next several years, the initial gear investment grew to take over John’s garage, shed, two of the five bedrooms in the house and was becoming more than a fun second job. Finally, in late 2015, while away on a business trip, John realized that Mountain Side was his passion and decided, with a lot of support from his amazing wife, that the corporate life was no longer for him.

In June, 2016 John left his career in the commercial truck leasing and rental industry and devoted himself to Mountain Side Gear Rental full-time. In early 2017, John brought on two business partners, expanded the inventory and product offerings and opened Mountain Side’s first store, bringing camping gear rentals to the Gateway of the Rockies in Golden, CO.

John and his family


The Evolution of Mountain Side Gear Rental

From the beginning, John wanted Mountain Side Gear Rental to make it easy for people to enjoy time in the great outdoors, removing the barriers of cost of and/or storing premium camping gear that is the basis for all great outdoor adventures. As a kid growing up and playing in the Colorado mountains, years in the field as a US Army Combat Engineer and his time as a leader in the Scouts, John has learned the value of quality gear and being prepared for whatever Mother Nature bring your way.

It’s this lifetime of experience that goes in to selecting the equipment for our camping gear rentals and preparing our customers for the outdoors. This experience and passion is very evident in our line of complete camping and backpacking kits. For example, the complete camping kit rental comes with 15 items including biodegradable soap that is very gentle on the environment and 50 feet of paracord for use in any emergency or drying of clothes and gear. It’s this attention to detail and kit preparation that allows the first-time camper or the experienced trekker to rent camping gear from Mountain Side with absolute confidence.

Mountain Side Gear Rental has grown from renting camping tents and backpacks to offering a huge inventory of outdoor gear designed to meet the needs of any adventure and any group size. Whether it is a family reunion, a corporate event or just a bunch of friends getting together, we can outfit any group for any adventure.

Clean, well-maintained camping gear

We work hard to ensure that the entire line of camping gear rentals is clean, sanitized and well-maintained. Each sleeping bag is washed with a hypo-allergenic detergent after every rental and every air-pad is cleaned with a restaurant-grade sanitizer. Tents are washed multiple times each season and the backpacks are scrubbed and vacuumed so that you receive fresh, clean gear ready for whatever adventure you are going on.

Mountain Side gives back

We are proud to support the groups that increase outdoor awareness and conservation efforts such as the Colorado Mountain Club headquartered in Golden, CO. Over the years we have worked with Boy & Girls Scout Troops and Cub Scouts Packs from across the country and donate a portion of our used gear to various other charity groups. If you work or volunteer for, or know of such a group, please let us know as we may have the ability to help out with your mission.

A huge thank you!

From the first 16 customers in 2010 to the thousands in 2016, Mountain Side says Thanks! It’s humbling and exciting to know that so many people have put their trust in us to make their next camping trip a great adventure. With customers from all across the United States and over 50 countries around the world, Mountain Side continues to grow as the Official Outfitter of Great Times. Just wait to see what we have coming next – you’re going to love it!