Bill Gamber might be the most influential person in the outdoor industry that you’ve never heard of. Over the past 20 years, he’s helped to build two of the best known and fastest growing brands in the outdoor retail category. His innovations in outdoor gear have become mainstays for people who love to camp as well as creating a whole new category of race nutrition. He’s been massively influential in building Colorado’s outdoor economy and shaping the state’s recreational future, but Bill fundamentally believes that actions speak louder than words, so he rarely touts his successes.
He’s a product pioneer, a born leader and hard charging when it comes to running a growing company in a competitive market. Bill started his first business in a Pennsylvania college dorm room at Lock Haven University in 1985. Needing money to pay for triathlon race entry fees, Bill began selling homemade bike and triathlon shorts out of the back of his Jetta. This side hustle would become Bwear Action Products, otherwise known as BAP! Eventually, Bill would graduate and move to Steamboat Springs, Colo., where he found a permanent home for BAP!
In 2000, Bill co-founded Big Agnes and launched with a simple, but revolutionary idea: save weight and space with a unique, integrated sleeping bag and pad system. This would be the first in a long line of products “firsts” that would revolutionize the outdoor industry.
In 2001, Bill co-founded Honey Stinger, which specializes in honey-based nutrition. You could say honey runs in Bill’s blood – his family has been in the honey business for more than 60 years and his grandfather invented the original plastic honey bear. Today, Honey Stinger is known throughout the endurance sports world, and products like Honey Stinger chews and waffle are favorites for runners, cyclists, skiers, hikers, climbers and more. In 2019 Bill transitioned away from Honey Stinger after a significant third-party investment and now focuses on Big Agnes and BAP!. Bill is competitive, but not just when it comes to camping and nutrition. He holds the 12-hour solo record for the 24 Hours of Steamboat mountain bike race. He’s completed more than 100 triathlons, including 16 Ironmans.
For the past 28 years, Bill has been living off the grid in Steamboat with his family, in a solar and wind-powered home and spends most of his free time camping, fishing, cycling and skiing.