GearSnow Sports

From the Lean-To: Frostline Kits


The history of Frostline Kits isn't complicated, and if you knew how to work a sewing machine, the concept wasn't either. Started in 1966 by Dale Johnson, a former employee of Gerry Mountaineering Equipment, Frostline made sewing kits for those who didn't have the money to purchase camping and outdoor equipment. You'd send away for whatever it was you needed - a backpack, a parka, even a tent - and you'd get a kit sent to you with all the pieces already cut up. If you knew how to sew, you could spent half the money by doing it yourself. And it would allow you some freedom to add a few personal touches as well.

Frostline grew quickly in its first 10 years, riding the wave of the outdoor kit success (Holubar was the other major player of the time) expanding its operation and opening up several retail locations. In 1978, the company was bought by Gilette (yes, that Gilette), and by 1982, as the industry was declining, they tried to sell it off. No one would buy, and a year later, Gilette liquidated Frostline.

Did anyone use Frostline or Holubar kits when they were around? I would imagine the answer to that would be YES. More importantly, does anyone make still make their own gear at home?

Thank you to Oregon Photos for the information.

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