Renting the backcountry: Two young entrepreneurs built a business on the adventurous visitor

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Many times, visitors to Jackson Hole aren't able to bring all of the necessary equipment for an adventure in the Tetons. This was a problem that Patrick Collins faced when his friends visited one winter. "I wanted to take people out to the backcountry, but there was no where to rent the necessary safety equipment," he said. "Even if I just wanted to go on a mellow backcountry tour, I still wanted my friends to have a beacon, shovel and probe." That is what sparked the idea for Teton Backcountry Rentals, which started three years ago during Collins' first winter in Jackson. He started the company out of his home just renting out beacons, shovels and probes. Shortly after starting the business, Collins met Jacques Li at a Silicon Couloir event. Li had been working in oil fields as a field engineer for two years. He came out to Jackson in 2013 to visit a friend and immediately knew he wanted to move here. The two became business partners and worked to grow the business. "It very quickly became obvious that we should be a summer business renting camping gear," said Collins. During the first year, the business was run out of their homes and they delivered the equipment to renters. Last summer, they expanded to a storefront on Broadway at the five-way intersection. This past winter, they returned to doing the delivery service and are currently looking for a new storefront for this summer. [image: unnamed.jpg] h/t Taylor Glenn / Pitchengine Communities "We are most excited about our truck camper rental, which is new this year. We basically outfitted two trucks with pop-up campers on the back and it will have everything stocked." said Li. Li left Jackson temporarily to work on his ratings to be a commercial pilot, while Collins is prepping for a busy summer. "The business community of Jackson is a whole different face that a lot of people don't really see," said Li. "Especially in the local business community, people are super awesome with helping each other out. I think is a great place to do business in general." *Feature Photo: (L to R) Jacques Li and Patrick Collins. h/t Taylor Glenn /