Our gear is inspired by every hike when the trail dealt us unexpected conditions. Those are the tough days and long nights that fuel our campfire stories and drive our design process. Our experiences have lead us to design and build strong, efficient, and minimalistic shelters for whatever mother nature throws our, or your, way.

Born on the trail

YAMA Mountain Gear was born from conversations on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2006. Since then, we’ve strived to get out on the trail as much as we can, bringing our experiences back to the design table. It’s important to us to make the most of our outdoor time, and we want to help you make the most of yours.

One of our mantras is: "A lightweight pack should be a result, not the focus." We don’t want to make the lightest gear; we want to help you find that perfect balance that works for you. That balance that allows you to hike efficiently and comfortably. We call it, "comfortable minimalism."

Our home

We design and build all of our gear out of our Charlottesville, Virginia based workshop. The Appalachian trail, George Washington NF, and Shenandoah NP are all our nearby playgrounds. How lucky we are to be just minutes from the trail!

1304 East Market St Suite V Charlottesville, VA 22902

Meet the team

Gen Shimizu
Founder, Designer, Gear Maker

I love finding cool plants and bugs as I explore mountain trails. I find covering ground quickly to be meditative, but also enjoy meandering and stopping to inspect every little creature, often interrupting my trail runs for particularly interesting finds.

A knack for attracting wildlife earned me the trailname, “Magnet,” during my 2004 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Starting off from Springer Mountain, I awoke to find a bear underneath me and my hammock on that first night! I’ve since been chased by squirrels and joined by skunks inside my tent…

My feet are my preferred mode of travel, but I haven’t always stuck to them. In 2012, I rode my mountain UNIcyle 2,754 miles through the Rockies. I also dream of building a canoe and paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

My mantra, “Hike Simply,” is about remembering what brings me to the trail at the fundamental level and taking in whatever the trail throws my way.

~Gen

Greg Arpante
Designer, Gear Maker

Hailing from Massachusetts, I studied fashion design at Framingham State University and the London College of Fashion.

I met Gen while thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015. Hiking the PCT was the greatest experience I've had in life so far. I love getting out and seeing the incredible range of natural beauty the wilderness has to offer. I'm excited to bring my design style to the YAMA table, and bring you the best gear I can.

~Greg