Gaard One is more than just a company, it is a family. From our Chief Outdoors Officer to seasonal interns, everyone who walks through the door, meets the crew or even purchases gear becomes a member of our tribe. Our identity embodies our mission to embrace and protect the wilderness, provide high quality gear and continue to create innovative products for all outdoor enthusiasts. Read on to learn more about the team behind Gaard One:
Meet the Team
Chief Outdoors Officer
Nate’s passion for the outdoors began as an infant. His dad, a passionate outdoorsman himself, would carry him on his back, taking him hiking, hunting, and fishing. Nate, a University of Oregon alum (Go Ducks!) started his career as a pro-outdoorsman at a lodge in North Dakota guiding hunting and outdoor adventures. As a twist of fate, Nate was seriously injured during a surgery on his hip. Due to this unforeseen accident, he was forced to explore other career options as a result of the disability that followed. Nate founded Gaard One as a way to continue his connection with the outdoors, though at a much different capacity. He was no longer able to spend long amounts of time on his feet, nor participate in the rugged hardcore activities he’d been used to. If he couldn’t be on the front lines, he wanted to optimize and better the way people gear up for the outdoors. Driven by a mission he believed in - land protection- Nate began to explore and tinker with different ideas he had for new, innovative outdoor product lines. This led to the creation of modular, handy and high-tech gear sets for the 21st Century outdoor enthusiast with an emphasis on resourcefulness and accessibility. Nates mission is for everyone, from the hardcore outdoor explorer to the common day tripper and everyone in between, to be able to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
Chief Impact Officer
Will Heegaard loves developing Gaard One’s impact mission. With a background in program management, emergency medicine and disaster relief, he understands the importance of having the right tools for the job. A registered paramedic, Will responded with International Medical Corps to Typhoon Haiyan, then deployed solar refrigeration in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak. Domestically, Will’s been on the ground with Team Rubicon after disasters in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Puerto Rico. When he’s not on an ambulance or in the field, he likes to cook, write, travel and tinker on his off-grid tiny house.
Lauren Carter and Cassie Laabs
Lauren and Cassie have been an integral part of the Gaard One team since early 2018. Together they worked with Nate to bring the first set of Gaard Gear to the masses through a successful crowdfunding campaign. Working hand in hand with the Heegaards, Lauren and Cassie have embraced the origin story and garnered a following of outdoorsmen and women who are equally passionate about Gaard One and its mission. When they are not working on Gaard One, they have established a small digital marketing firm, NINETY94, that focuses on launching other local start ups.
The Gaard Dog
Known as “The Gaard Dog” Cyrus is our small but mighty company mascot". Cyrus spends his days monitoring the perimeter of our headquarters with only occasional treat breaks. In his downtime, the Gaard Dog enjoys hunting with the big dogs, belly rubs and of course, lots of naps. You can follow his adventures here