Made in the Northwest: Ascent Recreation

Ascent Recreation started as an outdoor adventure company with a pretty simple goal.

“A need to get people outside to go and play,” explained owner Scott McDonald. “There’s a lack of people playing outside. They’re all stuck inside.”

But pretty soon, McDonald realized an important part of many families was being left out in the cold when it came to outdoor gear.

“People want to bring their dog with them and their dogs needed the same comfort and support that we did,” he said.

So he developed the Base Shield to give his dog, Kya, underbelly protection when out in the elements.

“Kya was getting rubbed raw in the snow or branches were hitting her,” said McDonald. “And so, it’s something that was just a harness turned upside down to be able to protect that underbelly.”

But McDonald knew he couldn’t mass produce the Base Shields on his own, so he partnered with Robinson Windword, Inc., a professional sewing services company, on the West Plains.

“I’m only a partially skilled seamstress,” laughed McDonald. “These guys were able to do it on a scale that I can’t as an individual, obviously, and do them at the quality that they really need to be done.”

Ascent Recreation also uses RWI to make a Top Coat that gives an extra layer of warmth, as well as two types of leashes and a Slip-Not Collar.

“The leashes were what I was able to use to be hands free when I’m in the outdoors with the dog,” said McDonald. “So it gave me some more mobility.”

And all of it is designed to be user friendly for you and your dog.

“It’s a one buckle system. It’s got reflectors on it and that kind of thing for safety. It’s all built to climbing specs,” said McDonald.

And McDonald sees a lot of potential for his canine products.

“We’d love to see the Base Shield, Ascent Recreation products in everyday pet stores around the world,” he said. “I think, I’ve talked with a lot of mushers and other outdoorsmen that see the use in it.”

And the products only encourage Ascent Recreation’s simple goal.

“Like your mom said, ‘Go play outside.'”

And bring your best friend with you.