How Kryptek Got it’s Start in the Battlefield

PodcastEver wonder what led Butch Whiting and Josh Cleghorn (founders of Kryptek) down the path of starting the company?

Here is an excerpt from the podcast where Butch tells that story.


“[] Kryptek’s start is different than what people think that’s for sure, correct?” -Marc Warnke

“Yea, it’s been neat to share, you know, when you have those victories and also you know the whole entire Kryptek, I guess growth is kind of interesting.

It’s basically a concept that was born you know just of around and out of sheer boredom in combat between Claycorn, Josh Claycorn and I living vicariously through DVDs and hunting magazines and telling stories about, you know, our past adventures and having that common thread of just extreme back country adventures. To have it go from that into almost a hobby that- where we were for a few years- into an actual, you know, full time business it’s just nothing short of miraculous and it’s neat to be able to share some of those successes when they do come up knowing how it’s all kind of spiraled out of the idea of bringing concepts off the battle field into the civilian market and for the extreme adventure seeker into something that is, I guess becoming a brand that people are recognizing and relating to. And so it’s nice to be able to have an ear to land on and that’s what I think you and I’s relationship sometimes comes up you know when there is something good going on to share or vice versa – so it’s a good deal.” -Butch Whiting

“Well, yea, not only that too I mean, that’s the cool part about, I don’t know, the ability to share a campfire and an office that it creates a unique ability to relate at a level that I think is impossible in a lot of other industries. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so attracted to continue to even- let’s say I hit a home run, done, don’t need to make any money anymore, I’ve been there before and to be honest with you in this place I just wouldn’t disengage. Now I would have the freedom to make decisions on behalf of my time that right now I can’t make, like for example hanging out with my boys at school at lunch or doing the things that I think are the next level. Things greater than myself and hunting.” -Marc Warnke

“Yea, uh-huh.” -Butch Whiting

“But I would stay engaged in and never become separate from the industry because it’s too fun to kind of live, eat and breathe it and share those relationships and at the same time I know for you and Cleghorn it was more of a as you described it to me, and remember this is a podcast so we can drop ‘f’ bombs anytime we want, and the reality is you know you guys basically said ‘what in the ‘f’ are we doing here? I want to be over there and I’m sick and tired of being in the shit, let’s build something that gets us where we really want to be which is in the woods, you know, hunting and fishing.” -Marc Warnke

“Well, after 9/11 it just completely, it derailed a lot of lives and depending on what your MOS was, your Military Occupation Specialty, or what your you know various- I guess contribute to the military was, it just a continuous cycle of being gone all the time, multiple deployments and some of them back-to-back deployments, you know, and even though you were counted as being home on paper, you were never going home because then you were gearing up for your next deployment which meant field training exercises, gunneries, you know and various other things in requirement and you know, it was just, it was a tough decade. And I’ve got associates that have got mind-boggling numbers of years away and yea, back to that point, we were just sitting around and just saying dude, what could we do to get into the outdoor industry and it was simply putting together the concept of taking some bells and whistles I guess you could call it or features and functions that we saw that were being really honed in and dialed in over that decade of combat in the apparel industry and bringing it into the outdoor adventure/hunting industry. There was a ton of improvement that happened over this last decade after 9/11 in terms of technologies, whether they were missiles or hell fire type like, you know, radio frequency type controlled stuff, you got UAVs, all these things, there has been got billions of dollars in technology advancements. A lot of that occurred on the apparel side as well, some of the kit and gear that was being used specifically in special OPS and a lot of the concepts, you know, we just looked at and said dude that is absolutely perfect you know, for the guy that is going to go into the back country.” -Butch Whiting

“Sure, because that’s where your brain was, I mean you were there but your escape mentally while you were there was being back in the woods where you really wanted to be or back with your family, but the passion side of it I’m sure was what made your mind wander, correct?” -Marc Warnke

“Yea, for sure and you know we were running all kinds of missions when we first came up with this concept and we would be out for, you know, turning Hadji’s into dirt was what we commonly referred to, but fighting our nations’ battles basically is what it boiled down to and then when we did hit those lulls of some free time we always gravitated right back to, you know, the core essence of who we were, and that was just extreme outdoorsmen and until you don’t get to experience opening day or multiple back-to-back entire seasons, you can’t really just equate to it. I mean it’s something that I personally held a grudge against, you know, the Al Queda and stuff. In fact, I’ve got multiple gun videos where I’m recorded saying, ‘hey, this is for missing another opening day of elk season or this is for missing deer season’ or whatever, because it was such a part of my culture and Josh’s as well. And there’s a lot of other guys, you know-that are in the military experiencing that same thing-“ -Butch Whiting

Check Out Kryptek Listen to the podcast Podcast


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *