Going Wild With YETI

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Written by Karen Blizzard

The rugged mystique of the YETI brand is not just about their durable coolers or their outdoor accessories and field gear, even though the world is discovering how awesome those are. It is YETI’s “wild at heart” passion for the outdoors that sets them apart from the herd. That’s because company founders Roy and Ryan Seiders are, first and foremost, Texas outdoorsmen who started YETI in 2006 as a reaction to their first-hand experiences using coolers on hunting and fishing expeditions.

Photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation/Jonathan Vail

In those pre-YETI days, the brothers found that most coolers did not stand up well to the stresses of their hunting and fishing adventures. For example, when they stood on their coolers to sight-cast for fish, the lids would often cave in. So they decided to develop a cooler that could withstand all the abuse and rigors of their own outings along the Texas gulf coast! As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The rest is history in the making, as YETI has grown from a grassroots Austin business to a household name among outdoors enthusiasts across the country.


The Seiders brothers translated their love for wild places into a business model and brand that is grounded in outdoor conservation. On a regular basis, YETI supports and partners with conservation groups across the country, including Pheasants Forever, Americana Rivers, Trout Unlimited, and the Boone and Crockett Club, to name just a few.

Photo courtesy of Logan Lewis

Closer to home, YETI has joined forces with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), TPWF’s young professionals organization Stewards of the Wild, The Borderlands Research Institute, and King Land & Water to present the 2017 Wild Texas Film Tour showcasing wildlife, adventure, and conservation stories from across the state. Hosted by Texan filmmaker and conservationist Ben Masters, the film tour will feature 13 screenings in different cities this fall. TPWF’s Stewards of the Wild chapters will also be involved in the tour in several locations.

Photo courtesy of Ben Masters

Like any Texan, YETI knows the power of a good story. Their website comes alive through tales of outdoor pursuits and boots-on-the-ground conservation projects. Among these is the story of pronghorn restoration in the Trans-Pecos. Population numbers of the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere had dwindled to an all-time low in 2012. With the support of TPWF and other partners, critical program activities such as translocation are ensuring that pronghorn will roam the desert grasslands of West Texas for generations to come.

On the homefront, the new YETI Flagship store in Austin, located at Lady Bird Lake and South Congress, creates a sense of community among its customers. On any given evening, outdoorsy folks will be hanging out at the front-porch Barrr sipping a cold one and listening to live music … that is, if they’re not inside perusing the outdoor gear or watching a hammock demonstration. As stated on their website, YETI is proud to offer “a space for us to celebrate our passion for the wild and showcase our hometown pride. So stop in and say hi—we can’t wait to show you around.”

About Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Since 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has raised more than $170 million in private philanthropy to ensure that all Texans, today and in the future, can enjoy the wild things and wild places of Texas. Sign up to learn more.