THE PRESENTFor Every Adventure

We go on adventures. We sketch itineraries, buy tickets, pack bags, make arrangements, repack bags, and hit the road, the water, or the trail. We journey to mountaintops with breathtaking vistas and endless coastlines with immaculate beaches. We seek out the ancient and the modern, the obscure and the iconic. These are the adventures we go on, their destinations innumerable and the their paths unpredictable.

There are also adventures that find us, occur within us.

These adventures are everyday moments of spontaneity. They are whenever curiosity overtakes us and we realize that we are constantly traveling, even in places we’ve lived in for years or visited countless times before. They are the moments in which we glimpse the breadth of potential experience.

These types of adventure—external and internal—are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, the very best adventures are both.

Back Country is a celebration of every adventure.


THE PASTClothing & Equipment for World Travelers


Jamie and Diana Wornson opened the doors of Back Country in May of 1974 in Ames, Iowa. From its inception, Back Country was an unusually comprehensive take on an outdoor specialty shop, offering everyday active-wear and products for adventure travel in addition to a full range of outdoor clothing and equipment, placing the store on the vanguard of what would much later become known as a “lifestyle shop.”

The Wornsons relocated to Des Moines in 1984 and, after six years spent building a devoted clientele in their new home, expanded Back Country into the entirety of the historic brick storefront at 2702 Beaver Avenue, where the shop resides today.

In the last 10 years, Back Country has been passed down to the second generation of Wornson, with eldest daughter Lexi taking over management of the store. Under her stewardship, Back Country has evolved its look and feel, but continues to offer the highest quality and most innovative clothing and equipment for world travelers.


THE FUTUREDes Moines | Iowa | USA | Earth

40 years into its existence, Back Country remains steadfastly devoted to its founding principle: to be a local store with global perspective.

We believe strongly in the civic necessity of independent, locally owned business. It is our privilege and responsibility to be good neighbors, and to support the community that supports us. We could not be more proud to be part of the fabric of Beaverdale and Des Moines, and we take seriously our role in keeping both our neighborhood and city worthy of pride.

At the same time, we recognize that we are part of an industry that has grown exponentially over the decades and has come to have both global reach and global ramifications. We strive to carry brands that are environmentally conscientious and whose goods are ethically produced. 

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support over the last four decades, and we hope to be able to continue to earn that support for another 40 years.


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…

— Mark Twain