Kansas Sartin: A love of adventure leads Bobcat to create outdoor gear carrier
By Bryan Kirk
A love of adventure leads Bobcat to create outdoor gear carrier
There’s just something about the lure of nature and the outdoors that inspires longing in the soul of some individuals, and it seems that Kansas Sartin (B.S. ’03) has felt the tug of the wide open spaces for much of his life.
For Sartin, who was raised by a single mom, it was a lifestyle that wasn’t introduced until he was a teenager. "I always wanted to be outdoorsy," Sartin says. "I just never had access to it until high school and college. A good friend’s father sort of became my mentor. He was a big sportsman, and I just cloned everything he did."
That relationship got Sartin interested in the outdoors, livestock, and hunting. He learned as much as he could from his mentor, Charlie, before venturing out on his own. Later, his experiences at Texas State would fuel his passion for the outdoors. Sartin says he was enamored with the surrounding rural landscape at San Marcos. He worked on a ranch nearby and was able to readily explore the more rural and agricultural landscape, which he says "wouldn’t have been possible at other Texas colleges."
Sartin says he was like a lot of students when he first arrived at Texas State. He started out as a general studies major and experienced a variety of coursework as he contemplated his focus. After graduating with a degree in geography and a minor in biology, he followed a different path when he was recruited to work in the building industry. Today, he serves as executive vice president of architectural solutions for McCoy-Rockford, a Texas-based company that provides products and services for commercial interior spaces.
In 2016 he established PAKMULE, a business that he owns and operates with his wife, Frankie. Sartin developed PAKMULE, which is an aluminum frame that attaches to trailer hitches and can be used to carry large coolers, hunting gear or wild game, while still allowing the outdoor enthusiast to have access to the back gate of their SUV or pickup truck.
It was a welding class at Texas State that would lead to a job building equipment for agriculture out of steel and other metals. That experience would eventually help Sartin in his construction career and the business venture.
At one point he had decided on wildlife biology as a major with the idea of becoming a park ranger, or work in wildlife conservation after graduation. "I was thinking I’d be at Texas Parks & Wildlife Department or Ducks Unlimited," he recalls. While these careers didn’t turn out to be in Sartin’s future, his interest in the outdoors did land him positions on the board of the Coastal Conservation Association. In his spare time, he is also a calf scramble committeeman for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. For those who don’t know rodeo, the calf scramble involves youngsters in 4-H or similar agricultural organizations who try to win a calf by catching it and placing it in a designated area.
"You often hear that about 75 percent of the people aren’t employed in the area of their studies, and although that is true right now for me, the classes I took and my studies [at Texas State] were all fueled by my passion," he says. "It’s something I am still pursuing, whether it’s a side passion or a full-time job, I will always be able to use the skills and knowledge I gleaned from those classes."
On the PAKMULE webpage, Sartin lists his title as head adventurer. "It just wasn’t appropriate to put owner or president. I’m not puffed up like that," he says. "This [business] is about adventure and encouraging people to work hard, get out of town — and have fun in the outdoors."
So far, people love the product, Sartin says. "People are thanking me for creating this product, which is crazy because I am thanking them for buying it and supporting us," he says.