Since 1970, Whole Earth Provision Co. has been a family owned, homegrown Texas original retailer with six stores in four cities: Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio as well as an online store. For over 50 years, Whole Earth has been outfitting adventurers, travelers, nature lovers, families, backyard loungers and active urbanites with high quality travel and casual clothing, shoes, accessories, toys, books, gifts, gadgets and gear for everyday living and adventures near and far, from Kerrville to Kilimanjaro.

Whole Earth first opened its doors for business in 1970 near the University of Texas campus in Austin. Jack and Linda Jones and their friends were inspired by a notice in the back of a Whole Earth Catalog suggesting the possibility of opening a store based on the goods offered in the Catalog. The Whole Earth Catalog was a revolutionary publication that flourished in the 1960s into the early 1980s. Steve Jobs described it as “Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along.” Composed of hundreds of pages filled with short descriptions of books and tools that could be purchased directly from the manufacturers, it presented an encyclopedic view of the world and how it worked from the microscopic to the galactic.

The first Whole Earth Provision Co. store’s inventory included flour mills, oil lamps, massage oils, camp soap and lots of how-to books – all selected from the Whole Earth Catalog. The store was an overnight success, selling out of merchandise in the first two weeks, necessitating the closing of the store to reorder and restock.

The Nomadics section of the Catalog encouraged readers to get out and explore the world and offered advice on gear for hiking, camping, mountaineering, and backpacking, as well as wilderness survival skills.  Whole Earth quickly added outdoor gear to the mix of merchandise. The store became an early source for new, specially designed backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, hiking boots, rugged clothing and other gear being created by new, small independent companies like Patagonia and The North Face to meet the demand for high tech outdoor adventure clothing and equipment.

Today Whole Earth continues to be a leader in supplying gear, clothing and shoes for outdoor adventure and travel, outfitting generations of Texans for travel across Texas as well as into remote corners of the world. A visit to a Whole Earth store can be an adventure. With so many items to discover throughout the store, there’s no telling what you may find to delight, make life easier, or be a perfect gift.

Whole Earth is proud to be a part of the community in their cities and has worked with both local and statewide organizations focused on the environment and encouraging people to get outdoors. Whole Earth is a longtime supporter of our Texas State Parks. In 2011, when the Parks were facing budget cuts and even the threat of some park closures, Whole Earth created April Is Texas State Parks Month. The funds raised have been used to help with day-to-day Park operational expenses, including visitor programs and maintaining Park facilities. In 2022, donations were used to print 1,234,170 trail maps for 70 of the 88 Texas State Parks. Whole Earth is proud to help the State Parks maintain access to public lands for all Texans.

During the month of April, Whole Earth customers can make donations to Texas State Parks in their six stores. Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted. For a $5 or more donation, customers receive a limited-edition sticker pack. For a $20 donation, they will receive a $5 Texas State Parks gift card, good for fees or purchases at any Texas State Park and the sticker pack. For a $50 donation, customers will receive a Whole Earth exclusive Texas State Park snapback hat, the $5 gift card, and the sticker pack. Supplies for the Texas State Park snapback hat are limited so don’t wait. 

The proceeds from April Is Texas State Park Month are combined with the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour shows in Austin to support our Texas State Parks. The eleven-year total of funds raised by the two events is now over $294,000.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour returns to the Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin on Saturday and Sunday, April 27th and 28th. Each evening will have a different lineup of films chosen from the best shown at last year’s Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival in Canada. This will be the seventeenth year that Whole Earth has hosted the World Tour and the thirteenth year that Texas State Parks is the beneficiary of the event. The World Tour is great opportunity to have a fun night out and to give back to our beloved State Parks here in Texas.

The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival is held each year in Banff, Canada. From over 400 festival entries, award winning films and audience favorites are chosen for inclusion in the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. The films take audiences to stunning landscapes and remote cultures and bring them up-close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports. It’s an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the natural world. The tour travels to over 500 communities and 40 countries during the year and the Austin audiences are among the largest. If you’re headed to Austin for the Banff World Tour or staying closer to home, stop by your local Whole Earth store for a visit and pick up one of their new adventure checklists. These handy souvenirs will guide you to some of the Whole Earth staffs’ favorite places in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, plus an adventure checklist for Texas birds! Since the beginning, sharing a passion for life outdoors and building a community around it have been core principles at Whole Earth. Come join your fellow Texans and the Whole Earth community, get inspired, and support Texas State Parks!