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Backcountry Santas Load Planes With Supplies – And Presents – For Navajo Nation

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Mike Huish is one of more than 40 pilots who call themselves the Backcountry Santas.

On Thursday, they loaded up small planes with boxes and bags full of goods bound for the Navajo Nation.

“We have, I think, 42 planes lines up with, yeah, a lot of supplies,” Huish said.

Those supplies include essentials like food, toilet paper and other personal hygiene items. However, the Backcountry Santas have added a few things to the list for this trip that they didn’t include during their flights last December.

“We realized, I think we missed an opportunity with also bringing toys and stuff, things that are fun for the kids and others, kind of along with our name, ‘Backcountry Santas,'” Huish said.

The effort has also grown in donations this year thanks to Huish Outdoors, the Utah Tribal Relief Foundation and a network of pilots.

This is now their third trip to the Navajo Nation.

During the summer, the group took goods to help a community hit hardest by COVID-19.

“This year we had so many airplanes and so much capacity that it was, like, we need more goods,” Huish said. “So we sent the message out and literally in days we had it.”

In total, an estimated $50,000 worth of supplies will be given to the Navajo Nation. The biggest gift of all, though, is one without a dollar amount.

“It’s a way for people to give back,” Huish said. “I mean, I think anybody can be involved from the standpoint of being able to donate what we can bring to the community. But for us that are delivering, it spreads the joy even amongst the pilots don’t this mission with us.”

It’s a mission the Backcountry Santas plan on continuing for years to come.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Huish said.

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