Backcountry to Campground
Tent to Trailer
It might just be an age-related natural progression. I see it all the time. In my experience, it seems to go something like this - sleeping outdoors on the ground, sleeping in a backpacking tent on the ground, sleeping in a family tent on a cot, and finally sleeping in a camping trailer. Not everyone will follow this path, but many of us will. Sometimes it's a matter of choice, based on convenience and comfort. For others it may be a matter of necessity - when sleeping on the ground, or setting up a tent is no longer an option.
Last week we did something we hadn't done in awhile - camp in a campground. Living in the west as we do, it is easy for us to take for granted that great backcountry camping is readily available, within just a few hours drive. But this trip, we traveled to Ohio to join the Little Guy Rolling Home Rally at Atwood Lake State Park. Little Guy Worldwide manufactures high quality teardrop and T@B trailers in their Amish factory in Sugar Creek, OH. They invited trailer owners to "Roll Home" for this annual event, and Little Guy owners came from as far away as Arizona and Canada to attend.
As we arrived at the Rally, we were struck by the beauty of the midwest - the lush green trees, and streams and creeks, and of course the campsites overlooking Lake Atwood. We were also struck by the amazing amount of PahaQue tents and shelters scattered around in many of the campsites. Seems the word got around that our some of gear is ideally suited for their style of camping.
What was really impressive were the campsites, and the way in which everyone had their trailers, tents, and other gear set up. It was clear that these folks have done this before. The trailers themselves - each one customized to suit its owner fancies - were impressive. So much livable, usable area in such small and easily towable trailers. Some folks expand their livable area with our T@B Side Tent, others our Cottonwood Shade Shelters or Tepee tents. Some had all three and more! And these highly mobile campers are no lightweights. When the wind and rain rolled through for a few hours, everyone just moved their chairs under their canopies and waited it out. No talk of packing it up and going home!
It was quite gratifying for us to see so much of our gear in action, and to meet so many of our customers all at one time! We have always made customer input the number one force that drives our product development and designs, and boy did we come back with a notebook full of ideas, for campground and backcountry campers alike!
As we sat around the fire that night, one common theme seemed to dominate the conversations - where to go next. For me, it was home and back to work. To write this. However many of them found themselves on the horns of a dilemma - go east along the Blue Ridge Parkway, or south to Texas and into the southwest? Or maybe Florida?Or maybe all three. I appreciated the carefree, exploring spirit of these folks. And I was just a little jealous.
Do I see myself in a camping trailer, camping with friends in a campground. Sure. I'll always enjoy tent camping, in wide open and empty places. But the ease of set up and a soft bed has me thinking trailer camping might just make short trips easier, and expand my camping season by making cold weather camping a bit more enjoyable. And of course my trailer would have a PahaQue tent attached to it!
Wherever we go, and wherever we camp, we always meet great people. We always learn a good deal about camping and the many ways folks enjoy the great outdoors - from the backcountry to campgrounds. Perhaps most importantly, we always learn ways to improve our products, and get ideas for new, great PahaQue designs!
I hope to see you 'round the campfire soon!