Anyone who doesn’t own camping gear has a pretty good excuse to deny any camping weekend invitations, unless they attempt to rent camping gear. Purchasing the gear you need can be a big barrier, and it keeps many who have not yet experienced the joys of camping from ever finding out what all the fuss is about.
Xscape Pod is trying to change that.
We spoke to Nic Parrish, the founder of Portland startup Xscape Pod about a simple answer for people who might try camping, if only they had more convenient access to all the stuff you need to get started.
Camping Gear Simplified
As an avid camper himself, Nic was planning a thru-hike of the John Muir Trail with his brother-in-law. Sounds like fun, but Nic had a camping gear problem to tackle.
Not only was getting gear to their destination difficult, his brother-in-law had no gear of his own. Nic ended up lugging everything he needed for a long distance backpacking trip on a flight to Tahoe, then stopping by a local outfitter and REI to purchase more gear before they hit the trail. This is when the idea for Xscape Pod struck: rent a camping gear pod, stuffed with everything you could need for a camping trip.
Like Nic, even the most experienced campers can run into gear trouble — take our very own co-founders Kevin Long and Sarah Smith for example. Kevin and Sarah had trouble convincing two friends from California to join them for a camping trip. The biggest hurdle: their friends had no camping gear of their own.
They solved the problem by using Xscape Pod. They were able to convince their friends to rent camping gear with Xscape Pod they could come on the trip and have a great time without worrying about supplies.
Sarah, Kevin, and both of their friends ended up having a great time together at the Panther Flat Campground in California’s Six Rivers National Forest. They set up their camp at site 32 near the river, went hiking in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and even stopped by Crescent City on the coast to get oysters to grill over the campfire.
You can read Sarah’s full review of the campground and get more details about their trip, here.
How to Rent Camping Gear Pods
Xscape Pod provides camping gear kits, with different options depending on the length of your stay and the number of campers, as well as specialty setups for car camping and backpacking. The Xscape Pod website allows you to book a pre-packaged Pod of gear in advance of your trip, just like you would on a site like Airbnb.
You answer questions about the dates of your trip, the number of campers, and what you plan to do on your trip, then choose from recommended pods. They will ship the pod to you anywhere in the U.S. for a $50 roundtrip fee via FedEx. Or, if you are in the Portland, Oregon area, you can have the Pod delivered for $25, or pick it up free of charge.
Each pod includes everything you need with the exception of food. You’ll have a tent, sleeping bags, cooking gear, a hammock, and more. The goal is to provide “everything that you need, so you can escape everything you don’t!”
More Than Gear
Gear isn’t the only barrier that keeps inexperienced campers from getting out there. A lack of confidence and knowledge is a factor, too.
With this in mind, Xscape Pod has created camping resources and a camping concierge service to help newcomers get started, in addition to the option to rent camping gear. Users can select campsite criteria like a nearby lake or hiking. Then they’ll receive an email with information on three campgrounds that meet these criteria in the area they’re visiting. Xscape pod also provides a “don’t forget checklist” and gear set-up tutorial videos to make sure you are completely prepared for your trip.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out stories about using Xscape Pod from fellow campers. Xscape Pod also has a list of quick trip ideas for anyone looking to camp in the Portland, Oregon area.
If you or your would-be camping friends are hesitant about buying all the gear one needs to venture into the wild, Xscape Pod is a convenient and affordable way to get started.