Ep21 – Camp Furniture Setups with Zempire

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If you want to get the details on how to create the ultimate home away from home at the campsite, then have a listen to this week’s episode of the Snowys Camping Show. Our hosts Ben and Lauren talk to the camp furniture setup experts over at Zempire.

They cover the trends in the outdoor industry, the effect of social media on camping gear, materials, durability, product testing, sustainability, and more – so check it out below for all the details.

Listen to the full episode here:

Or you can watch the video version here:

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 – Intro 
  • 03:18 – Trends in the industry 
  • 04:32 – Wood and bamboo furniture 
  • 05:22 – Durability and longevity
  • 07:40 – Importance of weight in design
  • 08:44 – Can you leave wood/bamboo furniture out in the rain? 
  • 10:11 – Aluminium vs steel frames 
  • 13:02 –  Stability of single-piece designs
  • 14:35 – Can you use a stove on a wooden table? 
  • 15:54 – How are products tested? 
  • 17:18 – Weight ratings
  • 21:04 – Materials & fabrics 
  • 25:13 – Storage bags 
  • 27:51 – Sustainability 
  • 29:45 – Maintenance & spare parts 

Links to things mentioned in this episode:

Trends in the outdoor gear industry

One of the trends we are seeing in the outdoor industry is that people aren’t just going for functionality in their camping setups, but are also wanting to create pleasing aesthetics. There’s also a shift in the materials being used, with wood and bamboo being preferred over plastic.

Trends & social media influencing outdoor product design

The movement towards more sustainable materials is unique to what we have previously seen. With the recent trend in long-term touring and more people spending time outdoors in nature, sharing these activities in a stylised ‘Insta-worthy’ way has gained popularity. People really want to create a home away from home, that ticks all of their boxes. 

Natural materials vs plastic 

Wood is actually a very flexible material from a design point of view as it can be formed into just about any shape. Whereas plastic and metal have their limitations and can only be worked within those boundaries.

Wood strikes that nice balance between functionality, durability, and weight. At the end of the day, each material has its strengths and weakness, so you’ll have to find the right one that suits your needs. 

Can you use a stove on top of a wooden/bamboo table?

In terms of the suitability of using a camping stove on top of a wooden or bamboo table, as long as there is no direct flame and you’re using it as intended, there shouldn’t be an issue. The surface is naturally anti-microbial too, so it’s also a good choice for food preparation. 

Can you leave wooden furniture out in the rain?

Wooden camping furniture is treated, so you can expose it to some moisture and UV light without worry. But, you shouldn’t pack it away wet and you should avoid leaving it out under harsh UV light for prolonged periods of time. It’s just like any other piece of camping gear – you will need to take care of it and maintain it so that it will last.

Zempire Air Tent setup with camping furniture on the bank of a river. There's a man and woman sitting back relaxing at the table.

You can create a stunning campsite that’s also functional. Image: Zempire

Aluminium vs steel 

Aluminium has great strength to weight ratio and does not rust which is why it’s so popular in the industry. Obviously, it is not as strong compared to steel, but that has to be balanced with all the other factors that are important such as design, usability, and overall weight.

Stability of all-in-one designs 

In the past, camping furniture such as camp cupboards and kitchens have been very difficult to set up as they featured multiple components and steps. Now, with the advancement of design and technology, there’s no longer a compromise on stability and ease of use with all-in-one designs, plus you don’t have to worry about losing any parts.

Weight ratings 

When it comes to weight ratings, it’s important to use the item as it was intended, as that rating is calculated using a static test. If you are using the chair, cupboard, or table the way it was designed to be used, then you should be able to rely on the weight rating. 

Sustainability 

Sustainability has become a huge focus in the industry and product development. People want to make better choices to reduce their environmental impact, so they’re shifting towards renewable resources like wood. There are a lot of products on the market that are basically one-use due to poor materials and workmanship. Sticking with the buy once buy right philosophy allows you to get more enjoyment out of outdoor gear, while also keeping those items out of landfill and saving money in the long term.

Maintenance and spare parts

Another element to consider with your camp gear is whether there are spare parts available for it. This is because if it does get damaged and a repair needs to be made, you will be able to do so instead of throwing it away and purchasing a new one.  

Thanks for listening, tune in again for next week’s episode!

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Snowys Camping Show Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTubeSpotifyiTunesAmazon MusiciHeartRadioPocket CastsPodcast Addict, or Stitcher so you never miss an upload.

If you have any questions for Ben and Lauren, make sure you head over to our Facebook group and let us know as we’d love to hear from you.

Catch you out there!

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Joined back in October, 2015

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