Camping In The Trees With Canaima Outdoors
Canaima Outdoors, Marcus Nelson, TreePod
MRV: The Buzz, Your RV Lifestyle Insider. Written By: Andrew Malo
Camping From The Trees: TreePod
A Tent That Is Suspended In The Air, Eliminating The Need To Have A Level And Dry Ground
“I love the original. Sometimes I just put it up and hang out with friends, “says Marcus Nelson, mechanical engineer and a key designer of an interesting new tent called the TreePod Camper. The TreePod Camper is essentially a tent that is suspended in the air, eliminating the need to have “level and dry ground,” Nelson says.
The TreePod Camper evolved out of a successful “kickstarter campaign for the original TreePod,” Nelson says. The original TreePod works for everyone, but primarily geared towards children playing in the backyard or a place to play while outside, not so much a place to sleep. “We wanted to make something that appeals to everybody,” Nelson goes on, “I am 6’ 4” and I fit very comfortably in the camper.” The name Camper came about after many different designs and shapes. “The original TreePod is shaped like a pod, this one is more rectangular with two frames, one for the top to hold the shape and one for the bottom to keep the sleeping area taut.” It became the Camper as the company that makes it, Canaima Outdoors, considers it a step up from a tent.
“We want to appeal to multiple demographics,” Nelson says. The advertised way to assemble is by “utilizing a single point suspension system,” according to the website, “you only need a strong anchor point overhead to get set up.” Nelson says they are developing other ways to set it up, too. “One is a way to set it up by using the hitch ball from a truck or an RV,” Nelson says, “another is to set it up on the side of your car.” He explains these are examples of how they will appeal to RVers or the people who perhaps have a small car and just want to camp on the side of the road without paying for a site.
Nelson did not say how long it takes to setup, but he did say that if you have space, it is a breeze to set up after the first time. “You can leave the frames together, except for the two bars that extend in and out, and fold it flat,” he explains. He says you can put it under a box or in a trunk of a good size car and then it is easy to set it up. Alex Bunton, who works with media outreach for TreePod, says, “It’s very easy. I’m told it takes 20 minutes the first time but after becoming familiar with it, only 5 minutes.”
Nelson is excited about the release of the new TreePod Camper because he is an avid outdoor enthusiast himself. Having graduated in mechanical engineering a few years ago at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO, he likes to, “hike, camp, mountaineer, and especially slackline.” Slacklining is walking on a line that is tensioned between two anchors. Nelson says, “I always have a simple slackline me. I can use the slackline to put the TreePod a little bit higher than it typically is.” He also likes to Highline – basically a combination of slack lining and rock climbing. “This is for professionals only, “he says, “but it is perfect to setup in the open air on a highline.” He explains you can put a hammock up there, but then you are subject to the elements and the TreePod would keep you protected.
Besides the shape, the TreePod Camper offers a few more upgrades from the original TreePod. “We figured out that the rain mesh would be a pain to put on after the tent is suspended, “Nelson says, “So we made the whole tent a single waterproof, breathable layer.” It cuts down on the weight of the tent and though you wouldn’t want to take it on a multiday trip, “it would work great for a short to medium hike and an overnight camp.” They also added a divider in the middle to make separate sleeping areas. Nelson has been travelling to factories all over the world to make sure the Camper is being developed to Canaima’s specifications.
The original TreePod received over $50,000 in backing on Kickstarter. The success of it is a result of bringing imagination to life. “Why does every kid want seem to want a treehouse?” Bunton asks, “I’d say it’s mainly because they are fun, private places to read, relax, sleep, imagine, and play.” TreePod is hoping that the imagination in kids is present in everyone that enjoys being out in nature. And they are in good company. As the Romantic English poet William Blake said, “Nature is imagination itself.”
A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Education, Andrew has
taught for the past decade in Chicago, New Mexico, and Japan. He
enjoys tinkering with trucks and motorcycles, woodworking, reading and