The misconception that camping means you have to rough it has gone on long enough. The truth is there is no need to muck around with tents you can't stand up in with poles like fishing rods. There is equipment out there that is easy, comfortable and reliable.
Homecamp offers high-quality camping goods and services for the discerning camper. Its online store offers equipment that even Russell Coight could manage, such as canvas tents, leather stools, merino blankets and cooking equipment. The pièce de résistance is the Bell Tent – a spacious canvas tent that's easy to set up and made to last. You can comfortably stand upright in it and easily fit six adults inside. Stephanie Pajic, (one half of Homecamp) says that using the Bell Tent for camping and music festivals inspired her and her partner to create a business.
"We had a Bell Tent for a few years and so many people asked us about it. It's so easy to set up – there is one pole at the front and one pole in the middle then you just peg down the sides,” she says.
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The brand's philosophy involves working ethically with other small businesses (mainly in the US and Europe) to make stuff you only need to buy once. To this end it’s in the process of achieving a B Corporation certification, which is recognition of ethical, transparent and accountable business practice.
“They look at things like your environmental impact, how you treat your staff, how you engage with the community. They recognise businesses that exist not just for profit. There are a few here in Melbourne such as Dumbo Feather magazine, Neometro (a property developer) and Shout For Good.”
There is a flipside to the business, though. It also offers a “glamping” service which caters for weddings, corporate retreats or just a weekend away. This is camping at its most effortless – nominate the location and Homecamp will set up for you: Bell Tents, 100 per cent Belgian linen sheets, lighting and designer furniture.
“The events side is more about a very high level of service. You can rock up to an event or a weekend away and it’s all done for you,” Pajic says.