Ariel Frager
by Ariel Frager
Posted September 13, 2018

It was the fall of 2016 when Xscape Pod founder Nic Parrish first came up with the idea to create a business that rents out full camping packages.

“I was on a backpacking trip to the John Muir Trail in Yosemite with my father and brother-in-law and we flew into the airport with all our gear,” Parrish explains. “The long walk in the airport to the rental car was ridiculous—we were lugging so much gear.”

At that moment, the seed for Xscape Pod was planted. Wouldn’t it be great to rent good quality backpacking gear on site and not have to travel with it?

On the 7-day backpacking trip, Parrish kept thinking about the idea to start a business based on the Airbnb model, but for camping gear, and Xscape Pod was born.

Xscape Pod | OutdoorsyClick, pay, camp

The Xscape Pod online interface is easy to use. Select the number of people and the dates of your camping trip, and the system sets up everything you need. The Camping Resources section of the website has all kinds of helpful information, including a checklist of things not included in the Xscape Pod—things you’ll need to pack—like food and bug spray. There are also links to YouTube videos on how to set up a tent, how to use a camp stove, and how to set up a hammock.

Xscape Pod | OutdoorsyGet out, even if you don’t own the gear

Xscape Pod’s mission is to help people create lasting memories in the wilderness. In order to be an experiences promoter, Xscape Pod gets outdoor gear to folks who don’t own the equipment. The typical car camping pod contains over $1,500 worth of gear, including a tent, sleeping bags, cookware, a hammock, headlamps, sleeping pads, and even koozies to keep your beer cold.

One of the company’s target audiences is millennials who might have enjoyed camping in the past, but have yet to invest a paycheck or two at REI to purchase their own gear. Another audience is Generation Z, teens who are just now coming of age, moving away from home, and likely have yet to accumulate all the necessary items for a successful camping or backpacking trip.

This is where the brilliance of Xscape Pod comes in: you can rent all the gear you need and it will be delivered or mailed directly to your home—or destination—for a small fee.

A study by the Harris Group in 2014 found that 72 percent of millennials highly value experiences over possessions and are focused on living a meaningful, happy life that is about creating, sharing and capturing memories gained through experiences. Xscape Pod ties into this zeitgeist by allowing users access to the equipment needed to help them create meaningful outdoor experiences.

Xscape Pod | Outdoorsy

Fly, without the hassle of checking your gear

Outdoorsy RV fans will love the idea of flying somewhere beautiful like Fairbanks, Alaska, renting an RV or camper, picking up the Xscape Pod with all the camping gear you need and heading out to Denali National Park for an adventure. Xscape Pod has a partnership with FedEx so the pod is always set to arrive one day prior to pick up in the location of your choice. The shipping fee is almost equivalent to the extra baggage fees an airline charges and the pod comes with a return label—so all the renter has to do is pack up the pod and slap on the return label to return the gear at the end of the trip.

Xscape Pod | OutdoorsyUse new gear, without making a long-term commitment

Rapidly changing technology in outdoor equipment can make even the most experienced camper dizzy. Xscape Pod is a great way to try out the latest and greatest gear, prior to making a purchase.

Parrish says they have a group of customers he affectionately calls, “first time families.” These are families with young children in which one member of the couple has camped prior to getting married, while the other is a newbie. Xscape Pod provides the opportunity for these families to enjoy a camping experience without making the financial investment of buying all the gear.

“Being in the wilderness is so therapeutic. Just sitting around a campfire looking at the stars is creating memories that are lasting,” Parrish says, reiterating the company’s mission to get more people outside. “Everyone wants to start a business that helps others, but we have started a company that helps people create lasting memories.”

Xscape Pod | Outdoorsy

Ariel Frager

 

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