Each of the last two years, I’ve written a feature story for Sunset magazine on camping, and it’s always an interesting experience because the Sunset reader is mostly about thread count and I’m more about simply trying to find a leeward spot on the ground for my sleeping bag. This year’s story was pretty cool, because the editors were focused on sharing the joys of camping, of showing a readership not known for sleeping under the stars just how to go about doing it, and that’s a good thing — getting more people outside.
I covered the range of styles, from backpacking and car camping spots to llama-packing trips to full-on catered five-star outfits, but one little pop-up that didn’t make story was Shelter Co. — because it didn’t yet exist. Launched just within the last couple of months, Shelter is the brainstorm of Kelsey and Mike Sheofsky, who are campers, backpackers, and lovers of style. She’s a creative director, he’s a furniture maker, and they decided to put together a just-add-water steezy camping experience for people who a) don’t camp or b) camp but want to do it in major style.
Shelter provides the canvas tents, beds and bedding, furniture, lighting, and, if necessary, bathrooms — the whole enchilada, all put together with an eye for detail. It’s special occasion camping…party camping…wedding camping. And even if softing it isn’t your cup of tea, you have to appreciate how evocative and nostalgic it is. It puts style and romance into camping, and that’s not something can say about a sleeping bag in the dirt.