We had the good fortune of connecting with Donnie and Danielle Atkinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Donnie and Danielle, every day, we hear about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Over the past 10 or so years, before starting our business, we would use our vacation and time off from our day jobs to go camping. We’ve been on camping trips all over the Western United States from the Grand Canyon here in Arizona to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. While on these camping trips, we witnessed other campers experiencing some of the common challenges that come with camping (e.g. getting to the campsite after dark, forgetting important gear, realizing your gear is broken only after getting to the campsite, etc.) and that got us thinking about ways to help mitigate some of those challenges with a new business. After three or four years of thinking and refining what services we might be able to offer to help make camping easier, we settled on the idea of renting camping gear packages to the public and offering the additional service of setting up the camping gear for our customers at their campsite. This service allows our customers the luxury of knowing that their camping gear will be high-quality, clean, in working condition, and set up for them when they arrive at their campsite which eliminates many of the initial challenges that campers might face. Additionally, we decided early on that the true goal of the business is to get more people outdoors and enjoying the parks and nature areas in Arizona. The services that we offer help to break down the barriers that first-time campers might have, like the high cost of purchasing camping gear and the space needed to store the gear, that are preventing them from enjoying the great outdoors.

What should our readers know about your business?
Campsite Outfitters is a camping gear rental company that offers service-tiers which set us apart from your standard rental shop. The camping gear packages that we offer contain the base camping gear for two people which includes: a four-person tent, two sleeping bags, two sleeping pads, two camp chairs, and two lanterns and each rental package comes with a service of your choosing. Our Campsite Outfitting service includes delivery, set up, and break down of the rented camping gear at the customer’s campsite, our Backyard Outfitting service includes the delivery, set up, and break down of the rented camping gear at the customer’s backyard (good for kids’ birthday parties, sleepovers, date nights under the stars, etc.), and our Delivery (Self-Setup) service includes the delivery and pickup of the rented camping gear to/from our customers’ home or work locations so they can take the camping gear wherever they like and set it up/break it down themselves.

While we’re excited about all of the services that we offer our customers, the most exciting one in our minds is the Campsite Outfitting service. We believe that, through the Campsite Outfitting service, we have the best opportunity to introduce more people, who might not have felt that they were equipped to camp, to the joys of camping and the outdoors in general. By removing some of the challenges involved with camping with the Campsite Outfitting service, and by educating our customers about camping during the process, we think we can help more people experience the calming and restorative effects of nature and that’s something to get excited about.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To begin with, we would take them to Dick’s Hideaway for one of the best brunches and bloody Marys in town (the cheese enchiladas and eggs is our favorite dish). After brunch, we would head to the Phoenix Art Museum to check out their amazing exhibits. Then off to lunch at Chula Seafood for the freshest fish in the valley where we would recommend the swordfish burrito, poke bowls, or fish and chips. If it’s Summer we could then go to The Clarendon Hotel for some drinks by the pool or, if the weather is nicer, we could head to the Desert Botanical Gardens to view some of the incredible desert plant life. To finish the night off, it would be a quick dinner at Short Leash Hot Dogs (with the veggie dog option for us) and then a few mellow drinks on the patio at Thunderbird Lounge.

After showing some of what the city has to offer we would then recommend going back to Chula Seafood the next day and purchasing some raw fish from their seafood counter to pack up and bring on a camping trip up on the Mogollon Rim near Payson, AZ for a four-day camping trip. Any campground in the Forest Lakes area of the Mogollon Rim is great and then we would enjoy hiking, paddle-boarding, kayaking, and all that nature has to offer for the next four days.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Thanks to our County, State, and National parks systems we’re able to readily access nature and all of the joy that comes with being in nature. Without access to these parks, we’re not sure if we would have even become interested in camping and starting a business around camping. Additionally, the care and support from our families and friends is what has kept us going in pursuing the goals of our business. So we’ll dedicate our shoutout to the incredible parks systems (and the natural areas they maintain) for inspiring us and the people closest to us for keeping us going.

Website: https://campsiteoutfitters.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/campsiteoutfitters/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Campsite-Outfitters-108965884603529

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