Recently, a few of our staff had the opportunity to meet up with Ian and John from Outwell for some staff training. We took to Huish Woods Scout Campsite to set up a few choice models, get some expert pointers from the reps and enjoy a spot of barbecue food, some good conversation and the opportunity to spend the night in some of Outwell’s flagship tent models.
This is the only training event of it’s type that is conducted in the UK, so we were quite privileged to be there with some local (and very friendly) competitors to learn all things Outwell.
The day started at a leisurely 2pm where everyone arrived, were introduced to one another and then participated in some games to break the ice a little! There were about 13 of us in total, so a smallish group; big enough to pitch the tents quickly, but small enough to have plenty of opportunity to quiz the reps and chat in detail about the brand, the market and whatever else!
After the breaking of the ice there was a little competition to see who could pack away a pop-up tent the quickest, which was won by our very own Matt, who completed the task in just 32 seconds!
The great thing about these events is that our little TL army gets to learn about the latest innovations in family camping. Outwell are arguably the forerunner in terms of family tent innovation – so we’re learning about new features that probably haven’t made their way onto many others in the market. This keeps them ahead of the curve and while this may sound like marketing ‘guff’ – I think it’s generally accepted that in family tents, Outwell are the big fish at the moment.
So we set about getting acquainted with the tent models that were to be pitched that evening, as well as receiving a detailed appraisal of the overall tent collections too.
Considering what the weather has been like in recent weeks, we got a pretty nice, mild and (partly) sunny afternoon – much better than pitching tents in the rain!
The Outwell tents we were putting up:
- Wolf Lake 7
- Georgia 7P
- Bahia 7
- Montana 6
- Nevada MP
While Ian was off preparing for the evening’s BBQ, John (aka ‘Outwell Guy’ from their YouTube product videos) talked us through the best methods to pitch the tents as well as pointing out individual features as we went along. This was great for Jess, Liam and Amanda who don’t get the same time with the family tents as the Sanders tent show staff do.
As Matt and myself have plenty of experience working with these tents, we took a step back and let the others get close to and inspect the tents. We’ve seen them up close day-in and day-out for the last few years, noticing the gradual evolution in design and features that spread their way across the ranges. For example, the introduction of the ‘Panoramic Front’ (which puts the ‘P’ in ‘Montana 6P’) – now on many more tents for 2013. Tinted windows are now on the Classic Collection, as are ‘floating guylines’ and other innovations.
The crazy thing is, John and Ian were due for a final meeting on Outwell’s 2014 range within a couple of weeks, so they were reeling off all this information about this season’s tents as well as having all the 2014 stuff in their head at the same time – confusing!
We pitched the Wolf Lake 7 and the Bahia 7 together, with us learning bits of information about the tent as we went – I don’t think I’ve ever seen 10+ people pitch a tent before, but it certainly didn’t take long!
We then split into groups and set about pitching the other models.
Matt and I handled the Montana 6, Jess, Liam and others sorted the Nevada MP, while the rest of the group tackled the Georgia 7P
After the tents were set up and everyone had been taught all there is to know about Outwell’s tent collections, innovations and materials, a long and informative day was ended and we fired up the BBQ!
As you’ll see, we had more than enough food. We cooked up burgers and sausages on three Cazal Grills and they were absolutely delicious – just what was needed after an afternoon of tent pitching!
We also cooked up onions, veg and other bits and pieces on the Chef Cooker Stoves which were really easy to use and cooked well!
Here are a few photos from the event.
Huge thanks to the John and Ian from Outwell who were very friendly and accommodating, happy to share their knowledge and ensured we all had a good time. We were quite privileged that they company took the time out to give us the opportunity not only to see the tents, but to actually use them and understand more about how they work.
Hello to folks at Bristol Camping, Devon Outdoor, World of Camping and Attwools. Nice to meet you all!
Here are some images of the event. Enjoy!
By Luke Tozer