This Seattle mom is on a mission to bring the great outdoors to the lazy
- Justin Caffier
Her startup, Lazy Camper, was co-founded by a former AI expert at Amazon.
If you think you would like to go camping at least one time in the next decade or so, the very first thing you should do is buy a $30 lifetime REI Co-op membership. In the age of subscription services for everything, even accessing data on devices you already own—enjoy the rest of that battery life in the discarded tech drawer, my now-useless Oura ring—lifetime memberships are rare boons. And there seems to be a unanimous consensus that the one offered by REI is one of the best out there in all of retail.
For those who’ve already sorted their membership, but are still too busy with work and life or intimidated by analysis paralysis when looking for camping gear, Seattle’s own Cat Sherbourne wants to make sure they still have what they need to get out there and experience the great outdoors.
Her new company, Lazy Camper, understands that it’s not always lack of will, time, or funds that keep people from pitching a tent. Sometimes the biggest impediment to someone appreciating nature’s resplendent beauty is all the mishegoss required to plan a trip that has all the necessities and creature comforts needed for a camping trip that’s both safe and fun.
Launched with the help of her husband, Chong Sun, whose experience with machine learning and AI as a data scientist at Amazon undergirds the enterprise, Lazy Camper offers a variety of rentable packages to customers that include everything they need for their outdoor adventure. Whether an individual in need of bare bones arrangements or a family-of-three looking to borderline “glamp”—I shouldn’t have to link to the definition for that word ever again—they’ve got you covered literally and figuratively.
Prices range from $32 to $119 dollars per package and include obvious basics like tents and sleeping bags as well as fancier fare for the little Lord Fauntleroys out there like sheet sets, air mattresses, head lamps, camp chairs, facial wipes, and “premium bug spray.” Oh là là!
Living up to its name and hoping to encourage spontaneous answers to the call of the wild, Lazy Camper delivers these items within 24 hours—before 2 pm on the day of your trip—and picks them up once you’re back. The only caveat is you have to live in King County, Washington to take advantage of this same-day delivery promise. The company’s still in its earliest stages after all. But as they recently told GeekWire, they do have plans to grow their customer base and eventually expand operations to other states.
The couple has expressed that working together to fulfill orders, often with Sun dropping them off on customer doorsteps himself on his morning commute to work, has made the job relatively easy. The biggest issue seems to be the time sink of sanitizing the used items for the next renter. But Sherbourne seems to be approaching the challenges with grace and focused on the greater mission.
“We’re building each other up and building a better product all the time,” she told GeekWire. “It feels like not just delivering gear but delivering an experience for people.”
With an attitude like that, she and the company are sure to go far. And if she were to somehow find a way to utilize the amazing value of the REI Co-op Lifetime Membership into her business operations, Lazy Camper just might give the outdoor gear giant a run for its money.