We approach design with a peculiar mix of science and art, reaching far into the realms of textbooks and "Hey guys, watch this!" It took the death of a man I hadn't seen in nearly half a lifetime to realize he had a sizable hand in shaping this perspective and approach to life. During the funeral service they requested that people share memories, and as I sat I tried to shape words that fit a man I remembered as almost bizarrely enthusiastic. Imagine, if you will, a bit of Doc from "Back To The Future," a glug of Sylvester's "Sufferin' succotash," a mounded cup of Steve Martin, and a dash or three of the guys from Mythbusters... When things didn't go as planned, his standard enthusiastic response was "By God, that's FANTASTIC!" Deconstructing the mess, understanding what happened, was part of the daily game.
He was the father of a best friend & an active leader in our Boy Scout troop. His role in my life was largely between ages 10 to 18, and it would be silly to discount the impressionability of a lad... besides, what we were doing wasn't REALLY learning, it was playing around, right? At 16, my friend & I rigged a model rocket with a fireworks-filled tip and mounted it under the front bumper of my car, complete with launch wiring run to the dashboard. For the big reveal we sagely parked facing a tree farm behind the family house, and amidst the snickers and glimmering of eyes it was hard to tell if the boys in the car or the man in front of the house enjoyed the moment more. Even after the rocket veered wildly off-course, directly toward his dad, who ducked, which allowed for a splashy hit against the side of the house, he merely called out "I think you guys have to work on those flight controls a bit more," wavering betwixt sternness and glee.
What he embraced & embodied was an exuberant curiosity. Unsuppressed, earnest engagement. Smacking his lips on the meal of life like a gourmand at a 5-star dinner, trying to divine and confirm the exact blend of herbs and spices in a delectable dish. It's an almost child-like quest for understanding, of learning not just "why," but why "why" matters, and what you can do with the knowledge... how it plays into the broader game at hand.
Here at Backcountry Bonsai we live the same way. The fruits of our labors, the poking and prodding and questioning and delightful fails... all feed way to products that succeed in the woods, on the trails, and in life. Quirky? You BET! We don't have much interest in doing the same ol' just cuz that's how it's done. We want our goods to maximize our experiences... and yours. If we go about things differently, we do so because it works better. We strive for a ruthlessly purposeful industrial aesthetic that's moderated by appreciation for arts and crafts. We strive for function, and for accessibility to the products, yes, but beyond the products, access and engagement in your outdoor moments.