WILMINGTON, N.C. — Sometimes the great outdoors is calling your name. Unfortunately, a worldwide pandemic can make it hard to answer. That’s the thought behind a new business in Wilmington called Campside Ventures.
It’s something that was born out of Rachel Warren’s love for nature and her own memories of camping with family.
“One of the first places I probably camped was at a family reunion. My whole family would go to Ohio, visit my mom's family at one of my uncle’s farms, and so it would be three generations staying on the farm for three days, doing all sorts of crazy activities,” Warren said. “And so that’s actually probably a good reflection of all of my inspiration that goes into the tent, all the fun stuff that’s in it and what I hope that people can do with it, too.”
Now, she creates the ultimate staycation and brings a full-blown glamping experience right to your own backyard. The hardest part of any camping situation is the setup, but with Warren, all you have to do is relax.
“For the whole entire setup, I race myself to see how fast I can get it done, because then I can get out of people’s way and they can just start enjoying it. But since I work my full-time job, I understand how nice it is to just come in and look outside and be like, ‘Oh, a whole nice beautiful tent just for me,’” Warren said. “You don’t have to like sit inside and be kind of confined to your usual space. You can go outside, enjoy the tent. It gives you a whole new area to just vibe and enjoy the space.”
It’s also a great way to test the waters for first-time campers.
“Maybe you have really young ones, and this gives them a sense of adventure without having to lug them all the way into the woods,” Warren added. “Even though I love going camping in the woods, sometimes it’s not a reality to be able to travel that far, or maybe you have three kids under the age of five. That can be pretty difficult, and here you can watch a movie, too.”
Regardless of why people are choosing to camp — or glamp — in their backyard, Warren is just happy to be a part of it.
“It’s just so satisfying because you take it from literally a blank canvas and you try to make people’s dreams come true for a staycation, or their backyard campout, or slumber parties, or anniversaries,” Warren said. "And so it feels good to be a part of people’s family and celebrating with them, too.”
In the future, Warren hopes to open her own ecology-based campground that will be good for the land, reintroduce native species and educate campers on sustainable camping.