As part of our Summer Gear Upgrade series, we’re partnering with Snow Peak fans to show us how they put their gear to use. This week we’ve partnered with Jonathan Rahmani, an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves camping and quality Takibi Time.
What’s your favorite Snow Peak product?
I’ve had several favorites at this point, but my current favorite has to be the entire IGT system. As a designer, I spend a lot of my time considering how to provide experiences for people that are useful, while also being enjoyable in their simplicity. The IGT system is thoughtfully designed in a way that then enables me to design just what I need for the moment. It's also a lot of fun dreaming up new ways it can be used to create future experiences centered around food in the outdoors.
A recent, likely unintended, use for the system has been as a tabletop standing desk solution while I've been working from home for the past 5 months. The 400 length legs are the perfect height, and the sliding extension provides just the right additional surface for my keyboard and mouse.
How did you first become familiar with Snow Peak?
I think my first encounter with Snow Peak was when a good friend and coworker gifted me a steel Kanpai Bottle. At the time, I had never seen a thermos so well-engineered. From the simple shape to the multiple lid options based on the temperature of the contents and use of the bottle, to the interior sized perfectly for a 12oz can of your favorite cold beverage. I’ve still got that bottle and it has plenty of dings and dents that I’m very proud of… but I’m happy to say that I've recently acquired its titanium counterpart and I love it.
What do you love about being outside?
This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer. First, I think it’s important to acknowledge that “outside” means several things but is often assumed to mean only a few things. While I of course associate the term with camping or backpacking, I’ve started reading more about how exclusive those spaces can be. I think it’s important for me, and the broader outdoor industry to think more inclusively about what “outside” can mean. For more thoughts on this, I highly recommend following Chelsea Murphy (@she_colorsnature) on Instagram and reading the book Black Faces White Spaces by Carolyn Finney.
I’ve recently begun to appreciate (partly due to the limitations on travel these days) just how much a walk through the streets of the neighborhood, or a day spent in the park can make the difference between a stressful day or a more restful one. Are all forms of “outside” equally fulfilling for me? No, but I believe many forms of “outside” can provide the connection we all need to the natural world.
I think Snow Peak’s approach to the outdoors translates easily to this way of thinking. The gear can equip you for a multi-day backpacking trip in the mountains, a road trip full of car camping, a picnic in a city park or backyard, or even for a day exploring a city.
What’s your secret to a successful camping trip with others? What about solo?
Well, I’d have to say the key to any successful trip with others is a good amount of planning! I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing plans come together as folks gather around the fire with plates full of food they never imagined they would be able to enjoy while camping. If you can achieve that, everything else is secondary.
Oh, and I have learned to check in with everyone beforehand, especially folks who are new to camping, to make sure they’ve got the key pieces they’ll need for a good night's sleep. If they don’t, I’m always happy to loan some of my extra gear. You can never have enough extra gear.
For solo camping, planning comes first again – where am I going? What regulations and requirements should I be aware of? Where are the best sites? What’s the average weather conditions? The bottom line, any camping trip is going to be so much more enjoyable if I’m feeling prepared. That said, if you’re just getting started, be prepared to not be prepared. You’re going to make mistakes, but this is part of the process. Make note of what you could have done, or shouldn’t have done, could have brought, or most importantly – shouldn't have brought. You’ll get good at this over time. Honestly, I’m still learning something new every time I go camping.