We've been trading for just under 2 years. We've worked hard to create a concept that surpasses the versatility offered by conventional camping solutions, increases comfortable living in the wild, get it put into production and in front of enough people so that we can sustain a new full time business!

A real learning curve for two guys that until 3 years ago hadn't touched a sewing machine.

Then last week, Back Country called. For those that do not know Back Country, they are an authority in the world of outdoor gear and equipment. Based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, Back Country have established themselves as one of the most popular US retailers over the past 20 years. “We just posted Tentsile on our social media and the response has been very exciting,” they said. “We need to get you out here ASAP do get an interview and have you give a first hand demo to our staff. Can you leave tomorrow?” Lucky I have a very understanding wife.

Next day I was boarding a plane and heading for JfK where my itinerary had me hauled up between 1am and 5am. It was hardly worth leaving the airport for the hotel room but I was glad to have a bath after the 7 hour flight as I had no idea what I was walking in to.

I was picked up at the airport after a second flight which got me into Salt Lake at 10am and thankfully, presented with a massive American cheeseburger for breakfast from a place called, “5 guys” or something. While stuffing my face in the back seat, I was taken up into the mountains and before I could wipe the grease off my chin, I was being introduced to the whole Back Country content management team. Directors, camera people, writers, testers, the lot.

My first job was to show the team how to set up a Stingray. Which, in my state of whizzing head a full belly, I rushed and got it wrong first time ( I wanted to show them I could do it in less than 5 minutes but I should have taken my time – even under pressure). I was interviewed while perched in the doorway of the Stingray, in borrowed boots. After that, the Back Country team wanted to see if they could utilize the nearby stream by getting a tent up over it!

We each had a bounce around in the Connect we set up over the stream and then got the Vista up so that everyone got a chance to be familiar with all three or our tent models. We took some time to make a few “How To” shorts and some “Top Tips” before the sun went down and we had to pack up before the evening temperature plummeted. By this point, I was feeling the effects of the 18 hour journey and full on 12 hour filming day. I was to be back on a plane within the next few hours ( after a lovely dinner ) and rounding up my whirlwind trip to the US.

This is just what you do when you are asked to teach Back Country about your start up company and range of crazy Tree Tents.

Alex Shirley-Smith