Teton Sports & decreasing consumerism

Let me begin by saying this is a totally non-sponsored post. Teton Sports did not ask me to talk about this incident at all. But I’m going to share it with you anyway, because it has made me appreciative of them as a company and I think more people should know positive stories about companies.

IMG_6262 (1)So as you may or may not have noticed in pictures on this site, we have two old tents- a two person and a four person tent (seen above in our recent trip to Bothe-Napa). Both tents are more than 20 years old. And you know what? They still work just fine. We had to seam-seal the rain fly on one of the tents this year, but really, they just keep on chugging. So bless you, REI and Eureka Backcountry, for making tents that really last a long time. But the stuff sacks for both tents have become exhausted over time and both developed big rips in them. (See picture below.) We’re kind of in to the concept of not adding more STUFF to the world, and we don’t want to buy new tents just because the stuff sacks are sad.

IMG_6354 (1)I went in to REI to see if there was a way to get a new tent stuff sack. According to the guy in the REI tent section, nope, it was not possible. There are stuff sacks that could fit sleeping bags and various other gear storage bags, but no tent-shaped bags. Couldn’t find any bags from Eureka online, either.

Out of complete randomness (but actually probably mostly because they’re active on Twitter), I decided to send a message to Teton Sports– did they have extra tent bags? I apologized in advance– I didn’t have Teton Sports tents, and I really didn’t want to buy a tent– I just wanted to know if they had extra bags.

I got a speedy response from their social media/internet watchperson. He thought it would be possible, and that it would run me about $10/bag, which I thought was totally reasonable. He would just need to check with the warehouse and then he’d get back to me. I said that would be delightful and sat back to wait for him to respond.

Welllll, things must have gotten busy at Teton Sports, because I didn’t hear from him for a few weeks. I had just about given up hope when I emailed them again to see if perhaps there were bags and it had just gotten lost in the shuffle?

He emailed me back instantly and asked for my mailing address, but did not send payment information. Yesterday two tent bags showed up. We now have lovely tent bags, grace à Teton Sports. I realize that in sending out two tent bags, probably Teton Sports is getting more back in creating future customers (because hey– if I need another tent or a sleeping bag or other outdoor gear, guess who I’m checking out?) but to me, this is also the essence of trying to be a company that supports the Earth. They’re a company that makes a business by getting people to buy more stuff, yes– but this also demonstrated that they’re a company that tries to not have people buy more stuff. It’s a tricky balance for any business, and I applaud Teton Sports for doing their part to decrease the STUFF in our world. Reuse your tents, your sleeping bags, your outdoor gear. But when you need to buy new stuff? Consider from whence you are purchasing said stuff. And in the meantime, check out our 20 year old tent in a beautiful new bag:

IMG_6355 (1)

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