At the Snow Peak Way last year, we spent a lot of time listening to the stories of our campers. We love hearing about how you started camping and what you have learnt on your travels.
We spoke to Shinsuke Iamai about his experiences of moving to the UK and making camp connections with his friends from work.
Shinsuke Iamai and his friends are making Takoyaki as I arrive at their pitch. There are a few of them gathered around their Takibi, poking at the little battered blobs that are beginning to form on their globular creations. I told them Hideko, our showroom coordinator, was planning to make this very dish in her cooking demonstration later that day (but using cheese, not octopus), and asked if they want to join. Shinsuke held up a bag of fresh octopus, herbs, noodles and vegetables and laughed: he’d come prepared.
I sit down to speak with them and quickly discover they are all colleagues, having recently moved from Japan to nearby Bristol. Shinsuke camped a lot as a child and wanted to continue doing so in the UK. When I asked them why they’d come to Snow Peak Way, the rest of the group smiled and pointed at him.
Shinsuke heard about Snow Peak Way when visiting our flagship store in London. He had some new gear he wanted to test and liked the idea of spending time with his colleagues outdoors: the event was a perfect opportunity to do both.
He and his friends were using the Penta & Hexa Tarps to cover their cooking station and supplies, creating a beautiful shape over their communal area. This set-up provided shelter from the rain and shielded against any wind, whilst also being a perfect space for a larger group to gather around the fire.
The phrase ‘the more the merrier’ certainly applied to this easygoing band of campers, who were more than happy to welcome their neighbours as friends.
As they sat around the fire, sharing jokes and stories, I realised that, with the right tools and gear, it was possible to make a real home in this environment. The group had pitched their tents in a circular formation around their ‘kitchen’, and for the first time outside of work, had come together and were, before my eyes, becoming friends. I’d sat next to one of them, Yuko Shimada, in the sake workshop; we’d compared flavours; she’d told me about the sorts of sake you could normally find in Japan, and recommended her favourite. As we sat before the speakers from Azure Sake and Tazaki Foods, the women gave a demonstration of what to look for in each flavour, and how the harshness of the sea from where it was filtered would play a role in the different aromas. Yuko had told me it was a rare privilege to be able to speak with these knowledgeable women and learn about the process.
Having only moved to the UK recently, Yuko’s little boy Taichi was using Snow Peak Way as a chance to improve his English. An international community had formed around them and though many different languages were spoken, the children had gathered together and were connecting and socialising through play.
Join us down in Lewes, for a weekend of camping, activities, games and Takibi Time.