Who We AreWe're two brothers who grew up in a family in which vacation almost always meant camping, and we did a lot of it throughout Washington, Oregon, California and other western states as we were growing up. In our neighborhood, ours was the family that camped. Camping didn't involve motorcycles, but it was real, honest-to-god camping: heavy canvas tent, sleeping bags on the ground with no sleeping pads, cooking over a fire or Coleman stove, fishing for breakfast, etc. We were totally into it, but in spite of all the shared camping experiences as we were growing up, the two of us brothers took very different paths on our way to Full Throttle Camping.
Besides family camping, I was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Explorer Scout; during high school I sometimes snow-camped to ski at Crystal Mountain; for high school graduation, my parents gave me a tent, sleeping bag and backpack - you get the picture. The whole outdoors/camping thing was not peripheral but central; it's a core value for me.
I grew up in the sixties when motorcycles were exploding on the scene as recreational vehicles. I was five when I first sat on a motorcycle (a late model Panhead in '62); six when the Honda company's "Nicest People" campaign began; seven when the Hondels performed "Little Honda" on Shindig; ten when Chocolate George was killed; twelve when Then Came Bronson debuted on the tube; and about that same age when I started taking occasional spins on my uncle's 160cc Yamaha or walking over to the local Honda shop and sitting on bike after bike until I was told to leave. By now, I've lost count of the times I've put in 700 mile days on the I-5 corridor, carved the California and Oregon coasts, and crisscrossed the various Coast Ranges, not to mention the Cascades, Sierras and Rockies. Slinging my leg over the saddle of a motorcycle is like coming home, and riding is when I feel most alive. I bring to FTC a passion for riding, a love of camping generally and of motorcycle camping specifically, and an unwavering commitment to our clientele: motorcycle riders who camp. To me, camping and motorcycling go hand-in-hand; they're the perfect complement to each other. The weirdest thing I've confronted selling camping gear at motorcycle rallies across the country is motorcyclists who think a camping gear vendor is out of place at a motorcycle event. Heck, I can't imagine why camping gear vendors haven't been a mainstay of motorcycle rallies from the start.
The Outdoorsman (as told by the Rider)
In 1976, at ages 15 and 17, my two younger brothers rode bicycles coast to coast, by themselves, camping all the way. Yes, two teenagers riding bikes across the entire country - Seattle to Philadelphia - without supervision, without cell phones, without support vehicles. The youngest went on to immerse himself in the outdoors lifestyle - camping, hiking, climbing, snow-shoeing, Nordic skiing - and dedicating himself to the outdoor recreation industry, working for Seattle-based Outdoor Research and repping for some of the biggest names in the business. He has a wealth of knowledge about camping gear manufacturers and their products, connections throughout the industry, and extensive personal experience as an outdoorsman. If it has to do with high-quality tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and the like, he knows about it. His expertise is what enables FTC to offer motorcycle riders only the finest camping equipment in the industry. BTW, he hates this picture - dig the socks! - so I just had to include it!
Outdoorsman: "Where do bikers get their camping gear?"
Rider, shrugging: "Wherever. There's no special camping store for motorcycle riders."
Outdoorsman: "Let's change that."
The ResultFTC was launched at Sturgis. We chose that venue because it is a high-profile motorcycle event (you can't deny that) with a strong camping emphasis (you can deny that), and we wanted to make a point: Full Throttle Camping exists to outfit motorcycle riders with camping equipment. We'll sell to anyone, of course, but the point is that motorcyclists aren't a sideline or an afterthought for FTC - they're the reason we exist. From its inception, FTC has been "out there" where motorcycle riders gather and where motorcycle camping is going on. We try to make it to upwards of 20 motorcycle rallies a year in order to demonstrate the latest equipment, talk with riders one-on-one and stay thoroughly connected to the motorcycle camping world.
FTC isn't a mall with all the popular stuff, a discount store with all the cheap crap, or a frilly boutique with all the wannabe gear. It's a serious camping supply store for motorcycle riders who want the best camping equipment available. Because FTC is a partnership between a rider who camps and an outdoorsman who's deep into the camping gear industry, we actually know both worlds and are uniquely qualified to find and offer the best, most rider-friendly camping equipment in the world.
From now on, the answer to "Where do riders get their camping gear?" is simple: Full Throttle Camping.