“We meet you at the campsite and we set it all up for you,” said founder and owner Pete Donley, of Liberty Twp. “Tell us when you’re leaving and we drop it down and take care of it for you. The only thing that you need to bring is your food.”
The business isn’t just providing a service, he said, it’s also providing the freedom to book at the last second.
“You get home on a Friday evening, you want to unplug and spend time with your family, but you don’t want to have to worry about spending thousands of dollars on camping gear and worry about how you’re going to set it up, tear it down and clean it,” Donley said.
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Customers may book one of two packages. A large tent package is roomy and fits one to six people in a large tent with up to four single cots or six floor foam pads. A small tent package is for one to two people and includes a small tent and up to two single cots or three floor foam pads.
Both packages feature quality sleeping bags, camping chair and battery-powered lanterns. Tent packages can be combined to allow for even more space.
A Cooking Package features one cooking stove with two burners, a cooking and cleaning station, a full canister of propane attached to a Coleman stove and a cooking set of pots and pans.
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The company’s S’mores Package includes enough s’mores for six people (two per person), a small cooler with cold packs, Kraft marshmallows, Hershey milk chocolate, graham crackers and between one and six marshmallows roasting sticks.
Donley said his first camping experience started when he joined the Boy Scouts in 1989. In 1994, after several merit badges, community service hours, leadership positions, and a lot of hard work, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Scouts BSA program of the Boy Scouts of America.
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The idea of going from a small, one-person tent to a whole family camping investment that includes Donley, his wife, two children and a dog came when the couple realized how expensive, laborious and time-consuming camping with the family can be, he said.
Donley said Squirrel Box Camping is one of the first companies providing a traditional camping experience, one he hopes will help people get excited about enjoying the great outdoors via camping.
“Then, once they enjoy the gear and they see what it’s like actually camping, they know it’s affordable to buy this gear themselves,” he said. “This is giving the essence of what true camping is.”
Squirrel Box Camping is available online at squirrelboxcamping.com.