Campers Village's top picks at Outdoor Retailer

In this retailer report, the Canadian outdoor retailer dishes on what gear excites them most from Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018.
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James Shutz, Director of Marketing, Campers Village Edmonton and Calgary, Canada

James Schutz, director of marketing at Campers Village in Edmonton and Calgary, Canada

Established in 1963, Campers Village is an independently owned outdoor retailer focused on camping, hiking, and paddling. Its three locations across Edmonton and Calgary, Canada, strive to provide expert advice and quality products that promote and enable memory-making outside.

“We’re more on the high-service side of things,” Schutz says. “Real product knowledge, high-touch customer service, and a curated selection of products make us different from the average outdoor store. Our staff members are outside and doing the activities that we support. They can speak about the products that they use on the weekends all season long.”

Recently, Campers Village has seen an uptick in kayak sales, which Schutz attributes to their local climate. “The water is a little colder where we are, so the season for being right in the water is a bit shorter. In that regard, kayaks are more accessible.” The retailer has also recently expanded its lineup of “serious” backpacking boots. He points to the booming economy and a correlating “flight to quality,” noting that “people are buying up and looking for better quality.”

In eyewear, Schutz says that Campers Village stays in the “cheap and cheerful category” filled with more casual, lower price-point options.

James Schutz top picks

What new gear are you most excited about so far?

1. Kokopelli Rogue Packrafts

“It allows you to pack an entire system on your back and hike into an area where you couldn’t possibly explore any other way. It seems to be built for rapids, and the idea of hiking up somewhere and then enjoying some rapids on the way out would be pretty cool.”

2. Thermacell Backpacker non-spray mosquito repellent

“In Canada where we’re at, we have lots of mosquitos, so it’s a huge seller. Those things work amazingly well.”

3. Tenkara Hane Rod

“I was impressed at how insanely light it was. All you need is the rod, a short amount of line, and a fly. We don’t want to be a fishing shop, but you don’t have to look at this as a whole fishing category. You can have 10 SKUs and everything you need. We look at it as a backpacking accessory.”

4. LifeSaver Jerrycan Water Purification System

“You can get a lot of water in there, so you fill it up, bring it to your campsite, and don’t have to be constantly refilling.”

5. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

“I was impressed at how well they did on Amazon Prime Day. They had a crazy deal on them: 60 percent off. They sold 150,000 of them, which is insane for a small brand like that.” 

This article was originally published in Day 1 of The Daily (summer 2018).

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