We love backpacking and camping. All winter long Kelly curses the snow wondering why we live in the mountains until Spring comes and the trails open up. A simple weekend backpacking or camping is equal to weeks of more urban vacations. It’s a time of real rejuvenation and inspiration for our art.
The summer of 2012 we moved from Colorado to Bozeman Montana. While we were both without jobs we decided to hit the road and tour Yellowstone National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Glacier National Park. It was during this tour that we observed RV culture at it’s finest. We were pitching a tent every night and everything fit nicely into our 2005 Subaru. Our backpacking gear fit into the roof box and our kitchen was pared down to an action-packer tote and cooking was a Swiss-Army-like operation where everything had it’s place and fit just right. Our Subaru became our base camp. The challenge was that traveling in bear country meant that everything had to be stowed immediately after cooking…so a quick cup of hot tea in the evening was out of the question because it simply took too much energy to deploy cooking operations. Whether car-camping overnight or traveling to get to a new backpacking trailhead a base camp on wheels would be the way to go.
So we took this concept…and then started scaling back. We asked ourselves what did we want in a car and trailer camping experience? We had three criteria: 1. We have to be able to pull this trailer with our 4-cylinder Subaru Outback; 2. We can enjoy the luxury of a kitchen and mattress but still be outside; 3. It has to have style.
There had to be a better option for us backpackers.
We decided to build a teardrop trailer! A teardrop is a lightweight trailer with a sleeping cabin for two people and a kitchen in the back. Kelly discovered them in graduate school during an art history course about industrial design, where she learned about “streamlining” in the 1930’s. These trailers get their name from the iconic aerodynamic shape. Teardrops have had a resurgence in last few years and DIY’ers all over are putting their own spin on the classic design.
Over the following posts I’ll show you how we went from an old utility trailer and cad drawings to a beautiful teardrop trailer.