No More Cold Uncomfortable Nights!
For founder John Arbon, Boy Scouts and camping have always been intrinsically connected, and because of that, he developed a deep respect and love for the outdoors. Not only for its beauty and ruggedness, but also for its capacity to renew from the everyday hubbub and rush of urban life.
There was one season, however, in which he dreaded going camping. Winter.
He shares a vivid memory. “Either I didn’t listen to the instructions given to me by my leaders, or they didn’t know how to properly camp and enjoy the outdoor winter environment. I dressed in my cotton thermals, t-shirts, and jeans. I threw on a heavy jacket and winter boots and trudged on to camp where I laid out my flannel lined sleeping bag and had a miserable, wet, cold time.”
John has five boys, and all would go through the experience of winter camping. He wanted them to have a much better experience. So he read and searched out people who knew how to camp in the outdoors. In his searching, he tracked down an instructor who had taught his dad winter survival and gear making. With some luck, he convinced the instructor to teach him what he knew.
After that, John started making gear of his own. There were no patterns available for sleeping bags, and the materials that he used were unique. He turned his parent’s basement into a mad scientist laboratory where he experimented with sleeping bag designs and taught himself how to sew.
John recalls, “I took my prototype sleeping bag to the winter camps, and the fathers of the other boys who were there chuckled as I laid out my obviously homemade bag on the ground cloth on the snow and announced that I was going to sleep without a tent or an external heat source. It was with deep satisfaction that I heard running motors in the parking lot in the wee hours of the morning as those same fathers, and their boys tried to warm up in their cars. I just rolled over and went back to sleep, comfortable and content.”
As people started asking about his warm sleeping bags, he started to sell them and in 2010 Pakanuni was born. Evolving and making quality camping gear simpler has been a passion of John’s for the past 11 years. He recalls a traumatic experience that helped bring about the evolution.
“One camping trip when I was younger having pulled my drawstring completely closed to keep in the heat. I woke up in the middle of the night and for what seemed like a lifetime could not open my bag to get out! I could NOT find the zipper or the drawstring release! I felt trapped and literally suffered a claustrophobic episode! I thought this experience was unique to me, but in the years of talking to customers at trade shows etc. I discovered that the fear of being trapped was quite common.”
So, I created a flap closure sleeping bag that has a blanket top that traps in the heat, but not you. I also added a glow in the dark zipper pull that glows all night long, both of which allow you to easily get out when nature calls in the wee hours of the morning.
John’s continued passion along with listening to clients feedback and embracing fabrics and materials (like Climashield) that are breathable, warm, and dry easily, to ensure not just a pleasant nights sleep but a comfortable one are at the heart of Pakanuni.