What is passion? What is craft? What is harmony? The answers are readily assembled from the actions of Andrew and Emma, the husband and wife team behind Miscellaneous Adventures. Between them they craft an array of outdoor appliances from their signature Adventure Spoons through other wooden goods, backpacks and bags. They also host workshops that help folk do stuff better outside.
We caught up with them following some extensive online stalking to discuss their products and their ethos, and ended up asking them to become our latest artists in residence and stocking their hand crafted cookware.
The couple have a lifestyle the envy of many: genuine outdoor living that is rooted in creativity and sharing nature. But it’s not without sacrifice. By our estimation, Andrew is working four full time jobs. And, whilst their direction of travel has been clear, they readily admit, it’s not been planned: it’s developing “organically”.
An appropriate term, given they live in the top floor of a working barn, on a small estate near Brighton. Andrew manages the grounds and woods in return for cheap lodging. We expected that he would have a forestry career, but his background is as an illustrator. A damn good one at that, working with the all manner of leading brands, including our own Poler Stuff. The forestry came more recently:
“Although I only got my Forestry qualifications last year, I have been lucky to have been well taught by several people before and since I started here.”
Which tells you a lot about their commitment to the life they are living. It demanded purpose. and perseverance. It entails compromise. It takes time to find the right balance, to approach harmony. But a happily resonant state is most surely what Andrew and Emma are approaching. We’d guess their harmonic vibes radiate from the passion they share for an imagined future together. One that they have willed into being. Making their lives work for them, they way they make products work for other people.
Emma is a graphic designer by trade, also known as ‘the sewing half’, meticulously crafting their rucksacks and supporting cast of sheaths and pouches. She recently put her own work on one side, to devote six solid months to Miscellaneous Adventures. It was time well spent. They are the proud owners of a groovy new website, ballooning online community and a Logbook packed with some of the best outdoor writing we’ve come across. Articles on how to cook a pizza in a Dutch Pot, or detailing the incendiary properties of Scots Pines, are a joy to read. They couldn’t be more up our street if we had we penned them ourselves.
Their handmade camp-craft products have also taken a turn too, with the latest edition of the Adventure Spoon now being made from Beech for it’s natural microbial resistance, it’s consistent aesthetics and the lack of waste:
“I used to end up with a large pile of shavings on the floor as well a spoon. Now I’m working with a local sawmill to use offcuts. The process excludes waste almost entirely.”
Always reflecting. Always improving. We like that. We love products that have a strong design element. Products that change for good reason, not just to bump sales with a new colourway. Which is why we’re proud to stock their Spoons, Chopping Boards and Firesteels. They epitomise everything we stand for: solid, sustainable, classic products that help you have better outdoor experiences. If you’re packing light, the spoon is the perfect thing to stir your morning porridge. If you’re car camping take the entire set, along with an EZY stove and dutch pot. Your cookouts will be the envy of the entire campsite.
We also plan to have a lot of fun with their forked branch catapults at our Chapter Gatherings. Andrew and Emma are no strangers to a good gathering themselves. They have extensive experience of running workshops in the woods, even Christmas parties! All based around teaching skills that enable folk to enjoy their outdoor experiences more, such as axe skills, firelighting, camp cooking and wild butchery.
The way they frame their workshops resonates stongly with the Gather ethos. This isn't about teaching people “the skills they need to survive”. The skills we need to survive are making good strong coffee and avoiding stepping under a bus whilst gazing at a smartphone. They are being honest and saying "Here are some cool tricks to help you have a bit more fun when you're outdoors". We love that. We love Miscellaneous Adventures and we know you willl too.
We cant wait to see what comes from their time floating above the forest floor in one of our Tentsile tree tents, which it turned out Andrew had been dying to try out. Given his background in illustration and Emma's in graphic design, we cant wait to see what their time as artists in residence will inspire. You can be sure we'll let you know just as soon as we find out!
We hope to organise some Gather Outdoors vs Miscellaneous Adventures gatherings at some point, but meantime if you want to discuss a bespoke outdoor experience for groups of 8-20 good people in the Brighton area, speak to Emma firstname.lastname@example.org
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!
OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly