In 2014, a young student was sitting in Tübingen packing his things for a camping trip with friends - and was annoyed. That the tent is so bulky, takes up so much space, weighs so much. And thought to himself: This can be done better!
That student was Tobi. HÄNG Outdoors came from the idea of “this can be done better”. How did this happen? Seven years later, in our birthday week, he answers our questions.
Hi Tobi, tell me - why actually hammocks?
On my many camping trips, I've noticed that every gram really counts. That's how I got into the ultra-light range, especially hammocks. They take up less space and are much more comfortable. At that time I imported them from the USA at great expense, but in the end they weren't quite what I had imagined. So I let friends who could sew show me how to do it and made my own hammocks.
And then - after several prototypes and some tinkering - I finally had the one that was perfect for me hammock. And then something really crazy happened: I was asked by friends and complete strangers in the park about the hammock, where you get it from. So I made a few more copies for friends, and for their friends, and so on. And at some point I had several boxes of hammocks in my shared room and thought: I'll just set up an online shop.
What's the best thing about a startup?
Not having anyone who: tells me I can't do something because it's too crazy. If I'm convinced of something, I can try it out without restrictions.
During founding you lived completely in the van for a while - so you are definitely experienced in camping. What should you never be without?
- Pillowcase/Stuffsack - A pillow stuffed with clothes, otherwise a laundry bag.
- Battery Pack - Without electricity, without me.
- HDMI cable (when traveling) - This way you can connect the laptop to any TV and watch Netflix in the hostel
When you go on vacation, what do you prefer: mountains or sea?
Everything - except places with heat or mosquitoes.
And what is the funniest thing that has happened to you on your travels so far?
I was pulled out by customs on arrival in NZ because the dog banged on my luggage. I was in sheer panic not to be let in after a flight of almost 48 hours. No idea why. That's the day I learned that NZ checked biohazards and trained dogs for fruit. I still had an apple in my luggage.
What's a lesser known fact about you?
I've got two! First: I know every documentary on YouTube. Every.
And second: I collect cables. Scart to 3.5mm jack? No stress, I can plug it together for you from my veritable collection.
And, last but not least: What would you be doing today if it hadn't worked out with HÄNG?
Mh, I don't know - as a child I wanted to be a carpenter 😁