I was just recently introduced to Tim Dube and Capitol Hill Outfitters and really appreciated his story. We’re all about helping people get out into the wilderness to do some backpacking, camping and hiking and Tim is serving an area that definitely doesn’t get enough of it!
Can you tell us a little about you and your business?
Capitol Hill Outfitters rents hiking and camping gear to individuals and groups, as packages or as single items. Our customers range from families who need a larger tent for their next trip now that their families have grown, to Hill interns here for the summer who didn’t bring their own equipment, but want to experience our fabulous parks.
What sparked the idea to start your business?
I moved from Northern California to Washington, DC in 2010. Prior to having children, I spent a lot of time hiking and backpacking in our new home region. I invested in backpacking and camping equipment to accommodate seasons and weather. After we had kids, in following our neighborhood list serve, a lot of people with families were looking to go camping but didn’t have the gear. I had stuff, but no time to go to camping anymore. An idea was born!
How long have you been hiking/camping?
About 25 years of hiking and car camping, and about ten years of more serious backpacking. I didn’t grow up doing much in the outdoors, so this is all since about college.
What’s your favorite place to hike or camp?
I can’t get enough of the Grand Canyon. I’ve done the corridor trails several times with families and groups, and there’s nothing like showing that place to someone the first time. But, off those trails, the Canyon and its ecology and geology are even more magical.
What some other places have you traveled to to get into the backcountry?
In the Grand Canyon, we bushwhacked up Clear Creek to Chevaya Falls, which flows only once every few winters when there’s been enough early season snow. We were very lucky to have seen an heard it flow, though by the time we got back to camp, our ankles and calves were bloody from all the prickly foliage we had to navigate!
Tell me one of your favorite trail stories…
Last year I took a group to Grand Teton National Park. The second morning, about a dozen moose including bulls, sows, and calves walked through our campsite. All six of us stood as quietly as we could out of the way and just watched them for over an hour as they meandered through.
If you could tell a beginner hiker or camper one thing before going out for their first trip what would it be?
Embrace the dirt and the bugs. Be comfortable rewearing your contact lenses, and remember that mosquito bites are less itchy, the more of them you have…
Where can we find out more about your business?