Nestled within the lush coastal forests and misty mountains of Washington state, ROAM Beyond’s rustically refined “glampers” and unplugged set-ups are redefining what it means to go off-road in the era of Instagram, where using a stylish form of transportation (hello, #vanlife) and access to modern amenities and comforts are just as important as the picturesque location.
Founded by two veterans of the adventure travel industry, ROAM Beyond consists of a series of remote, off-the-grid campsites in idyllic locales, where there are no hook-ups and virtually zero human development. Here, where people can best connect with nature, they set up their fashionable wooden campers, creating the perfect middle-ground between rugged tent-camping and RV-park camping, allowing for total immersion in the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort.
“Our sites are mobile and can be uniquely positioned to give guests a front-row seat to the most awe-inspiring landscapes and wildlife viewings in the perfect season,” says CEO and co-founder Corey Weathers. With adventure travelers often having to choose between lugging equipment miles into the wilderness or staying at a hotel far away from their end goal, ROAM Beyond provides a happy medium.
Debuting this past summer, ROAM Beyond (which is based in Seattle) worked with property owners and adventure travel tour companies to select their first two sites in Washington: one in Kalaloch on the coast of the Olympic Peninsula, and the other in North Bend, high in the Cascade Range. Both areas offer a wealth of outdoor adventure opportunities: at the Kalaloch location, the temperate rainforests, glacier-covered mountains, and pristine lakes and rivers of Olympic National Park are right next door, beckoning to hikers, climbers, and backpackers. In North Bend, myriad trails wind through the dense mountain forests to stunning overlooks.
And ROAM’s up-scale campers are about as zeitgeisty as possible, blending style, functionality, and sustainability. Sleek and minimalist, the oblong-shaped mobile homes are custom-built by Homegrown Trailers, a Washington-based outfit that specializes in crafting sustainable, artisan campers and mobile dwellings.
The simple, spartan interiors of blonde wood contain a queen bed (with fold-out bunks for larger parties), kitchenette with stovetop, refrigerator, and mini-bathroom with shower and toilet. Power is available for lighting and charging devices, as well as a hot water heater for cooking and showers. Accessories and amenities like camping gear, outdoor seating, blankets, duvet covers, and biodegradable cleaning products are also provided.
But it’s the rustic wooden exteriors that are the real eye-catchers, outfitted using a traditional Japanese wood preservation technique known as yakisugi. Using a special method of heat treatment, the cypress boards commonly used in yakisugi become more waterproof and durable. Better able to prevent rot, decay, and withstand the elements, yakisugi siding is ideal for outdoorsy accommodations in all manner of environments, making it perfect for campers that don’t want to sacrifice style. In this case, the wood comes from the nearby Oregon branch of the Nakamoto Forestry, world-renowned for their yakisugi products.
But with yakisugi, aesthetic is just as important. The subtly-charred, tawny wood is a cabin lover’s dream; elegant and sharp, modern and sophisticated, a gleaming complement to the rugged surrounding wilderness.
As for sustainability, the campers are outfitted with solar panels and composting toilets, and recycling and waste are taken care of after guests check-out. Renewable and reusable materials are also utilized throughout the construction process and during on-site use. Outside Magazine even called them “the most eco-friendly camper we’ve ever seen.”
Most recently, ROAM Beyond will opened a new location in the Bavarian-esque town of Leavenworth for the holiday season. And big plans are in the works to expand to other scenic sites all over the States like Joshua Tree, Sedona, Zion National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Moab.
For now, the Kalaloch, North Bend, and Leavenworth campers can be booked on Airbnb or Glamping Hub starting at $229 a night.