Leisure marketing to camping enthusiasts requires a good fire, preferably in the belly.

The best outdoor focus groups happen right here.

If you want news of your leisure product or service to spread like wildfire, let an outdoor enthusiast talk about it around a campfire.

I went camping last weekend, and learned something about word-of-mouth marketing.

Some friends and I drove up to Evers Peak Wilderness Area near the Sugar Loaf campground in the Arapahoe National Forest last Friday. We experienced breathtaking (and heartbreaking) views of  beatle-infested pine forests.

The gurgling and gushing waters of  the Williams Fork River.

And the week’s only outdoor recreational equipment focus group  inspired by the hissing, wet wood of a post-thunderstorm campfire.

Our friend Phil got everyone’s attention with a Cabela’s deluxe tent cot.

I can just imagine what they would say if I rode my mountain bike to my local REI store and asked for one of those.

But I had to remind myself Phil is not just a camper. Phil’s a hunter.

In the hunting culture, a tent you can firmly plant into marshy ground or set up in the pouring rain isn’t considered deluxe. It’s common sense.

Phil encouraged us to check out the deluxe tent cot for ourselves. And we will.

All of us agreed (after the weekend’s second rain shower in 2 days) that Phil may have solved the mystery of car camping in the Rockies, where thunder showers appear and disappear faster than the elk.

Phil’s what leisure marketers would call an outdoor influencer.

Because he’s forgotten more than most of us ever learn about the outdoors.

And we respect his opinion so much, even the camping purists in our group acknowledged that if Phil said it was ok to use a deluxe tent cot, than it was ok by them, too.

a Cabela's deluxe tent cot

Cabela's deluxe tent cots can keep up to two people warm and dry.

Phil is the ultimate word-of-mouth marketing machine.

One man came to the weekend with a love of Cabela’s deluxe tent cot. But thanks to Phil, five men left with the same fire in their bellies.

By the way, you can order your deluxe tent cot at the Cabela’s website.

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