The Story of Haven

The Story of Haven

Derek Tillotson
3 minute read

Family with three young kids on a hike

The Haven Tent is here today because my wife McKenzie and I decided to make 2018 our Year of Creativity. We were on the back half of a world tour with our young 3 kids. As @FiveTakeFlight we visited 38 countries in 54 weeks… It was the busiest and best year of my life.

The last week of that crazy year brought us to our family ranch in Promise, Oregon where the idea for the Haven Tent was born.

I was laying in a camping hammock, trying to get comfortable, when I envisioned my head and feet lowering so my body was on a single plane. With this spark of an idea, the wheels started turning. Just before I shut the whole thing down due to a lack of time or expertise, I remembered that 2018 was our Year of Creativity. And thought, “This is my chance to make something.”

Camping hammock tent prototype

What followed was a bit of beginner’s luck and a whole lot of trial and error. My first prototype was imperfect but already hinted at the flat-lay I was going for. Our next couple of prototypes were a step in the wrong direction, but I kept at it.

After many nights sleeping in the backyard and collecting feedback from fiends and family, eventually we combined the unique features that make the Haven Tent so special. We had a prototype, now we had to turn that into a product, and that product into a business.

Launching Haven Tents (the business) was almost as hard an inventing the product… And involved a lot less napping. We launched on Kickstarter Sept 2019 and were hit with immediate delays when the world shut down with the global pandemic. How bout that timing!?

As we worked to fulfill our initial orders, I would wake up at night worrying about the high bar I set with my Kickstarter campaign. I didn’t say the Haven Tent would be good… I said it would be great. The ultimate test for me came when I finally put tents in boxes and sent them into the world. After such a long wait, what would my backers think?

Slowly, I started to see my tent here and there on social media. Haven Tents started to pop up in hammock forums, in Google reviews, and…. People loved it.

Haven is no longer a one man show. We’ve added some great talent who bring us even closer to our goal of Making Sleep the Highlight of Camping.

We know there are a lot of reasons to retreat into the wild. Along with the fishing and fresh air, we hope look forward to tucking yourself in at night. But don’t sleep too long, there is a lot of beauty in the world to see.

Derek Tillotson
Haven Tents Founder

Man sitting in a lay flat camping hammock tent in the outdoors

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