Camping stores can be overwhelming, often packed with so many products you don’t know where to start, particularly if you’re new to the outdoorsy scene. This is something Elli Bradshaw, Angus Gibbs and Tom Farmer, owners of Clunes Outdoors in Collingwood, wanted to avoid.
The cosy Johnston Street storefront was designed by Will Loft of Loft Etcetera, who also fitted out Leroy’s cafe in Newport. Second-hand timber shelves line the walls, and wooden beams stretch overhead, reminiscent of tent poles without the tarp. Most of the materials used are recycled, right down to the wrapping paper used for purchases (it’s recommended you keep it for kindling). The products are also selected to last and have been chosen with environmental friendliness in mind – you won’t find anything with single-use batteries here, for instance.
The product selection is minimal, but everything has been tried and tested by Bradshaw, Gibbs and Farmer to ensure it’s spot on for rural Australia. There are Blundstone boots, galvanised steel camp stoves from Companion, vacuum-insulated Miir thermoses, Leatherman knives and biodegradable bamboo camp cups.
The trio has been friends for years. Gibbs and Farmer grew up on the Mornington Peninsula where they spent a lot of time hiking and surfing. Bradshaw grew up in London and was a bit of a camping newbie before she married Farmer.
The avid explorers came up with the concept for Clunes in 2018 while hiking to Beauchamp Falls in The Otways.
Beyond providing people with good camping gear, the team wants to share its experiences with customers and inspire them to take advantage of the beautiful outdoor escapes around Victoria.