25 Jan #HofArcDreamers: Caravan Outpost
*All photos by Matt Alberts.
There’s No Substitute for the Real Thing
Located in the unique coastal valley of Ojai, CA, Caravan Outpost is more than a beautifully hand-crafted Airstream hotel– it is an eclectic cultural experience defined by authentic immersion into sustainable, small space living. Their business embraces the rejuvenative benefits of being grounded in nature while connecting with a community of environmentally conscious individuals.
We sat down with Matt Alberts, one of the co-founders of Caravan Outpost to discuss the company’s vision and how their business has made a positive impact on their guests.
HofArc: How did the Caravan Outpost story begin?
Matt: We all came from separate paths of adventure. Both Brandon [Peak] and I were traveling in Airstreams while running our prospective mobile businesses. He was building ecommerce websites and I was engaged in a variety of photography projects around the country. I met Brad [Steward] and his wife, Shawn, while working for their snowboarding apparel company, Bonfire, in Colorado. Chet and Mellanie [Hilgers] are long-time Ojai locals with backgrounds in landscaping and RV parks. It was only natural for us all to come together and start this business.
HofArc: Why Airstreams?
M: We wanted to create an authentic small space living experience for our guests, and Airstreams by nature lend themselves to sustainability. By exposing our guests first-hand to the nuances of sustainable living, our goal is to awaken them to the small space lifestyle. It’s one thing to read about a composting toilet and it’s another thing to experience turning your waste directly into compost.
HofArc: Why Ojai?
M: Historically, Ojai has been a hub for a variety of spiritual movements as well as a haven for artists and environmental activists. We were drawn to the town by the collection of like-minded folks and it really set the vibe for our first location. Not to mention the beautiful scenery of the mountains, citrus groves and vibrant sunsets.
HofArc: What kind of impact has Caravan Outpost had on its guests and the community at large?
M: We have definitely achieved our goal of creating an environment for people who share an interest in the small space, sustainable lifestyle. One of the most inspiring things for me has been to meet so many different kinds of people who share a similar vision for a simpler life. As soon as a guest checks in, its the start of a conversation, and I think we’ve helped more people realize the attainability of this lifestyle.
HofArc: From an entrepreneurial perspective, what is the mindset that has guided your business?
M: It’s always been important for us to stay as true to an authentic experience as possible. I think our success has been in the fact that people recognize that authenticity and connect with our message of sustainability and simplicity.
If you’re interested in experiencing the sustainable, small space lifestyle in a beautifully renovated Airstream, book a night [or several] at Caravan Outpost in Ojai, CA. Be sure to tell us about your experience here!