Friends of RMR Spotlight: Dan Camp

Dan Camp Blog
At its core, Rocky Mountain Rafts is about the experience on the water. Yes, we make great boats, but we also strive to keep our products at an accessible price to make getting out on the water easier for more. For over 13 years we’ve had the privilege of growing with a community of paddlers that might not have been able to boat because of barriers in price and availability. Within this community we have made incredible friends and partnerships and we want to tell the stories of these relationships over the years. Our Friends of RMR Spotlight is where you can dive in. These highlights represent what Rocky Mountain Rafts embodies- individuals creating accessible adventures for friends, family, and community that they can carry with them for a lifetime. In our first spotlight article, we chose to highlight Dan Camp!

Many whitewater rafting fanatics may already know or have met Dan at a local release or river festival. He is the founder and the host of ‘Camping Out with Dan Camp’ where he sits down with those in the river community to discuss ideas promoting outdoor adventure, impacts on others, leadership, vulnerability, and more. When you listen to his podcast, his passion for the outdoors is genuine, and you can feel his stoke for others as they tell their stories. It was my pleasure to chat with Dan and learn more about his story, his relationship with Rocky Mountain Rafts, and his plans for the future.

Dan’s podcast has become one of our favorites around Rocky Mountain Rafts. I recently went back and listened to the episode titled “How did the podcast start?”, where Dan tells the story of how he fell in love with the outdoors, and the events that led to him finding a career in outdoor recreation. In the episode, you can learn about Dan's early love for the outdoors which grew from frequent camping and fishing trips with his dad and brother. This, combined with the leadership skills he developed through organized sports in high school and college, led Dan's dad Marc to suggest a career as a professional guide post-college. His first job in the industry was with a company not far from home, called Wildman Adventure Resort in Athelstane, Wisconsin where he was able to get his feet wet in the sport and fell in love. He began guiding raft trips on the Menominee and the Peshtigo Rivers, where the high water in spring brings exciting trips, and the warm water in the summer dazzles with beautiful scenery. Shifting into the winter season, Dan looked south to work as an interpretive guide in the Florida Everglades. He led kayak trips into the heart of the park, educating clients on the flora, fauna and ecosystem within. It was a different pace of guiding, but one that Dan really enjoyed. He continued working seasonally for five years before taking his current full-time position as the General Manager at Wildman Adventure Resort, where he resides currently.

Dan's role at the company has grown over time, and he credits his long tenure at the company to the family-like culture and strong relationship with the owner of the company, from whom he has learned a great deal. He is hoping to continue to learn and to bring his enthusiasm for the industry with his own ideas and relationships. One such relationship he holds very dear is with Diversify Whitewater, a non-profit organization that is committed to facilitating opportunities in outdoor spaces. Whether the obstacle is physical, or socioeconomic, the goal is to come together and improve access to adventure. This inclusiveness has become an important part of Dan's mission in the whitewater community.

Inclusiveness and approachability were part of the draw for Dan when beginning a relationship with Rocky Mountain Rafts. His early days on the river, he remembers seeing one of our rafts and learning about their affordability. It had always been a dream of his to own a raft of his own, and with RMR that dream was possible. After meeting RMR sales manager Bobby Bower at a trade show, the collaboration began. It started with providing some great media shots while paddling with friends which he shared on social media, and then culminated into making a fantastic short film called “I was going to build a frame”, promoting RMR frames. He toys with the idea of building his own frame while also considering an RMR frame. Over the years Dan has had the opportunity to use many of our products, but one of the most memorable was on his 2023 25-day Grand Canyon trip. He raved about the time they had, and also about what a great addition the RMR tubes were to the trip! Take it from Dan- any trip can be made better with RMR products! 

Fresh off his Grand Canyon trip, Dan is back in Wisconsin prepping for the 2024 rafting season and is looking forward to all of the paddling adventures to come. Rocky Mountain Rafts is very thankful to have Dan as a Friend of RMR, as he embodies what we strive to be as a brand. He is a steward of the sport who is always looking to get more people involved in rafting, with quality gear at an affordable cost. We look forward to seeing where Dan’s path as an outdoor professional takes him next, and supporting him on his journey.

Author: Kirby Simeon is an experienced paddler located in Fayette County WV, the second home of RMR. When Kirby isn’t on the New, Gauley, Meadow River, or one of our other top notch creeks he is in the RMR warehouse. With the assistance of his pup Dusty, he is behind getting your inflatables packed and shipped. Kirby is always a friendly face on the river and once you meet him in the eddy, he’s your friend. His upbeat perspective and genuine love for paddling also keeps RMR’s social media fresh, as our Social Media Manager. 

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