Couple Turn Passion For Backpacking Into A Business

By Kristen Leigh Painter
Star Tribune (Minneapolis).


Teng Lee and Chao Xiong had been hiking and camping for years, but they finally had enough.

Whether it was the noisy children, the doors slamming or the guitar-playing guy who inevitably finds his stage confidence after one too many beers at the campground, the pair was ready to strike out in search of a more restful camping spot in nature.

Two years later, Lee and Xiong were hooked on backpacking, which took them farther from the crowds, and out of reach of cellphone service. Last year, they turned their passion into a business called WanderBoth, providing guide-like services to other busy couples around the Twin Cities who don’t have time to plan and pack their own excursions into the woods.

The premise is simple: People in urban areas often have a desire for tranquility, adventure and escape, but lack the time to research and plan trips or the equipment needed for them. WanderBoth does all of this work for them, taking guests through every step of the journey.

“We gear it toward couples trying to get away from the dinner-and-movie habit by encouraging weekend getaways to unplug from technology,” Xiong said.

The Outdoor Foundation’s 2014 American Camper Report found the top barrier to camping is a lack of time, followed by planning, gear issues and packing. WanderBoth seeks to fill those holes by handling all of the logistics. Their clients’ responsibilities are only toiletries and clothing.

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