When most of us think about taking our pets camping, a dog is the first animal that comes to mind. And while canine companions are certainly popular with many Roofnesters, our expectations have been turned upside down by the ongoing appearance of a particularly adventurous and adorable cat in the Roofnest Flock Facebook group.
Meet Seymour, the incredible camping cat. His owners, Irene and Serge, regularly highlight Seymour’s outdoor adventures on the Roofnest Flock Facebook group, earning him a well-deserved celebrity status amongst the Roofnest community.
Seymour and his family are from Portland, Oregon, and go camping nearly every weekend. They’ve traveled all around the country with their Roofnest and their trusty feline friend in tow.
In celebration of National Pet Day on April 11, we asked Irene and Serge some questions about how Seymour got his start camping, and his favorite outdoor activities — including hiking, backpacking, and sitting watch on the home-made cat perch (aka coffee table) affixed to his owners’ Roofnest.
Who knows, maybe your cat could be joining you on your next camping trip, too!
Q: How old is Seymour, and what type of cat is he?
A: Seymour is a Scottish Fold cat, and he is turning 2 on April 20th.
When he’s camping, he likes to cuddle in down sleeping bags or blankets.
Q: What type of vehicle and Roofnest RTT do you have?
A: We have a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited/Black Bear edition. There are a few modifications to the Jeep to increase its off-road performance — a bit lifted, 33″ tires, winch, and so on.
Q: Where are your favorite places to go camping? How often do you camp, and who usually goes with you?
A: We try to camp almost every weekend, and a few times a year we go for longer road trips. In fact, we’ve visited all 48 lower states, and all 10 Canadian provinces in our car trips.
Previously, we used to camp in organized campgrounds, such as the National Forest Service or State Parks campgrounds. But since Covid started, we’ve been camping more in dispersed campsites, on public lands, all over Oregon and other western states — from Arizona to Washington and Idaho. Dispersed camping was one of the main reasons to purchase a Roofnest roof top tent.
We always like exploring new places to camp. But to choose favorites from where we’ve camped recently, Irene liked Eastern Oregon (Owyhee Canyon – Three Forks Hot Springs) and Alabama Hills in Eastern California. I (Serge) enjoy camping in the Cascades, near Santiam Pass and Mount Adams.
We usually take Seymour on most of our outdoor activities — camping, backpacking, hiking, kayaking, and floating — along with 1 or more of our 3 kids. The older kids are high schoolers, so they get to choose whether to join our adventures or not. Our little one — 11-year-old daughter Julie — usually comes along, especially if her friends join our trips.
Q: How long has Seymour been camping with you?
A: Seymour has been participating in our outdoor activities as long as we’ve had him — since he was 3 months old.
In fact, he was born in Toronto, Canada, and drove with us from there to Portland, Oregon in our camper van as his first adventure.
He was very comfortable riding the car with us, wearing the leash, and following our kids on hiking trails.
Since then, he has camped in different setups and situations — camper van, tent camping, backpacking (tent), and now roof top tent camping.
Q: Tell us about the platform you built for Seymour!
A: Haha — I think you’re referring to the roof top tent coffee table!
Irene asked me to build her a coffee table so she can have her coffee while enjoying the morning views from the roof top tent. But Seymour quickly figured that it makes a nice cat balcony. Now we have an RTT gargoyle every morning and evening!
The platform is built using 5.5″x0.5″ oak boards (this one, cut in halves) and some 3D printed parts. It slides in between the Jeep roof and the roof rack rail and locks into place.
I hope to find time to publish the design online in the near future.
Q: What do you do to make sure Seymour stays safe while camping?
A: It really depends on the situation and place. First of all, we trained Seymour to respond to his name, and come to us when called. So we call him if he wanders too far away.
In more crowded settings — for example, on hiking trails with people and their dogs — Seymour goes on the leash. We always have one of us in the front to scout for potential dangers ahead.
Seymour enjoys exploring the camp. We always have one “cat-sitter” that keeps their eyes on him and his surroundings to protect him from predators.
To keep him safe and visible in the evenings, we use a blinking LED collar so we can easily see him.
Q: How does Seymour take care of business while camping?
A: We use this box in the car, outside, and in the tent at night. There’s no mess due to its height. It’s just a box from Home Depot!
Q: What made you decide to try and bring Seymour camping with you for the first time?
A: He did well and enjoyed his trip from Canada, and got used to our close presence, so we decided to take him on other camping trips. Plus, if we leave him alone, he cries!
In a few weeks after returning from Canada, we took him camping to North Cascades National Park, and then on backpacking and a climbing trip in Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington State.
Q: How did Seymour like his very first camping trip?
A: He was calm and curious, but never wandered too far away, and stayed close by. We hope he enjoys his trips as much as we enjoy his fluffy company!
Love What You See? Join the Roofnest Flock!
Camping cats isn’t all you’ll find on the Roofnest Flock Facebook group (although none of us can have enough of that content).
From incredible rig setups by overlanders to genius DIY camping setups, the Flock is packed with stories, advice, and photos from expert outdoor adventurers and casual campers alike.
Join the fun and become part of the community today!