, Roofnest Featured on the Outdoor Biz Podcast Blog

Roofnest Featured on the Outdoor Biz Podcast Blog

This month, we were fortunate enough to have our Founder and CEO, Tim Nickles sit down for an interview with Rick Saez, host of The Outdoor Biz Podcast.

The Outdoor Biz Podcast is a weekly podcast where executives, athletes, designers, retailers, and other outdoor industry leaders offer stories, tips, strategies, and ideas that you can apply and take your outdoor career or business to the next level.

In the interview, Tim talks about the journey that lead him to Roofnest, starting with his transition from a corporate 9-to-5 to Boulder real estate, to finally finding his home in designing roof top tents. He also touches on how his rugged Alaskan upbringing helped to mold the gearhead he is today, and how the active Facebook community group “Roofnest Flock” puts air beneath his wings and gives him inspiration to keep going everyday. Listen to the whole podcast above, and read the full transcription below!

Podcast Transcription:

Rick Saez: Episode 176 of the Outdoor Biz Podcast, talking vehicle rooftop tents with Tim Nickles of Roofnest. I believe achieving success in the outdoor business is dependent upon embracing the outdoor lifestyle and learning from outdoor leaders that came before you. If you agree, then listen up for tips, advice, and hacks about growing or starting your career in the outdoor biz. My name is Rick Saez. Welcome to the Outdoor Biz Podcast.

Rick Saez: On this episode, I’m speaking with Tim Nickles from Roofnest. Tim and I talk about how he was initially inspired to put a tent on top of his van and how that concept has evolved into a business and now a category of tents in the outdoor and camping space. But first, if you want to increase sales, educate and inspire your customers, and grow your outdoor adventure business with a podcast, I’ve created a free guide explaining how in 10 easy steps. From choosing your podcast style and content ideas to publishing your episodes. It has everything you need to know about producing a podcast and growing your business. Head over to outdoorbizpodcastacademy.com/grow and download this free resource today. That’s outdoorbizpodcastacademy.com/grow. Hey Tim, welcome to the show.

Tim Nickles: Hey Rick. Thanks.

Rick Saez: Yeah, good to be catching up with you. You guys are a part of that unique sector of the outdoor biz that’s exploded onto the scene in the last couple of years.

Tim Nickles: Thank God.

Rick Saez: That’s right.

Tim Nickles: Yeah. Yeah, no, it’s been a fun ride. It’s just really getting popular now.

Rick Saez: Yeah, it is all over the place. Yeah. How’d you get into the outdoors? What was your first exposure to the outdoor lifestyle? Camping and so forth?

Tim Nickles: Yeah. Well I grew up in Alaska, so wasn’t far away. Even when I was a kid, I grew up in a typical neighborhood with grid rectangular streets and walked to school and stuff. But I mean the woods were a few blocks away from my house. So pretty much grew up playing in the woods and then my folks were not super outdoorsy but just being Alaskans, they were actually, I’d say compared to the lower 48 they were super outdoorsy.

Rick Saez: Yeah. It’s more of a lifestyle up there, you have to be into it because it’s in your face.

Tim Nickles: Yeah. That’s what you do.

Rick Saez: Yeah. Yeah.

Tim Nickles: That’s what you do. Everybody is talking about the outdoors and fishing, hunting. My dad wasn’t a hunter, but we did plenty of fishing and lots of camping around that and some hiking and yeah, I mean there’s so much to explore in Alaska. It’s just a beautiful place.

Rick Saez: Yeah, exactly. So how does a molecular biologist get into the tent business?

Tim Nickles: Well, I’ve gone through a number of kind of career changes. And so I kind of got out of molecular biology back in really 2000.

Rick Saez: Oh wow.

Tim Nickles: I was working at a bioinformatics company working on human genome research, developing software to analyze all the data that came out of the human genome project. But just kind of wasn’t into the corporate lifestyle, wasn’t into the nine to five, two-weeks vacation and was always trying to figure out a way to be a little more independent from that. And real estate was the first thing that got me out of the corporate life. I had bought a bunch of property in Boulder and back in those days it was a lot, well, it was still difficult to do, but I was fortunate enough to have started quite early. And so that actually provided a means of getting self-employed for quite a number of years.

Rick Saez: Nice. Very cool.

Tim Nickles: But, yeah then Roofnest kind of came onto the scene in my life in 2016. I wanted to build up a kind of an adventure rig. And I was pretty broke at the time. I was wanting to do something on the cheap. And I had a buddy in Chamonix, France who has a rooftop tent and I had camped with him a bunch and kind of had just seen that as a really cool way to add, turn anything into a car camper really.

Rick Saez: Right.

Tim Nickles: So I was looking at options and decided on getting a Chevy Astro. I got one for about $2,700 and put some money into the drive train and jacked it up. It was an all wheel drive. And then I wanted to put a rooftop tent on top, but the only options were pretty expensive for me at the time. I mean they were retailing in the four grand range.

Rick Saez: Wow.

Tim Nickles: And above. And I had done some sourcing and manufacturing in China, in the bike industry. I had kind of gotten carbon frames and carbon rims from manufacturers there. And at one point I had needed some pedals many years ago and kind of sourced a really good low profile, flat pedal for mountain biking and made up a logo and had a hundred of them made and sold those. And that was just like a total lark.

Rick Saez: But you knew your way around China, you knew how that whole thing worked.

Tim Nickles: Yeah, yeah.

Rick Saez: That’s huge.

Tim Nickles: Yeah. It was a round trip on the whole program. And so I just thought, oh well maybe I can look into manufacturing of rooftop tents and it kind of ended up being a wormhole or rabbit hole I guess, or a little of both.

Rick Saez: Couple of different ones probably.

Tim Nickles: Yeah. Yeah. And then got one and kind of started from there.

Rick Saez: So did you get one that was already made or did you make one? Walk me through that.

Tim Nickles: Yeah, so initially I just found a manufacturer that had already made a version of a rooftop tent.

Rick Saez: Okay. Got you.

Tim Nickles: And I got a couple of them and I had a buddy that wanted one too. So we got two, and I used it for a little bit. And I had kind of thought, well this could be kind of a cool thing to have made and create a brand and stuff like that. But didn’t think about it too much. But I had put an ad in Craigslist in 2016, just to test the market to see if I got any replies. And I got a handful of replies and I was like, oh this is, there’s some interest in this. And then it was a couple of months later, two and a half months later, a guy emailed me and just out of the blue and was like, “Hey, do you still have any of these rooftop tents?” And I was like, “Oh, I’ve got an unbranded demo model that I’ve been using and I’ll sell it to you for two grand or something like that.

Rick Saez: Wow, yeah.

Tim Nickles: And, and he was into it.

Rick Saez: Wow.

Tim Nickles: And so I, it was pretty classic. I drove the Astro up to copper mountain from Boulder, a couple of hour drive. There’s five of us, a bunch of friends going skiing. It was in late November, early December, probably early December and quit skiing early, came down two o’clock, met the guy in the parking lot. We took the tent off my van and put it on his four-runner and he gave me a wad of cash and I was like, “Whoa. This is a business.”

Rick Saez: This is easy.

Tim Nickles: “I can do this.”

Rick Saez: Yeah, right.

Tim Nickles: And then I went back to the manufacturer and said okay, okay, okay. I want to buy 10 of these, but you’re going to have to fix this, fix that, change this, do that, do this. And they were super amenable and I got on, I made up the name Roofnest and kind of had a logo designed and then built the website from kind of a theme. Learned enough web development to kind of get my way out of a web paper bag kind of thing.

Rick Saez: Yeah, right.

Tim Nickles: Yeah, then just advertised on Craigslist and started selling those first 12. And then of course they showed up and of course I needed to make further modifications. And then very quickly…

Rick Saez: So you hadn’t gone, you didn’t go over to China, did you? You didn’t, at this point you were still kind of design by email kind of thing?

Tim Nickles: Yep. Design by email, but then very quickly after that I had to fly over and I then I searched out a direct relationship with a single manufacturer that I thought that would be a good manufacturer to work with. And then that then became the kind of initial sort of initial design. And then from there we iterated and iterated and iterated every production run.

Rick Saez: Maybe tweak something, yeah.

Tim Nickles: Incorporating new techniques, new materials and so in those first six months, the tents were changing quite rapidly.

Rick Saez: Yeah. So were those guys over there, were they more tent manufacturers or were they more roof rack manufacturers? How does that, is there a blend of that? How did that happen?

Tim Nickles: Yeah, so…

Rick Saez: Because it’s both, right?

Tim Nickles: Well, yeah, right. It is, yeah. In a sense. I mean, the initial factory that I worked with also made storage boxes.

Rick Saez: Oh okay.

Tim Nickles: And they were good, but they were not, I didn’t have confidence in them. And so the initial manufacturer and still is my factory, I mean we have a very, very close relationship now. But they initially were making four wheel drive parts for vehicles, all kinds of specially fabricated.

Rick Saez: Sure.

Tim Nickles: Plastic and metal and they had kind of looked into rooftop tents and had some ideas. And so it was really, they were a pretty small shop and I thought, okay, well here’s an opportunity to really kind of develop manufacturing from the ground up. So that’s what we did.

Rick Saez: You guys had to be one of the first guys on the ground over here in the U.S. back then, right? I mean, there wasn’t, were there any other brands being sold?

Tim Nickles: Well, there were Maggio Lena, which was also auto home in the USA. They were selling, they’ve been around for 40 years.

Rick Saez: Oh okay.

Tim Nickles: These kinds of tents, this idea of having a tent on top of your car that pops up with a fiberglass shell or some kind of shell. It’s been around for 40 years, 50 years, even more maybe. But they had not really entered the U.S. market or the U.S. consciousness. And so yeah, I think I was definitely early on it was, there were very few options and now there are but still I think…

Rick Saez: Sill very few. Yeah.

Tim Nickles: Yeah.

Rick Saez: So do you have to do more design work on how it went on the car or how the tent part of it, how it all, the structure of the tent?

Tim Nickles: The tent part of it.

Rick Saez: Yeah.

Tim Nickles: The tent part of it. Getting it to the car, getting it onto the cars is that easy. I mean you just put some kind of metal through the metal channel on the bottom of your tent and you can slide hardware into it and mount it to a roof rack. Because people have been mounting stuff to cars for so long.

Rick Saez: Yeah, exactly.

Tim Nickles: That’s a very, yeah.

Rick Saez: Yeah. And so you took some of your design inspiration on the tent from just regular tents. Right. Did you have, did you take some mountain tents back over there to help the design process or did you start from scratch?

Tim Nickles: No, no. Well it was really starting from scratch in that sense. I mean, these tents are designed more, I mean, the material that we’re using is kind of a canvas, well tent material.

Rick Saez: Yeah.

Tim Nickles: I mean you’re not manufacturing for the backpacker.

Rick Saez: Yeah. Weight’s not an issue. Right. You don’t have to have a super light weight.

Tim Nickles: Weight’s not an issue. They always say in outdoor gear, I always think of it in skis. You can have a ski that’s a lightweight, damp or inexpensive.

Rick Saez: Right.

Tim Nickles: And you’re not going to get, and so it’s similar with tent material. It’s going to be lightweight, high performing or cheap, pick two. And we threw out the lightweight, so we have a very high performing tent material, that’s actually not cheap, but it’s extremely high performance because you don’t have to worry about weight.

Rick Saez: Yeah. The car’s carrying it. So yeah, is it pretty easy to get on and off? How much do they weigh? I have no idea.

Tim Nickles: They, you have no idea. Yeah, they weigh like 130 pounds.

Rick Saez: Oh that’s not that bad.

Tim Nickles: 150 pounds. And I mean, just yesterday afternoon, one of my neighbors here in Boulder wanted to borrow a tent. Him and his wife and their kid had been kind of, they’re big campers, they’re teachers. They spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer and so they’re going on a road trip and they been thinking about trying a Roofnest. And so yeah, we just popped the one on my VW onto their car, took us, just two of us, like 15 minutes.

Rick Saez: Oh cool. Yeah.

Tim Nickles: It’s just like literally undo a couple of wingnuts and lift the tent, put it over on their rack, take it back up. I mean, it couldn’t be easier.

Rick Saez: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve only, I’ve been camping a couple times with Andy Palmer. He runs the adventure portal and he and his…

Tim Nickles: Oh, cool. Yeah.

Rick Saez: Yeah. He and his wife have a couple on their Jeeps, but I’ve only seen them, just never been inside one actually. Haven’t looked at them that closely. So it looks pretty cool.

Tim Nickles: Yeah. They’re awesome.

Rick Saez: Yeah. So what do you enjoy most about it? Do you like the design part? Do you like the managing the team? What’s your favorite part of your work?

Tim Nickles: Yeah. Well, favorite part of the work, I mean, yeah, the design. I really enjoy tinkering with gear. I’ve always been kind modified my gear and tried to get the right combination of things for all the sports that I do. And so that’s super interesting to me. The design, making things better. But I get a lot of enjoyment from just seeing my customers be out there in their vehicles, in the woods, whatever, and just really digging the product. I mean, I get so much enjoyment out of that. We have a Facebook group called the Roofnest flock.

Rick Saez: Oh cool.

Tim Nickles: That we got about 700 or 800 members and the vast majority are customers and they’re just constantly posting. I mean every Monday I got a full newsfeed of my customers going all over the place.

Rick Saez: Right.

Tim Nickles: And just being psyched about it and psyched about the brand and really positive about what the tents allowed them to do. And what it brings into their lives. And so that’s super rewarding.

Rick Saez: That’s very cool. Yeah. What have been a couple of the toughest challenges? Getting everything off the ground, starting the business and getting it through. I mean you guys have pretty well these days.

Tim Nickles: Yeah. It’s going well. It’s going well. And the challenges have been keeping up with production.

Rick Saez: Everybody’s challenge.

Tim Nickles: Yeah, right. I mean there’s been a ton of demand and it’s a very, it’s sort of a delicate balance between making improvements to the tents and ramping up just numbers. Ramping up productive capacity. And I err on the side of wanting to improve the tents. I’m always wanting to fix this, make that better, this and that. And it’s a nightmare for my production manager because they’re challenged with trying to fill orders and kind of get these 50 to 100 tents built at a time. And if I’m constantly tinkering, it makes it hard. And sometimes I get that balance wrong and we end up like this spring, we just haven’t had enough tents to fulfill demand. And so we’ve constantly been back ordered and that’s a good problem. But it’s still a problem.

Rick Saez: It’s a problem. But that’s like you say, that’s a good problem. And I think scarcity creates demand. So I think there’s not necessarily a negative thing of that. Do you have a seasonality to your tents or do you just tinker as you go?

Tim Nickles: Yeah.

Rick Saez: So you have seasons and you launch this season and spend your time tinkering that and then launch that tinker and those changes the next season?

Tim Nickles: Yeah, I wish it was that well planned Rick. But no, it’s ongoing. I mean, I’m now kind of realizing like if we’re going to make any changes, we do it over the winter and then we come out with a new single set of new features and improvements in the spring.

Rick Saez: Yeah, there you go.

Tim Nickles: I mean, that’s got to be the right way to do it.

Rick Saez: Yeah. Yeah. So how do you guys engage consumers and buyers? Do you go to a lot of shows and events or do you sell in the outdoor retail stores? What’s that look like?

Tim Nickles: Yeah. So we, well I made the decision early on to just sell direct to consumer. And initially I made that decision cause it was just, I mean in the beginning that’s what you do as a new brand.

Rick Saez: Yeah.

Tim Nickles: And our productive capacity wasn’t there to approach retailers. And as I have grown Roofnest, I have continued to reinforce that decision of having a direct to consumer model. And it’s been great. And the reason I think it’s great is that we get to really control the experience our customers have. How we relate to our customers because everybody deals with us. So we know that we can take care of every customer. I mean nobody has a problem reaching Roofnest and everybody gets that kind of high level of customer service, which is one of the hallmarks of Roofnest I think.

Rick Saez: Well, in a technical, more expensive, high end product like that requires a fair amount of technical service. I would imagine.

Tim Nickles: It sometimes does. I mean we like to think of our tents as simple to use and just the complete package. People buy them, they use them and that’s that. But when we do need to provide support, it’s somebody who’s bought an expensive product and they expect a high level of support and that’s what we try to give them.

Rick Saez: Right.

Tim Nickles: And that helps the brand image.

Rick Saez: Exactly.

Tim Nickles: It helps people’s perception of the brand and then it also helps us to be, the other thing I really wanted Roofnest to be was a really good value. I’m very big about making these products or anything, available to everybody who they can be. And so I’m not trying to build this super high end carbon tent with lights and a battery and everything built in for six grand.

Rick Saez: Right.

Tim Nickles: I want, I’m trying to build a good solid, easy to use, durable, simple tent that I always say it’s like everything you need but nothing you don’t and then keep the price at a level that’s a great value compared to everybody else. So that direct to consumer model is a big part of achieving that. Keeping our margins low and yeah.

Rick Saez: Yeah. And how do people find you? I mean is it shows and events?

Tim Nickles: Yeah. We don’t have a show room. We don’t really do shows and events. We connect with our customers via the web and over the phone. We do have people come to they’ll come to my condo and look at a tent on top of my car. That doesn’t happen very often. But that does happen. We do events, we do some local events. We were at red rocks a few nights ago for a film on the rocks showing of Top Gun. We got a few tents set up there. And people came and checked him out. And I think that was pretty good. But yeah, for the most part we just kind of try to reach people digitally.

Rick Saez: So still grassroots on the physical side.

Tim Nickles: Yeah.

Rick Saez: That’s cool. Yeah.

Tim Nickles: Yeah.

Rick Saez: Where you guys, I didn’t see you at outdoor retailer. Where you at the show? No?

Tim Nickles: No, no. We don’t have any retail location so…

Rick Saez: Yeah, don’t need to go. Right, exactly.

Tim Nickles: So a retailer as a brand is not our thing. Those shows are, we had a couple of tents in the show because companies that we work with, we’re displaying at the show. So there were a couple of Roofnests in there but, no, the brand didn’t go.

Rick Saez: And have you been to Overland Expo? Is that the one, is that what it’s called?

Tim Nickles: Yeah. So we have a partnership with Honda of Motor Corp.

Rick Saez: Okay.

Tim Nickles: They’ve purchased several Roofnests to sort of highlight the functionality and kind of adventure side of their vehicles.

Rick Saez: Right.

Tim Nickles: So they used it to build up a kind of concept Ridgeline last year and then this year they built up several Passports, which is their new SUV and put Roofnests on them and took them to Overland Expo West. And they invited me out and I went out and camped with Honda. Great bunch of guys. It was super fun.

Rick Saez: Yeah, cool.

Tim Nickles: We had a great time together and it was great to see the show and get the, a lot of people came by the Honda booth and checked out Roofnest.

Rick Saez: Right, right, right.

Tim Nickles: So it was, it was cool.

Rick Saez: Yeah, that’s a good way to get to get engaged with those folks. So this overlanding or vehicle supported adventure is blown up. What do you think? Are we in the first inning of this thing or the ninth inning. What’s that future look like?

Tim Nickles: Well, I think we’re in the second or third inning. I think that initially it was a sort of perfect storm of digital media. Instagram kind of becoming a lot more common and everybody’s seeing it and the imagery kind of capturing people’s imagination. And that was right when that whole the hashtag van life kind of started blowing up in 2015 and especially in 2016. And people saw vehicle based adventure as a way to have the lifestyle that they want. I have the adventures that they want, be the person that they want and I mean everybody I think aspired to that kind of Instagram version of van life. But I think a lot of people that was very off limits for the vast majority of people because I mean you can buy a van like I did. An old van and put some money into it and go that way. But a lot of what had happened on Instagram and is still happening are these 50, 60, 80, $120,000 vans, which is really, I mean, and then you…

Rick Saez: There’s one of those sport mobiles for sale down on the corner here in Bishop. I haven’t even stopped to look at the price tag. I’m sure it’s over a hundred.

Tim Nickles: Yeah. $115 grand.

Rick Saez: Yeah. Yeah.

Tim Nickles: And that’s great, but now you have to park a whole separate vehicle and I mean it’s just not practical for 98% of people out there. And so, but people want that and rooftop tents is the perfect solution because you don’t need another vehicle. You can get some cross bars. You throw these things on your car for three grand or less and just go camping and get out there and do stuff. And you don’t need to get a new car, don’t need to park anything anywhere. You just go. So and I think that there’s so many products supporting this kind of adventure and kind of more luxury camping, which really just brings more and more people into the outdoors ultimately. And so there’s so many products like Dometic, these brands that have coolers, refrigerators, for…
Rick Saez: Yeah, Adam was on the show two weeks ago, I think. Yeah.

Tim Nickles: Oh, cool. Yeah, there’s all this stuff supporting it and I just think it’s at the very beginning stages of growing. I think it’s got several more years of growth in it. And then it will be a standard thing.

Rick Saez: Yeah, no, I think you’re right. There’s like you said, there’s a lot of accessory type things like what Dometic is doing and some of the other camping side or product because if you’re with a vehicle, you’re no longer backpacking. You can take a decent stove in it. You can take, plugin your Dometic ice chest and there’s a lot of the gear can be heavier and more durable as opposed to backpacking where it has to be super lightweight and it all lasts but has to be super lightweight. Let’s shift gears a little bit. Where did your entrepreneurial spirit come from?

Tim Nickles: Yeah. I don’t know. I think ultimately it came from a desire to play more and be able to control my own life more. And like I said, when I was working at that bioinformatics company back during the human genome project, I was just working for the man. And I really enjoyed it for a year, a year and a half because it was such a stimulating intellectual environment and very exciting time in molecular biology and human genomic research and stuff. But pretty quickly after a couple of few years it was like a job and I had three different managers and I was restricted and taking time off and I wasn’t into that. And so I just wanted to think of ways to be independent from that system of working and the irony is you try to go out on your own and make it as a self employed person and you often end up working far more than you would have at a regular job. But you get a lot more control over it.

Rick Saez: Yeah. What do they say? Entrepreneurs will work 90 hours to avoid working 40.

Tim Nickles: Exactly. Yeah, that’s pretty accurate.

Rick Saez: Pretty crazy, yeah. So you still camp a lot. What outdoor activities do you participate in?

Tim Nickles: Yeah, I mountain bike a lot in the summer. Actually I was just camping up on Vail pass this past weekend and did a big cross country ride with a crew of friends on Saturday. And yeah, so mountain bike a lot. I used to do a pretty wide variety of sports and anymore I’m kind of a mountain biker and a skier really. I ski in the winter, I mountain bike in the summer and then do some other paddle boarding and I actually do some fishing. Other things like that, climbing once in awhile.

Rick Saez: And who are some of the mentors that have helped you along the way? Get the business off the ground or start the business?

Tim Nickles: Yeah, well, I really didn’t, I had friends help with specific little things like, “Hey, you’re trying to build a website, why don’t you use this theme? It’s an easy to use theme and we’ll help you.” And then I had people suggest a way to do the logo design and I bounced ideas off friends for the name Roofnest. And a lot of it was just figuring out it out on my own. And I think that that is, can be, I mean I think it’s great if you have a good mentor who can kind of show you the way. But it’s also quite effective to find your own way because there’s a lot of things in this world that are kind of done a certain way and they’re not always done that way because that’s the best way.

Tim Nickles: And so when you approach things with a, they call it a beginner’s mind or whatever, but when you approach things fresh and you don’t really know what you’re doing and you’re trying to figure it out, you often discover a better way to do whatever that thing is. And so I’ve actually found over the years of running Roofnest that I’ve gained a lot from speaking with friends and advisers. I mean, no question. But ultimately the times where I’ve really kind of relied on myself and kind of come to decisions on my own, I’ve, well, I haven’t always made the right decisions, of course I’ve made mistakes. But I think ultimately it resulted in a better overall path.

Rick Saez: Yeah. And having friends and family to bounce ideas off of is always great. Yeah, that always works.

Tim Nickles: Yeah.

Rick Saez: So do you have any suggestions or advice for folks wanting to get into the outdoor industry or grow their career or start their business, their thing?

Tim Nickles: Yeah. Yeah, maybe. I think the advice I would give is to be on the lookout for ways to be of service. Be on the lookout for ways to improve things. And there’s lots of ways to get involved and I think a lot of it is just doing just that, getting involved. Volunteering, getting, if you work at a company, trying to learn more about other aspects of the companies so you can see where you can insert yourself and that’s not always welcome of course. But if you can show that initiative to get into other aspects of the company you work in or use your connections to find out other opportunities, I think, you know they say like whatever percentage of life is just showing up. But it’s true. I mean if you have a lot of initiative people will see that and it will open doors.

Rick Saez: Yeah, I think you’re right. I think if, like you said, if you come from a position of service and value than it will be embraced. If you are just looking to put another feather in their cap, then you might have some challenges. But yeah, I think if you offer up help and how to make things better, that’s the way to go. That’s good advice. Yeah. Do you have any daily routines you use to keep your sanity? You meditate, exercise, walk the dog.

Tim Nickles: I wish I meditated more. I’m kind of an aspirational meditator.

Rick Saez: I’m the same.

Tim Nickles: Ha. I have had a regular practice in the past and I do find that it’s beneficial. I probably am a once a weeker now. But I think my only daily routine is making coffee in the morning, which I get a lot of reward from and it’s a good sanity booster. I kind of more organize my stuff around a week, so I don’t necessarily get to do stuff every day. But I make sure every week I get certain things in, some exercise if I need that specifically. But most of my exercise comes from play and so on a weekly basis, I want to be mountain biking a few times or skiing a few times or getting into the outdoors in some way that’s rewarding. Paddle boarding up at a mountain lake or something like that that at least reminds me of why I’m doing all this stuff back down in the office.

Rick Saez: Oh yeah. Yeah. That’s great. Yeah.

Tim Nickles: Yeah.

Rick Saez: Do you have any favorite books or do you give books as gifts or favorite podcasts?

Tim Nickles: Yeah. Well, I guess not so much in the outdoors, but I’m super interested in kind of geopolitics and history and how nations get together and stuff like that. And so I listened to a podcast called global dispatchers, which is awesome. The guy who runs it is a former state department guy who just has a lot of connections, been in a sort of global politics for awhile. And he reports and interviews people from places outside the USA.

Rick Saez: Oh, interesting.

Tim Nickles: In the USA we kind of often get sort of tunnel vision or what do they call it, the echo chamber and stuff. And he’s definitely bringing in some new perspectives. That’s a good one. And then as a book, my favorite book from this last year has been a book called winners take all and it’s by this guy Anand. I can’t even pronounce his last name. Giridharadas or something like that.

Rick Saez: Okay. We’ll follow up and link to it in the show notes.

Tim Nickles: Yeah. It’s a great one.

Rick Saez: Huh, I haven’t heard of that one. I’ll check that out. Yeah, we’ll link to the podcast and the book. That sounds like an interesting podcast to add to my quiver as a growing quiver though. How about a favorite?

Tim Nickles: Yeah, it’s Global Dispatches.

Rick Saez: Yeah, it sounds good. How about, especially now with all the things going on in the world, right? It’s like man.

Tim Nickles: Yeah, totally.

Rick Saez: As we wrap up, is there anything else you want to say to our listeners or ask of our listeners?

Tim Nickles: Yeah, no, not really. I think, yeah, check out Roofnest. We always love to have customers and…

Rick Saez: Yeah, we’ll link to your website. Yeah.

Tim Nickles: Yeah, cool. And yeah, just get outside. You don’t need gear to get outside, that’s I think the big message is it’s really about just planning and motivation and you really don’t need much to…

Rick Saez: Go for a hike, go for a walk.

Tim Nickles: Really start an outdoor lifestyle. Yeah, yeah, totally.

Rick Saez: And if people want to follow up with you, ask questions or anything else. What’s the best way? LinkedIn?

Tim Nickles: Not so much LinkedIn. I would say just through the website, we have a contact form on the website and you can always email us at infoatroofnest.com and we have a great Instagram feed at Roofnest and then we have that Facebook group, the flock, the Roofnest flock that is open to the public. You just kind of sign up for it and answer a couple questions and we get you in and it’s a great place to learn about our products and ask questions of our customers and all that stuff. So yeah, the flock is awesome.

Rick Saez: Yeah, great. We’ll link to all that stuff in the show notes. Yeah, that’s good stuff. Well it’s been great catching up with you, Tim. Thanks for the time. Yeah, you too, Rick. Yeah, I’ll look you up next time I’m in Colorado. Come by your condo and see a tent.

Tim Nickles: Do it.

Rick Saez: All right, have a good one.

Tim Nickles: Yeah, you too man. Take care.

Rick Saez: Yeah, bye bye.

Rick Saez: If you want more of the Outdoor Biz podcast, you can subscribe on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to go to theoutdoorbizpodcast.com where you find all the episodes, show notes and much, much more. Until next time, be sure to make time to get outside.

Read more interviews and listen to more Roofnest podcasts on our Roofnest news and press page »

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