Working in Concert with the Trailbuilding Community Sparks Joy!

In this second article by Lauren Cacela of Camelot Tools, find out what trail builders and trail crew members are saying about the SiteMaster tool and Camelot Fire Rake!

by Camelot Tools LLC

As part of the natural world, come spring we find ourselves inspired to edge our houses into renewed order. According to the KonMari Method ™ of “effective tidying” we choose not what to discard but rather choose to keep only the items that speak to our hearts. Thus, through tidying, you can "reset your life and spend the rest of your life surrounded by the people and things you love most." As Marie Kondo says, "Life truly begins only after you have put your house in order.”

We know who and what speaks to us. It’s you.

Our branding gives us away. Why Camelot Tools? In broad strokes, Camelot hearkens back to the legend of Camelot, invoking a time of round tables, honor and integrity, hope, and belief in what ideals can be achieved. This resonates with what we are all about. Honesty. Friendship. Respect. Hard work. Smart work. Unity of purpose. Looking forward. Reaching out. Doing good. Striving to do better. We seek to focus our energies and resources through this lens, and you are essential--bringing people together in nature and friendship from all over.

Working in concert with the trailbuilding community sparks joy.

Our particular hand tools, designed by veteran Tony Cacela our founder and president, make their way around the country serving duty with many. For a few specific examples, we couldn’t be more pleased that our tools are in the hands of the inspiring Arizona Trail Vets Veteran Engagement & Trail Stewardship. VETS Program Director of Arizona Trail Association and veteran Michael “Chappy” Chappell leads his teams on a packed, gritty, no-doubt-exhausting, and exhilarating schedule of camping and trail work expeditions. These events are "designed for military veterans who want to improve the Arizona National Scenic Trail while spending time outdoors with their fellow service members in a naturally therapeutic environment." ~Fantastic! What a great time!

photo credit: Arizona Trail Vets
Arizona Trail Vets at Grass Shack Saguaro East National Parks

Arizona Trail Vets at Grass Shack Saguaro East National Parks

As for the tools? We hear they’re coming in very handy. Here’s what some of the trail crew members had to say:

“The SiteMaster is a great tool for trail construction and maintenance. Its strengths lie in the angle of the head that allows for contouring trail backslope and the width of the head that allows for moving large quantities of dirt quickly. The Rake tool is everything you need in a rake as a trail builder. The ability to push and pull dirt is great to make a smooth trail.” - Collen Nolan, USMC Veteran
“The rake is one of my favorite tools on the trail. It's slim, has two different heads (move rock/move dirt) and the edges work well digging out small grasses. Also, excellent for tamping soil down, especially around the hinge area of a trail. SiteMaster is beautifully balanced and super sweet to use. The weight of the tool is distributed well and I never feel worn out using it. Nice work Camelot!” - Dallas Stevens, USAF, Ret.
“I liked the Camelot Tools. Their solid build quality and well-balanced weight made it easy enough to move dirt without being overly cumbersome lugging up a mountain. The SiteMaster might have benefitted from a broader pick-end, but the rake-end was perfect for moving, leveling, and tamping the trail.” - Derek Duba, USA Veteran
Some were glad that SiteMaster also comes with the option of a 50” handle, instead of the standard 43” and they had great ideas about features for possible new products!
~Thank you! Thrilled to know SiteMaster took a bit of the edge off! Thank you for your service and your feedback. We couldn’t be more thrilled to play this small role in your important work together.

The Trail Sisters are women and non-binary folks who love to support each other both on and off the trail. The Trail Sisters tested out the SiteMaster with some hardy work last year and are currently using the Camelot Fire Rake.

And, so far, we hear that trailbuilders on the NWTrailsisters’ current outing are impressed with our Fire Rake and they “love it.”

~Music to our ears! Looking forward to hearing more about that soon!

photo credit: Trail Builder Magazine

The shared purpose of the trail-building community creates pathways that inspire and endure because of those paying attention.

Also in Oregon, we have been more than fortunate to work with Sean Benesh, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Trail Builder Magazine, a compelling and enlightening page-turner of content by and for fellow members of the trail building community “creating a platform to inspire, inform, and connect together around the common goal of building, maintaining, and advocating for more trails.” Thanks to Sean for sharing experiences with our hand tools! We can’t get enough of his magnificent photos …and his aromatic Loam coffee!

Further, on the East Coast, we have met and befriended Ron Steers, an avid mountain biker who has, in his words, fallen in love with trail building. Ron tells us that he discovered Camelot Tools on his never-ending quest for more efficient trail building tools and finds it very cool that SiteMaster and the Camelot Fire Rake are designed and constructed locally in his home state. Definitely a tool guy informed with years of experience, Ron is very enthusiastic about how easy and versatile these tools are to work with, using both of his "on the regular.” In addition to frequent concerted trailbuilding outings, he carries at least one of them easily on a daily hike, fixing up a spot here or there as he goes.

Ron is a super personable, salt-of-the-earth guy who reaches out and makes good stuff happen. As he puts it, he is “on a crusade to empower connections in [his] community and beyond via the power of the bicycle and a well-built trail.” When not in the woods “searching for ribbons of dirt or slabs of rock to ride down,” Ron can be found “spending time with his amazing wife and two children.”

Ron favors the Camelot Fire Rake for grading and moving soil around, and finds SiteMaster a “well-balanced, lightweight tool that serves as a perfect hiking companion and trail steward.

And we are stoked that Ron is joining our team this month as a Rep!

The shared purpose of the trail-building community creates pathways that inspire and endure because of those paying attention. Seeing, valuing, and cultivating what matters. It’s an honor to work with you.

photo credit: Trail Builder Magazine

About the Author

We use deliberate design and modern technology to make a difference in the lives of hardworking folks getting out there day in and day out—from our wildland firefighters, to our trail builders, conservation workers, landscapers and more. We provide tools that work along with them to get their work done better and safer.

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