While Japan and Scandinavia may sit at different ends of the map both cultures’ have an innate appreciation for considered design. Whether it is the Japanese principle of Kanso or the Swedish concept of Hygge – there is a shared appreciation for simple, beautiful, and functional design. Nowhere is this link clearer than the products of Snow Peak who have gained a global cult following since their inception in 1958.
New to Nordic Outdoor for 2021 we are delighted to welcome Snow Peak to the Nordic Outdoor roster and while the brand is not Scandinavian as such, we believe it fits perfectly in with our range of considered and well-designed outdoor equipment. The team at Nordic HQ have been frantically unpacking every Snow Peak delivery as it enters and then staring longingly at the kit dreaming of outdoor sunrises and late-night campfire stories.
History of Snow Peak
Founded in the shadow of Mount Tanigawa in 1958 Snow Peak the brand initially sought to create innovative mountaineering equipment to help climbers to reach the summit of this iconic Japanese Mountain. Utilising the highly skilled metal processing factory nearby Snow Peak set out to create lightweight titanium kit for mountaineers.
Founded by Yukio Yamai who was an accomplished mountaineer in his own right the brand developed a loyal following in Japan before being taken over by Yamai’s son, Tohru Yamai. At this point the brand focused on inspiring people around the world to find harmony with nature and enjoy the outdoors.
At the time Tohru took over Snow Peak in the 1980’s Japan was going through a boom in ‘Car Camping’ where the weight and size of products became less relevant than in mountaineering. This new obsession with Car Camping which spread across Japan allowed the brand to innovate even further, creating products where style and functionality mattered as much as weight and durability.
As Snow Peak’s popularity grew in Japan it gained a small cult following in the US Backpacking community. This small cohort recognised the craftsmanship and functionality of the brands lightweight titanium accessories and the brands next step seemed destined.
In 1999 Snow Peak set up a new home in the USA – a small distributor run from a garage in Gresham, Oregon. Quickly however the brand grew across the US and the customer base grew from the small gang of backpackers to include car campers, weekend walkers and those with an appreciation for the simple and elegant Japanese Design. Since their humble beginnings in the US the brands presence has grown to include two stores, a 15,000 square foot office, a restaurant and a permanent campsite.
In 2014 Snow Peak diversified even further moving into high end, functional, outdoor clothing. This new approach for the company was led by Yukio’s granddaughter, Lisa Yamai who in 2019 became the third president of Snow Peak.
Snow Peak at Nordic Outdoor
While Nordic Outdoor originated solely selling products from Scandinavia over the years this approach has developed to include brands which share the ‘Scandinavian’ ethos such as Canadian brands Quartz and Kamik, Australian footwear brand Redback and now Japanese Outdoor Specialists Snow Peak. Here at Nordic HQ we fully believe in Snow Peak’s mission to bring people closer to nature; that by spending time out of doors we find our humanity along with their desire to have a positive impact on the planet.
Snow Peak sits perfectly alongside our belief of enjoying every day outdoors and blending the urban environment with the wild. Setting up a Snow Peak Jikaro Firering table with your Tentipi Safir 7 and wearing your newest Amundsen Sports Sweater sounds like the perfect afternoon in the wild to us.
We’re really excited to see Snow Peak develop at Nordic Outdoor alongside our Scandinavian brands and see this as a natural progression. Take a look below to see our pick of the latest Snow Peak arrivals!
One of the brands most iconic products the Snow Peak Wabuki Chopsticks can help you elevate your campsite cutlery to a new level.
Showcasing the brands Japanese approach to the outdoors the story behind these goes back to 1996. At this time almost all camping cutlery was westernised with plastic forks and spoons being some of the only options available to the Japanese Market - it wasn’t until 2003 Light My Fire introduced their iconic Spork.
On this day back in 1996 a member of the Snow Peak development team pulled a pair of chopsticks from their bag only to think “if these were a bit shorter, they would be much easier to carry” – with this thought the Wabuki Chopsticks were born.
Designed to reduce our reliance on single use plastic and provide Snow Peak a closer alignment with their Japanese Heritage. The Wabuki Chopsticks are available in two sizes and are constructed from a blend of bamboo and stainless steel. The chopsticks can be unscrewed and stored in the stainless-steel portion of the design before being placed in their own carry case for portability and easy storage.
Another instantly recognisable Snow Peak product is also their best selling product of all time – the Titanium Mug. While this humble mug may not shout about it this is a product which encapsulates the entire history of Snow Peak.
Snow Peak was founded in Tusbame-Sanjo which is also home to some of the most gifted titanium manufacturers in the world and since 1958 has been where every single Snow Peak titanium item is made.
A tricky metal to work with titanium does not easily flatten and working with titanium is a craft which has been mastered by the workers in Tsubame-Sanjo. This allows them a level of understanding and intuition which can identify even the smallest defect in a product and is vital to the quality of the Snow Peak offering.
As a material for camping equipment Titanium is ideal – it is lightweight, resistant to corrosion, can be heated and never leaves a metallic taste in the mouth. Available in two sizes you can shop the Snow Peak titanium mug in a single walled version which can be heated over an open flame or a double walled version which will retain heat for longer.
Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill
One of the cornerstones of Snow Peak’s approach to enjoying the outdoors is ‘Takibi Time’. This is the simple act of gathering together around a fire to share connections – whether miles from the nearest glimpse of humanity of just in the back garden.
As a result of this belief in ‘Takibi Time’ there is a raft of fire related products in the Snow Peak offering including the Takibi Fire & Grill, the Pack & Carry Fireplace, Fire Tools Set Pro and the incredible Jikaro Firering table.
All of these will get you back out and enjoying time in nature – making connections with friends old and new and enjoying some freshly cooked food. To help you in your enjoyment of good friends around the fire the brand offer a number of outdoor recipes on their website including Duck Fried Rice and Takibi Yakitori.
Think of Japan and you may instantly think of the famous tea ceremonies – the team at Snow Peak however know that the best way to start a day at camp is a cup of coffee. As part of this one of the brands stand out pieces is the Field Coffee Master.
Constructed from the same durable and lightweight titanium which can be found throughout the Snow Peak collection the Field Coffee Master offers the ability to create barista style brews from the comfort of basecamp. Depending on your taste the field coffee master allows you to brew coffee in two styles; percolater or paper drip. Ideal for weekends away the Field Coffee Master can hold around 4 cups of coffee and weighs in at only 750g.
This is just the first taster of Snow Peak’s first collection at Nordic Outdoor and we can’t wait to get out and test the kit when restrictions ease. You can keep up to date with all the newest arrivals by signing up to our email newsletter or following us on Instagram. Shop the full Snow Peak collection here.