Jim Hamel was a retired businessman and lifelong backpacker when he and his wife, Joy, started Cascade Wild as a small family business in 2016. Cascade Wild was born in the rainy Northwest, where anything you set on the ground in the backcountry is likely to get dirty. Their mission was simple: provide an economical, lightweight backpacking table to get personal cooking gear up out of the dirt and mud.

In early 2024, Jim and Joy decided to retire permanently to spend more time with their family and grandchildren. With the completion of the last production run, the final remaining tables quickly sold out. The tables available at Backpacking Light are the last remaining pieces of Cascade Wild’s legacy!

Cascade Wild takes immense pride in the fact that their tables were always made locally in western Oregon using materials sourced from local suppliers. Starting in 2017, all Cascade Wild tables were assembled and folded by hand at the vocational rehabilitation division of Oregon State Hospital. This partnership provided market-wage jobs to people with mental disabilities, helping them acquire work and life skills applicable to society at large. This association with Oregon State Hospital inspired Jim and Joy to keep Cascade Wild going long after they were ready to retire.

Cascade Wild shipped a total of 54,639 tables to more than 40 countries around the world. Throughout this journey, they formed warm relationships with retailers in distant locations and received pictures and notes of thanks and encouragement from customers globally. Cascade Wild provided a life-changing experience for Jim and Joy, and they deeply appreciate each and every customer who purchased one of their tables.


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