GREENVILLE — Whether you’re enjoying the scenery at one of Darke County’s many parks or setting up a campsite further out in the great wide open, it’s a must to have the proper gear.
The Canteen Shop, 120 West Third Street in Greenville, is one local option for the nature lovers to grab their outdoor equipment. It offers a wide array of goods, including backpacks, knives, pouches, clothing, tarps, blankets, cookware, and, of course, canteens.
The business is owned by Rob Simpson and his wife, Gina, who helps manage the shop. It was previously located in the Palace Building in downtown Greenville for about a year and a half before moving to its current location in March. However, before its brick and mortar existence, the Canteen Shop established an online presence.
“We’ve been online for almost eight years, and become pretty well known,” said Simpson. “We became an international shipper.”
“We started with canteens and canteen kits at first. No one else was doing that. Then we worked with some personalities from TV survival shows,” he added.
Simpson says the Canteen Shop offers unique items not necessarily available elsewhere.
“Many of our products are custom-made for us by businesses all over the U.S. including local craftspeople. We have things here you won’t find anywhere else,” he said.
The shop’s reputation has grown far beyond western Ohio.
“We’re one of the few businesses around here that bring in a lot of people from out of state. We’ve even had people coming here from Australia,” he said. “People find us because we have the kind of stuff they like.”
Though not coming from as far away as the “Land Down Under,” Clara Johnson of Lexington, Kentucky, was in the shop last Friday with her daughter, Cavence Powell, 10.
“I first saw their videos on Youtube. It’s my second time here,” she said. Johnson says her husband, Andrew, a U.S. Marine, has a “canteen addiction.” On this occasion, she was shopping for the both of them for future outdoor adventures.
Originally natives of Cleveland, Ohio, the Simpsons moved here because a local friend of theirs told them about a farmhouse in the area for sale and a desire to transition from online-only sales.
“We just ran out of space where we were and needed a change of pace,” Simpson said.
The Canteen Shop’s signature item may be a stove stand, which can be used with an open wood fire or alcohol burner.
“We’ve built our business on it,” said Simpson. “There’s all different walks of adventuring that use them — archaeologists, campers, bikers, hikers. It’s a handy setup to have.”
One thing that appeals to all shoppers is a quality guarantee. The Canteen Shop offers that.
“We test everything before we sell it. All products are guaranteed by us,” Simpson said. “If you need to return it, we’ll take care of it.”
In addition to selling items, The Canteen Shop will be conducting a water collection and purification class at Shawnee Prairie Preserve July 30 at 1 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Future classes include a fire-starting class in the fall and a shelter class being conducted in the winter.
For more information, including hours of operation, visit the business online at canteenshop.com or call 937-316-6656.