It’s a gorgeous day – one of those sunny, mild summer days you dream about while you are stuck in your office, living for the weekend. You can’t wait for Friday night, when you can finally hop in that camper or Jeep for a few days of camping, hiking and outdoor adventure.

Enter Mark and Susan Schumpert, owners of the Pittsfield-based 163 Design Co. They’ve developed “Desktop Adventures,” wooden playsets for grown-ups who love the outdoors. Each package contains a set of plain wooden figures that together create a miniature outdoor diorama on your desktop. So while you are perusing those depressing monthly budget figures, move the wooden figures around. Let the wooden dog chase the wooden hiker up the wooden mountain.


There are five sets to choose from, made from cherry, alder or poplar wood: “Hiker” contains a hiker, dog, lantern, three trees and five mountains; “Camper” contains a camper, canoe, bike, three trees and five mountains; “Jeep” contains a Jeep, dog, campfire, three trees and five mountains; “Sea” contains a lighthouse, sailboat, lobster boat, two whales and seven waves; and “Tent” contains a hiker, tent, campfire, three trees and five mountains.

Susan Schumpert came up with the idea as a way to cheer up her son, a Jeep owner and outdoorsman who sits at a desk all day long at his job in Michigan.

“I just wanted to have something for him to have to remember home,” she said, “a little something for him to get away in his mind.”



Other designs followed. “When we thought of the camper, we thought ‘What do people take with their camper?’ ” Schumpert said. “Everybody has their bike with them.”

The company started making Desktop Adventures last year, and Schumpert says they’re “really taking off” this season. “We’re so busy these days,” she said. “Everybody just needs to get out and have an adventure.”

Part of the appeal is fiddling with the set and enhancing it with a homemade lake, or small pieces of driftwood or twigs scavenged on your last real life outdoor adventure. Schumpert said customers use moss, beach rocks and pebbles to help create the fictional landscape. “One shop owner sold a lot because she put them in her little potted plants,” she said.


Desktop Adventures sell for $10 a set and can be ordered from the company’s site or purchased at 13 stores in Maine, including SummerHouse in South Portland, Acadia Image Arts in Bar Harbor, Archipelago at the Island Institute in Rockland; Elements Art Gallery in Bethel; and Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine in Portland.

Some of the wooden pieces from each set, such as the hiker and the dog, can also be purchased individually as refrigerator magnets for about $8.

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