About Us – Isle Box

About Us

Ever gone to buy outdoor gear and felt completely overwhelmed by the choices / the reviews / the quality / the price / the ‘cool’ factor / will this actually work… / etc.? Yes, we know your pain.

While fielding the same questions over and over at an outdoor e-commerce company, founder Kolin Karchon dreamt not only of going to Isle Royale National Park but also of sending hand picked gear to friends, family and strangers. By chance one day while climbing at Planet Rock, he ran into future co-founder Travis Tamez. Together, they began formulating a rough idea that would later become Isle Box. The two founded the business out of their living room in 2014 and since then, Isle Box has packed many boxes and recently even earned a nice shout out in Outside Magazine. We know how hard it can be starting out or finding the right gear for the right season / situations. From our Starter Box to the Seasonal Box to the Monthly Box, we would never send or sell something we wouldn’t use ourselves. Our gear is hand picked for you. The items sent are high quality and will absolutely be useful and not end up in the trash. Our hope is that our boxes will get you outside and empower you take on challenges you never would before. It’s time to ditch the couch, ditch your comfort zone and finally get outside and explore the world around you.


*Based in Detroit, Michigan, Isle Box gets its name from the national park Isle Royale, located in the middle of Lake Superior.*

Meet The Gear Curators

Kolin Karchon

Founder, CEO

Growing up in the woods of Ortonville, Michigan, Kolin Karchon started camping with his family before he could walk. Always curious, talkative (sometimes too much) and interested in the world around him, Kolin has found a natural love for travel, hiking and being with others that do the same. When Kolin is not pestering Travis for thoughts, ideas, criticisms or paying attention to belaying, his hobbies include the following: Arsenal, turning his garage into a cottage, coding (front-end, duh), and long walks on the beach with his future wife.

Travis Tamez

Co-Founder, COO

Travis is a lover of all things outdoors, although when it's freezing outside he sometimes has second thoughts. He's the type of guy to make sure he has a bottle of hot sauce at all times, even on weeklong hiking trips in the Rockies. Hobbies include bushwhacking, rock climbing and singing Prince songs spontaneously on hikes. Also enjoys visualizing data, which occasionally will see the light of day on the blog.

Ryan Forrest


Ryan Forrest (AKA Fun Guy Ryan) is an entrepreneur, investor and world traveler with a passion for marketing as well as long walks in the great outdoors. He and Kolin have been collaborating on a variety of projects for the past several years including most recently IsleBox. In his spare time, Ryan mostly hangs out with his wife, binge watches Netflix TV shows and cold calls unsuspecting IsleBox customers to ask them what their favorite campfire meal consists of (mostly s'mores). Email Ryan any time at ryan@islebox.com to see what weird Paleo meals he recently concocted or to set up a call to tell him how much you love us!

Zach Spearman

Director of Outreach

Having spent his childhood summers navigating the dunes and waters of Northwest Michigan, it’s no surprise that Zach grew to possess a deep appreciation for the outdoors. A daydreamer and sucker for good conversation, Zach’s relationship with the outdoors continues to serve as a medium for self-growth and shared experiences with others. Outside of his outdoor pursuits, Zach dabbles in fly-tying, aquascaping and woodworking. Most of all, he enjoys a good cup of coffee and sleeping in. Feel free to contact Zach for questions about...

Vanessa Lesperance

Chief Editor

After finishing what seems like a lifetime of school, Vanessa is now armed with a knowledge of the outdoors and she helps make sure Isle Box leaves the world cleaner than we found it. Her favorite activity is reading with her pet hedgehog, Pancake, by her side.Contact her to learn about her fav vegan dishes and her thoughts on conservation.

Alex Kocher

Creative Director

Thank you for your email. I'm currently out of the office, surfing on the Oregon coast. I'll be back in our Portland office... tomorrow...?