Dangle Supply Makes the Best Bongs for Camping Trips
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Dangle Supply Makes the Best Bongs for Camping Trips

Aug 30, 2023

Published on 10/5/2022 at 12:28 PM

Like many Pacific Northwest youngsters, cannabis was a key to teenage rebellion for the pseudo-anonymous Dangle Supply co-founder, C. Frazer. Trips to the hardware store meant hunting for tubing he’d use to connect two-liter soda bottles that would become a homemade gravity bong. Frazer also was a modest green thumb, growing a few plants underneath an abandoned school in his Eugene, Oregon neighborhood with some friends—not to sell or to have great weed, more so to see if they could.

"You wouldn't believe the things we built. Classic improv pieces—of course, the can, the apple. I distinctly remember rolling a joint with a cattail leaf or something one time," he laughs. "We’re probably lucky it didn't kill us."

His youth spent engineering ways to grow and smoke weed has now birthed a brand based off of Frazer's cannabis creativity and love of the outdoors. In his 20s, Frazer visited Montana to ski and summer with friends until he decided to eventually move to Bozeman in 2015. He had a gig teaching graphic design at Montana State University. In his spare time, he explored nature and, well, consumed it, too.

During these years, Frazer had noticed something. "It had become a fashionable thing to attach a mug to the exterior of your backpack, so it was just hanging there in selfies," says Frazer of the Instagram trend of the moment. "We thought that was so silly—the idea of this dangling mug being the cool thing to do—you’d have to wash it out just to be able to use it once you set up camp. Just put it inside your bag."

He and his buddies wanted to poke some fun at the trendy status symbol, so they brainstormed something much funnier to dangle from a backpack: a bong. The problem: they couldn't exactly dangle a glass bong off a zipper pull. Or could they?

"At the same time, my business partner happened to be learning how to weld his own bike frame. He had titanium scraps lying around, so we were like, ‘Let's just make it out of that.’"

The simple, straight-shot bong had a small metal bowl that was attached to a primary metal tube for the water. They handed their creation to a friend headed on a long bike ride from Montana to Austin, Texas and asked him to post some shots with the bong along the way.

Their bong joke didn't end up going viral, but they did get about 10 orders for metal bongs. Frazer wondered if they were onto something.

"We decided to open a preorder to see if this thing had legs, this was in 2018," he recalls. "We sold something like 100 bongs in that first hour of the site going live. All of the sudden, it clicked—people who go outside often love weed, and no one was speaking to that. This is real, and this is a huge market."

He called the company Dangle Supply, after the original inspiration. Through connections to the bike industry, Frazer was able to link up with a manufacturer that could help them scale up from doing everything by hand themselves.

Frazer's earliest memories of the outdoors are camping trips with friends and family that that inspired additional pieces like the lightweight Lettuce Wrap foldable kit and a blue speckle version of the Dangle bong.

"The ethos of the outdoor world is minimal and functional; it's about durability and everyday wear. We are also inspired by nostalgia for camping, and we try to reflect that with textures and finishes inspired by the iconic designs of that era—colors like that muted orange peel and the green enamel of the Coleman grill; a blue speckle camp cup. We wanted to bring those iconic designs from the past into our products," explains Frazer.

The products refer to a simpler time or fond memories spent in nature, but built with modern technology and sensibilities. It isn't new to smoke out of metal, but Frazer hopes that seeing it like this, in this natural recreational context, can reframe people's idea of the experience.

"For a long time, I think people have been conditioned to think it's bad to smoke weed out of metal," explains Frazer. "While it's probably definitely bad to smoke out of aluminum soda cans with labels and dyes, metals like titanium are perfect materials to smoke out of. The melting temperature is twice that of glass. When you get screws put into your body, they’re made out of titanium. It's super nonreactive; it's one of nature's more incredible materials."

And of course, the durability score is a 100. He hopes these pieces are used with intentions to last at least for one lifetime, if not multiple. Next up is a new, more ergonomic handheld pipe that was designed to be a more permanent object of art to display.

Dangle Supply survived the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent e-commerce slowdown, only to continue growing year after year—much to Frazer's amusement.

"It's much more real now," he says. "Every once in a while, when I find myself getting stressed, I have to remind myself how this all started."

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