Business: Camping It Up

Finding millions in the wild

The strapping old gentleman with the shock of white hair bounces his canoe off rocks in Wyoming's Powder River, then runs it aground. He gives a sharp kick to a cooler and stomps on his spanking new backpack. Eccentric behavior, it would appear, but Sheldon Coleman, 77, has an ironclad defense if forest rangers should arrive with a straitjacket: "Is there any reason why the chairman of the board can't test the products?"

This kind of attention to quality has helped make the Coleman Co. of Wichita, Kans., the...

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