The Biome Line
Strategic redesign of education materials and distribution for exponential increase in market accessibility
Company: NOLS, The National Outdoor Leadership School
Project Outcome: New education strategy for "Leave No Trace (LNT)" camping practices to accommodate in-field and self-teaching applications.
Team: Malory Johnson
interviewed all levels of backpackers about LNT awareness, experiences and practices
reviewed NOLS departmental publications and research
In-depth Field Testing
assessed LNT curriculum with new backpackers
Education Retention Research
Observed 5 pairs of entry level campers. Each pair was given LNT literature in advance, but would not refer to the materials during the exercise. Teams were tasked to walk though the main decisions points of a backpacking trip. For example: identifying a campsite, and establishing sleep, food and bathroom locations. Campers were interviewed during the exercise about their decision making process, and then afterwards about confidence in their ability to correctly implement "Leave no Trace" camping practices. This framed an understanding of the effectiveness of existing self-teaching applications for LNT.
The current Leave No Trace curriculum was designed to be taught by an educator.
Teachers carry the entire textbook in their heads. Their classroom is outdoors and lessons are in real-time.
As a result:
self-teaching applications of leave No trace are challenging
An environment specific Field reference guide. Each guide outlines the fundamental Leave no Trace principles and environmental protection priorities.
The guide equips the backpacker to make informed decisions during the trip with a quick review of the materials and reference along the way.
Education Distribution Through Retail
The traditional distribution model of community educator to student only reaches a portion of the backpacking community. If LNT education is distributed through a product, it has the potential to reach everyone! A tent is the most fundamental piece of gear a new backpacker will purchase, making it the ideal product for education distribution.
4 tents were designed, one for each biome of the United States. Each is designed to reduce impact on it's environment, and protect the backpacker from it's unique conditions.
The Biome Membership
Since each tent is designed for a specific environment and new backpackers want the flexibility to travel, a rental system is an ideal solution.
Each tent comes with:
Information on how to practice LNT for that environment.
Ability to rent the appropriate tent per part of the country.