Research On Camping Gear

9:11 a.m. on January 31, 2009 (EST)
389 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

I found this on another forum without many backpackers. I linked Mat over here for better responses.

Hello All,
My name is Matt and I am a Purdue Undergrad that is a part of a team we titled Awe Inspired Engineering. Our purpose is to research and develop a new piece of camping equipment and we are reaching out for help in our research division. My goal is to ask what true campers need, don't need, and of coarse want.

All help is appreciated so if you can find the time to reply to this thread it would be very useful to my team and I. Some question I have for you are as follows

1. Do you generally hike to a camp site?
2. If you do hike to a camp site how much does your gear generally weigh? And could you afford another 4-6 lbs?
3. On a scale of 1-10, how important is food storage to you?
4. Do you often prepare meals and need a solid level surface?
5. What is a piece of equipment that you would like to see modified and retailed for camping?
6. Is cold storage an issue?
7. Is it difficult to cook meat or veggies over a fire? If you do cook them at all.
8. Would a hot plate be an easier way to cook? (This would not involve electricity or gas)

Please fell free to answer any or all of these questions in any format you wish. Also if you feel that there is something else you would like to contribute to our research please fell free through this thread or by message.

Thanks all that contribute,
Matt and Team Awe Inspired Engineering

10:42 a.m. on January 31, 2009 (EST)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

It sounds to me that team AIE has already decided on a few product idea(s) or need input to move ahead with innovative ideas they have based on their perception of camping which sounds more like car camping to me than "real" ie. primitive camping / backpacking.

That's cool. I don't mind helping, but my input will be that of a backpacker and not a car camper. Also I would like to know who you are doing your undergrad work for.

1. Yes I generally backpack in the mountains carrying as little as possible, I carry no "special" or "single purpose" gear.
2. My pack weighs between 25-35 pounds depending on the length of the trip and season. Another 4-6 pounds is not needed or desired.
3. As a backpacker that must be self reliant, I would consider every aspect of being prepared to be a 10 on your scale. My food storage is done mostly with commercial freeze dried foods or repackaging food with vacuum bags for a completely water & air tight seal.
4. I prepare 2 - 3 meals a day, I do not need to carry anything with me to provide a solid or level surface, that need is met by using the items I already have or by using the items nature provides me with.
5. Now that is a question with potential, let me think on it, and get back with you!
6. Cold storage is not an issue for me, trying to backpack with foods that require refrigeration is an exercise in futility, and any product that would allow me to do so would just mean more unwanted and unnecessary weight and bulk. I do sometimes carry a frozen steak and make it your first supper, or keep items in a large ziplock and place in a cold stream.
7. I do cook with small fires, but the proper way to do this is to cook over coals (not flames) that have been raked away from the fire, it is a skill that you develop over time.
8. A hot plate...Hmmm, well I generally just place my small titanium plate/skillet over my gas stove, or a rock over a small fire. I would need to more about the hotplate you have in mind to give you an opinion about its usefulness.

I would like to say that any successful new product would need to meet the following criteria to gain my interest:
More efficient
More durable
More compact
Meet an existing need

Hope that helps, I will get back to you on #5.

11:42 a.m. on January 31, 2009 (EST)
235 reviewer rep
649 forum posts

1) Yes, even if its dark when I am starting my trip I try to hike in to the first night camping location.

2) Yes I could take an extra 4 to 6 pounds. I like to keep my gear weight down but I do bring a few creature comforts I am there for enjoyment of it all not a survival trek. Also depending on how long the trip is.

3) That scale would depend on where and when I am camping. Example bear country yes it is a issue for a few reasons.

4) No, but a solid level is nice to work from if it is available at the time.

5) Good question that requires a good amount of thought for a valid and lucid answer

6) Not in the winter. But no normally I don’t bring items that need to be refrigerated.

7) No its not difficult just use a skewer.

8) Hot plates generally make all basic cooking easier.

As far as contributing factors im going to agree with trouthunter.

I would like to say that any successful new product would need to meet the following criteria to gain my interest:
More efficient
More durable
More compact
Meet an existing need

3:50 p.m. on January 31, 2009 (EST)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

mike068 raises a good point, veggie skewer.
I just use a clean tent stake...ok, sometimes I don't clean them, but anyhow:

Anodized aluminum tent stakes that can be used for skewers, or skewers that can also be used for tent stakes.

Trekking poles with a LED light, not a focused beam, that is what your headlamp is for, but rather general down lighting. These could also be used to illuminate a cooking area or any tarp or shelter that uses a trekking pole for support.

Headlamp that also has a fold out spring clip that would allow it to be attached to a tent pole, small branch, ect.
You can buy clip lights, but then you have to carry one of each, I would rather have one good quality light that did both.

A roll up travel organizer made of silnylon instead of the type you can get now made of cheap vinyl.
I would also want it to have a large sleeve / pocket on the backside for maps, my journal, copied pages from a trail guide ect. Some how it should have a laminated divider/card or two with useful info printed on it such as Leave no Trace guidelines, The Ten Essentials, Topographic map symbols, English to Metric conversions, survival tips ect.
It should also convert to a small emergency water container somehow. Multipurpose, multipurpose, multipurpose!

I'll keep thinking.

5:45 p.m. on January 31, 2009 (EST)
5 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

OK Matt I am an avid hiker who just got into kayak camping and also tag along alot with my buddy who makes frequent weekend fishing trips. So I guess I'm a car camper and a lightweight trail slave. P.S. I love any gear with multiple uses.(intended or otherwise).

1.Yes,even when car camping I usually walk at least 1/4mi. Although now that I kayak I float to camp.(which I usually pack even lighter for).

2. Between 22-36lbs. varies according to needs. If it weighs 3lbs. it better be worth it and preferably mutli-use.

3. 10. Good eating offsets the pain 17+mi. days.

4.Refer to answer 3. Never have a problem finding flat rocks.

5.Something not made for camping that my buddy always brings is an umbrella.
And I've spent my fair share of time under it. A lightweight durable umbrella with a longer telescoping handle that can be planted into the ground would be nice.Even better if it can double as trekking pole.

6.Yes. I am buying n new soft cooler soon.

7.I manage.

8.It might be easier.If it is worth weight and price is a different story.

I don't like to carry alot but if something is worth it, I will.

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