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Coleman Launches 2007 Everest 5.5 Challenge

Faced with the growing number of children who spend more time indoors with electronic devices than they do exploring the outdoor world, coupled with the depressing rates of childhood obesity due to poor eating and exercise habits, The Coleman Company, Inc., makers of outdoor recreation gear, will sponsor a spring 2007 expedition to Mt. Everest designed to motivate kids to get outside and recreate more.

The 2007 Coleman Everest 5.5 Challenge will be a major focus of the expedition by Denver schoolteacher and veteran mountaineer Mike Haugen, 30, and will be directed toward American schoolchildren facing the problem of "nature deficit." Haugen, who also represents Coleman Exponent gear as a field tester and ambassador to the outdoor community, will depart Colorado in March for a summit attempt in May.

Once at Everest Base Camp, while Haugen awaits the opportunity to summit, he will prepare a series of educational e-mails, blogs and videos, posting them to a specially developed educational Web site -

Schoolchildren nationwide will log on to track his progress and learn about the mountain environment. A series of physical activities for kids will revolve around the 5.5 theme - corresponding to the exact height of Everest in miles.

As the company's number one outdoor advocate, Haugen will also launch a nationwide tour of Coleman retailers this fall to meet with schoolchildren who followed his climb, and present a motivational slide presentation on the effort.

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