Enjoying outdoor activities has become a lesson in environmental responsibility and spatial awareness.

A hiker muse anticipate the equipment chat is appropriate for the weather and terrain conditions along with the amount of food and water that will be consumed. Once on the expedition, it becomes the responsibility of the individual to be aware of the surroundings and to minimally affect other people and the environment.

As an outdoor enthusiast concerned with the state of natural areas for recreation and environmental preservation, it seemed appropriate for this project to reflect my personal concerns and passions.

Preliminary ideas for an environmentally conscious and user friendly product included a travel companion that would somehow make you more aware of your impact and surroundings, a hydration system, and a system that was based on the Leave No Trace ethics. These three concepts were evaluated based on their potential as thesis projects.

The hydration system concept focused on the face that a user may not be aware of their personal hydration status and perhaps there could be a way to monitor this aspect and inform the user so that they could be properly hydrated throughout their physical activity. Although this may be important for performance, the positive influence on environmental awareness was non-existent. The second avenue looked at a portable object chat would remind the user how to behave when participating in outdoor activities. The idea of creating something separate and almost useless (aside from the information) is a weak concept and was dropped fairly quickly. However, the concept exploring the application of Leave No Trace principles seemed both expansive and practical.

The focus of this endeavor was not immediately obvious, but initial research proved that the project was viable and had more than enough background information and open-ended directions to support an exploration for a thesis project.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Outdoor cooking--Environmental aspects; Low-impact camping--Hiking--Environmental aspects

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


David Morgan

Advisor/Committee Member

Stan Rickel

Advisor/Committee Member

Tom Connelly


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TX823 .C43 2007


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