In Summer 2021, when the pandemic closed borders, the Canadian province of Quebec saw a surge in tourism, mainly through outdoor activities such as camping. Forced to vacation closer to home, this trend created a new wave of campers, who were discovering camping for the first time. To guide us, we recognized a growing tension between camping veterans and the newly initiated.
On one hand, veterans feel “invaded” by new campers. They think they leave equipment stores empty, take all the space in the parks, and don’t understand common camping etiquette (e.g. don’t leave any waste behind!).
On the other hand, new campers feel intimidated, as camping has a high barrier of entry. There’s a lot to learn, equipment is expensive and, as newbies, they feel excluded from the bigger camping community.
However, we spotted one thing that all campers have in common: rituals. From memories of cold spaghetti meals to hiking trips rewarded with S’mores by the fire, rituals can be created by anyone with no barrier to entry -- you can have one whether you’ve been camping for weeks or years, or your tent costs $50 or $500.
While Atmosphere’s competitors would be focussed on the functional and rational attributes of their camping gear, such as assortment, expertise, and pricing, we would tap into the most powerful emotional association there is: memories.
We would unite experienced and new campers by encouraging veterans to pass on their rituals to the newly initiated – a transfer of knowledge, experience, and inspiration that would allow the next generation of campers to begin their adventures and, as a result, become ‘real’ campers.
Step 1: Connecting with veterans
Step 2: Understanding newbies
Step 3: Passing on the knowledge