Amy Leong Camper’s Kai

  • Tauira / Student
    Amy Leong
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Anke Nienhuis, Phoebe Lee

Our natural conservation lands in New Zealand operate on a “pack-in, pack-out” policy. There are no trash facilities provided, and anything taken into our campgrounds or hiking trails needs to be taken out. The most common solution to rubbish management on hikes are zip lock or plastic bags. These carry out the baseline function of storage rubbish on the trail while being light and compressible. Still, many users have issues with leakages, smells, and the overall rubbish management experience.
Camper’s Kai is a combination of service and product that aims to reduce the amount of single-use packaging taken into our protected natural environment. The service provides freeze-dried food and hiking snacks in a “refillery” style. A user would be able to take in reusable storage of their choice (containers or bags) and fill them up from various bulk bins. The freeze-dried food offered can come in pre-set meals, also offering a local “meal of the month” special. Alternatively there is a “pick n’ mix” option which lets users select raw ingredients to build their own meals. Additionally, the service offers re-usable branded (with a collectible graphic) pouches that provide a discount on the food purchased at Camper’s Kai. These pouches have been designed to improve a hikers’ user experience of food storage, consumption, and rubbish storage. These can be washed and reused for a hiker’s next trip. For any reason where a user doesn’t want to continue more hiking trips, the pouches can be continued to use as casual bags outside of the system.
The reusable pouches are designed to improve the hiking user experience during eating and trash storage. The original packaging for freeze-dried meals are typically in soft plastic packs that can be difficult to hold once filled with hot water. It is also relatively tall, with a narrow opening that makes it difficult to access and scoop food comfortably. The Camper’s Kai pouch lining is a quilted material that makes it more comfortable for the user to hold hot contents. The pouch is also easier to eat out of due to its shorter height and circular opening.
Through interviews, it was identified that some hikers use the original freeze-dried food packaging as their trash storage, eliminating the need to bring extra bags for trash. Camper’s Kai pouches took that lead user innovation, encouraging that behaviour within their systems and pouch. The double-sided label identifies what’s in the pouch, what type of meal or if it’s being used to store trash. Furthermore, the inner sleeve can be removed and washed after trash storage.