It all started with a lost fishing rod.
Robert was fly fishing at a local river near Boise, Idaho, when he found an abandoned fly rod. Like most outdoors folk, he wanted to return it to the owner. However, there was no identification on the rod or reel. He posted on social media, Craigslist and even online chat forums. He received many responses, but none were for the rod he had found. Unfortunately, he never found the owner.
Robert spoke with his friend Aaron, and they began thinking about all the gear they’d lost on outdoor adventures. The list was staggering. Like 86 per cent of outdoors folk, Aaron and Robert have lost something of value in the outdoors and never got it back. There had to be a solution to this problem!
After many months of researching and looking for a solution, Robert and Aaron realized nothing existed—so they built one. One that will work in water, snow, desert, heat and cold, with a phone and without. No batteries, no Bluetooth… nothing that could be damaged by water or weather. It’s a very simple solution to a very common problem.
It’s called Karmik Outdoors.
So, how does it work?
Karmik Outdoors creates sleek, weatherproof, scannable decals that you place on your favourite gear item—from DSLR cameras and new iPhones to expensive snowboards and sentimental gear passed on from your parents.
“As outdoor enthusiasts, we love our gear. Some of it is irreplaceable,” says Robert, co-founder of Karmik Outdoors. “Maybe the company doesn't make that rod anymore. Maybe it’s those ski boots that always seem to fit right. They might not be the best on the market, but you connect with them. We are willing to bet you have a piece of equipment that is irreplaceable. Maybe it's the knife that Grandpa gave you. He might be gone, but the knife and his memory are still here. You can't put a value on that. Our decals are invaluable at that point. Why not protect your items?”
If the unfortunate happens and you lose a gear item on an outdoor adventure, all the finder has to do is scan the QR code with their phone or enter the ID code on the Karmik website. Then, Karmik connects you with the finder, integrating an imperative part of the business: community.
Feedback from the outdoors community has been overwhelmingly positive, Robert says. “People are very excited to be able to protect their gear. Very surprisingly though, people have been more excited about the opportunity to return gear to the owners. It seems like people get more satisfaction and gratification by reconnecting the items to the owners than keeping the items for themselves. We believe people are inherently good. They want to do the right thing.”
Karmik Outdoors has plans to grow, expand and contribute to the conservation of natural spaces, outdoor communities and humankind. Karmik Outdoors is currently working with one conservation non-profit and aims to partner with many more moving forward.
Bonus: here’s a special for Explore Magazine readers: use the code EXPLR50 for 50 per cent off when you join the Karmik Community!
This article was sponsored by Karmik Outdoors
Karmik Outdoors believes in connections, community and conservation. The inherent goodness of those in our outdoor recreation communities is noble. We believe that getting your lost outdoor recreation gear back and building a trusting community of outdoors men and women ought to be as easy as scanning a QR code. Learn more: karmikoutdoors.com