- Coleman, the unit of Newell Brands that makes outdoor and sports equipment, created its first mobile app to help people plan for a camping trip, according to a press release from the company. The "Coleman-Get Outdoors" app has information on more than 25,000 campgrounds and includes video tutorials for mobile users to learn how to assemble a tent and cook over a campfire.
- The company partnered with Recreation.gov, a website from the National Recreation Reservation Service that aggregates U.S. park information, to provide details on visiting parks, forests and lakes around the country. The app also features packing lists and gear recommendations for those who might be new to camping excursions.
- Dave Lew, vice president of brand development at Coleman, said the goal of the app is to create a one-stop tool to simplify the planning of a camping trip. The new app is free to download on the App Store or Google Play.
Coleman is a storied brand name that's become nearly synonymous with camping. With its new app, the company's first, Coleman is leaping forward into the mobile era just as many U.S. families are beginning to map out their recreational activities for the summer. The app not only provides a gateway to information about campsites and parks, but the packing lists and recommended equipment also point to how Coleman is positioning its products as integral for a successful camping trip.
The more the 100-year-old company is entering a crowded field of outdoor-related apps, such as GPS trackers, park guides, demonstrations of tying knots, topographical maps and skyline analyzers to help hikers and campers avoid getting lost in the woods. For many backpackers, a mobile phone has become an essential tool to taking pictures and exploring the outdoors even as they try to get away from the demands of email and social media. Other brands are ramping up efforts to connect with outdoor enthusiasts through mobile technology. Land Rover in February announced plans for a durable smartphone designed for the rugged outdoors that can withstand extreme temperatures, thermal shock, humidity and saltwater immersion. The hope appears to be to appeal to adventure-seeking consumers looking for a tips and tech that align with their active lifestyles.
Last year, the National Park Service received nearly 331 million recreation visits, falling just short of 2016's record-breaking year. This points to the growing opportunity for outdoorsy brands and organizations to connect with consumers looking for nature adventures.