Sep 22, 2013 at 10:16 am #1307910
Dear Backpackinglight community,
My name is Valerie and currently I am an MBA student in Columbia University. I am huge fan of backpacking and any outdoor activities, so I have decided to research Backpacking market for one of my MBA classes. I would highly appreciate if some of you find 10 min of your time to help me with this survey. It is only 24 questions, but it will help me a lot to learn more about the Outdoor Market.
The survey is completely anonymous. https://columbia.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cUYcyboQW1nUZSd
I would highly appreciate for any help!
ValerieSep 22, 2013 at 10:23 am #2026958
Ken T.BPL Member
"My name is Valerie and currently I am an MBA student in Columbia University."
"I would highly appreciate for any help!"
Sounds phishy Especially with the chance to get an e mail address.
No need to post on multiple forums.
The questions are geared towards finding out how you plan and how much you are willing to spend. Like for any traveler. Not so much for the "outdoor lover" IMO.
And hipster, really? No one can possibly take you seriously. With the appalling grammar in your post, plus the poorly executed questions, wow.Sep 22, 2013 at 10:59 am #2026975
Let's see, three year program at: (this is from Columbia's website)
ESTIMATED STUDENT BUDGET
Tuition (0–21 points/term): $60,720
Mandatory fees: $4,087
Health services and insurance: $2,291
Books and supplies: $900
Room and board: $20,700
Personal expenses: $4,590
Total first-year budget: $93,288
And you want my help? I am laughing all the way to your future to-big-to-fail bank.Sep 22, 2013 at 11:14 am #2026984
Art …BPL Member
Oh … I thought this was gonna be a survey about peoples intimate relations in the Great Outdoors … never mind.Sep 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm #2027002
I did too! Hahaha. I was think "well I do have an outdoor lover so I guess I could answer some questions." You beat me to the punch!Sep 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm #2027028
I am sorry you took it so close to your heart. I really do try to get as many reviews as possible. I am targeting mostly young professionals and college students. If you think my grammar is poorly executed, it is because unlike you I am not originally from the US. The survey is really to find out who would be interested in a small business idea, not much about people think about the survey.
I apologize if you found it offensive.
VSep 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm #2027029
Umm…..so what? I am doing my homework. What is wrong with that?Sep 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm #2027033
Gosh people, what is wrong with the community here? I always thought the backpacking community is one that is more welcoming, and willing to help. Don't try to prove me wrong. All i asked is to fill out the survey. If you are judging me for paying my tuition in columbia, I can make it easier for you by saying that I pay for it by borrowing money from numerous loan corporations. And yes, I will be paying them off, which should not be anyone's concern anyways. If you feel that the survey is nothing of your interest, leave the post and do something else. It is voluntary!!! for people who actually do want to help with the research.Sep 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm #2027046
I'll do it nowSep 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm #2027047
Thank you Slaton.Sep 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm #2027049
doneSep 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm #2027065
> Gosh people, what is wrong with the community here?
Nothing is wrong, but we have had quite a few scammers trying to rip people off in the past. So it is understandable that there is always a bit of suspicion in cases like this. Welcome to the real world!
CheersSep 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm #2027067
Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I can be a professional hipster!?!?!
This looks like some fishy spam site trying to harvest email addresses.
You made a new account and have only posted in this thread. You haven't contributed to this forum and I have no compelling reason to do your survey. Nobody is going to give you the benefit of the doubt so stop whining about it.
Why don't you get your facebook friends to do it? The survey isn't even backpacking related.Sep 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm #2027075
I suspect you have NOT researched the market. Your survey asks us to select from the following categories:
A Family Guy/Gal
Just a Hipster
First of all, what is a hipster in this context? It seems completely irrelevant. A bit too much gen X.
But far more importantly, you have omitted two of the bigger categories in the backpacking community: mature-aged people (eg 50-65) and retirees. Far too much emphasis on the youth market in your list, plus the two categories you omitted have a lot more disposable income!
CheersSep 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm #2027077
..Sep 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm #2027089
Thank you very much for the feedback. You are correct I am actually in the process of defining my archetype. I do know that large number of hikers are in the age group of 50+. However, those people also would not commit to the idea of the pre-planned route. Most of them enjoy the process of planning as part of the experience. That is why I am trying to target people who are younger and think they don't have time for anything.
If you have any suggestions how to proceed further I will be more than happy to hear them out.
ValerieSep 23, 2013 at 3:14 am #2027223
> I do know that large number of hikers are in the age group of 50+. However, those
> people also would not commit to the idea of the pre-planned route.
Huh???? You really do NOT know much about walking, do you?
Europe, America and other countries are covered with long-distance trails, some of which which can take several months to walk. People do these, end to end. And many of the people doing them are retired.
Psychologically, you have it back to front. Anyone committing to a month-long walk will have (to have) a very clear itinery mapped out to maintain the required focus, and the overwhelming odds are that it will be a known trail.
CheersSep 23, 2013 at 6:28 am #2027245
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Yeah, I agree with Roger.
Generally, you have to have a good starting point. And you need a good exit point, even if it is the end of the trail, you still have to get home. I usually trace my route with a highlighter, but, there is always the side trips and alternate routes along a longer trail. Inbetween starting/stopping, there is too much variability to say I will be at Point A on This Date at That Time. I rely on communications, verbal between other hikers, telephones, and spot checks (whenever possible) for that.
There are a lot of trails out there. Choosing to do a long distance one means some research. YOU will be hiking the trail and it will do you no good to have someone map out a route, FOR you. Generally, trail maps, and topo maps will still be needed because they are needed on the trail, and, these are readily available (well, usually.) You need to start familiarizing yourself with the trail, with or without an itinerary. Indeed, an itinerary may not be possible untill AFTER familiarization. And, hikers do not always maintain 20mi per day. Sometimes you make only 12, depending on conditions. You can never count on conditions.
Current Conditions can change a trail. Wild fires along the PCT. Impassible water in the Grand Canyon. Blowdowns in Vermont. Slides burring/washing away trails in NY. This would be more interesting, but a month or two could well change current conditions and would be costly to maintain in a large database of trails.
I am not sure a service to provide this really has a place in the hiking community. There are simply too many variables, right down to a hiker deciding to take a zero somewhere just because it's pretty.Sep 23, 2013 at 8:49 am #2027285
spelt with a tBPL Member
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
This site is not a useful demographic for you to survey about pre-planned trips. People here love trip planning with a fervency that periodically erupts into arguments about posers spending all their time planning and none of their time outside.
What you are looking for is the "lazy weekend warrior" demographic, who has a bunch of backpacking stuff in the garage but only uses it once per year b/c they don't really know what they're doing and don't have the ambition to learn. Or the "pokemon trainers" who gotta collect all the activities and are interested in saying they hiked such-and-such a trail but are too busy with a thousand other things to do the prep work themselves.Sep 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm #2027495
Roger, James, and spelt!,
Thank you very much for your input.
Roger, I do some backpacking, but as spelt! pointed it out, I am one of those "lazy weekend warriors". Not because I am not willing to learn, but because in the U.S unfortunately you have only two weeks of vacations and that limits your abilities to go for long distance routes. Interestingly, my husband and I as backpackers do not like to on commercial trails, but plan interesting ones ourselves. We wanted to narrow down our Target Market with various options. That was the reason I posted this survey on backpackinglight. We got a feedback from backpackers who actually do heavy trip planning. I wanted to learn if that would be useful to them. Having 60+ survey respondents, I have found out who would be my Target Market to begin with, and change my survey to something that would be more appropriate for them (an post in on appropriate websites). Originally, we wanted to target backpackers, but thankfully to this forum and some other ones, we have learned that it would be more appropriate for other activities.
In addition, it helped me to narrow down my areas of focus for specific activities where pre-planned route would be more appropriate. In fact, the reason we like this idea is because we like planning so much :)
I appreciate any comments posted here and would like to hear more suggestions from you guys,
ValerieSep 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm #2027497
By saying that people in age group of 50+ will not commit to a pre-planned route, I meant that they won't use the service. Just because they like the idea of planning themselves. Being originally from Russia, my family and I never used "illustrated" trails or guide maps for any type of backpacking trips (once that majority of Americans use, in fact). It was all done months before the trip by looking at the topo-map and talking to people. Then, it was accompanied by compass on kerosene oil (no GPS back then).:) Being on Elbrus and some other summits in Caucasian mountains, I can assure you that I do have some idea about walking. Unfortunately, I don't get to do them as much as my family did at my age.
However, you are right that most of the people who would be using the idea are not backpackers. However, to ask a "second" opinion different from own, I had to post on BackpackingLight.
ValerieSep 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm #2027549
@jbcLocale: Cascade Mountains
I pointed this out in the other posting for this. When you are doing research you need to keep an open mind. How do you KNOW that folks 50+ will not be interested in pre planed trips? A friend of mine runs cycling trips to Italy, nearly all of his customers can plan the trips themselves, but don't, preferring to not have the hassles. The vast majority of his customers are over 50.Sep 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm #2027599
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Along the lines of what Jim said, some people get to a point where they have more money and time off than they have desire to hash out the details. Work hard, play hard.
That's Backroads Bicycling's whole business model. The clients pedal the miles, with the company arranging the route, lodging, mid-day meals, sag wagon, etc. Of course you could do it far cheaper on your own, but the support, and comfort that someone knowledgable has planned it all is worth something for some people.
My cousin scouts locations in India for well-healed travelers who want an arranged tour that is off the beaten path. They get a custom itinerary, in-region guides and drivers and pre-checked lodging. The local providers want future business so they are motivated to keep the clients happy.
National Geographic offers some very upper-end trips to adventurous locations around the world (I think they've only had one client die in Alaska this year). The one that sticks in my mind was $55,000 for 20 days around the world in a chartered 757 with sleeper compartments (so you'd wake up at your new destination) and guided by Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel). A bit out of my price range, but my oldest friend and her husband get invited to trips like that by a rich friend.Sep 24, 2013 at 7:29 am #2027662
David and Jim,
That is an excellent point! However you are referring to guided tours with guides who gather group of people and provide them assured comfort. I am actually trying to find out if someone will be interested to do such thing on their own, just by picking an itinerary and points of interest. Like a tour agent service without an agent. I do not oppose the idea of a buttered service, but not everyone can afford it, so the idea is to provide the same without a "butler".
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