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About Outdoor Edutainment, LLC

Outdoor Edutainment, LLC is a small, two-person company based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC.  As educators, backpackers and trails/ public lands advocates, our company was born out of a love for being out in wild nature and the desire to inspire and encourage others to seek out the soul-quenching experience of spending extended time in the woods 

We design board games, learning games, and educational resources that offer a fun and engaging way for people to learn about hiking, backpacking, and camping practices that foster trail safety and minimize negative impacts from human use. Our hope is that our products not only encourage people to seek out their own nature adventure, but also to become a part of the growing movement to steward and protect our most precious natural resources – our trails, parks, forests, oceans, coral reefs, and open spaces.

An important part of our business model is to give back to those organizations who work so tirelessly to  protect and manage these national treasures.  When you purchase an Appalachian Trail Game, 5% of your purchase will go to support the important work they do.

Mark Hanf

Mark Hanf
OE Founder and Lead Game Designer

Mark Hanf currently teaches middle school math and science at Rainbow Community School in West Asheville, and has developed a unique curriculum that integrates environmental science, astronomy, cosmology, synergetic and ancient geometry. He is an artist, an Eagle Scout, an avid backpacker, and game designer who brings many talents and passions to Outdoor Edutainment.
 

Kristin Peppel
Jack of All Trades
(Management, Sales, Marketing, Outreach, Game Design)

Kristin Peppel

Kristin brings a background in conservation planning, trail community development, environmental education to her work with Outdoor Edutainment. Kristin worked closely with the ATC to design the current A.T. Community Program and has spent countless hours hiking on the A.T.  She enjoys working with teenagers on and off the trail, and currently coaches volleyball at Carolina Day School in Asheville and Biltmore Volleyball Academy.

The Appalachian Trail Game Story
Where Trail Stewardship meets Board Games!

The Appalachian Trail Game was born on one of Outdoor Edutainment, LLC Founder, Mark Hanf's regular hikes between Max Patch and Hot Springs, NC back in 2O12.  As Mark approached the Walnut Mountain Shelter, he saw that it had been completely trashed. As he packed up the scattered litter, he began thinking about how to create a fun and engaging way to help people to practice responsible trail ethics while out hiking and backpacking. By the time he got off the trail that evening, the initial framing of The Appalachian Trail Board Game had been begun.

The Appalachian Trail – Backpacking Edition Game Comes to Life

Two years later, that idea was given life thanks to a small grant awarded through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's (ATC) License Plate grant program.  These seed funds provided the necessary funding to develop the initial prototype game, originally called Thru Hike A small team of talented educators, artists, conservationists and backpackers formed to turn that prototype into a fully realized product. In August of 2O14, we launched the game on Kicktstarter and were overwhelmed by the amount of support and enthusiasm from our backers.  Our initial funding goal was achieved in the first 48 hours, and by the end of the campaign, we were over-funded by almost 6OO%.

Special Edition, Leave No Trace, and NEW cards!

In 2O15, we added the Special Edition game along with new partnerships with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and the American Hiking Society to the Appalachian Trail Game family. , In August, 2O17 we successfully launched 2 brand new sets of cards - the Thru-Hiker and A.T. Community Expansion Card Sets on Kickstarter, which will be available for purchase just in time for the holidays.  To date, we have sold over 15,OOO Appalachian Trail games, and donated more than 25O games to schools, community centers, libraries, and non-profit organizations up and down the Trail.