Handy Hike

Creator: Jason Liao
Supervisor: Peter Yeadon

Photoluminescent smart materials are a form of cold-body radiation that spontaneously emits light when stimulated by visible and UV wavelengths of light. Photoluminescent substances that phosphoresce have many potential applications, because they continue to glow in the dark. This study examined how photoluminescent materials might be incorporated into outdoor equipment and camping gear.
The outcome was the creation of a wayfinding device that could easily be assembled into a hiking pole, and disassembled into separate trailmakers to guide hikers back to their base camp at night.
It was believed that a hiking pole would be exposed to the most sunlight during the day, increasing light emission duration at night. This consistent, luminescent staff could also be used as a tool to mark territory or warn of potential danger. 
The trailmakers had to be highly adaptive and easily secured to various landscapes. For the forest, a strap system was created to attach the device to trees and branches. For icy terrain, the device was designed to use an ice pick with hooks to attach to frozen objects. Lastly, for rocky terrain, a tripod mechanism was used to attach the device to uneven and organic surfaces.

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