There are 47.86 million people who participate in hiking in the United States. There are 328.2 million people in the U.S. overall. That means around 15% of the American population participates in hiking each year. Hiking has several beneficial things, not only your physical health but also your mental health. Physically, hiking helps lower cholesterol levels, lower body fat, and lower blood pressure. Mentally, hiking helps lower stress levels, improve moods, and enhance relationships with friends or family. Hiking has extraordinary benefits from the community it currently has, to the overall well-being of an individual.
The aim of this project is to build the existing community of hikers by creating deeper connections with other hikers. Hopefully by creating a stronger link between people and the benefits hiking can do for you, more individuals will engage in hiking. The title, Khailaz, means “to make whole” is used to cover the overarching idea that one may be able to find pieces of themselves that they may not have seen before. This is the reasoning behind why the artwork is presented in a hanging fashion connected by an overarching frame. Meaning there are several pieces that make up this project to make it complete or “whole.” Each piece of work is connected by paracord which can be used in emergency situations on the trail. The overarching frame consists of wooden poles that give you stability when hiking through harder terrain. The pieces of artwork are printed out on black paper which helps give it a modern feel to an age-old tradition.
Going deeper into the artwork that is going to be presented are stickers, boot tags, growth rings, and the biggest of them all the application. The stickers and boot tags are made as motivators when people are on the trail to push themselves physically where they have not gone before. The growth rings are made to shed light on the mental boundaries an individual may have before entering a trail as well as lists of trails that are offered around the United States.
Lastly, the app is made for connection within the hiking community, preparation before going on a hike, and finding new trails best suited for any individual. The use of these elements creates one overarching idea that hiking can help people physically and mentally. Strengthening the already existing community will help attract others into the idea of hiking and hopefully increase the existing 15% of the U.S. hikers to a higher percentage.