karmik outdoors
Karmik Outdoors Hi-Viz Decal on a Sawyer Oar. Credit: Ted Firica

Lost Gear? ‘Karmik Outdoors’ Stickers Help Track It Down

A new brand called Karmik Outdoors has created a reflective decal that will benefit both the owners of lost gear and those who return it.

It’s not unusual to leave gear behind. And unfortunately, it’s not unusual to leave your favorite gear behind. I once turned over a kayak after I hit a downed branch, and I lost a ton of cherished gear.

A new company called Karmik Outdoors intends to add a bit more security to the inevitable. The brand’s $4 decals include an item number, a note to return to get a reward, and a QR code for finders to scan.

Karmik Outdoors: How It Works

Karmik-Vertical-Decal-6_21-1-2The decals themselves are backed with a strong adhesive that can bond to any surface. It’s difficult to get the decal off if you want to sell an item, but you can also transfer the code of the decal over to the new owner easily.

And for cynics who think folks might not return gear they find, Karmik attaches a reward to each item. That way, anyone who finds that brand-new Patagonia puffy will be tempted to give it back rather than keep it.

Think that new ski jacket you left at a lodge, a pair of gloves behind at a trailhead, climbing shoes at the gym, camp furniture left behind at a campsite. We’ve all lost — or forgotten — gear. With Karmik’s system, your chances of getting it back are much greater.

Karmik provides the rewards, but the owner can also add a monetary award to certain items. Other rewards include gear and entries to various gear giveaways. Or — the one that many might find gratifying in itself — the reward of good karma.

The cost on the owner’s end is small. Each decal costs $4 (you can choose reflective or non-reflective). And each decal requires a $2 yearly reactivation fee as long as you want it active.

And the process for returning gear is just as simple: Scan the QR code, enter the item and your info, and click “Submit.”

Will It Work?

As a gear junkie and a klutz who is often leaving stuff in ridiculous places, I sure hope so. The concept of creating an affordable and karmic insurance plan for folks like me is a damn good one.

I also appreciate that it takes a sunny view of the folks on the other end of lost gear. Technology allows us to stay connected in many ways. And this simple option allows us to stay more connected to the gear that keeps us going.

When we’re putting our hard-earned cash down on a high-dollar ski jacket or a pair of badass fishing waders, we know we’re also investing in a better experience. For less than the price of an IPA, your favorite investments have a more hopeful and secure future. We like it.

Time to invest, time to insure your gear. Time to sticker up.

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Nicole Qualtieri
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Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.