A love of the outdoors converging with a passion for problem solving and product development resulted in nCamp. We believe that gear should never be a burden, only a tool that places an emphasis experiencing the outdoors.
The nCamp brand and its products are the result of a unique collaboration between Dan Cuffaro and John Cunningham. Cuffaro is an Industrial Design Professor & Department Chair at the Cleveland Institute of Art. A product development professional with over 20 years of experience, he holds over a dozen patents. Cunningham is the founder and president of License to Innovate (L2i). His background is in branding, channel distribution, product marketing, and finance and manufacturing. Before the inception of L2i, Cunningham was an executive for 20 years at Stanley Black & Decker. Cuffaro owns the product patents for nCamp, while Cunningham has helped to create the nCamp brand. L2i manages the brand and holds exclusive rights to marketing and sales of nCamp products.
nCamp is focused on making camping better by enabling anyone to experience the outdoors, to tread lightly, and to venture far. Its mantra—make it compact, elevate the experience, & reduce weight — compliments its tagline: pack small/adventure BIG! To show commitment to its mission, nCamp will return 1% of its profits to organizations that support getting people outdoors, preserving and restoring the natural world, and promoting conservation-related programs.
The Development of the nCamp Stove
Problems relating to food preparation camping equipment, which the nCamp Stove solves:
- The risk of running out of fuel or weight/bulk associated with canned fuel stoves – the fuel for this stove is readily available in forests –sticks, twigs and other combustible material.
- Current wood burning stoves are bulky because of the nature of a combustion chamber – this stove is compact and easy to store because it has a collapsible combustion chamber.
- Packaging/trash associated with canned fuel – the fuel for this stove is available in nature and there is no packaging-related waste.
- Canned fuel stoves use fuel that is derived from fossils – the fuel for this stove is renewable.
- Lack of a cooking surface to set utensils – this stove has a cooking surface.
Dan focused on using wood from the forest as fuel. Wood is typically a readily available source of combustible material and existing wood-burning camp stoves are bulky because of the nature of a combustion chamber. He examined methods for reducing this bulk, and experimented with a collapsible chamber. He developed a series of prototypes; The first example for students was a miniature prototype with a collapsing chamber represented by a plastic camping cup. Next, he began to experiment with foam core models to evaluate size and proportion. Eventually he developed works-like and looks-like models.
With the help of friend and colleague Haishan Deng, the project moved from concept to pre-production prototypes.