The Man Behind Inflatable Snowshoes
Alaskan entrepreneur Rick Stafford's latest invention are a lifesaving idea.
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Entrepreneur: Rick Stafford, inventor, outdoorsman and former oil-field worker on Alaska's North Slope--the kind of guy "who will take three hours to build a tool to turn a two-hour job into 30 minutes."
"Aha" moment: An avid snowmobiler (or, as they call them in the 49th state, snowmachiner), Stafford wished to create an easy-to-pack means to walk away from vehicles that break down in deep snow. He was inspired, he says, by two people who were stranded less than a mile from a lodge "but couldn't walk in the chest-deep snow, and ended up spending the night out there under a tree. They were found the next day by a rescue group and helicoptered to Anchorage suffering from hypothermia and frostbite. It was time to do something about that." Airlite inflatable snowshoes were born.
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