Pierre Allain 1930s bivouac innovation revived

Posted: July 4, 2014

How does Pierre Allain’s bivouac system from the 1930s shape innovation in 2014? Why are past designs still so important for the development of innovative products? The pied d’elephant (or elephant’s foot) is a short waist length sleeping bag and was a classic design for lightweight bivouacs originated by Pierre Allain, in conjunction with his newly designed down jacket, in the 1930s.

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Why does history matter?

Posted: May 3, 2016

Why does history matter in innovation in outdoor products? Many people people think it doesn’t and that history is all about nostalgia and is looking backwards not forwards. Why does history matter in innovation in outdoor products? Many people people think it doesn’t and that history is all about nostalgia and is looking backwards not forwards. I have just read an interesting article on the importance of a brand’s history in innovation by one of my Lancaster colleagues. This set me thinking afresh about my hobby horse!

The role of history in innovation in outdoor products isn’t backward looking and nostalgic, but often involves combining new skills and new challenges in sport, with old knowledge and the sharing of understanding and experience.

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Is lightweight new?

Posted: May 18, 2016

So is lightweight new? When did people first get interested in ‘going lightweight’ whether for polar exploration, cycling, mountaineering, backpacking or adventure racing? It is not new, in fact it is over 100 years old.

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10 Lightweight Breakthroughs

Posted: May 31, 2016

What 10 lightweight breakthroughs really made a difference? Lightweight is a state of mind, rather than a description of individual pieces of kit.

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Why is 29 May important?

Posted: May 30, 2016

I had almost forgotten the significance of 29th May this year, until I read a post on Rohantime reminding me that 63 years ago Edmund Hillary and Norgay Tenzing became the first people to climb Mount Everest.

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The Story of Map Scale

The Story of Map Scale

Posted: June 6, 2016

Ever wondered where Harvey Maps 1:40,000 came from and why? The origins lay back 40 years ago with the KIMM

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The sleeping mat : the Karrimat story

The sleeping mat : the Karrimat story

Posted: June 8, 2016

The piece of lightweight gear which became the symbol of outdoor activity in the 1970s was the Karrimat sleeping mat. Ever wondered how it was developed?

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Survival : Science, and outdoor gear

Survival : Science, and outdoor gear

Posted: July 4, 2016

How can our understanding of outdoor gear be crucial to survival and how does science help?

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Sock History

Sock History

Posted: September 9, 2016

The sock myth; ‘a sock is a sock, is a sock, and there is nothing to be understood’. Why are socks interesting? Socks have been around for a long time and have been made with a range of materials. They are also increasingly technically sophisticated.

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Outdoor Gear Trends

Outdoor Gear Trends

Posted: October 27, 2016

Outdoor gear is functional by definition, but what does what you choose to wear on the hill say about you?

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