Outdoor Gear Coach
WHAT DOES OUTDOOR GEAR COACH DO?
Outdoor Gear Coach gives independent advice totally free of advertising and marketing influences. We run training courses based on our books and videos about outdoor garment selection and how to use and maintain them. Our courses are open to all, but we focus on professional mountain leaders and retail sales staff.
Our mission is to help people get the best performance from what they have already and how to make their next purchase the most compatible with their activity preferences. Garments and their constituent textiles are almost always designed to be activity and season specific.
Outdoor companies and retailers sell garments, but there is much reference to layers and the ‘3-layer system’ from base layers to waterproofs to insulated and many in between. How they all work is clouded by myths, marketing influences and user misunderstandings. Our role is to roll back the clouds!
Our extensive technical ‘insider’ research is furthered by talks to many different outdoor groups, from walkers to mountaineers to ultra runners, riders and skiers, enabling us to focus on what people don’t understand and what they need to know.
We publish books
Our most recent book Keeping Dry and Staying Warm, How to stay dry, warm or cool outdoors. You, the environment, your garments and layering techniques. Published in 2020 and available paper or digital. Has a new style of technical glossary with words sequenced by technical area
The book increases the depth and breadth of understanding of textiles in the design and use of outdoor garments to the benefit of all sectors of the outdoor activist and professional community.
We embrace all aspects of performance from physiology and nutritional (This is the vital source of heat, which your garments are designed to conserve ) to terrain, weather and layering techniques.
What you will learn? Here is an overview of Keeping Dry and Staying Warm
Invisible on Everest. Innovation and the gear makers. This book was our first book and was lead by Prof Mary B Rose of Lancaster University, supported by Mike Parsons. It is unique in being the first history of outdoor garments,. climbing and ski gear and camping. Women’s garments are given specific coverage, climbing hardware and the origins a century ago of the double rope/karabiner/belay plate system, skis and footwear and polar travel and layering systems. Runner up in the Wadsworth Prize for best book in business history in 2003, for its innovative approach. 2005 Design History Society Scholarship award. It is still available on Amazon
Mallory Myths and Mysteries. The story and surprising results of our project to replicate the Mallory layers of 1924 from the fabric scraps found on Everest in 1999.This booklet is available only from Mountain Heritage Trust.
We run COURSES
We provide one-day workshops for Continuous Personal Development (CPD) training for outdoor professionals which we hope will eventually lead to a qualification both within the MTUK/ MTA are and as the first ever recognition award for retail staff.
The following blogs give the essence of our CPD courses
Guest blog from Mark Westcombe, who attended a CPD course in September 2022.
Who are Outdoor Gear Coach?
We are primarily UK based with a strong USA east coast connection.
Our collaborative group includes; a retired outdoor gear and garment manufacturer, a retired chemical engineer who is tech’ on heat loss issues, an outdoor store staff trainer, a textile historian, the most experienced UK magazine product tester, and a summiteer of all 14 – 8,000ers. We collectively have experience from over 7 continents and a broad range of outdoor skills. See bios.
We are incorporated as a CIC not-for-profit organisation serving the broad outdoor community and work closely with the BMC, MTA, MTUK and UIAA.
We are independent and free of garment brand advertising and marketing influences while maintaining good contacts within the outdoor industry. Hence we are in an excellent position to address and correct the many myths and misunderstandings about how garments and their constituent parts do or don’t work.