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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted: July 4, 2016
How can our understanding of outdoor gear be crucial to survival and how does science help?
Posted: October 27, 2016
Outdoor gear is functional by definition, but what does what you choose to wear on the hill say about you?
Posted: April 20, 2017
Jaeger, which was originally a pioneer British outdoor brand, went into administration on 10 April 2017, after 133 years of trading. When did it become a fashion brand and how did it lose its way?
Posted: May 1, 2017
Lightweight gear pioneers were often lead user innovators who innovated to meet their own needs rather than initially commercially. Lightweight gear is not new and was used in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by polar explorers, mountaineers and cyclists.
Posted: April 12, 2018
After over 3 years of research and writing in collaboration with Chuck Kukla (our USA editor) and Chris Townsend ( renowned TGO – gear tester) we are nearing completion of part 1.
Posted: March 4, 2020
Keeping Dry and Staying Warm was published on 20 January 2020, exactly 20 years since Mike Parsons and Mary Rose began working together. This is the story about the widening collaborative journey.
Posted: June 23, 2023
Not a review of OTS but a reflection on changes in the Outdoor Industry from Mike Parsons and especially the changes coming to textiles.