Posted: October 18, 2023
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.
Posted: April 16, 2023
Posted: January 29, 2023
Posted: November 6, 2022
Performance Layering is a skill based on a sound knowledge of what each layer does and selecting and sequencing for your trip according to weather, speed of group, and distance and nutrition and hydration.
Posted: October 1, 2022
Context. After five years of research and consensus building, our multi-authored cross-Atlantic collaborative book ‘Keeping Warm and Staying Dry was published last year on Amazon. As Outdoor Gear Coach, we have trained the BMC technical committee, all engineers, on textiles generally plus garments. We are now developing training courses focused on the skill of Performance Layering. […]
Posted: June 9, 2022
A visit to OTS outdoor trade show to update on emerging garment technologies and of course meeting new people.
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: May 8, 2018
How long is the journey to understand waterproofs as part of Keeping Dry and Staying Warm ? Our journey has built on past experience and many ongoing conversations from across the outdoor industry and mountain professionals.
Posted: April 30, 2018
What makes a good training workshop? It should be engaging, interactive with useful take home and deliver what it says on the can. Could we apply our decade of experience of running innovation workshops for students and businesses at Lancaster University to Keeping Dry and Staying Warm?
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: August 4, 2017
Why is understanding mountain garments complex? Why aren’t rucksacks waterproof? How technical are socks?
Posted: July 3, 2017
What are the secrets of nutrition and hydration in mountain sports?
Posted: June 10, 2017
Good photography inspires, intrigues, makes you think and can transform a wet Friday morning in Langdale into a memorable experience.
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 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: October 27, 2016
Outdoor gear is functional by definition, but what does what you choose to wear on the hill say about you?
Posted: September 9, 2016
Ever thought that clothes sizing isn’t quite the same as 30 or 40 years ago? This extract from Keeping Dry and Staying Warm explores why.
Posted: September 6, 2016
What might be the future of waterproofs ? We don’t believe it is sensible to predict but instead looked at emerging technologies in smart textiles to see how they might influence outdoor garments.
Posted: July 4, 2016
How can our understanding of outdoor gear be crucial to survival and how does science help?
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: 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 11, 2016
Keeping stuff waterproof is about baking it in. In practise it is more or less impossible to maintain waterproofs at the same level of water repellency as when new.
Why layering? Our book comes to the conclusion that the ‘3 layer system’ is ‘past its sell by date’ and needs revision.
Second, third and fourth thoughts. I need a bigger pack. Have always been a believer that a small pack is the first line of discipline to going light.
Repair, reuse and recycle, can sometimes be a faff, sometimes time consuming, sometimes daft because the next version is so much better performance. But it’s also satisfying to rescue a favourite piece of kit and prolong its performance life, even if only for a short period.
Posted: May 9, 2016
TGO 2016 trial overnight. It’s the journey that counts, when you have to carry everything it’s the ultimate discipline, favourite much loved garments and kit are set aside by the discipline
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: November 30, 2015
How is the outdoor industry approaching the problem of PFCs and the challenges from Greenpeace?
Posted: October 7, 2015
Two years ago today Mike went for a climb. During that climb he came up with the idea of calling our new business Outdoor Gear Coach and this story is told in his blog. I remember vividly getting an excited email that evening and realising we were moving forward on a completely new journey, to develop e-training materials for the outdoor industry.
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: April 8, 2014
Leaving innov_ex and my businesses behind and starting OutdoorGearCoach