Outdoor Equipment Research
Personal Statement & Research
The primary aim and intention for investigating the outdoor experience originate from my previous research in outdoor activities and further experience. When I was little, my father an a company that sells outdoor equipment, and it was one of the most interesting personal activities to sleep in a sample tent of his fatctory. When I felt depressed, I often slept in the sample tent and I could view various kinds of sample tents. These tents of different colors are organized into a whole picture so that I can imagine my future life and the stories for my future exploration and discovery. Thus it can be readily detected that the outdoor activities can be a way for me to relieve my pressure and find a way out to free my wish and enjoy the nature.
When I grew to a teenager, I participated in the clubs in school for more outdoor activities. In daily time, I also went out to take part in more outdoor activities with my friends, such as camping, hiking, and outdoor exhibition, etc. There was once when we visited a valley, we had some innovative and adventurous experience. After that experience, I was more interested in the outdoor activities. Therefore it gradually gave rise to my interest in studying and further investigating the research on outdoor equipment and market. Stage 3
When I entered college in Seattle where has a good atmosphere for the outdoor activities, I gained more opportunities to gather with friends and became a member of more outdoor activities. During this process, I discovered the fact that many people, especially some overseas friends, are in favor of outdoor activities but there is one problem. The problem is that we all lack a unified and systematic application to meet with more friends or get a better understanding of knowledge concerning outdoor activities or how to purchase some outdoor equipment and check the temperature and other carrying equipment, including the serial number, function or performance, etc. Stage 4
While entering the post-graduate phase and majoring in design, the desire occurs to integrate the knowledge acquired with practices so as to design a more appropriate application in this stage. Therefore, the corresponding survey and research can help identify and collect information about the outdoor equipment, outdoor market and other applications for outdoor equipment like tent, sleeping bag, outdoor backpack, etc.
The history of outdoor equipment
Owing to the development of outdoor equipment since the classical period from 1970s to 1990s, the outdoor equipment has been experiencing some proliferation in various phases and areas, which can be shown in the following categories.
Firstly, the following part is the classification of the equipment into the below ones while reviewing the categories of outdoor equipment.
Tents & Camping:
The tents used for camping can be the first basic one and the most important one among different kinds of outdoor activities. The choice of products also depends on the function and number of participants for the outdoor activities.
Backpacks & Bags:
A good backpack is the best friend of outdoor men and women and there are products for men and women and even for the kids. The brands of backpack offerings may range from Berghaus, Osprey, Gregory to The North Face. Meanwhile, the backpack can carry a lot of things from a smaller, technical daypack or commuting bag, to the larger capacity rucksacks built for bigger adventures.
Cooking & Eating:
The outdoor activities and adventure needs the supplement of food to maintain a full stomach and sleep after a camp cooked meal. Thus, the cooking and eating materials are necessary for either the solo adventurer or catering for the whole family.
Torches & Lighting:
The torches and lighting equipment are very important for the successful selection in the dark for these outdoor activities. Thus, for choices of outdoor equipment, it contains the torches, lanterns and head torches, etc. Some of them are battery powered and some are solar powered. Thus, the design of torches or lanterns can be diversified with great versatility or with wind-up design.
Fishing & Climbing
Fishing can be one of the most popular and the biggest participation sport in the UK. From rod to reel, floats to furniture, it is necessary to shop our extensive range of fishing equipment designed for coarse, carp and sea fishing. In addition, the climbing equipment can be another important classification.
Hydration equipment varies from the range bladders to soft flasks and the hydration can be a good equipment for one to carry water. With the use of insulted mugs and flasks, the hydration equipment is also useful in winter walks and for camping and he or she wants something warm before they go to sleep.
Big outdoor adventures start with knowing the route without changes and mistakes. Keep oneself on track with tech you can trust can guarantee the successful outdoor adventures. The current range of navigation equipment include the latest handheld GPS devices, rugged outdoor sports watches with GPS functionality, and tech accessories.
Outdoor Sleeping Equipment for Camping
At night, there has been a wide range of Outdoor Sleeping Equipment for Camping, including the sleeping bag and mats as are good for glamping or camping with a car with large double airbeds, camping beds and double sized sleeping bags. In this way, people can feel at home while camping.
First Aid Kits & Survival Kits
When doing any outdoor activity regardless of difficulty, you should always carry a first aid kit with you so that you can always be prepared.
Pocket Knives & Multi Purpose Tools
These tools are a handy addition to one’s camping kit list.
Analysis of Further Developments of Outdoor Equipment
According to the magazine titled Lightning in 2019 with the special issue of Outdoor, it lists the outdoor activity equipment from 1920s to 1990s and it also displays the changing track of the outdoor equipment. The magazine points out the period from 1970s to 1990s can be viewed as the most charming thirty years in the history of outdoor activities. The first equipment is about the outdoor clothes in 1970s when the technology clothing has entered a rapid development stage and the mainstream clothing starts to cut a figure and become one of the major scientific clothing.
The first product was from the Sierra Designs and it was produced in 1970s Double Tube Down Jacket. It used the material of Double Tube with the material of Nylon, which could be used to resist the cold air. Due to its function, external appearance and the shape, this piece still had its own unique charm even until today.
Still in the 1970s, the further development was about the Rocky Mountain Featherbed and this brand enjoyed more attention in this historical conjuncture. In the meantime, this brand also produced a lot of outdoor equipment and the most famous single piece was the Yoke feathered vest. The vest has a more comfortable feeling and the function of keeping warm is also excellent.
In the 1980s, the scientific material was more and more mature and there were more outdoor activities. Before the 1980s, there were more products designed for hiking and afterwards there were diversified equipment that even extended to the working situations.
For instance, the following products in the 1980s and the 1990s were extending to the working situation. In this way, this kind of vest was designed for working career needs.
Similar as the development of clothes in the classical periods from the 1970s to the 1990s, the tent also experienced more developments and changes.
The primary tent can be the oval intentions tent and this tent had a very firm structure and complicated geometry shape. In this way, the strengths can be further distributed to different directions. The birth of this kind of tent also catered to the cool appearance of hippies at that time.
This is a poster introducing the TNF tent at that time.
From the description, it can introduce the benefits and strengths of the tent and the tent can stand firm against the strong wind. Also, it has greater space and it is convenient to be encamped. The first Oval Intentions tent was made and set on October 6th, 1975. This tent then became the game changer and it had the revolutionary meaning so that it was called the A frame tent. It was worth 175 dollars at that time and the oval intention was worth 235 dollars at that time.
Then, the further development of oval intentions has also been preserved and developed into the top serial products of TNF. These tents are famous for the firm quality and some of them could still be used until today.
Afterwards, it came into the period of Hilleberg. Bo Hilleberg first founded the Hilleberg AB Company and previously the company was not focusing on the tent development but the products used for discovering the forests. However, the trip to Austria of Bo Hilleberg changed his mind and Bo Hilleberg and Renate collaborated with each other to create the tent. Then the brand of Hilleberg appeared to be the tent maker.
In 1980, Hilleberg designed and invented a more advanced and appropriate tent.
From the picture, it can be easily found that the Hilleberg tent use a simpler design but with stronger fabric and curtain rod. Better materials and details can better support the tent and achieve better performance.
Then, akto can be a continuous trial and excellent product for Bo in the 1990s and the following years. The tent only had one tent rod and four stakes matched with tent cloth in good quality. Therefore, Akto has become the smallest tent used for four seasons. Since the release of this product in 1995, the tent stayed the classic design without too many changes. It also catered to the Hilleberg philosophy. The contribution of Akto to the development of tent history is that it started to use a new structure. Terra Nova also designed the cuben tent, enran and dragonfly, Nordisk and other tent designs were also learning the concept and design from the Akto tents. Although many people believed that this kind of tent can suppress the space of the tent, the birth of Akto tent can be very effective and cost efficient tent to be against the wind and storm or snow.
This picture can show good performance of the Akto tent in windy days because it can stand the tests.
Market Survey & Analysis
The Alps area is the origin and home for outdoor activities and many scientists came to Alps to have more outdoor activities and exploration such as some scientific observations. Since the 18th century, the outdoor activities were like wars and these activities were practiced in different places for the purpose of survival. For instance, the UK regarded these outdoor activities as a kind of basic and comprehensive training for the aim of improving the teamwork and awareness of cooperating with each other. It was the first time for human beings to put the outdoor activities into the practice. The quick spreading of the outdoor activities were transmitted to other European countries or America. At present, more and more people all over the world are participating in these outdoor activities. Economic development gave great rise to people’s living standards and promoted the development of outdoor activities because people may pay more attention to leisure activities and health conditions. In this way, these outdoor activities could achieve sustainable development. Nowadays, the entire society is more dependent on the recreational activities and thus the public recreational trend has been spreading and popularizing to the entire society. However, people who are participating in these activities are also polarized. For instance, citizens in developed countries are lessening their investment in leisure consumption during the economic crisis. Since the 1980s, the emerging and advancements in transportation and tourism appeal more and more young people to pursue more excited outdoor activities and some extreme sports. Given this situation, recreation is no longer a kind of simple life enjoyment but develop to be a social industry with the lucrative consumption and increase in clothing, equipment and other supporting devices. On the basis of traditional marketing channels, online shopping for outdoor equipment accelerate people’s life pace. Thus, online application for marketing can be a key directory function for people to gain a better understanding of outdoor and sports equipment and devices. The consumption of these outdoor sports equipment can be an important source for sustainable development for outdoor activity education. Since the 1920s, the education on outdoor activities has been developed and generalized as a rational way to train their students to become healthier and more rational. Thus, the outdoor activities mainly include entertainment activities, survival programs, outdoor exploration, and leisure economy, etc. The educational system gave a major push to the development of outdoor activities and it also spread from the wealthy groups to all walks of life based on the consumption and generalized practices in daily life. As for the targeted consumers for the outdoor activities, there is a wide spreading and coverage. Different scholars believed that in the beginning, the major targeted groups are young white collar classes including some IT employees, employees in private companies, wealthy people like some corporate leaders as well as someone who loves tourism and art. As for their career profession, the distribution of targeted groups are between 20s to 40s. People who are having economic capability and higher educational backgrounds are able to enlarge the scope for outdoor activities. However, in some developing countries, the participation ratio of outdoor activities is relatively small because people in these developing countries have some kind of misunderstanding towards outdoor activities and they are also lack of some professional knowledge. Thus, the narrow minded understanding towards outdoor activities and the corresponding equipment also expand to more people. In the meantime, the professional knowledge and protection awareness can be important measures to enlarge the influences of of outdoor activities.
Future Market Trends
According to the international tourism council and the corresponding data, the sports, including various kinds of outdoor activities, have taken up increasing market share in both developed countries and developing countries. The corresponding sports consumption population has also been on the rise annually, developing from the niche market to a mass market. From the prospect of the market, the potential users for these outdoor equipment will be increasing all the time. The same case will as well go to the market growth, which means that the pan-outdoor population for climbing, fishing or other activities are also increasing greatly. According to the Canonical models of body heath, the participators can achieve more control on their health level so as to achieve the physical fitness and psychological health.
The future trends of outdoor activities in some European countries and America are for the purpose of leisure and the environment setting is chosen, including the countryside, the wilderness areas, as the major spots. The design considers the competence or non-competition purposes for the outdoor activities. According to the report and analysis released by the Market Watch, the outdoor gear can be adopted by those how love nature, hiking, backpacking and adventure. There are several products that are favored by the public.
The first category is Tentsile Vista. As for mountain hikers, the tents of Tentsile company provide stronger support and the matched triangle hammock can create a multi-floor cloud castle so as to become a leisure garden for hikers and other users.
As for the equipment of keeping warm, the light and convenient equipment has outstanding features in compressibility and convenience to enlarge the space for one’s backpack. For instance, the new type of Nano-Air of patagonia has over 60 grams materials of Full Range so as to achieve new breakthrough in keeping warm with the features of greater flexibility and elasticity together with being soft and tender. Thus, this new type is highly appropriate for high intensity wearing to reduce the frequent change of clothes.
Down-filled sleeping bag
When it comes to the down-filled sleeping bag, the representative sleeping bag for the future trend and the designs of Sierra are also becoming the best sales and make more upgrading and improvements in Backcountry Bed. On the previous design, the DriDown feathered products can have better performance in keeping warm and camping in spring and autumn.
Concerning the backpack, the future trend is favoring the new structure with the function of battery and fans. For instance, the Black Diamond Halo Jetforce can be the first backpack with the self check system and these revolutionary functions make JetForce own more advantages and also provide more security and safety guarantee for hikers and other outdoor activities.
Finally, in the aspect of hiking boots, the new trend is considering the function of waterproof, and better transparency. For instance, the design of the KEEN Durand Mid WP caters to the future favorable development with stronger capacity to be against the impact. At the same time, the new design can display good road holding.
Sleeping Bag Analysis
This research paper is about the sleeping bag. Sleeping bag is a lightweight quilt-looking portable bedding that provides users with warmth while camping outdoors. It is always a necessary equipment for outdoor activities purpose. Many people take their risk camping or hiking in the frigid region, and the reason for their survival is the sleeping bag that insulates the heat and warmth for users. The sleeping bag to many outdoor fans is a warm shelter and a lifesaver during their adventures. Containing the interest of finding out the development of it, the physical object to discuss and research about is the sleeping bag. This research will dig into its history, function, market, user experiences, and aesthetics.
A sleeping bag by definition is an insulated covering for a person, mostly a lightweight quilt that can be closed with a zipper or similar means to form a tube, which functions as lightweight, portable bedding in situations where a person is sleeping outdoors (e.g., when camping, hiking, hill walking or climbing). The original idea of it is to provide users with warmth and thermal insulation through its synthetic or down insulation. Typical type of sleeping bag also has a water-resistant or water-repellent cover that protects against wind chill and light precipitation. The bottom surface also provides some cushioning, but a sleeping pad or camp cot is usually used also for that purpose. (Wikipedia contributors. Sleeping bag) The type of the sleeping bag can vary widely. The purposes for the sleeping bag are different as well based on the weight and the insulation of the sleeping bag. The light insulation ones are mainly designed for indoor use or family entertainment use like going out for a casual camping at famous sites with beautiful nature scenes. The medium insulated ones are designed for cold weather use, to actually provide heat with uses and prevent users from getting a cold at the campsite. The most professional ones have a super high level of insulation, and they are mainly designed for the adventure to frigid regions, where the temperature could be too low for humans to survive without a well-insulated sleeping bag.
The very first sleeping bag in the word should be the “Euklisia Rug” that patented by mail-order pioneer Pryce Pryce-Jones in 1876. (Wikipedia contributors. Sleeping bag). He developed this shape of bags and export around the world in the late 19th century. Documents were showing he sold more than 60,000 of these rugs to the Russian Army and British Army as well. Civilians were also found using that kind of sleeping rugs at the same time. The fundamental shape of sleeping bags is like a square blanket or a quilt that enables users to sleep inside of it and close it up with zippers. This type of sleeping bag works not harmful for most camping needs but not excellent enough under more demanding situations. The second type of sleeping bag in history is named the “mummy bag” because its shape and volume were mainly different individually. The mummy bag is tapped from the head end to the foot end to reduce the volume and surface area. Most mummy bags do not have a zip from the head to the feet because the place to put the zipper would be the place that leaks warmth out from the mummy bag.
During the early period, humans also collect animal fur to make warm clothes and cushions for sleeping. To date, people, including Eskimos living near the Arctic, are still using them. In the early 19th century, explorers and mountaineers began to test different sleeping bag systems. The sleeping bags before were filled with camel hair with excellent thermal insulation properties. Later, a hollow rubber air cushion was invented and used for the earth in the 1920s Extreme adventure. In 1861, Francis Fox Tuckett tested the prototype of the Alpine sleeping bag. The design of the envelope-style sleeping blanket in the mid-1860s began to be perfect, and the part near the ground had a hollow rubber coating as a ground thermal insulation layer. Down was widely used as a mattress padding in the early 19th century because of its excellent thermal insulation properties. In the Victorian era in the United Kingdom, women even filled down the inner layer of the skirt to keep them warm and cold, but the processing and use of the technology of the down was in the 19th century.
The development began in the mid-nineteen century. Records showed that the down sleeping bag was used in the British ALFRED MUMMERY expedition team in 1892. It was developed from the prototype of the Alpine Mountaineering Club’s sleeping bag and was manufactured by the British furniture company, but this is not the real sense of production Commercial sleeping bag. In 1890, Norway’s Ajungilak company began commercial production of sleeping bags. During this period, sleeping bags were filled with kapok. Until the 1920s, sleeping bags were unique products, but due to the growing demand for outdoor products, more companies began to design and produce sleeping bags. Based on the Himalayan adventures and the rise of mountaineering, the design and production of sleeping bags began to develop and improve in the 1830s. At this time, mummy-style sleeping bags that could tightly wrap the body were born. British mountaineers also successfully boarded with this sleeping bag Everest.
After the industrial revolution, due to the development of the manufacturing industry and the chemical industry, synthetic fibers began to be mass-produced. Since synthetic fibers have excellent thermal insulation properties, they have also been widely used in the production of sleeping bags. In the 1830s, hiking and camping life grew popular in Europe, and the demand for outdoor equipment started to rise gradually. The sleeping bag has become a commercial product. The production business began to mark it on the sleeping bag to facilitate customers to choose according to their own needs when buying.
For many years, the thermometric scale of sleeping bags has formed many different division standards, each of which has supporters and opponents, and the test methods of these standards have been developed by scientists from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Norway, the United States, and Switzerland. The development is perfected. Although different brands of sleeping bags are marked with the recommended comfort temperature based on their testing, this standard is similar in most high-quality sleeping bag brands. Both sleeping bag sellers and buyers understand that the comfort temperature marked on the sleeping bag is only based on the test results under ideal conditions. In actual use, the comfort temperature is often several degrees higher.
The role of the sleeping bag is only to keep the heat loss as tiny as possible, and the human body in the sleeping bag continuously generates heat to keep it warm. Different individuals and situations produce different heat. All thermometric scale systems are based on a standard Human body, but such a standard human body does not exist. A human body in an inactive state has about 75-100 watts of thermal power, which is converted to about 47-55 watts per square meter based on the surface area of the human body. The energy produced by the metabolism is very complex and is related to age, gender and even the amount of fat under the body, but in general, a strong young man always produces more body heat than the elderly and women. Feeling cold is related to age and experience. Novices generally feel colder than experienced climbers. People who frequently work outdoors will feel warmer in cold conditions than people who work mainly in the office. In most cases, people with larger weight are way more sensitive to coldness than people with smaller weight over 25 years old. People with larger weight consume much less than the amounts they obtain while people with a smaller weight. The fat inside the human body can be metabolized to produce energy when food is scarce. Outdoor activities such as mountaineering and hiking often consume far more energy than the energy generated by eating food, while extreme adventure of certain regions requires even more energy and calories. People with larger weight can convert the body fat into energy, and they have a thicker natural thermal insulation layer to have much more resistant to cold than people with smaller weight. Besides, females are generally more likely to feel cold than males.
As a result, the thermometric scale of the sleeping bag gives an extra 5°C for females. Since metabolism is related to age, the elder produces less energy than young people, so they are more likely to feel cold. Healthy teenagers between 16-24 years old are in a period of energetic metabolism. The heat that their body generates is much higher than the heat body lost. So the comfortable thermometric scale for the elder is 5°C higher than for teenagers. For children, it is difficult to define the thermometric scale of their sleeping bags because they have not yet formed a well-bred metabolic system.
Most of the research on sleeping bags in history has focused on soldiers, outdoor trainers, mountain guides, and mountaineers. These people have rich outdoor life experience and are usually between 18-40 years old. However, most outdoor fans usually live in urban areas, work in offices with central air-conditioning, and go by cars. These lifestyles reduce the ability of ordinary people to adapt to cold environments. If people living in urban areas for an extended period and suddenly walk into the wild environment, the strenuous hiking and high-altitude mountain climbing will quickly exhaust their strength, leading a heat reduction of their exhausted body and making people feel cold much more quickly.
To establish the temperature grade of the sleeping bag, the company usually tests the prototype of it before commercial production outdoor. People who help with the test are usually required to live outdoor for a few weeks and then provide manufacturers with opinions on the thermometric scale and the limits of temperatures. For sleeping bag manufacturers, testing sleeping bags require temperature, wind speed, humidity, clothes worn, and other conditions. Even with the full consideration, the overall test results are still very different from the results of actual users in the market. With the advancement of technology, computer software and various detection methods have been continuously improved and perfected. Infrared thermal imaging systems have also begun to be used in sleeping bag testing. According to infrared thermal imaging, the heat dissipation of the human body inside the sleeping bag can be clearly detected. The design of the sleeping bag can make corresponding improvements due to the test results as well.
The most crucial element for sleeping bags is the material used. For fillers of sleeping bags, there are two main types, down and chemical fiber cotton.
Down: It is divided into duck down and goose down. Under the same conditions, the warmth of goose down is slightly higher than that of duck down. Down has three leading performance indicators, filling weight, down content, and the expansion of the down. (How To Use A Mummy sleeping Bag, Sep 07, 2019)
Chemical fiber cotton: There are many types, and the quality is uneven. Ordinary spray glue cotton, to four-hole cotton, seven-hole cotton (the seven-hole nine-hole cotton concept in the porous cotton market: the country does not have a standard for long and short pillows, and there is no specific requirement for the content of porous fibers.
The detail design of sleeping bags could be extremely important. There are a series of smart design in the sleeping bag history.
sleeping bags generally had few side walls and chest walls. During use, people find that the upper mouth and the zipper will leak air, which is not conducive to keeping warm. So the design added a chest wall (chest collar or partition collar, tightening collar, which can prevent cold air from entering the neck after tightening) and side walls (zipper windproof interlayer-cotton windproof interlayer inside the zipper to prevent cold air from the zipper enter). So that the warmth of the sleeping bag tends to be perfect.
of whether the sleeping bag is fully opened or half-opened, a zipper needs to be installed. When the sleeping bag is opened and closed, the zipper often bites the fabric, which is very inconvenient in use. If it is broken, the fabric or the zipper may be damaged. In order to solve the contradiction of the zipper biting the cloth, an anti-pinch lining was added.
sleeping bags were usually single-head zippers, which opened from top to bottom and closed from bottom to top, making it impossible to adjust the temperature of the lower part of the sleeping bag, and the improved double-headed zipper made the sleeping bag switchable up and down. People were using Adjust the ventilation of the upper and lower parts at will, thereby adjusting the temperature in the sleeping bag.
sleeping bags will be designed with small pockets, which is convenient for storing small things like glasses.
sleeping bags are designed with left and right zippers. The same type of sleeping bags are divided into left and right zippers, which can be combined into double sleeping bags.
Last but not least, there are three strategies also helpful for people camping outdoor with sleeping bags. First, defend against the major sources of heat loss. Second, avoid sneaky types of heat loss: wearing dry clothes, covering user’s head, and emptying user’s bladder before user sleep are simple tricks for maintaining warmth. Third, Add heat from other sources. (How to stay warm in a sleeping bag, Ken Knapp)
Outdoor equipment conclusoin
To sum up, the future trends try to present better performance and provide more convenient and secure protection to the users. The previous outdoor equipment products are having breakthroughs in new shape or creating more possibilities for outdoor activities. However, new trends are considering the security control to provide more support to the users. In the meantime, new scientific texture and technologies have been more incorporated into outdoor activities equipment. In addition to the aforementioned equipment, other supporting materials, such as lighting and other tools or even some concentrated food, are also invented to provide security and create sense of comfort during the process of outdoor activities or some outdoor scientific research.
(Wikipedia contributor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_bag)
(How to use a mummy sleeping bag Sep 07,2019 https://www.yirabbit.com/news/how-to-use-a-mummy-sleeping-bag-26331386.html)
(How to stay warm in a sleeping bag, Ken Knapp https://www.rei.com/blog/camp/how-to-stay-warm-in-a-sleeping-bag)
Outdoor Equipment Research