Sunday, 9 February 2020

Outdoor Gear Coach: Keeping Warm and Dry

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Way back in November 2013 Mike Parsons asked if I'd like to be involved in a new project called Outdoor Gear Coach he was starting with Mary B.Rose. The idea was to provide independent information on products and how they worked for outdoor shop staff, instructors, writers, bloggers and consumers.

I knew Mike and Mary from the Innovation for Extremes conferences they'd organised and from their book Invisible on Everest: Innovation and the Gear Makers. I also knew Mike from his days as MD of Karrimor International and then founder of OMM. Mike is a keen mountaineer, skier, rock climber, hill runner, long-distance walker, and mountain biker and has an unparalleled wealth of knowledge about outdoor equipment. Mary is a hillwalker and retired academic historian. OGC sounded an excellent idea and I liked the idea of working with others so I agreed to take part. Chuck Kukla, a mountaineer, instructor and researcher in the Northeast USA, also came onboard as the US editor plus Alan Hinkes as high altitude advisor, and Marian Parsons as advisor and copy editor.

Over seven years later, and after more than 700 emails, numerous Google Docs, and a few meetings OGC has published its first book, Keeping Dry & Staying Warm Part 1, available from Amazon as a print or e-book. It's a collaborative venture but most of the work has been done by Mike and Mary who as well as the writing have done vast amounts of research. Working with others and exchanging ideas and information has been a fascinating and valuable process. I've learnt a great deal. I hope the results will help others to do the same.




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