- Jan 28, 2020 at 9:15 am #3629051Thomas EBPL Member
What do you wish your hiking equipment could do better?
My name is Thomas Ericks and my team and I from Purdue University and are researching problems with current hiking or camping equipment. We would love to hear about what you wish you had while hiking or of shortcomings of some of your current hiking equipment. We are currently in the process of researching and designing improved hiking equipment and are looking for your input.
If you have a seconds to respond, we would greatly appreciate it! Thanks for your time, and everything helps.Jan 28, 2020 at 10:40 am #3629066Greg MihalikBPL Member
What do you have that makes you think you can “improve” better than Thermarest, Mountain Laurel Design, Arcteryx, Zpacks, and all the rest, who bet their success on innovation?
(Spoken in a soft, sincere voice. Not trying to be combative, just asking.)Jan 28, 2020 at 11:47 am #3629077Larry SwearingenBPL Member
@larry_swearingenLocale: NE Indiana
My Daughter graduated from Purdue…………….with a degree in Marketing.
Larry SJan 28, 2020 at 12:23 pm #3629079J RBPL Member
I wish my gear would be even lighter, even more durable, even more comfortable, and cost less.Jan 28, 2020 at 2:09 pm #3629088Steve MartellBPL Member
@steveLocale: Eastern Washington
“What do you wish your hiking equipment could do better?”
Jan 28, 2020 at 2:09 pm #3629089Edward John MBPL Member
- Self cleaning. :o
I wish my gear would be even lighter, even more durable, even more comfortable, and cost less.
And Bio-Degradable when worn outJan 28, 2020 at 3:50 pm #3629107Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Crack that waterproof breathable puzzle. You’ll make millions.Jan 28, 2020 at 3:55 pm #3629108
I’d like to see an umbrella for sun shade that attached to a pack a la Luxurylite but that didn’t turn inside out at a mere wisp of wind (or slightly stronger gusts). In other words a hands free sun shade that could handle medium winds.Jan 28, 2020 at 4:04 pm #3629111Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
My name is Thomas Ericks and my team and I from Purdue University and are researching problems with current hiking or camping equipment
IMO, your question is a waste of time without bounding the issues and understand your background & intent. We can suggest all kinds of things that are probably outside of your wheelhouse. What do you bring to the table? My 2 cents.
Mechanical types? – high strength to weight structural materials (better than carbon fiber). Tougher fabrics (better than cuben)
Designers? UL chair with back support that weighs less than 8 oz.
Chemical Types? – waterproof & breathable coatings & fabrics. Fast water treatment options
Electrical? – long life battery in cold environments.
MBA – no real valueJan 28, 2020 at 5:42 pm #3629119Murali CBPL Member
Here are my fantasies:
- a backpack that has spring/shock absorbers like structure that attaches to the bottom of the backpack (extending to the ground) such that it continually lifts the backpack off of my shoulders – that way I do not have to worry about how much weight I am carrying – can hike longer and without discomfort. Will enable more people to backpack. Currently, the weight rests on hips using hip belts or people carry frameless if they are ultralight enough. The entire industry is designing lightweight equipment to reduce weight for the backpacker often with exotic, expensive and not as durable material. If there is a backpack that can eliminate weight off of shoulders/hips – that will be awesome!
- drones to supply food/batteries or whatever every day or every 2 days etc – this will enable me to carry less weight each day. Of course you could pretty much carry a daypack with 1 day’s food and I suppose the drone could drop off your sleeping bag/tent/next day’s food every day!
- design a backpack with water weight distributed over the entire backpack….water is heavy. Is there a way to carry it more comfortably? If you have to carry 3L’s of water – what is the best way to carry? 3L in a reservoir? or 3 bottles each of which is 1 liter or 6 half liter bottles distributed how in the backpack?
- Can a lightweight fan be developed that blows continuously on one’s back as one walks to reduce sweating? Something that rests between backpack/person. Should the backpack actually be multiple smaller backpacks with gaps in between to provide better airflow? (kinda like Luxury Lite Stackpack – but there is not much space between cylinders in this backpack)
- what is the ideal way to carry weight? should one carry 25 lbs or whatever amount in the backpack or should it be 20lbs in the backpack and 5 lbs in a fanny pack or maybe carry some % weight on the head with a uniquely designed hat? some on the legs? what is the ideal distribution? can you develop something that provides a breakdown for each person based on some heuristics?
- Customized iso-butane cylinders rather than the current 110g etc sizes. This way, we can tailor it to the duration of each resupply. Need a smaller size which will be lighter
:-)Jan 28, 2020 at 6:24 pm #3629122M BBPL Member
Kind of like saying “what dont you like about your spouse?”
Hiking and camping are different activities. Maybe your in early selection stage for a project topic, but it needs to be much more focused topic
For hiking, everyone wants all gear to be lighter, while being more durable, less expensive, and better performance than current.Jan 28, 2020 at 7:23 pm #3629132John PBPL Member
To add to the above, hiking gear encompasses a broad range of gear
– a litany of accessories
There are a wide range of hiking environments which requires a range of each type gear to meet the environment i.e., deserts, rain forest, winter, summer, and so on.
Your question, as stated above, is way to general for us to give any useful input. Your study needs to be more focused.Jan 28, 2020 at 7:39 pm #3629138Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
‘Crack that waterproof breathable puzzle.’
+1Jan 28, 2020 at 8:01 pm #3629141
yeah, rather than complain that the question is too broad…give a particular answer. It’s not that complicated. Tell them what you’d like to see! sheesh…Jan 28, 2020 at 9:13 pm #3629150John PBPL Member
We are not complaining. Just pointing out that the OP would get better input by giving more information on his direction.Jan 28, 2020 at 10:07 pm #3629155
my team and I from Purdue University and are researching problems with current hiking or camping equipment. We would love to hear about what you wish you had while hiking or of shortcomings of some of your current hiking equipment. We are currently in the process of researching and designing improved hiking equipment and are looking for your input.
We get this sort of posting every now and then. It is usually from someone who knows nothing about backpacking, but who has been given the topic by a lecturer for a mini-thesis.
Pity the poor lecturer who has to keep coming up with novel topics for under-grad projects or even 1st year post-grad projects. He has to come up with many new topics, otherwise the students would simply plagiarise other peoples’ theses.
The knowledge gap between BPL regulars and the poster is just too wide.
CheersJan 29, 2020 at 1:01 am #3629172M BBPL Member
Is it a business class project, or a mechanical engineering or what?
I recall a good design project by a mechanical engineering team to build a lighter bear cannister than current offerings. It failed, but was interesting to read, up to that point.
Capitalism has eliminated low-hanging fruit already.Jan 29, 2020 at 4:12 am #3629181Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
A super lightweight camp stool would be nice. Right now the lightest one I know of on the market is the Hillsound BTR Stool that comes in at 12,6 oz for the 14.5″ high version and 17.5 oz for the 17.5.” They are made of Aluminum so perhaps a titanium or carbon fiber stool could be engineered to be even lighter. The Hillsound is rated to hold 265 lbs.Jan 29, 2020 at 4:23 am #3629182Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
Correction, the 17.5″ high stool weighs 14.1 oz not 17.5 oz. Sorry, short editing window.Jan 29, 2020 at 7:09 am #3629190James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Super ultralight materials. Carbon, kevlar, cuben, spectra are old. the goal is reduced weight of all aspects of hiking and camping. And, as has been said, ultra durable and planet friendly materials.
Ultra high density foods that are tasty, satisfying and fully nutritious. (Food remains as the majority of my pack weight.) Food protection was mentioned.
Unfortunately, most aspects of hiking/camping are very old technology and have been thoroughly researched over the past 10,000 years. Adapting newer technologies to this will take some doing, batteries are heavy, electronics are heavy, etc. Since this has become a primarily recreational activity, everything from huge campers (more like a permanent house on wheels) to Super Ultra Light Hikers have become part of “camping.” Drones are not allowed in many wilderness areas because they interfere with the natural setting…hard to adapt flight to camping.Jan 29, 2020 at 7:35 am #3629193Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
A Stillsuit?Jan 29, 2020 at 9:47 am #3629200Lowell MillsBPL Member
Supercapacitors with much improved energy density for long life, in a compact size, that can be recharged many thousands of times and in minutes.Jan 29, 2020 at 12:59 pm #3629226
Oh well …
A gravsled – big enough for pack and foodJan 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm #3629232
“A gravsled – big enough for pack and food”
do you mean a llama?Jan 29, 2020 at 2:00 pm #3629233
Nah – a sled held up by anti-gravity repulsors.
See StarWars etc.
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