Monday, October 26

Something Old, Something New; Outdoor Gear ideas

It seems there is always some new gear trend or other doing the rounds of the Outdoor community.

During the last couple of years one concept with increased publicity has been around the idea of a portable alcohol/meth burner.

Ever wondered just how long has this idea been around - a couple of years? Or perhaps an improvement on something from the 1990s?

Then take a look at this patent drawing from 1859.

Seem familiar?

So lets come up to date with
this 2007 idea

For those of you who want to dig around in this area the list of historic burner patents should keep you quiet for a few hours (or days if Whitespider's Darren is reading this!)

But maybe burners aren't your thing - how about backpacks instead?

Even limiting a search to the last five years still turns up 51 offerings including a certain Mr Gregory's patent for "Backpack having distributed-load shoulder strap system" & North Face's "Backpack suspension system".

My point, aside from providing an interesting diversion for a few hours, is the wealth of new ideas or adaption of old principles, that are now readily available to consider for yourself.

We may not all have the drive of Colin Ibbotson when it comes to innovation in customising kit. But as a spur to understand the thoughts and ideas of others, and maybe spark some ideas of your own, the Free Patents Online site looks to have some interesting potential.

Hmm. I wonder if anyone has taken out a Patent on it yet?

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They cost 6d at Woollies - aka "picnic stoves" - I used one all the time when I were a lad, although the menu was mainly a tin of beans garnished with insects and bits of grass. My brother put an egg in once, but that was seen abeing a bit avant garde...
I have long thought that the technical ignorance of American patent examiners was pretty much bottomless, but this proves it. (My previous professional examples at least had some obscure mathematics in them & i had the interesting experience of seeing one of my scientific papers quoted verbatim in someone else's patent - but still not counting as "prior art").

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