Here is a look at two contrasting tent styles. The 1891 camping tent uses one central pole, four corner stakes, and two guy lines. It has lots of headroom, and would be a comfortable tent, probably for horse packing or car camping. The lower figure shows that this tent is a veritable hotel room, and might sleep 4.
A total opposite design philosophy is seen in the ultralight Rainbow Tent by Tarptent. This tent sleeps 1, weighs less than 2 pounds, and has one pole curving side to side, and a cross pole that forms the center beam of the tent ceiling. If you attach hiking poles to the corners the tent becomes freestanding, but you can also just stake the corners.
Here is an interesting tent from 1891. In fair weather the side can be opened up, and when it is raining the side rolls down for full protection. This idea is pretty similar to some modern ultralight tents, like the Tarptent tent shown below which has a side that opens, or that can be closed by rolling down the flaps and zipping them together to form an enclosed threshold. This tent is by Tarptent, which has a number of models that look very light and innovative.
This may be the mother of all free standing dome tents. It is a free standing tent, which uses arched poles attached to the floor of the tent, with the tent body attached to the poles along the length of the poles. At the top a line attaches the tip of the tent to the poles. The poles are made in sections for compact size when transporting the tent. The patent was filed in 1948.
These are examples of Lewisii tweedyi, with text from an article at www.wenatcheeoutdoors.com by my friend Marc Dilley. Wenatchee Outdoors has a list of other articles here.
A gentle belle--resplendent in a muted setting of sharp needles, gritty soil and cold stone--Tweedy’s Lewisia clings to life in the least likely of environments.
Valued by many experts as the world’s premier rock garden plant, L.
tweedyi is unique to impoverished, rocky settings in Wenatchee and
Methow subranges of the Washington Cascades and in Manning Park,
British Columbia. It was named after Frank Tweedy, a U.S. Geological
Survey botanical collector who made the first ascent of Mt. Stuart on
August 5, 1883. Much of L. tweedyi’s renown is due to its extravagant
A large flowering specimen can be spotted hundreds of feet away,
its mass of flowers lighting the way like a beacon. While flowers are
typically two to 10 per plant, individuals with 50 to 100 blooms are
Flowers in all stages of development may coexist on these large specimens.
Here is a handy flask for small quantities of refreshments, such as liquor: a ski pole flask. After skiing for a while, you pop the top off a ski pole and have some warming rum, Gran Marnier, Schnaps, etc. It would have to be alcohol based, because anything water based would freeze.
One evening in 1935 outdoorsman Eddie Bauer almost froze to death in his soaking wet wool coat. Inspired by that incident, he designed a garment like a down sleeping bag, except that you wore it. Eddie Bauer's coat of 1940 was the first down garment to be manufactured, and Bauer got a design patent on his design of downcoat. Bauer started with a store in Seattle, and now his company has 400+ stores in all 50 states. There is even an Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer. In the early years Bauer also patented a badminton shuttlecock, and was influential in popularizing badminton in the U.S. Thanks to Steve Nipper of The Invent Blog fame for this patent.
I wrote a first piece about P-38 can openers a while ago. Shortly I posted another piece with some P-38 patents. Here are a few more P-38 type can openers, the favorite of hikers, GIs, campers, aviators, sailors, and anyone who needs to get a can open. Later, I met Kobie of dogtagrus.com and enjoyed his P-38 can opener history page, complete with government specs for the little wonder.
Here are some additional P-38 type can openers.
This 1924 can opener has a little swing arm that locks the cutting blade in place when it is not in use. Very nice.
This can opener has a recess that the blade fits in when not in use, and it has a bottle opener.
Last but not least, this 1981 can opener is made to be easy to use by left or right handers. I want one of these!
In 1984 the climber / inventor Paul Petzl came up with a headlamp with no on/off switch. To turn the light on or off, the housing around the lens of the lamp was rotated. Rotating this housing also served to focus the beam of light. This style of controlling lights is still seen in headlamps and flashlights. This design seems to be the precursor to the famous Maglite unless someone can show me that the Maglite was invented earlier. An advantage to this design is that the headlamp does not get turned on accidentally when the switch gets bumped in your pack.