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Inside the Gear Lab

first_imgFrom l to r: Sierra Designs’ Vincent Mares, Columbia Apparel’s Bryhn Ireson and Black Diamond Packs designer Nathan Kuder.Behind the scenes with the world's greatest gear designers.For every backpack that summits the Southern Appalachians, there’s a really smart gear designer working long hours in a dark office to make sure it has all the bells and whistles it needs to get the job done. Ditto technical apparel and tents. BRO pulled a few of the outdoor industry’s leading designers out of the their cubicles and let them speak about gear design. Here’s what they had to say.Vincent Mares, design manager for Sierra Designs packs, tents, and sleeping bags.The goal whenever you create a new pack or tent or sleeping bag, is to answer a question in a better way. Are we solving problems for the users, not just creating another option in a different color?Failure is part of the process. We go through a bunch of design concepts to create an idea for a pack, then we build the first prototype. But you never get it 100 percent perfect. There are lots of growing pains along the way. It’s more of an evolution than people probably realize. You have to fail to succeed. You have to learn from it.The future for tent design is the same as the past: lighter, lighter, and lighter. In tents, every ounce counts. There are some new fabrics coming out that are amazing. It will give tent designers some interesting options. We should be able to build something extremely light without sacrificing performance.I live in the future. I have this crystal ball, thinking two years in the future, thinking about economics, color trends, innovation. It’s part science, part voodoo. These are the things they don’t teach you in design school.Bryhn Ireson, product line manager for Columbia’s technical apparel lineI look at the market, examining a competitor’s set: the price, features, colors, how waterproof it is…then I approach a specific piece from our perspective. For us, it’s about the end use, providing something comfortable and usable. But a product begins when I write a brief on an idea I’d like to see built, then I let the designers go at it.Typically, it takes 18 months to get a piece of apparel from the brief to market. It takes that long to nail the process. Longer if there’s an innovative technology involved, like Omni Freeze Ice. We knew about the technology and spent a lot of time testing with our innovations department before we started to design specific pieces. It took a matter of years. Right now, we’re looking at developing products for spring 2013.Basically, we’re predicting the future. It’s tough with color trends. Our design department can be pretty fashion forward. Will we be ready for these color schemes in 2013? How will we price items for 2013? There’s some educated guess work, but it pays to be the leaders too, so you’re driving the market, not responding to it.We have an extensive beta project that spans the world with hundreds of real life users chipping in to test gear. They don’t pull any punches. We have guides as well spending 200 days a year giving us so much feedback and direction, from color to technical traits. We take those comments from the Beta project, then apply them to the product before we go to market and use them for future development.Nathan Kuder, category director for packs for Black Diamond With any piece of gear, the goal is to make that gear disappear from your experience. The concept behind our Active Frame Technology in our packs’ suspension systems, was to take away some of the restrictions that traditional packs have had on the backpacking experience. People have just assumed that a certain amount of discomfort and limited mobility come with large packs.I’m a firm believer that active suspensions will become as common as internal frames are now. Right now, 90 percent of the packs on the market have static suspension. But eventually, you’ll see those become the price point options, and active suspension be the more common option. It’s simply too good to not be adopted by more backpack manufacturers.I’d say 80 percent of the stuff on the store floor has an element of gimmickry. The end user is my yardstick. If the user doesn’t get what they paid for, the product won’t stick around. At Black Diamond, we’re always asking, “Is this real, or is this bullshit?”last_img read more

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Drinking water in Vodice polluted with faeces: Tourists flee, renters in despair

first_imgTap water in one part of Vodice is mixed with faeces and the water is not drinkable, tourists leave Vodice, the hosts lose money, and Vodice suffocates in the stench caused by faeces. For the third day, residents and tourists of Vodice do not have drinking water in the middle of the tourist season, and the problem arose in a nearby new building where an illegal well was unauthorizedly connected to the water supply pipeline by investors, contaminating the drinking water supply system. Dnevnik.hrThe waterworks also spoke about this case, and we are transmitting their announcement in full:”On July 25, 2017. at around 8 am, an employee of Vodovod i odvodnje doo was informed by the citizens of Vodice from Blata and Prvićka streets about a change in the appearance of the color and smell of the water. Based on the report, the employee of Vodovod i odvodnje doo went to the disputed place and determined that about 30 houses are supplied with unhealthy water.The cause of the pollution was an illegal well for irrigating a green area made on a drinking water supply pipeline owned by Vodovod i odvodnje doo at the time of the construction of a residential building with eight apartments at the address in Vodice, Prvićka ulica bb.It was established that the illegal well was unauthorizedly connected to the water supply pipeline by a natural person – investor and contractor of the residential building in question in Vodice, Prvićka ulica bb, which contaminated our drinking water supply system. On the same day, a water test was performed by the Institute of Public Health and an internal test by Vodovod i odvodnje doo, and both findings showed that the water was not healthy, and the service users were informed immediately after learning – it is stated in the statement of ‘Vodovod’.’.A picture of our tourism It is interesting that today in the 21st century in Vodice, who live very well and earn money from tourism, the residents of Blata and Prvićka streets do not have sewerage, but have septic tanks. Where is the huge income from tourism spent? Tourism itself must provide a better quality of life to the local population, because not everyone lives off tourism, and in Croatia even less because tourist consumption is not dispersed locally, except in most accommodation and catering facilities on the waterfront and beaches.This is a great shame for Croatia, including Vodice, and a negative advertisement for our tourism.Vodice is a classic example of illegal construction of apartments without any plan and strategy, and how this illegal construction has irreversibly destroyed the landscape and destination. The image and opportunity of our tourism, just a short-term race for money, without any strategic development. The apartments expanded on their own, one bigger, the other smaller, the third wider without any permits in most cases, meaning illegally, and the infrastructure from sewerage, electricity, water, parking did not develop… That is why we have a problem with overloaded sewerage network today, less water and low pressure, electricity, parking, etc.… Only because we have not strategically, planned and sustainably developed our tourist destinations.Of course, this is an isolated case, but unfortunately not the first. It is not only the investor’s fault, the entrepreneur Zoran Josipović from Vodice who illegally connected the water supply pipeline, but the long-term poor management of the city of Vodice and the fact that he has not solved infrastructure problems for years, as he did not provide sewerage throughout the city. We are talking about 2017 and the city that lives from tourism.Terrible, but sadly true.last_img read more

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