112: CREATE: The Outdoor Innovators Episode

Show Notes: Episode 112 CREATE: The Outdoor Innovators Episode

Today on the First 40 Miles, CREATE: The Outdoor Innovators Episode.  If you’ve ever had a great idea for a piece of outdoor gear, we’ll share some stories today that will help to inspire you to take the next step.  This episode will feature the creative minds behind some up and coming outdoor gear companies.  Then on our Top 5 List, you’ll learn the basic steps for how to coax more great ideas out of your head and turn those ideas into the next big thing.


Top 5 Steps to Become an Outdoor Innovator

Spend time outdoors

  • That’s where ideas come from
  • Experience, getting to know nature

Identify needs

  • As you spend time on the trail, you’ll run into little snags
  • And those are the opportunities to ask “How can I make this process or this product or experience even better (more reliable, faster, safer, more adaptable, cleaner, more environmentally responsible)?”

Brainstorm ideas

  • The process of brainstorming is a relatively new one.
  • The term was popularized by Alex Osborn in his 1953 book Applied Imagination.
  • Go for quantity, withhold criticism, welcome wild ideas, combine and improve ideas

Sketch and create a prototype

  • Early in the process, you’re just putting the pieces together to see how they work
  • Later in the process, you can source materials.

Test, test and test.  Have your friends test.

  • Friends will only be as honest as you allow them to be. That’s where learning to ask the right questions can be critical at this point.
  • Don’t ask “How did you like the pack?”
  • Instead ask: Tell me about the placements of the zippers.
  • What issues did you have with accessing your gear?
  • Which of these were this packs strength: comfort, accessibility, adaptability, weight
  • Which of these were the packs weakness:
  • Where were the pressure points?
  • What is going to be the thing people

6th: Be willing to let it go

  • Loyalty is only important in human relationships, not important with ideas.
  • “Let it go” could mean that you sell your idea to another company…or…it may mean that the idea isn’t worth pursuing and you need to let the idea go
  • Don’t be the captain that is so devoted to his idea, that he goes down with his ship.
  • There should always be a lifeboat…take it and row yourself back home.

Backpack Hack of the Week

Since we’re focusing this week on being an outdoor innovator, here is your chance to share your innovative side with The First 40 Miles audience.  Share a backpack hack that you’ve created.  Or work on some gear modification and share it via Facebook or Twitter!

Trail Wisdom

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”

-Raymond Inmon