Outdoor recreation is something that’s enjoyed by many; however, indulging in outdoor recreation means you’re confronted by the elements. Fortunately, technology has evolved, resulting in new inventions that make it much easier for us to face the natural world. From outdoor shelters to more advanced solutions, there are a number of innovations that have taken place in the world of outdoor recreation.
Prior to new technology, those involved in outdoor recreation were forced to simply endure a number of common issues. Since, though, a number of fresh ideas have arisen to make outdoor recreation easier and more enjoyable.
GPS-Tracking Devices and Personal Locator Beacons
It wasn’t too long ago that a missing person was simply that – missing. The person themselves were forced to navigate through the outdoors using nothing but a map, compass, and general sense of direction. If they failed to navigate successfully, though, there was no telling where to search for them. Today, the vast majority of people have a GPS-tracking device on them in the form of a smartphone or other piece of technology. As a result, explorers are able to navigate themselves more efficiently and, more importantly, be found if they go missing. Similarly, smartphones make communication a whole lot easier, allowing people to share where they are and ask for help if need be.
Quick-Release Clipless Bicycle Pedals
The 1980s saw quick-release clipless bicycle pedals being invented, which enable riders to push and pull pedals to achieve a greater power output. This is on top of the fact that they’re easily detached in emergency circumstances. Therefore, this advancing technology not only makes lives easier but also results in safer practices. While technology sometimes receives somewhat of a bad reputation, it’s fair to say that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives from this perspective. After all, there’s no way that greater safety and efficiency could be a bad thing.
Rubber Climbing Shoes
When it comes to walking on uncertain terrains, the right pair of shoes is essential. Despite this, it wasn’t that long ago that rock climbers were forced to wear sneakers, heavy boots, or even go barefoot. In 1979, though, rubber climbing shoes made their way onto the market. These shoes are purpose-built due to their advanced friction, durability, and abrasion resistance. As a result, these have become standard within the rock-climbing industry, and we’re yet to find a technology that’s fitter for the purpose. The newest rock-climbing shoes are simply different variations of this existing design.
Comfortable waterproof clothing is now commonplace; however, this wasn’t always the way. A few decades ago, waterproof clothing was far from breathable and extremely heavy. Since then, 1969 saw the discovery of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (or ePTFE), which provided properties that were perfect for waterproofing purposes. As a result, more outdoor adventures are being facilitated by way of this material. This is because natural conditions aren’t as much of a barrier to adventure as they were before. In fact, even NASA astronauts are making use of the material, proving just how effective it is.
Last but not least are neoprene wetsuits, which are known and used by surfers globally. This is because, prior to neoprene wetsuits, there were no flexible garments available to wear in colder waters. Instead, surfers were restricted to wearing stiff rubber suits that divers wore. The 1960s saw the mass production of neoprene wetsuits, allowing people to partake in water sports in even the coldest of climates. Ultimately, technology in outdoor recreation works to eliminate barriers and make activity possible anywhere and at any time.