Inside every vehicle, trailer, tent, or saddlebag, we have some gear made of fabric. These softgoods organize, protect, cover, carry, clothe, and store the things we take into the outdoors for our adventures. With continued use, inevitably, fabrics become worn, torn or scuffed.
Outdoor product designer and WSU Outdoor Program instructor, Adrian Roadman of VanneBjorn Creative, recognizes that the purchase of gear and equipment that helps us enjoy the outdoors can be a hefty investment that must be properly cared for and maintained. When it’s worn, she says, “Don’t throw it away!” At OAX, Adrian will teach techniques to keep your zippers healthy, your fabric waterproof, and your hardware from cracking. Plus, learn how to fix, mend, and coerce your gear into many more adventures!
Extend the Adventure: Caring for and Repairing Fabric Gear
Whether it’s a jacket, a tent, a duffel bag, a sunshade, or a door organizer, with continued use these pieces of gear will get rips, holes, scuffs, and burns. Don’t throw them away!
You do not need to replace your gear purely because it has a bit of damage. Instead, you can learn to repair it and keep it going for years to come. The vast majority of repairs needed on outdoor gear is minor and almost anyone can do it themselves. Fixing gear and keeping it going shouldn’t be intimidating – and it can generally be done without a sewing machine.
Learn techniques to keep your zippers healthy, your fabric waterproof, and your hardware from cracking. Plus, learn how to fix, mend, and coerce your gear into many more adventures!
Q&A with Adrian Roadman / / Follow @vannebjorn
Adrian Roadman is an interdisciplinary creator who is passionate about fostering new ideas and designing intentional solutions that will benefit our communities and our planet. Adrian is a gear designer, gear manufacturer, technical designer, and textile enthusiast as well as an ecologist, scientist, and researcher. Adrian has a Master’s degree in Ecology and spent many years working as a carnivore biologist in remote areas of Southern Africa. Through many years of using gear in these harsh, remote conditions, she designed her own gear, and constantly modified and repaired gear to better suit her needs. This passion led to teaching outdoor product design at the university level, and eventually establishing her own product design and development firm, VanneBjorn Creative. She now spends her time designing and manufacturing products for companies in the outdoor recreation and overlanding industries. With a focus on efficient products, ecologically sensitive textiles, and production-focused and functional design, she is passionate about creating a future in which useful items exist for all without sacrificing ecosystems during production and enabling more people to experience the wonders of nature and find ways to protect it. One of the most impactful ways to do this is to keep the gear we already have running for as long as possible, care for it, repair it, and reuse it, which is why VanneBjorn hosts events throughout the year to repair gear for free. Make sure you find VanneBjorn’s booth at OAX to have her team look after your gear.
Q: How were you introduced to the outdoors?
My earliest memories are of being in the outdoors with my family. We moved to Norway when I was very young, and I learned to cross-country ski not long after learning to walk. Adventuring in the outdoors became foundational for our family holidays and vacations. We camped, hiked, skied, and explored state forests and national parks all through my childhood. This progressed naturally into studying wildlife science for my undergraduate education, and I spent a number of years living in the wilderness as a carnivore field biologist, blending the meaning of work and play.
Q: What is your favorite way to enjoy nature?
This is a really difficult question for me, because I love so many different facets of exploring nature, I hate to focus on one way. Because my professional career took me to such wild places for many years, travel and adventuring and outdoor exploration are all intertwined for me. I am an avid motorcyclist and enjoy tent camping, but in recent years, I have become a tiny trailer addict and I truly love stretching the idea of exploring and adventuring further and further afield, with my bed in tow.
Q: Do you have a go-to trail snack or camp meal?
The main food staples that will be synonymous with adventuring for me are what my parents called Gorp and Eggs in the Middle. My gorp: the original raisins, peanuts, and m&ms, but I throw in some pistachios and dried cherries. And for camp breakfast: buttered and toasted bread with an egg fried in the middle. We grew up calling it Eggs in the Middle, but others call it Toad in the Hole.
Q: If you had to pick one don’t-leave-home-without-it piece of kit, what would it be?
My Chacos. I have been told by my employees and past students that I am known for my Chacos. I probably wear them 350+ days a year. I even had a pair of custom Vibram Ice Chacos for a few years that I’d wear through the winter until I had to have them resoled! If I’m not barefoot, I’m in Chacos. I hike in them, raft in them, travel in them, graduated undergraduate and graduate school in them, and I plan to get married in them this fall!
Explore Additional Outdoor Clinics + Education At OAX
Outdoor Adventure X is a mountain gear festival for the outdoor adventurer June 17-18, 2023 at Snowbasin Resort in Huntsville, Utah. OAX hosts climbing, hiking and mountain bike clinics on-mountain at Snowbasin Village. Water and paddle sports workshops, clinics and demos will take place at Pineview Reservoir, a part of Lakeside Village at OAX. Plus camping, hundreds of gear vendors, an adventure van showcase, product demos, workshops + clinics, a craft beer garden, food trucks, live music, and fireside chats with friends.
An OAX ticket or camping pass includes access to all demos, clinics, the Snowbasin gondola, and a full schedule of classroom-style education and roundtable discussions.