Listen up Gear Junkies, as you’re definitely going to want to read this article. Outside magazine has posted their selections for the 100 most influential gear items of all time. The list is presented in chronological order, dating back to 860 BC, and not in a countdown style format. This makes for a more evolutionary approach and probably saves on a lot of controversy over what everyone thinks is the most important piece of outdoor gear of all time.
So what was that all important piece of gear that was developed more than 800 years before Christ walked the planet? Believe it or not, it was the personal flotation device (PFD) that was first created to enable Assyrian invaders to cross the Euphrates River. Those PFD’s were created out of goat skins, so you know we’ve come a long way since then and it was hundreds more years before they would become standard equipment on ships traveling at sea.
The gear only expands dramatically from there and Outside has posted it all in a single giant list, or you can review it all by era as well. The 100 items are broken down into three eras, the first of which runs from 860 BC to 1960. Obviously there wasn’t a lot of innovation during that rather large time frame. The second era runs from 1961-1980 and includes such breakthroughs as Gatorade, headlamps and the Kodak digital camera. The final era covers 1981 to the present and includes such great additions to our gear closets as the hydration pack, PowerBar and the iPod.
Overall, a fun list to share (and debate!) with friends. Lots of good products on the list and many of which you’ve probably owned or used yourself.
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