Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Life and Times of Hypno AR

The Ditto tote bag is on sale right now and that got me thinking that we never posted about the fairly incredible journey the bag took to make it to store shelves. Most people aren't sure if reincarnation exists, but here is definitive proof.

In 2004, NEMO hooked up with Team Nike to create the fastest and lightest adventure racing tent. It was called Hypno AR.

It was NEMO's first production run and there were a lot of lessons learned. Those lessons have shaped the way we currently make our airbeam tents; those lessons also left us with many boxes of tents that did not meet our strict quality standards. Although there were several attempts to repurpose the tents, this summer we still found ourselves with many boxes of tents that could not be donated.

As we learned more about the environmental impact of plastic shopping bags and began to hear of cities and countries banning the use of them, we saw an opportunity to recycle our patient Hypnos and change consumer habits.

Suzanne and I spent a long night cutting up the first Hypno tent to make two awesome bags and prove the idea worthy. With prospects of many more long nights ahead, we decided to enlist some help.

The first step was to cut the tent into big pieces and remove all the hardware. With help from our local Easter Seals chapter, the tents were disassembled in our studio and the hardware was recycled into our prototyping lab.

The next challenge was to maximize the number of bags that could be made from one tent. Using engineering powers that be (i.e. math), we designed a pattern that gave us 12 bags from one Hypno tent.

To keep the environmental footprint small, we teamed up with a local sewing house in New Hampshire to help cut patterns and sew the bags. Cam and I spent a back-breaking day at the sewers figuring out how to cut the slippery and oddly shaped tent pieces.

With nothing added but a NEMO label and a little bit of edge binding, Hypno AR was reincarnated into the Ditto tote bag. We took great care in trying to preserve the fun details (zippers, webbing, guyout loops, velcro, screened logos, mesh, etc.) of the original tent.

As a result, every bag is unique.


Holds for the Holidays

Climbing holds came in today! We made mini-Morphos to adorn retail shop and climbing gym walls. Cam got a pretty cool surface texture on it by playing with different textured paints. I think they came out awesome and I'm excited to try to dyno off a tent.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Better than some fashion models

One of our customers, Przemek Skrzypek (currently living near the Adriatic east cost of Italy), sent us a great email this morning about a recent trip to the Apennine Mountains with his Gogo tent.

In particular, he says, "Gogo is so gorgeous! Better than some fashion models." We here at NEMO agree, though I'm sure there are certain fashion models that might give the tent a run for its money.

Check out his blog here for more beautiful photos of his trips.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Ice Storm Cometh

I knew when I got home last night we were in for it. As I turned on my Christmas lights, I noticed a slight buildup of ice on the bulbs and wires. It was misting, and the temp was dropping. I rubbed my hands together and imagined waking up to a world of crystallized ice trees. I checked my camera battery, poured a glass of water, when all of the sudden, snap! The power went out. Left in darkness, I lit a candle and headed for bed. Throughout the night I was awakened many times to the sound of snapping branches. Finally a weak, dreary, morning glow revealed the power of a little mist and cold temperatures....alas, my world of ice was before me begging to get its picture taken. I was happy.

Thankfully MY white Toyota did not meet the same fate as my neighbors.


Monday, December 8, 2008

57 lbs of Trash and 1 Fishing Spear

57 lbs. That’s what we hauled off in garbage during December’s Jenness Beach cleanup. What makes up those 57 lbs. you ask?

Rope, lots of rope
Aluminum cans
Bottle caps
Plastic containers
A sneaker
An intact fishing spear – seriously

While most everything else was pretty typical of what we find at our monthly cleanups, the fishing spear was a first. John instructed us on proper technique and after that, spears were flying. I think we'd all go hungry if came down to the spear.

There was no surfing to be had as the air was brisk and the waves were flat, but we did encounter some dogs and their owners, as well as a group of students from Emerson College making a film about local surf spots and their surfers. The afternoon ended as usual, at Joe’s Meat Shoppe in North Hampton.

Go out and do something good this week. Whether it’s for your community, the place you play, or somewhere distant, it’ll make you feel good. Now that’s what I call killing two birds with one stone.

Happy Holidays,

Monday, December 1, 2008

Beach Cleanup with NEMO this Friday

Come join us for NEMO's monthly beach cleanup at Jenness Beach this Friday, December 5. We expect to be there at low tide (around 11:30 am), but please email if you're interested in coming. Hot chocolate and hot cider are in the works with the cold weather.

Dogs and lots of helping hands are welcome!