At Boreas Gear, we are inspired by the creative process of design and the inherent beauty and allure of the outdoors. For months, we considered ideas for ways we could share our passion while engaging with other like-minded individuals. Our ambitious endeavor finally came to fruition last month, when the Boreas design team embarked on the first ever Wilderness Design Workshop. The basic plan for the three-day intensive workshop was to take a small group of designers out to the California wilderness, where they would design, build, and test their own outdoor shelters.
WDW kicked off with a brief orientation at Boreas Gear HQ where our own designers first met the participants and showed them around our workshop and design studio. Shortly afterwards, we loaded the van with all of our tools, materials, and provisions and headed north. Our destination the first day was a secluded cabin in the Sierras, which became our outdoor workshop, where the bulk of the designing and building took place. After a presentation about the evolution of mobile shelters and tent design from our team, the crew got to work sketching out their concepts and constructing their shelters amidst the backdrop of the beautiful Tahoe National Forest. After a day and a half of intensive brainstorming, designing, developing, building, and rebuilding, the WDW crew had completed five unique prototype shelters. The creativity of our group was evidenced in the original and varied designs of each finished tent.
Naturally, we were eager to get onto the next, most exciting step of the design process; testing the shelters in the real world. After another ride in the van, followed by an hour trail hike, we arrived at an alpine lake, where we camped for the night. There is no more important feature of a shelter than for it to maintain its integrity, and function when it’s used in the real world and is exposed to wind and fluctuating weather conditions. Each WDW designer spent the night camped out in their prototype shelter to test them for their comfort, durability, and ease of set-up. In the morning we evaluated how all the different shelters performed on their first test run and discussed the virtues of each design.
WDW proved to be an excellent experience for the Boreas team and we are ever grateful to all the participants for sharing their enthusiasm and creative spark with us. Trips like this inspire us and are the reason we love doing what we do. Thanks to everyone who came out.