A woman amidst the Outdoor Nerds – Outdoor Trade Fair 2012, Friedrichshafen

Like almost every year, the Outdoor Trade fair in Friedrichshafen is THE event to explore trends and products that will appear within the next season. I came finally equipt with an SLR cam and with a few ideas which I thought could interest the hungry world.

My visit this time round was fairly relaxed and I had lots of time to really sit down to take a breather before exploring the next category on my list. The colours were overwelming, fun and exciting, you could feel that manufacterers were not shy anymore to bring out products that are lively in the colours, lighter in weight and filled with more creativity for usage. It seems like they have been listening more closely to their users and are finally putting some useful feedback in their products.The new outdoor fabric and gear could well prepare the the civilist on his tour, making any trip outdoors much more comfortable and survivable than it was years back.

Garments and gears are all much lighter. Even the shoes feels so light you think they might dissolve in water.Of course, they don’t. They looked durable, breatheable, light, most comes with a vibram sole, and it was all about running around with the bare feet experience. Even those of you with an elephant skin might want to protect your feet from cuts and wounds. The future outdoor shoe looks so good, you could wear them to the dinner party.

Jackets and technical wear are skin thin, and you may never believe they work. But then again, they do. The lighter the better. Your back will hurt less, your knees will wobble less and you’ll be springing up that mountain like a gazelle with a light backpack.

I didn’t find anyone with outstanding innovations but summed out that fabrics are produced more environment friendly, and the awareness of garments holding the blue sign has increased. Nevertheless the perfect gear for the future mountaineer or climber after weeks on the road, and smelling like Bugatti, was still missing.

One of the highlights of my trip this year, was the Bloggers Meet together with Bergfreunde. A fine thing to finally meet bloggers behind the online names, tweets and statuses. The Meet went hand in hand with an interview and portrait with Benedikt Böhm and then a round at the outdoor Movie Nights, and for those who stayed on, a cool get together with some beers. Thanks to the organizers, who made this possible!

The Outdoor Trade Fair is not like any other exhibition, its like meeting up with old friends, making new ones and checking out trends for the upcoming season. I was happy to see what the industry was up to, but also happy to be home in my own bed again.

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