Over the last few years of doing posters and onesies we've come up with dozens of variations for each letter across a really wide variety of outdoor activities. We can only use 26 for each poster, but there's so many great details and bits of history and culture that it seemed a shame to let them waste away in a sketchbook. So, we've committed (!) to sending out into the universe a Daily Letter—a small token of appreciation for just one letter and one concept at a time. They're just an internet thing for now, but they might be printed up as cards eventually if we can just keep it going. F The inaugural letter? F, as in Fun Hog. Back in 1968,...
One of my favorite things about working on this Outdoor Alphabet "thing", is the response people have when they see the concept for the first time. Whether it's on a poster or a onesie, it's always a smile and a nod—it's not too complicated—and ultimately, that's the point of all of this. To share the stoke and smiles that come from spending time outdoors with those around us. That's why I'm super excited to announce that today, My Outdoor Alphabet is being featured on The Grommet—a unique site that will bring that stoke and our products to a whole new audience. Take a moment to check us out: http://thegrommet.com/my-outdoor-alphabet - Thanks!
What's a tumpline you ask? To put it simply, tumplines are straps used to carry heavy loads using the strength of the spine, and have been around for a long, long time. Do they work? The fact they've been around for so long and spread out across multiple cultures and geographic regions point to yes. They definitely have a place in paddling history, as evidenced by their use among the voyageurs as they carried heavy loads over portages. Chouinard likes 'em, and actually sells them online. Might be worthwhile to experiment a bit with one and see if it can’t straighten out my posture a bit.
But these aren't the Tetons you're looking for. Today, the 20th letter of the alphabet stands for a unique piece of climbing hardware from climbing engineer and designer Bill Forrest. Forrest was a prolific climbing inventor whose designs are a distinct part of climbing hardware history, including the Mjolnir, the first modular ice tool which is on display at the Smithsonian Museum. Titons were developed in 1973 with Kris Walker, as a cammable T-shaped nut that had a wide variety of possible placements. Click through the image below to see the full "Titon treatise" from an early Forrest Mountaineering catalog. Scan courtesy of Vertical Archaeology Check out the Alpinist's Alphabet