Overlanding and outdoor exploration require some specialized gear. At Overland Expo, we strive to fill our exhibitor midway with vendors who create and sell the highest quality apparel and camping equipment on the market. But we recognize that the purchase of this equipment that helps us enjoy the outdoors is an investment that should be properly cared for and maintained, not only to conserve the funds in our bank accounts but to conserve our precious natural resources for many years to come.
This is where Adrian Roadman of VanneBjorn comes in. Adrian will join us at Overland Expo this year to teach us all how to extend the lives of our technical garments.
Extend the Adventure: Caring for and Repairing Fabric Gear
Whether it’s a jacket, a duffel bag, a sunshade, or a door organizer, invariably, these pieces of gear will get rips, holes, scuffs, and burns. Don’t throw it away!!! You do not need to replace your gear purely because it has a bit of damage. Instead, you can learn to repair it and keep it going for years to come. The vast majority of repairs needed on outdoor gear are minor, and almost anyone can do it themselves! Fixing gear and keeping it going shouldn’t be intimidating. Usually without a sewing machine! You will also learn how to keep your zippers healthy, your fabric waterproof, and your hardware from cracking! Learn how to fix, mend, and coerce your gear into many more adventures!
Additionally, if you have gear to repair, Adrian’s booth, VanneBjorn, can be found in the Inside Exhibits area, where she and her team will be repairing attendees’ apparel free of charge.
Adrian Roadman is an interdisciplinary creator who is passionate about fostering new ideas and designing intentional solutions that will benefit our communities and our planet. Adrian is a gear designer, gear manufacturer, technical designer, and textile enthusiast, as well as an ecologist, scientist, and researcher. Adrian has a Master’s degree in Ecology and spent many years working as a carnivore biologist in remote areas of Southern Africa. Through many years of using gear in these harsh, remote conditions, she designed her own gear and constantly modified and repaired gear to better suit her needs. This passion led to teaching outdoor product design at the university level and eventually establishing her own product design and development firm, VanneBjorn Creative.
She now spends her time designing and manufacturing products for companies in the outdoor recreation and overlanding industries. With a focus on efficient products, ecologically sensitive textiles, and production-focused and functional design, she is passionate about creating a future in which useful items exist for all without sacrificing ecosystems during production and enabling more people to experience the wonders of nature and find ways to protect it. One of the most impactful ways to do this is to keep the gear we already have running for as long as possible, care for it, repair it, and reuse it, which is why VanneBjorn hosts events throughout the year to repair gear for free. Make sure you find VanneBjorn’s booth at Overland Expo to have her team look after your gear.
How were you introduced to the outdoors?
My earliest memories are of being in the outdoors with my family. We moved to Norway when I was very young, and I learned to cross-country ski not long after learning to walk. Adventuring in the outdoors became foundational for our family holidays and vacations. We camped, hiked, skied, and explored state forests and national parks all through my childhood. This progressed naturally into studying wildlife science for my undergraduate education, and I spent a number of years living in the wilderness as a carnivore field biologist, blending the meaning of work and play.
What is your favorite way to enjoy nature?
This is a really difficult question for me because I love so many different facets of exploring nature, and I hate to focus on one way. Because my professional career took me to such wild places for many years, travel and adventuring, and outdoor exploration are all intertwined for me. I am an avid motorcyclist and enjoy tent camping, but in recent years, I have become a tiny trailer addict, and I truly love stretching the idea of exploring and adventuring further and further afield with my bed in tow.
Do you have a go-to trail snack or camp meal?
The main food staples that will be synonymous with adventuring for me are what my parents called Gorp and Eggs in the Middle. My gorp: the original raisins, peanuts, and M&M’s, but I throw in some pistachios and dried cherries. And for camp breakfast: buttered and toasted bread with an egg fried in the middle. We grew up calling it Eggs in the Middle, but others call it Toad in the Hole.
If you had to pick one don’t-leave-home-without-it piece of kit, what would it be?
My Chacos. I have been told by my employees and past students that I am known for my Chacos. I probably wear them 350+ days a year. I even had a pair of custom Vibram Ice Chacos for a few years that I’d wear through the winter until I had to have them resoled! If I’m not barefoot, I’m in Chacos. I hike in them, raft in them, travel in them, graduated undergraduate and graduate school in them, and I plan to get married in them this fall!