ASHER BLACKBURN
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Hydroclimb

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Overview

This project addresses rock climbing hydration. Climbing with a water bottle is often tedious and unrealistic. Hydroclimb is an adaptable harness that carries water with you. 

 

Context

A solution to climbing dehydration: A sport where balance is crucial, carrying a water bottle is often difficult. My task is to design a solution that will bring hydration to this adventure sport without taking away from its main values.

Background

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Growing up in Boulder, Colorado, I have rock climbed all my life. About a year ago, a friend and I were climbing a long 10 pitch route in a canyon close to Boulder. We needed to be as light as possible, thus, bringing a water bottle was not an option. We each took 3 big gulps as we started up, thinking that we would be back down in only a few hours. The climb took us 7 hours and left us absolutely dehydrated. The camelback has solved this problem for most extreme sports but rock climbing does not fall under this umbrella.  

 
 
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Development

First I wanted to outline and consider the parts of the harness:

 

The idea is to add a water system into the harness. This “pouch” would contain about 15 fl ounces (about 1/3 of a Nalgene water bottle). A perfect amount to keep light weight and enough to supply water on a few hour climb

There are a few things I need to acomplish in my solution:

  • Water needs to exist close to the body so that it doesn’t swing around.
  • Can’t be focused in one place, spread throughout center of gravity.
  • Lightweight only carrying a certain amount.
  • easy to refill in an outdoor environment
  • easy to access with one/ no hands
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The action of reaching for your water was one thing I wanted to focus on. Climbers don't usually have the option to use both hands to get a sip of water. Hydration should not get in the way of the climbing itself.

This design borrows from the motion of reaching into a chalk bag. All you need to do is reach with one hand to the back of your harness and unclip the hose. A simple plastic clip on the back makes it easy for the climber to put the hose away when finished.

 
 
 

For more info about this project, visit my process page here