Today (9.10.2015) we officially started new open technology project: Refugee SuperTarp, by discussing and testing Mark 0 pre-prototype with the project team.
It is going to be the first product dedicated for refugees support (can also be used by anybody, of course), manufactured locally, on the cooperative basis, by the Thermaikos community members.
The idea is to bring jobs for the people and — at the same time — to provide high quality, well designed outdoor gear for everybody in the need of it.
We are now preparing the first series of 4 Mark 1 prototypes, to be presented on Tuesday, 13.10.2015. It will be available for viewing and tests in Thessaloniki and Idoumeni transit camp.
As soon as we manage to make the manufacturing budget, we shall open the call for funding the production. Funded SuperTarps will be given away for free to the refugees entering Greece to help them survive cold and wet travel.
The production will be organized among jobless women and men in Thermaikos, to provide them with fairly paid occupation and to make them involved in refugees’ support.
After covering all materials and labor, every surplus will be used for further development of Thermaikos Open Technology programs and to support local economy.
See the gallery from the first meeting of the project team.
Today we manufactured two more prototypes Mark 1. They are made of thermal tarp, slightly thicker, have added velcro patches for joining edges. One piece goes with me to Crete, for field testing in warm weather. The other will be given for testing in Idoumeni transfer camp.
For now we already know:
- What works:
- Thermal effect is significant. Thicker tarp gives even better insulation than mylar blankets.
- The hood is bigger than in Mark 0, able to accommodate winter hut, even thick one.
- The poncho configuration wears better thanks to rope stoppers, keeping the shape of the poncho even if taken off.
- Additional loops at the corners will make it easier to pin the SuperTarp to the ground.
- Thanks to Arabella we decided to test the hood string in the tunnel instead of grommets and it is much better!
- The velcro patches hold well, letting join two SuperTarps to make a pyramid tent of to keep the poncho closed all the time.
- What will work (after improvements):
- We will replace velcro with press-studs, for easier operations.
- We will double test the pyramid tent configurations, also outdoor and during the rain.
- We will review the manufacturing process to make it quicker (a lot of hand work now).
Until now we spent ~45 Euro pooled among the team. We plan to make another round of improvements as soon as I am back from Crete — after 21st of October. If you feel like helping us with it, contact me please. Meanwhile, enjoy another gallery: