Devold is a well-known name among outdoorsmen and other people who need to stay warm and get work done in the bitter cold. But they weren’t sure how to show off the protective qualities of their clothing. So they lit some poor guy on fire and threw him off a cliff.
I’m On Fire
OK, so they got an experienced BASE jumper to do it, but it was still a production, both in terms of ensuring safety and in terms of actually getting the shot. It may sound obvious that jumping off a cliff while on fire is somewhat of a risky endeavor, but it’s riskier than you might at first think. And yes, we know that’s saying something.
Lighting The Torch
First, there’s the fact that parachuting while on fire is not exactly safe. Fire can eat through the lines, burn through your clothing, melt altitude timers and other sensitive equipment, and essentially ensure your BASE jump becomes a viral YouTube video in the absolute worst way possible. Ironically, though, you only have to worry about the fire for so long; if you look closely at the jump, you’ll see the rushing wind actually snuffs out most of the flames before the parachute is deployed.
Getting The Shot
And then there was actually shooting this video. It required no fewer than four camera crews, two of which were on helicopters that had to fly near each other, which is dangerous in of itself. And the athlete himself had to be rigged with a GoPro, because it’s law that you can’t do something even mildly dangerous without wearing a camera at this point. And hey, it demonstrated what we needed to know: Devold clothing can protect you while you’re on fire, at least long enough to let you jump off a cliff.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.