Necessity is the Mother of Invention: The Story of Ramble Tag


The Ramble Tag is a guidance aid, designed specifically to improve the experience of guided walking and sport for visually impaired people. It was invented April 2018 by Laura Maclean and Tom Forsyth. Here’s their story.

Ramble Tag co-founders Laura Maclean (left) and Tom Forsyth (right) exchange smiling glances at each other while demonstrating the Ramble Tag guidance aid in action. Tom, an older gentleman who is visually impaired, grabs the handle of a bright orange Ramble Tag worn around Laura's arm. Laura:

Tom is my neighbour, and because he is visually impaired, I’ll help him walk his dog when his partner is away. During these walks we have built a fun, creative friendship – always sharing a love for problem solving. We are “chalk ‘n’ cheese,” but we inspire each other and make each other laugh. Together we have become the perfect business partners as Ramble Tag Ltd.

We live in urban Glasgow, and on more than one of these walk together, we felt traditional guidance methods weren’t working for us: both our dogs were pulling us in different directions and we were either bumping into each other or being separated.

We were having a giggle and I was like, “Tom!! You need something better to hold on to!” and he replied something like, “We’ll stick a handle on you!”

Lightbulb moment!

We looked at each other with big smiles and continued a very excitable discussion on how to do this. We were buzzing with an energy to make this happen from this point onwards.

That night, I chopped up a perfectly good holdall bag and a knee pad. Having burnt the midnight oil on the sewing machine, I knew the next morning I could surprise Tom with the first prototype in the form of a simple Velcro arm band with a handle attached.

I couldn’t wait to see his face! We were very excited – I wrapped it around my arm and off we went with more big smiles.


That first try of the as-yet-unnamed product was a real revelation to me. I was immediately aware of increased feeling of independence, and a sense of liberation in…

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The Ramble Tag has arrived in America. The Carroll Store is the first to ship stateside.