LIGHTWEIGHT HOME MADE GEAR
To lighten up your load, try home made backpacks, sleeping
bag or quilt, tarp, gaiters, pants, rain jacket etc... Some of
this gear has been extensively tested on spring-fall mountaineering
trips in the Sierra Nevada as well as during a 230 miles hike of
the John Muir Trail in summer.
Need some inspiration?
Try Ray Jardine's book
“Beyond Backpaking, Ray Jardine's Guide to Lightweight Hiking”. Lots of good
stuff. Not all the ideas worked for us, try them for yourself. The last chapter
has sewing instructions to get you started. We have used some of Ray's designs
and written step by step instructions to make it easier.
Want to buy instead of making?
and sells gear based on Ray's designs. Definitely cheaper to make it yourself.
You can get all the material at:
- Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics Nampa, Nampa, ID (800) 693-7467 www.owfinc.com
- The Rainshed, Inc. Corvallis, OR (541) 753-8900
Here are a couple of designs that save both money and weight over conventional backpacks:
- Make a Jardine-style backpack
Based on Ray Jardine's design, this bag weighs about 12 oz empty.
In our experience it can carry comfortably up to 30-35 pounds,
great for backpacking in summer and fall when carrying snow gear is not required.
- Make a G4 pack
Detailed instructions and drawings from gvpgear.com - we have not tried that one yet…
We have not tried this poncho-tarp
design but it seems interesting. (Designed by Roy Robinson.)