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 website for Ray-Way kits
and his 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?
Golite used to make and sell gear based on Ray's designs, but as of 2017 their website is abandoned.
Definitely cheaper to make it yourself anyway.
You can get materials at:
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 were on gvpgear.com before it went away - we have not tried that one yet…