Sunday, March 24, 2013

My first try making my own backpack!


After seeing many posts online about making your own backpack, I decided to try my hand at making one with some spare fabric I had at home.

I have to say that it's not as easy as making one of these and at times, it can be quite intimidating.  There were a few times that I had to redo a lot of the stitching and more times that I had to just walk away from it.

However, after everything, I was actually quite pleased with the bag.  The beauty about making your gear is that you can design to your own personal specifications and features.

Here are some of the features of the bag:

  • Cinch Buckle and Velcro Closure (like dry-bags)
  • Side Pockets
  • Front Shove-It Pocket
  • Inner Pocket for CCF Pad
  • Made with 1.9 Ripstop and Nylon Cordura
  • Final Weight - 9 oz.
  • Capacity - not really sure...maybe 40L?
Things to add:
  • Sternum Strap
  • Hip Belt
All in all, this project took about 10 hours to complete...due to human errors and frustrations :).  Now for the good part...some photos!

Empty Pack @ 9oz.
Back portion
Loaded with gear
Right Side View
Left Side View

Yours Truly...happy with the results!
I plan on making another pack now that I made one with spare fabrics.  Anyone got any good deals on Dynema X fabric?  Anyway, I hope you guys like it...leave a comment or let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 18, 2013

An overnight with the SoCal Hammock Hangers!

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Had a chance this past weekend to hang out with a few SoCal Hammock Forum members.  This was a great chance for me to meet a few members who I have had conversations with online.  It was also great to see everyone's preferred hammock setup.

I myself am still a beginner when it comes to hammocks.  I still choose to go to the ground since my hammock setup weighs significantly more than my ground setup.  However, there is one hammock in particular that could change that...I will be writing about that soon :)

Not really much of a report but more of hammock pR0n!

My DIY Gathered-End Hammock and 8.5 x 8.5 GuideGear Tarp
DIY Gathered-End Hammock, DIY Tarp, and DIY Underquilt
Classic Hennesy Hammock - Bottom Entry
Gathered-End Hammock, 10 x 12 SilTarp (?), Pea-Pod Style Top/Bottom Quilt
Warbonnet Double-Layer Hammock, Superfly w/ Doors, UGQ Under Quilt
Kammock Hammock, Superfly w/ Doors, HammockGear Under Quilt
DIY Bridge Hammock, DIY Bamboo Trekking Poles as Spreader Bars
Gathered-End Hammock, HammockGear Under Quilt, 8 x 10 Cat-Cut Tarp
Hennesy Hammock and Eno Double Nest (back)
Really had a blast this weekend.  There were more hammocks but I wasn't able to take photos of all of them.  We had a great turn-out in attendance.  I even had the chance to show-off how to make ultralight cook pots.

Really good food and great company.  This trip has re-ignited my brain as I start thinking of new ideas to make my hammock setup better, lighter, and more enjoyable.

Till the next trip...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Henninger Flats - Idlehour Trip


It was March last year when I first hiked to Henninger Flats.  Since then, I have hiked to this place a few times but I never made it all the way to Idlehour.  Idlehour has been a thorn on my back since last year - I had to quit a few yards past the small wooden bridge and head back due to cramping issues  - this was going to be the trip where I would redeem myself and finally have the chance to get this thorn off of me.

I met with a few friends of mine early Saturday morning and we began our hike to Henninger Flats.  We started our hike at around 8AM and after an hour or so, we arrived at Henninger Flats.

My pack loaded with everything I need
It was a cold morning on Henninger, fog and mist covered most of the campground.  The city below was not visible until late in the afternoon.  It was a good day to do this hike since the trail to Idlehour can get hot during the summer months.  The cool air was nice.

After checking in for the day, we head to the upper campgrounds and pick our sites.  It was fun checking out everyone's setup for the evening.  Six Moon Designs and Big Agnes shelters were well represented on this 24 hour adventure.

My Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout
Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo
Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis

Two Big Agnes' and an REI Solo
My buddy setting up his 8x10 SilTarp and MLD Bug Bug Bivy
Can you spot all the BA tents?
After setting up camp and having a few snacks, we pack up our day bags and start our day hike to Idlehour.

The hike begins...
Ahh...the bridge, it wasn't far from here when I had to turn back last year
Pasadena barely seen through the fog
A nice walk uphill to get your leg muscles flowing
Canyons were amazing!
After 2.5 miles or so, we reach Idlehour...Finally, I made it here!
...and it feels good to be here.
Our lunch spot for a few...
It really felt good to finally make it to Idlehour.  Not being able to make it through here last year has truly been a thorn on my back.  I felt like I couldn't continue and try another trail until I completed this one.  It feels really good!

After a few hours at Idlehour, we head back to Henninger to spend the rest of the afternoon.  A nice campfire, good food, Wild Turkey, and good friends.  

Alas, all good things must come to an end.  Morning came quickly - we lost an hour  - and everyone rises slowly from their tents.  A leisure breakfast and everyone starts to pack out for the day. 

My view from my tent
You just can't get tired of this...
Just like when it started, my pack loaded with everything I brought in...ready to head back down.

Another 24 hour adventure ends with good company.  More times than not, it's the people around you that make the hike much more enjoyable.  Till the next adventure...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Current Gear List for 2013


My Current Gear List for 2013

Finally had the chance to organize all of my current gear and get all of the weights together.  It amazes me once you track every little piece of gear, you can see how each item's weight adds up to your total pack weight.

By no means is this gear list a guide for anyone.  This is just to give everyone an idea of what I typically bring on a 3 season backpacking trip.  There might be some small items I failed to add but in general, it's all there.

I have found that I am really happy with the overall weight and I am quite surprised what I have achieved despite having only backpacked since 2011...quite happy with where I am overall compared to how much my packed weighed on my first backpacking trip

NOTE: Items and Weights DO NOT include Food, Water, and Fuel. These items typically vary depending on length of trip, etc.

Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think.  I am open to suggestions as well :)