Monday, April 12, 2010

Make your own!

Think you can't afford to change out your old gear with newer, lighter equipment? Not so! There are simple and fun things you can do to get your pack weight down to feather weight portions. Some examples follow.

These water proof mitts are for use in cold and possibly rainy weather. They weigh .2 ounces for the pair and took me about two hours to make with a pattern I got from Rain Shed, an outdoor gear pattern company. The material is of spinnaker cloth, often used for sails. This material is light, waterproof and really strong though not very abrasion resistant.

This pair of fleece mitts were made with windproof material I had laying around. Again, a couple of hours and using the same basic pattern as above but not so fancy. You can use any old fleece thing or garment you have laying about or can find at a garage sale.  Easy to do and fun. They weigh 1.6 ounces for the pair. Combined with the waterproof over mitts above and you've got a very light weight and warm kit for your hands in the great out of doors. 

Last but not least, you see here a water carrying bag, made of the same spinnaker cloth as above. Also simple to make, I started with a 30 inch circle of material and carefully gathered it up until I had it tucked up into a bag shape. Using my trusty 1946 Singer sewing machine (purchased at a garage sale with all attachments for $10) I sewed it with trim and added handles. Nice, watertight and weighs only, wait... 
.8 ounces!