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Jam reinforcements?
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David McClure
(DQ) - F
Jam reinforcements? on 03/16/2008 09:35:47 MDT Print View

Hey guys,

This isn't so much about making new gear as making old gear more durable, but I figured this would be the place to post since all the sewing machine brainiacs presumably lurk about around here.

I'm doing the PCT this summer, and want to carry a GoLite Jam of some sort. Now, originally I was just going to buy the new Jam2, but I have the old Jam1 model (which I love) from last summer on the AT, and it seems stupid to replace a pack that appears to be fine.

What is the longevity of a pack like that? It probably has about 2500 miles on it, and it looks fine. I just have all these images in my head of a strap ripping off somewhere in the high sierra, and having to carry it in my arms for like 100 miles to the next town.

If it's a little risky to take it out for another thru-hike, is there any kind of stiching that I could put on key areas to make it stronger?

Thanks for any help.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Jam reinforcements? on 03/16/2008 17:38:15 MDT Print View

1) Check the top anchor point for the shoulder straps. Highest load point.
2) Check all the other seams as well.
3) Carry a repair kit! Several different gauges of needle and thread, a bit of light and heavy fabric, amybe a little bit of webbing. Many's the time I have repaired gear on the track. Being able to do so makes a big difference to a 4-week trip.


Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
Jam reinforcements? on 03/16/2008 22:56:13 MDT Print View

I've had a Golite Gust for about 6 years, and have gotten many miles out of it. No big trips (> 2 weeks)or thru-hikes, but a few 1-2 week trips, and lots of overnights, day trips, rock climbing, and backcountry skiing. the bottom barely has any holes in it, and it is in great condition with many years left (hopefully).
I'd recommend inspecting critical seams, and carrying a needle and thread, and knowing how to use them beforehand. You could reinforce beforehand, and that would be as simple as tacking some fabric on behind the shoulder strap attachments, but that would just add weight....

Elleyne Beals
(tahomus) - M

Locale: Not usually at home.
reinforce or repair? on 03/17/2008 11:59:58 MDT Print View

have you repaired the pack before? i find stress points and rub points need attention on my gear- repairs or "pre-pairs"- fixed before the failure- rather than reinforcements. 99% of my repairs are done with glue- choose silicone for silicone coated fabrics, choose aquaseal for urethane coated fabrics. always clean the area with alcohol first!

on the outside of your pack, check all seams and attachment points. pull on the fabric/strap, looking for gapping or pulling in the threads of the fabric. try to simulate the stress the pack gets while it is loaded and being used. put glue in areas that look stressed. you should stuff the pack to expose the area and keep it open while the glue dries. if you think the glue might go thru and stick to the stuffing, put a piece of tape or waxed paper on the back side.

check the exposed threads- esp. where they get rubbed on. on my pack that is the bar-tack areas where the shoulder straps attach. a coating of glue can keep the thread from wearing away and causing a failure.

check the fabric for small holes and worn areas by going into a dark room and putting a flashlight behind the fabric. use a marker or chalk to circle the areas needing repair (make a big circle- well out of the glue zone). this is a real eye-opener! you will find lots of worn spots that look fine in normal light. these are weak areas just waiting for a little stick to poke them- then make a big tear!

turn your pack inside out and inspect the seams and attachment points. glue as needed. if the stitching has failed, sew the area and consider why it failed- modify as needed.

i do a full inspection of my pack and mark the areas that need attention. then i take several glue-days for repairs, since one must allow each repair to cure before changing the pack's position. after the glue has cured, dust the glue with talc or corn starch or chalk or whathaveyou to keep the repair from sticking to itself.

i think once you have done a full inspection, you should know better if the pack is up to your next trip!