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Erin McKittrick
(mckittre) - MLife

Locale: Seldovia, Alaska
expedition packrafting pack on 03/15/2007 02:12:46 MDT Print View

Ok, so it's not quite "make your own". This new pack (not quite finished) was designed and cut by my friend, and sewn up by my husband.

This pack is replacing my old GoLite Gust. It has to withstand a nine month expedition. Through a lot of brush. Holding up to two weeks of food, packrafting gear, and winter insulation. And, of course, as light as possible


To start, we took my old, trashed GoLite Gust, and looked at where all the holes were. On the bottom, the original fabric was nowhere to be found - several layers of heavy cordura patches were themselves full of holes. The lower sides were not much better. However the back and front of the pack were almost as good as new.

The straps were also in good condition, so we pilfered them, and started making a new "mongrel" pack, using different weights of fabric for different areas. The bottom is heavy duty linolock mesh - resistant to tearing, but not holding water. The sides are cordura. And the low wear-areas at the front and back are a lighter ripstop fabric.

No bells and whistles. The compression straps are just loops to be laced with a string (which allows the string to be used for other things as well), there's no frame (using my thermarest and paddle shafts inside to add structure), and there aren't any pockets. I have a removable fanny pack, which threads on the same belt as the pack, or can be worn separately (particularly when rafting). I carry all my emergency gear in there, and keep it always on me, even if the pack isn't. Pockets are threaded on the hip belt, allowing me to put whatever size of pockets I want on there, and eliminating the need for any pockets on the pack or my clothing. Still to be added are a couple of clips to allow the pack to be easily attached to the packraft, and a few other small things.





back view, with straps stolen from the Golite Gust




side view with string compression straps




front view




back view with fanny pack and belt pocket


With even more capacity than my old GoLite Gust, this weighs less - 15oz for the pack, and 16.5 with the fanny pack included. Just about a pound. It'll probably gain a couple ounces from the few things I have left to add, but it should still be easily short of the 20oz Gust, and hopefully more durable and functional.

Thoughts?

-Erin
Journey on the Wild Coast

Eric Parsons
(EricP) - F

Locale: Alaska
Loops on 03/15/2007 13:16:16 MDT Print View

Erin,
The loops look like they are creating a bit of stress points on the lighter ripstop fabric. What kind of fabric is that anyway? and what weight of cordura did you use?
Nice job on the Mongrel!

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
expedition packrafting pack on 03/16/2007 09:43:16 MDT Print View

Although not a concern in as utilitarian a situation as this, your pack even looks nice. The removeable hipbelt/fanny pack with add-able pockets is a great idea. I could see this as am improvement to any pack. I like your addition of the old pack straps to your new pack. Why re-invent the wheel? Besides, sparing yourself the labor of re-creating a design you already know you like is unecessary. Way to go on the whole project.