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From $10 of walmart silnylon!
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David Wills
(willspower3) - F
From $10 of walmart silnylon! on 09/20/2007 01:38:22 MDT Print View

Heres the pics of my stuff I made from 7 1/2 of 10 yds of walmart silnylon, 48" grey.
I have been wanting a silponcho for a while and found the 48" to be a bit to narrow for it to double as a shelter, so I opted for the MLD pro style poncho- center seam, hood integrated into it, 8 tieouts. 68"x106"x54" finished size. 7.75 oz including bungee belt, not including line or stakes. The groundsheet is 4 oz, 7'x42" (much wider than I need).
setup in my apt
hood closure
me with biggest pack
Kudos to Ron Bell for the design. I would highly recommend buying his to anyone if you can't sew. The pack im wearing in the pick is the biggest one I have expanded all the way.

The pack is about 1800 CI, 3.5 oz, and basically a stuff sack design. The adjusting straps are connected to the 'wings' on the bottom that are made when you shape a stuff sack. The shoulder straps have about 3/8" padding in them and are very comfy. It fits all my gear down to 32*, maybe lower, and with room for about 4 days food.
me n pack
pack n platy
all together
Thats a 2L platy, the poncho, and groundsheet next to the pack

I think my favorite part about these items are that it allows me to have a sub 5lb basepack even though I'll carry a 9 oz camera, my thermawrap parka (14 oz), and wool (9oz) or fleece (13 oz) pants. Take those away, its a sub 3lb 40* system for under $150. I also dont have to go packcoverless anymore!

Since I'm excited and its 3AM, heres my new gear list for freezing temps:

Little Pack 3.5 oz $3
Sil Poncho 7.75 oz $6
Ground Sheet 4 oz $2.50
Cord .5 oz $5
6 Ti Stakes 1.2 oz $10
40* XP quilt 12 oz $60
Thinlite Pad 2 oz $9
Fleece Hat 1 oz $1
Sport Socks .7 oz $1
Thermawrap 14 oz $150
Fleece Pants 13 oz $20
BL 600 2.9 oz $20
Supercat .3 oz $1
1/2 Gal jug 1.5 oz $0
Acc. Kit 6 oz $35
Camera 9 oz $135
total 79.35 oz $458.5

A little expensive, but 2 luxury items make up 62% of the total.

Edited by willspower3 on 09/20/2007 01:47:02 MDT.

Thomas Knighton
(Tomcat1066) - F

Locale: Southwest GA
Re: From $10 of walmart silnylon! on 09/20/2007 04:16:18 MDT Print View

Nice work! I really wish I would get off my butt and try and make some stuff like that, but I tend to start off with a project and never finish.

Your stuff looks great, and very cool about the sub-5 lbs base weight with a heavy camera :D.


todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: From $10 of walmart silnylon! on 09/20/2007 06:49:48 MDT Print View


Wow! You did a great, creative job!

The poncho especially caught my eye. I like the MLD and was wondering, since you are wearing one in your pic: How tall are you? The arm coverage looks very good, and I have a hard time w/ponchos since I'm 6'1" - most leave a good portion of my arms uncovered.

Also, Is there a pattern for it, or did you do that out of sheer creativity??? :) Again, a great job.


David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Re: From $10 of walmart silnylon! on 09/20/2007 10:24:29 MDT Print View

thanks for the complements! i wont say creative though because its basically a one-off of another design, but it was out of necessity due to fabric width, and I'm glad it was. Basically, the pattern is 2 35"x110"x28" peices of silnylon (could be cut from 1 110" peice if its 63" wide sil. or just slightly downsized for 60") the hood slit I made is 16" long. it starts 55" from the wide end (70" wide total, the pack cover part) and leaves 39" of length to the narrow (56") end. The hood I made to 17" long to allowance for seams and just made it really tall(18" or so, i dont remember exactly), it was based off a 2 peice hood from a cheap jacket and expanded a good deal. No cat cuts, hang loops, hiking pole grommets, or other features for things I don't use. the hood roll closure is 2 strings loops with a mitten hook attached to one of them on either side of the hood.

The poncho covers packs very well due to the width on the back but I think it shines even more as a shelter. It provides much better coverage than my 5x9 tarp due the the extra 10" on the wide end and the narrow end gives it a nice shape and close feeling.

I'm 6'1" as well with a 6'1" wingspan. i think most peoples arms are as long as they are tall. at the head hole of the poncho, the width is about 60" which leaves some uncovered arms sometimes. it wouldn't be too hard to add Brawny style finger holes if thats an issue for you. I think a tieout would work fine.
I know ron is backed up a lot right now, but I cannot say enough about his design as top notch rain gear and nearly unimprovable dimensions as a solo tarp shelter. if you can't make one yourself it would definitely be worth the $155 for his. I bet his poles would be cool too. The reason I think his poncho is worth the extra $80 or more over other ones is because it makes a shelter where you don't have to worry about the weather turning a little nasty and getting soaked, which is an important aspect of any shelter IMHO. On the other hand, i guess it takes some of the adventure out of using a poncho tarp, but that leaves more adventurousness to use on not carrying enough warm clothes to save weight!

hope you can get your hands on one however possible


todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Re: Re: From $10 of walmart silnylon! on 09/20/2007 11:17:05 MDT Print View

Thanks for the repsonse, David. I'm hiking the Foothills Trail in a week & 1/2, so this will be on my list for things to try once I get back!

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: From $10 of walmart silnylon! on 09/20/2007 11:56:23 MDT Print View

Really nice dave.

Question!!! Are the shoulder straps slippery because of the silnylon?

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
nice on 09/20/2007 12:34:46 MDT Print View

great work. i was hoping/planning on doing the same thing you did with the poncho/tarp and copying the MLD design since i liked it so much, but having no sewing experience i think im just going to buy it for now and hopefully make my own in the future. props to you for doing such an awesome job. keep us updated on how everything works out and maybe get some pictures of it in use if you can.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Re: From $10 of walmart silnylon! on 10/27/2007 17:37:25 MDT Print View

I finally got a good field test of the pack. I took a 2.5 day trip on the BMT and covered 62 miles or so. My overall pack weight was anywhere from 15lbs fully loaded to about 8-9 at the end with some food left over. The basepack weight was around 6lbs.

The shoulder straps were very comfortable and well padded. I had absolutley no problems with slip. The lack of abrasion seemed to make it even more comfortable. The shock cord held 1/2 a blue pad and a thinlite really well and provided a very comfy backpad and easy to reach sitpad. The low volume of the pack usually left 1/4 of a water bottle poking out the top, but it wasn't an issue. I am concerned with the durability of silnylon as a pack material though. I know people are making packs from lighter materials than that, but I don't see this packs fabric holding up to the abuses of careful SUL backpacking for more than 500-600 miles. Hopefully im wrong, but i doubt it.

I didn't get to test out the poncho in any conditions, although the shape of the shelter it made was awesome and plenty roomy. I do think it needs to be staked out on the sides in order to be taught though, which is a pain.

Edited by willspower3 on 10/27/2007 17:38:48 MDT.

Kyle Purcell
(dufus934) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Re: Re: From $10 of walmart silnylon! on 10/27/2007 22:36:35 MDT Print View

Did you make that pack also (I assume you did), and if so, could have you thought of posting the pattern or other instructions? That would be great. Thanks!

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Ridgeling Poncho Hood? on 11/14/2007 04:01:16 MST Print View

How did you do the hood of the poncho? I don't get how to get it in the ridge line and still cover all the raw edges. Did you have to use French seams? I am sitting here trying to wrap my head around it, help me understand.


David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Ridgeling Poncho Hood? on 11/14/2007 14:00:02 MST Print View

french seams work. to do them, i think you should turn the hood inside out with it coming through the hole the wrong way, sew the edges on the outer facing side, trim, turn the hood back the right way, and finish the french seam.

I too racked my head with it for a while and didn't consider french seams until it was done. i have a section of raw edges that have been held next to a lighter to prevent fraying. I figure it doesn't need to be pretty for me.

Drew Davis
(drewnc2005) - F

Locale: Hillsborough, NC
Re: Ridgeline Poncho Hood? on 11/14/2007 14:35:47 MST Print View

Yeah - I've had a tough time trying to figure out how to do the ridgeline thing, too. Maybe some pictures of actually sewing it together or a finished product would help. If I figure it out, then I'll post some pictures. Don't expect them until mid-December; I'm in law school and finals are coming up.