Jul 22, 2010 at 9:42 am #1261468
Over the past couple years I've designed and constructed a daypack/summitpack, a backpack-style rope bag for my climbing rope, a ~6000 cu. in. load monster for remote mountaineering, and in the fairly near future I plan on making another pack aimed at lightweight backpacking (like a 1-1.5 lb 3500-4000 cu in size). Soon I will be working with a friend on designing a burly cragging pack too. I've been thinking about commercializing my patterns, with instructions aimed to help the user think through the process of making a pack rather than blindly following my design (but allowing that if the user chooses). They would probably be about as detailed as Peter Rabenold's Controlled Exposure patterns (or the Rainshed Alpine Rucksack, also by Peter). Is there interest out there for these patterns? It would be a significant investment of time and energy to write up the instructions, add pictures/figures, and scan my patterns, so I'm trying to get a sense of "the market". Anyone interested?Jul 23, 2010 at 4:05 am #1631644
James D BuchBPL Member
I'm interested in your comments on guidelines for "thinking your way through" patterns and their variations.
That sounds like a positive contribution. I'd be more than willing to invest in something that does that for me at an affordable price.
Have you seen some of the old books on DIY outdoor gear?Jul 23, 2010 at 7:05 am #1631663
I have seen some books – Louise Lindgren's "How to…" is where I got my start with sewing gear, and I've got Ray Jardine's Trail Life with its tarp, quilt, etc (which I have made too). I haven't seen most of the books listed on that site though…I see most of them are from the 70s and 80s…I'd be suspicious that their methods and designs might be a little outdated. Have you read any of them?
When I say "thinking your way through" the design…my goal would be to help the user think like a product engineer. More than which features to include or not, or what fabric to use, but along the lines of…how will I use this pack, and what does that mean in terms of what it should do or not do, and how can I achieve that by means of existing or as-yet-not-invented features?
I'd also like to convey clearly the process I went through in designing my particular pattern: i.e. this curved fabric edge must be the same length as this straight one for the thing to fit together. Hopefully that will make the modifications a user wants to make easier to do.Jul 24, 2010 at 4:50 am #1631934
James D BuchBPL Member
I have many of these old books. There is one by our fellow member Vic Hines.
You are right that the designs and materials in these old books are — well, old.
You can probably get some of them easily with interlibrary loan. I did that to determine which to try to buy, and got impatient and bought some sight unseen. If you have time, looking before buying is probably the best. There is no reason to acquire them all.Jul 27, 2010 at 11:12 am #1632655
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
I'll second the opinion that old design books are out of date. Mine sure is. Materials and philosophies have changed and there are few insights to be gleaned from anything since Beyond Backpacking.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Just do it. Trying a design idea with scrap material is a good way to find out if it will work. I hate to think of how many packs I have made – each one a little different and each one, I hope, a little better. Don't waste a lot of time daydreaming over a design. Do it 3D on paper to get the general idea, then get out the old sheets or $1table remnants and design right on the fabric with chalk, magic marker and scissors. Keep good notes and sketches as you go so when you make it up with good fabric, you can duplicate your successes and avoid your mistakes.
One thing to keep in mind. The major manufacturers are from 5 to 50 years (really 50 years – no kidding!) behind the design curve of the web forums and cottage manufacturers. So they are usually useless for cribbing design ideas.
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