- Jul 28, 2017 at 6:21 am #3481508JCHBPL Member
Show us your best backpack mods!
There are a lot of great backpacks out there, but there are always things that can be improved. BPL has to represent the most extensive aggregation of backpacking experience and expertise around. It would great to see some of that DIY wisdom pulled together into very focused threads. Let’s start with the backpack, shall we?
What backpack? What was bugging you? How did you address it? And don’t forget the pictures :)Jul 28, 2017 at 9:51 am #3481552
Sorry, I tried to upload a couple pics, but they literally took about a half hour each…gave up on pics.
Anyway, I don’t think of my pack as strictly a “pack.” It is a camping/hiking SYSTEM.
For example, The stays found in some backpacks don’t do anything except transfer loads during hiking (and maintain a packs overall shape/structure.) I replace those with two aluminum tubes with a carbon coupler. When I remove and join them, they make a good 36″ pole for the back of my tarp. The front is my 45″ hiking staff.
Another example: The sleeping pad replaces the normal sitlite pad in my packs. I have a couple made up in 3 and 5 layer. Without the stays, they easily support 20 and 30 pounds. (‘Corse, this also voids any warranty from Gossamer Gear being 10 pounds over their recommended max…) It also doubles as a sleeping pad. Each 1/3 point on the pad is supported to prevent any buckling/loss of support. It also adds good padding for my back.
My dry compression bag used for my sleeping gear (bag, jacket, long johns and sleeping socks) doubles as my pillow. My empty back pack is rolled up and put inside it after turning it inside out to make a pillow. (My hiking cloths are usually rinsed out and hanging to dry if it isn’t raining.)
Excess strapping (after determining my maximum size/length needed and adding on 2″) is cut and burned. Danglers have a way of snagging on scrub and crap on the trail.
Plastic is heavy. Once you determine your size, I cut off various D rings, remove zipper pulls (replace with a cord knoted at each end, then cut and burned.) Pole keepers are removed along with ice axe holders. Daisy chains are removed (I don’t ever use them.) Hip belts are made up and stitched to the pack, usually removing any hip-pocket straps and anything more than 1″. I wear a belt all the time, I don’t need padding for <30 pounds. Stitching is lighter than lock buckles, loops, “Siamese” clips, etc.
The torso strap is removed and a doubled (stitched together) piece of elastic is used along with a small clip. It is simply doubled around the shoulder strap mounts as I stitch it together. It slides easily and stretches with my breathing. Much lighter than a factory arrangement.
Any compression loops, cords, etc, is simply cut off. Never needed them.
I can usually scrape about 2.0-2.5oz off a pack with better functioning/faster adjustments overall. The removal of all the buckles/D-rings, and other plastic pieces makes it a more comfortable pillow at night, too. But it helps to turn the pack inside out.
For those items that CANNOT be dual-purposed, I get the lightest/smallest item available. For example, my stove is just a stove, so I have a 3oz Caffin winter stove. I need at least a spoon, soo, I bring along a ti spoon. My pot is only a pot. So, a 3.25oz 1qt grease pot works. My Steripen is only for drinking water at 3.5oz, total…no tubes, no sore cheeks from sucking, no problems with cold weather (I put it in my pocket,) no setting up a gravity filter or backflushing every use…Jul 28, 2017 at 10:25 am #3481559Eric BlancheBPL Member
@eblancheLocale: Northeast US
James, can you elaborate with pictures your sternum strap system with doubled over elastic? I have been trying to source specific duraflex flat webbing pieces for sternum strap but having a tough time. Very interested in this setup!Jul 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm #3481574JCHBPL Member
James, can you elaborate with pictures your sternum strap system with doubled over elastic?
Yes, please. I hate every sternum strap on every pack I have ever owned. I see the value, and would *like* to use one, but they are always so uncomfortable and irritating. Your solution sounds interesting.
Re: Your system…It sounds incredibly dialed in.
Jul 28, 2017 at 4:08 pm #3481603Greg MihalikBPL Member
- Have you been using it long?
- How long did it take for you to arrive at it’s current configuration?
Regarding pictures – just in case you didn’t remember: Pics need to be small. Create a Copy, use any basic Image app, and resize to 72 dpi, about 6″x6″, it will be under 100k, and fine for the net.
[edit: yes most forums resize, but this is BPL, where L means Light on features.]Jul 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm #3481607
OK. I gave up on pics. Here is a diagram:
Note that this is using standard 1/2″ black elastic. It is first folded in half, then stitched at the fold. Then this is slipped over the shoulder mount, pulled and manipulated to create the second stitch on the other side. Then the 1/2″ elastic is stiched on either side as close as possible to the edge (depends on your machine/foot.) One end is looped over the clip and stitched closed, trimming any excess. The other side is the same, except it simply threads through the buckle like a regular strap. VERY light duty. Just enough tension to hold the shoulder straps in place. I also wear this VERY high, just across the base of my clavicle, not high enough to put pressure on my throat.
Edited to add:
I have been using this over ten years. Similar prototypes were used about 10 years preceding this one. I get the stuff at the local JoAnns or sewing supply shop. You need 1.5-2 yards of 1/2″ black, flat elastic (heavy duty if they have it.) And you need a 1/2″ side lock buckle. 3/8″ stuff is too light. It will save around a 3/8-1/2oz and works MUCH better.
Also, I have been using a simple GG pack for over ten years. It just seemed to have the most dual purpose capability of all the packs out there. The MiniPosa also weighs 15oz stock. After stripping it down, then with about 4-5 repairs, it weighs about 17oz, these days. Still has the old “Y” strap configuration.Jul 28, 2017 at 4:31 pm #3481610
Greg, Yes, I have done these in the past, but the new computer is a real pain. Windows 10 would not accept Paint Shop Pro anymore. Converting images is a real pain in the but, now. Last time I tried to download a converter, my machine squealed. Yup, a virus. I just haven’t got around to finding one, yet.
Anyway, I’ll be gone for a couple weeks. Have fun, guys!Jul 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm #3481630Franco DarioliBPL Member
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
Resizing images on Windows 10
Select the photos you want to resize, right click.
Click the Edit tab in that list , Paint will open , click Resize. (below View)
Mind you , I don’t know if Paint can handle your file format.Jul 28, 2017 at 9:35 pm #3481649Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Great idea, JCH. Will contribute when there is time. Thanks.
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