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  1. #1
    Section Hiker - 339.8 miles - I'm gettin' there! papa john's Avatar
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    Default The "No-Sew Stuff Sack"

    These instructions will tell you how to make a very nice, lightweight and strong stuff sack without so much as a needle and thread! The stuff sack measures about 6 inches square and about 10 1/2" tall.

    Materials needed:

    6 Priority Mail Envelopes
    36" of drawsting cord
    1 cordlock

    NOTE: Priority Mail Envelopes are the property of the USPS and as such are not to be used for non-Priority Mail uses.

    Step one. Put on your most non-descript clothing, hat and sunglasses and head on over to your local Post Office. Better yet, go to one across town where maybe they might not recognize you. Park outside and casually walk in the front door, pause a moment to scan the lobby. Somewhere in there will be a table or a rack with the Priority Mail shipping supplies. Saunter over to the display and pick up 6 of the envelopes. Pause, look at your watch and then head quietly for the door. Do NOT look the Postal Workers in the eye. Do NOT show fear. They can sense fear and uncertainty and will pounce on you so fast you'd think "Why can't they deliver the mail this fast?" Once outside in the fresh air you can head back to your home.

    Step two. Designate one of the envelopes as the actual stuffsack. The others are donor envelopes and their purpose is to donate the adhesive strips. NOTE: There is a bonus project that can be made with the remnants of the donor envelopes. Take the envelope that you have chosen and cut off the end with the adhesive strip squaring off the top of the envelope. Save the adhesive strip.

    Step three. Take the remaining envelopes and cut the adhesive strips off of them. Put the remaining pieces of the envelopes aside for later.

    Step four. Back to the designated envelope. With the envelope printed side out insert your hand into the envelope and start to spread the corner apart so that a triangle starts to appear. Maneuver the factory fold so the the edge fold matches up with the bottom fold. Use a ruler and measure across 5 3/4 " and then make a sharp crease ensuring that the point lines up exactly with the bottom fold. This will ensure a perfectly square bag.

    Step five. Repeat Step four for the other side of the bag. Once this is done you should start to see the way the bag will form up.

    Step six. Take 2 of the adhesive strips and trim off the excess Tyvek material so that all you have remaining is the adhesive. Be sure to leave the release paper on.

    Step seven. Cut the adhesive strip into 3 pieces each about 3 1/2" long. You will need four of these strips.

    Step eight. Fold each strip in half lengthwise with the adhesive on the outside of the fold.

    Step nine. Take one of the strips and place it under the triangular points of the bottom of the bag with the folded edge of the strip facing out. (You will need to remove the release paper at this point) Not that the adhesive is very sticky and you won't have too many chances with it. Make sure that the adhesive is not sticking out, you can actually set it back from the edge about 1/8".

    Step ten. Repeat Step nine 3 more times until you have the bottom of the bag sealed.

    Step eleven. Take the remaining adhesive strips and trim them like you did in step six. Fold them in half lengthwise.

    Step twelve. Along the upper edge of the bag, fold over to the outside 3/4" to form the pocket for the drawstring. Crease sharply.

    Step thirteen. Unfold the top of the bag and using the strips you made in step eleven place them along the upper edge of the bag with the fold of the adhesive strip to the edge of the bag. Do this all the way around the bag. Remove only enough release paper to adhere the strip to the bag.

    Step fourteen. Refold the top of the bag along your 3/4" crease. Now the remaining release paper will be inside the fold. Carefully remove the release paper making sure that your fold is flat.

    Step fifteen. You should now have a stuff sack that is completely formed but is inside out. Turn the bag so that it is right-side out. The printed side will now be on the inside.

    Step sixteen. Cut 2 more adhesive strips to fit into the pockets at the bottom of the bag. This will seal the bottom of the bag and make it that much stronger.

    Step seventeen. Cut a 1/4" slit in the top of the bag for the drawstring. Fish the drawstring through the pocket until the end of the string comes out the same hole as you started. You can use a stiff but flexible wire for this step. Be sure to leave enough length. I make mine about 36" long. I use a stiff string like 1/8" Spectra and a mini cord lock.

    All done. This seems like a lot of steps, but once you have made one, you can do another one in about 5 minutes. This could even be done on the trail if you have a need for a stuff sack. To make the stuff sack softer, roll it up lengthwise and start to twist the bag one way then the next. Repeat this several times. Flatten it out and roll it up the opposite direction. Repeat the twisting motions a few times. This will limber it up nicely and it won't have that stiff feeling to it.

    Bonus project: Take the remaining envelopes, cut the bottoms off and also cut them along the seam making it into a flat piece of tyvek. Tape the pieces together and you will end up with a 27" X 66" groundcloth.
    Papa John


  2. #2
    tideblazer
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    Talking

    LOL!!!! Thank you! What a great idea -I can already see the utlilty during Journey. Me gusta mucho!!!!!


    awesome.....
    www.ridge2reef.org -Organic Tropical Farm, Farm Stays, Group Retreats.... Trail life in the Caribbean

  3. #3
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Default

    Why, shame on you!

    That being said...now we need photos in the gallery.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

  4. #4
    Section Hiker - 339.8 miles - I'm gettin' there! papa john's Avatar
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    Default

    I will try to get some taken today.

    BTW, you can buy Tyvek envelopes at any office supply store if you don't want to use the ones from USPS.
    Papa John


  5. #5
    Geezer
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    Default

    If you are going to steal - err, misapppropriate - other people's property for your gear, why end up with half-a$$ed gear. Go to REI and shoplift some real stuff sacks, or hang around a shelter and when a hiker goes to the privy, steal one of his.

    The ethics are the same in all these cases, but with the second one you end up with quality stuffsacks, and with the third method although you get a used stuffsack, you might get some good gear inside the stuffsack you stole.
    Frosty

  6. #6
    Section Hiker - 339.8 miles - I'm gettin' there! papa john's Avatar
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    Default

    OK Frosty whatever. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. Simply hit the Back button and go to another thread. I stated that there are other sources for the Tyvek envelopes.

    Here are some pictures:

    https://whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...cat/516/page/1
    Papa John


  7. #7

    Default

    You can legally use used ones, as for me, I get hundreds at work, I think they are even scent proof as my food gets left alone allot more now that I use them. I actually make my own 1 day food ration bags and seal them up good, Each weighs a little over a pound and I can just grab as many as I need.
    At the same time you stop a pile of garbage from heading to the dump.

  8. #8
    Section Hiker - 339.8 miles - I'm gettin' there! papa john's Avatar
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    Default

    Technically, there isn't a "law" against using them, it is just a USPS policy. They can't prosecute you for using the envelopes. The USPS won't show up on your doorstop. The rule is there to prevent people from ordering their PM supplies and use them for shipping stuff through other shipping carriers (UPS, Fedex, etc) or for other classes of USPS shipping like First Class. If you were to order 100 of them from their website and they found out that you were making sacks and selling them, they might come after you, but they would simply not send you any more.

    You can use the used ones as well and just use tape rather than the adhesive strips. The reason I used the adhesive is that it makes a lighter bag and is much stronger.
    Papa John


  9. #9

    Default Against the Law?

    I made some mittens out of a couple used US Postal service tyvek envelopes and mentioned it to my local Post Office guy, who had become familar with me due to my shipping lots of Packas through him, and he said it was illegal to use any US postal service materials in a non-postal manner. I don't know who is right here, but that's what I was told by a Post Office employee. He advised me not to use them, and not to make more.
    CT

  10. #10
    tideblazer
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    Default

    Just recycle the ones you've used.... or go buy some.... Better yet, after you make your stuff sack, MAIL IT!
    www.ridge2reef.org -Organic Tropical Farm, Farm Stays, Group Retreats.... Trail life in the Caribbean

  11. #11
    Livin' life in the drive thru! hikerjohnd's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by papa john
    They can't prosecute you for using the envelopes. The USPS won't show up on your doorstop.
    Out here they barely show up to deliver the mail! On a more serious note - we only have the paper priority envelopes. As I read your post, I kept waiting for a plastic bag to be adhered to the project to make it waterproof. I had no idea the PO was using tyvek for envelopes.

    So be it.
    --John

  12. #12
    Section Hiker - 339.8 miles - I'm gettin' there! papa john's Avatar
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    Default

    As far as I know they don't make any out of paper. They do have the cardboard flat-rate ones but those wouldn't work. They Tyvek won't be waterproof, but should shed casual water pretty well.
    Papa John


  13. #13
    Registered User MDSHiker's Avatar
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    Default

    Ha ha...great idea and good gear thread.

    Keep the ideas coming !

  14. #14
    Registered User CynJ's Avatar
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    Default

    Raid FedEx boxes!

    Bonus is they have a couple different sizes

    (and with the amount of $ I spend on FedEx for work - they can pony up a few envelopes!) lol
    ~CynJ

    "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  15. #15

    Default

    Okay.. I think I might be able to clear this up...
    "TECHNICALLY" it IS against the law (federal law I believe) to use any of the USPS materials for non-usps uses.

    I know this as my father was a letter carrier (for the old-schoolers he was the mail man) and my Grandfather was the post master of our fair city.
    I heard it over and over again about the uses of the USPS material.

    Also, once you erect a mail box in your front yard -even if you bought it at Home Depot, wally world or where ever, that mailbox then becomes property of the USPS. AND you must place it within certain specified locations with the height being and the opening of the box is where the carrier can reach it.

    Those little almost-clear mail baskets you see in many offices.... don't touch them!

    So yes it is against the law but to my knowledge I dont think there is a section in the USPS for tracking, setting up sting operations, and arresting anyone for using the USPS priority mail pouches for any use other than the intended use.

    so GO FOR IT!

    I know I will be heading over to my local non-usps mail box store that has UPS, Fedex, USPS, and PO boxes to see if he has any prioroty mail pouches. I use them for my regular FedEx drop when I mail CDs out to my clients so I think he has some and I can almost guarantee he wont ask any questions as he is from INDIA and hardley speaks the language.

    Woooooo Whoooooooo..... this is my next project. Thanks sooooooooooooo much for the tip.

  16. #16

    Default

    Rather that steal fresh ones, just dig used ones out of the trash. And rather than wasting an envelop just for the glue, have you tried using an iron to fuse the pieces together?
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Convert2010 View Post
    Also, once you erect a mail box in your front yard -even if you bought it at Home Depot, wally world or where ever, that mailbox then becomes property of the USPS.
    Sorry to get off topic, but after having replaced a few of my own, I disagree:

    http://pe.usps.com/archive/html/dmmarchive1209/D041.htm

    From a 1975 Time article:

    Though a man's home may be his castle and though he must buy and maintain his mailbox, its interior space essentially belongs to Uncle Sam.
    "A mailbox remains the private property of the individual," says Postal Service Lawyer Jack T. DiLorenzo. "But we do have some control."


    Now back to your regularly scheduled topic.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Convert2010
    Also, once you erect a mail box in your front yard -even if you bought it at Home Depot, wally world or where ever, that mailbox then becomes property of the USPS.
    Quote Originally Posted by sherrill View Post
    Sorry to get off topic, but after having replaced a few of my own, I disagree:

    http://pe.usps.com/archive/html/dmmarchive1209/D041.htm

    From a 1975 Time article:

    Though a man's home may be his castle and though he must buy and maintain his mailbox, its interior space essentially belongs to Uncle Sam.
    "A mailbox remains the private property of the individual," says Postal Service Lawyer Jack T. DiLorenzo. "But we do have some control."


    Now back to your regularly scheduled topic.
    I very much like myth busters. Keep up the good work. Help keep us from confusing each other.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sherrill View Post
    Sorry to get off topic, but after having replaced a few of my own, I disagree:

    http://pe.usps.com/archive/html/dmmarchive1209/D041.htm

    From a 1975 Time article:

    Though a man's home may be his castle and though he must buy and maintain his mailbox, its interior space essentially belongs to Uncle Sam.
    "A mailbox remains the private property of the individual," says Postal Service Lawyer Jack T. DiLorenzo. "But we do have some control."


    Now back to your regularly scheduled topic.

    I think your link proved my point. notice all the stipulations?
    And yes YOU can replace them, if they get too damaged, depending on your letter carrier, the carrier can refuse to deliver your mail if the box does not meet the standards pointed out in your link and force you to replace the box. But once you replace it, it then belongs to the usps.

    If vandals destroy the mail box, it is your responsibility to replace it, but the vandals will face federal prosecution -not local... well maybe both. (Im no lawyer just experienced with the ruls of the PO) It is a federal crime to tamper with the us mail. That mailbox, that you are responsible, for falls into the same category.

    Either way, we are way off topic.
    I did not get a chance to go to the PO and get the bags, but while I am there, I will ask them about the mailbox situation.

  20. #20
    Registered User snaplok's Avatar
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    Well it looks like USPS heard about people using their envelopes for something other than, God forbid, mailings. They printed the inside of the tyvek envelopes with "Thank you for using Priority Mail Service" and "Priority Mail postage required" . Gee after I ended up getting a bunch of them.
    The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk. ~Jacqueline Schiff

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