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  1. #1
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    Default DIY backpack thoughts?

    I have an Osprey Exos 58 Large that Iím very happy with. Iím 6í3Ē and 205 lbs at 69 years of age.

    Iím wondering about DIYing a lighter smaller pack, somewhere between 40Ė50 litres.

    Iím heading to Southern England for this coming month of May, ambling along three Ďpilgrimagesí. Iíll spend a week or so along the Old Way Pilgrimage, leaving Canterbury and walking down to the south coast and partway along that. Iím concocting an ecological pilgrimage to Charles Darwinís home, to Gilbert Whiteís Selborne, and to Knepp Castle, a remarkable example of modern yet old-style re-wilding and biodiversity restoration. Then Iím doing a week on the South West Coast Path through the Exmoor and north Devon portion in which I used to teach. Overall, Iím looking forward to understanding a much older human-modified landscape than my Ontario, Canada lands.

    Though I love my Hennessy hammock, Iím wondering about trimming down to a tarp, a mat, and a quilt. Since all of the three routes are through populated areas, Iím not going to have to carry more than a couple of days of food, and very little water.

    I could happily continue with my Exos 58. But Iím itching to try something lighter and smaller, to travel simply and lightly.

    I have seen my own hammock underquilt. I have excellent tutelage from my wife and one of my daughters.

    Thoughts? Patterns? Resources?


    Traillium
    Ontario, Canada

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traillium View Post
    I have an Osprey Exos 58 Large that I’m very happy with. I’m 6’3” and 205 lbs at 69 years of age.

    I’m wondering about DIYing a lighter smaller pack, somewhere between 40–50 litres.

    I’m heading to Southern England for this coming month of May, ambling along three ‘pilgrimages’. I’ll spend a week or so along the Old Way Pilgrimage, leaving Canterbury and walking down to the south coast and partway along that. I’m concocting an ecological pilgrimage to Charles Darwin’s home, to Gilbert White’s Selborne, and to Knepp Castle, a remarkable example of modern yet old-style re-wilding and biodiversity restoration. Then I’m doing a week on the South West Coast Path through the Exmoor and north Devon portion in which I used to teach. Overall, I’m looking forward to understanding a much older human-modified landscape than my Ontario, Canada lands.

    Though I love my Hennessy hammock, I’m wondering about trimming down to a tarp, a mat, and a quilt. Since all of the three routes are through populated areas, I’m not going to have to carry more than a couple of days of food, and very little water.

    I could happily continue with my Exos 58. But I’m itching to try something lighter and smaller, to travel simply and lightly.

    I have seen my own hammock underquilt. I have excellent tutelage from my wife and one of my daughters.

    Thoughts? Patterns? Resources?


    Traillium
    Ontario, Canada
    wonderful community focused on making your own gear

    https://www.reddit.com/r/myog/


    great instructions on how to sew and a good kit - a good place to learn the basics of making a pack
    http://www.rayjardine.com/ray-way/Ba...-Kit/index.htm

  3. #3

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    I have friends who have done hikes in the UK and they have all been inn to inn hikes. I don't think there is much in the way of camping like trails in the US.

    So, they simply carried a change of clothes, rain gear and some snacks in a day pack.

    You might consider getting a day pack to strip for parts like the shoulder straps and waist belt, which would be a little hard to duplicate. Or just use it as is and save all the trouble and extra expense of material.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by D2maine View Post
    wonderful community focused on making your own gear

    https://www.reddit.com/r/myog/


    great instructions on how to sew and a good kit - a good place to learn the basics of making a pack
    http://www.rayjardine.com/ray-way/Ba...-Kit/index.htm
    Two good links ó thanks!


    Traillium
    Ontario, Canada

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I don't think there is much in the way of camping like trails in the US.
    I think youíre basically correct. But Ö

    Sources (outside of WB) indicate that simply asking landowners along the way to pitch camp often works. Or that late-to-pitchóearly-to-rise also works ó a variant on Ďstealth campingí.

    Along the Old Way Pilgrimage, there is the strong hope to be able to camp in churchyards or actually sleep in churches.

    The option to pay for luggage transport exists along some of the popular trails. Iím not interested, in that itís costly, as well as it is quite expensive to use B&Bs.

    So Iím back to lightening my kit to ultralight ó and therefore considering seeing my own simple pack.


    Traillium
    Ontario, Canada

  6. #6

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    Well, good luck. I'd go with some kind of low profile, camo bivy system and only in good weather. Otherwise it's off to the nearest pub and B+B. I wouldn't skimp too much on the pack. Downsize to the Osprey 48 or similar. Your pack is also going to be luggage so has to be able to take some beating.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  7. #7
    I plan, therefore I am Strategic's Avatar
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    Making your own backpack with a suspension/internal support like what you have with the Exos 58 will be a tall order, and I say that as someone who makes a lot of his own gear and has pretty good skills as a stitcher. You might want to look at some of the ultralight options for packs that fall in the range you're looking for but still have good suspensions. I'm very fond of the ULA packs, and there are a couple that fall within the size range you're looking at. The CDT is a good choice though at the larger end (54L) of the range you're looking for and comes in at only 24oz, or about 17oz lighter than the Exos. It still has a full suspension system and a lot of nice features.
    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Well, good luck. I'd go with some kind of low profile, camo bivy system and only in good weather. Otherwise it's off to the nearest pub and B+B.
    My wifeís advice ó pub and B&B!


    Traillium
    Ontario, Canada

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strategic View Post
    Making your own backpack with a suspension/internal support like what you have with the Exos 58 will be a tall order, and I say that as someone who makes a lot of his own gear and has pretty good skills as a stitcher. You might want to look at some of the ultralight options for packs that fall in the range you're looking for but still have good suspensions. I'm very fond of the ULA packs, and there are a couple that fall within the size range you're looking at. The CDT is a good choice though at the larger end (54L) of the range you're looking for and comes in at only 24oz, or about 17oz lighter than the Exos. It still has a full suspension system and a lot of nice features.
    Any thoughts on going with a simpler frameless pack and an ultralight kit? Patterns for sewing such a pack? For instance a Ray Way pack?


    Traillium
    Ontario, Canada

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traillium View Post
    Any thoughts on going with a simpler frameless pack and an ultralight kit? Patterns for sewing such a pack? For instance a Ray Way pack?


    Traillium
    Ontario, Canada

    Ray way packs are great. Check out Pa'Lante Packs. They are coming out with a pattern and and instructional videos for the original pa'lante simple pack really soon.

    I think a hike where you aren't sleeping outdoors and such is a great opportunity to go SUL. If I ever hike a camino, I'm making it a point to have a super small, super light kit.

    The Pa'lante V1 Simple Pack is one of the most copied designs out there right now for DIY'rs.

    Idk if you use instagram but Cruise_Makes_Packs is a great dude and always open to discussing his methods of making a pack. He makes simple packs.

    The most important thing is to make a pack out of cheap materials... you're going to mess it up... then make one out of better materials. The materials for a pack are actually pretty cheap. But there's alot of extras and shipping can hurt.

    Seattle Fabrics, Quest Outfitters, Ripstopbytheroll are some of the go to's for pack materials.

    I would email Pa'Lante and tell them to get on their simple pack pattern! I've been waiting forever lol. Should be out real soon.

    2.92 hybrid cuben fiber, and dyneema x is an incredible pack material combination and it's easy to work with.

    The thing is.. when you step down to a pack like this. It's imperative to go ultralight everywhere else. There's no cutting corners. To make the volume and comfort work you need to become a gram weenie. It's not a bad thing. But there's very little leeway when it comes to extra ounces here and there.

    I would shoot for a 8lb baseweight. Total pack weight under 15lbs.

    If you don't plan on camping and plan on sleeping indoors then I would really dive into ultralight and like you said push your boundaries a bit. I'm always open for discussion but truth be told i don't know anything about your hike parameters. I do have some pretty good knowledge on the ultralight gear scene. So I'm here if you want to lighten your load. It's more about skill sets than gear.

    Consider your sleeping mat too. Frameless and CCF work really well together. However, lots of people can only make a CCF pad comfortable by cherry picking campspots. If you're going to be sleeping in churches and the like, then a CCF pad might not work too well. Sleeping on a CCF pad on concrete is like... sleeping on concrete. Might be time to invest in a nice ultralight inflatable.

    You are about to go down a rabbit hole... there's plenty of us down here with our tiny little AAA flashlights. Here's a gear list to study. Cam Honan hiked 18,000 miles straight thru a bunch of different environments including a calender year triple with this ultralight load.

    https://www.thehikinglife.com/2017/0...ear-list-2017/

    This is Lints gear list... a 3x triple crowner. https://www.linthikes.com/gear-list/

    The owner of Pa'lante packs used this on his Colorado Trail FKT. https://johnzahorian.com/colorado-trail/ - John is a super minimalist hiker. Spartan

    Granted... all of them have advanced ultralight skill sets. But it's good to get a perspective on what some of the most experienced ultralight hikers carry.

    Are you looking to overhaul your complete kit? If not, then it might not be best to jump into a tiny frameless bag. However, ultralight doesn't have to cost and arm and a leg. Most of it is just thinking differently. It's imperative to study your hike and dial in your pack for expected conditions.
    Last edited by fastfoxengineering; 01-06-2020 at 02:06.

  11. #11

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    Haven't got much advice in the way of backpacks but as far as camping, I do live in the UK now (was in Wyoming). We do "wild camp" in England but it is technically illegal as all land is privately owned. Same for Wales. Scotland is legal anywhere although small farm fields with livestock and someone's garden is obviously not advised.

    The advise is always to set up late and leave early when wild camping in England. The chance of encountering the farmer or land-owner when you need to ask is pretty small, and many will tell you "no". The best areas are what are called "open access" areas and wooded area. Avoid anything agricultural if you can. Pick up the OS maps of the areas you are hiking through, or buy a subscription for the month for the digital version.

    You can probably get by with a tarp and a bivy but it does rain quite a lot here, so bear that in mind. May, however, is generally fairly dry. A tarp is a better bet than a hammock as it is more stealthy and less likely to attract attention...camo is a good way to go. I would never own a camo tent in the US but decided it was a good idea here. If not camo, dark green, brown or dark grey are best.

    If you want to know more, please PM me...or head on over to trek-lite.com which is sort of the UK version of WB and backpackinglight.com

  12. #12
    I plan, therefore I am Strategic's Avatar
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    That's certainly an option, but you'll find carrying a pack like that very different from the Exos. Packs like the Ray Way designs have very little in the way of support or structure and will force you to pare your gear down to the extremes of ultralight if you want to be comfortable. I have a pretty lightweight gear list (13.6lb base weight) but use a ULA Circuit so that I have plenty of support from my pack and can carry a lot of food/water when needed. You probably won't need that food/water capacity doing your England hike (and thus the desire for a smaller pack), but the comfort is still a question for older folks like us. I just find the barebones frameless packs too uncomfortable for carrying for any length of time. Your mileage may vary, of course.
    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

  13. #13
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    Last week I was at Micro Center in Marietta GA and noticed this lumbar support that they had on sale for the measly sum of TWO DOLLARS (cue the paperboy from Better Off Dead):

    Inland Lumbar.jpg

    Anyway, the trampoline mesh reminded me a bit of the back suspension on Osprey packs. It is just under 5 ounces. Sure, the shape is a bit different but maybe someone decent at DIY could turn a frameless UL pack into one that gets ventilation to your back.

  14. #14

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    Oh, and if you don't go the DIY route, the Osprey Talon 33 would be a good, smaller option. I use mine mostly for day hikes but could see it being usable for 2-3 nights backpacking in late spring/ summer where food is available along the way.

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