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It's been a DIY kinda weekend...


Stick
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Being on call means I just have to sit around and wait to get called in...or waste the day waiting to get called in and not getting called in...

But recently, the DIY bug has taken hold. I ordered some supplies as well as made some stuff with items I already had...

The biggest project was a DIY quilt using 2.5 oz/sqyd Climashield Apex and 8D from Ti Goat. This did not turn out anything like I had hoped, and luckily quit before making it too bad...now it is in the hands of a much more experienced quilt-making guru...Tim Marshall... more on this later...

Next, I decided to make a windscreen out of some 0.005 thick titanium foil that I also got from Ti Goat. This windscreen replaced a DIY aluminum windscreen that I used with my Cook Kit which ruled them all...

The new ti windscreen weighs in at 0.8 oz and even though the older aluminum one weighed in at 0.6 oz, the new one still saves me weight... The new one uses 2 of my ti tent stakes (which I already carry) to create a pot stand as well, so I can now leave behind my 0.4 oz DIY hardware cloth pot stand...so I saved 0.2 oz!

Then, this morning I decided to finally get around to trying to lighten up that head band that came with my beloved ZebraLight H51 head lamp... to do this I used some elastic that I have had here at the house for a while... And I gotta say, it worked out pretty well, as long as the DIY headband holds up. Anyway, the original head band weighs in at a whopping 0.9 oz. The new one...0.2 oz... So, with the ZebraLight and the DIY Headband, with a battery, the total weight is now 2 oz even!

Next, I decided to use some of the scrap 8D material to make a true "UL" pillow holder. I hate it when my pillow squirts out from under me when I am trying to sleep. I made some of the DIY pillow holders that Wallace Hunter made back before his AT hike last year, but even as great as they are, I found them to be to heavy (what can I say, the "UL" bug has gotten a hold of me). For a while now I have been happy with simply using an extra shirt to slip over my pad as if I were dressing it and then sliding my pillow in between the pad and the shirt. However, in the summer, I will not have that extra shirt...so I needed to do something else...

What I did was simply cut a piece of 8D just a little larger than my pillow. Next, I added grossgrain loops at the corners. Then I cut some chock cord and added mitten hooks to one end. The shock cords will stretch from top to bottom corner on opposite sides rather than side to side. This should allow a bit of vertical as well as horizontal pressure... although, I am still playing around with this whole idea so I will see. For now, the prototype without the cord weighs 0.2 oz and with the cord, 0.5 oz. So, obviously this is a bit heavier than I would like...

Last, but not least I decided to make a stuff sack from some more of the 8D. This stuff sack will be for the quilt I talked about at the beginning of this post... It is a simple envelope-designed stuff sack and weighs in at 0.2 oz as well...

Anyway, I have got to learn to use my sewing machine a little better though. I have had it for a while now and have accomplished small things such as the 2 smaller projects above, but those are basic stuff...I want to learn how to handle the materials and such better to make my own quilts, or what not. I have made an underquilt in the past that turned out ok, but for some reason, this quilt just did not work out at all... maybe it was because the material was so wispy... I dunno...

Anyway, this is what I have been doing this Memorial Day weekend...

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Edited by Stick
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Quilt, under quilt. Pray tell, people bring quilts backpacking? Showing my ignorance here. Nice work on your DIY projects, though. Do you find you have more finess on the sewing machine foot pedal while barefoot?

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Aaron Zagrodnick

I hadn't thought about making my Zebralight strap lighter... But I am now. :D The pillow holder looks great as well, I think that idea really works well with the Neoair and its horizontal baffles to help hold things in place.

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Toller Mom,

Yep, quilts! I love them myself, but they are not for everyone for sure. If you would like to see how you would like on, just simply unzip your sleeping bag, put your feet in the foot box (as normal) and then drape the edges around you instead of zipping it up. If it gets colder, with a quilt one simply tucks the edges around them to block out the drafts/cold from sneaking in. There are loops on the edges of a quilt that one can run a cord through to cinch the edges closer together and to keep them from coming out form under you.

The idea behind a quilt is that the insulation in the back/bottom of a sleeping bag is actually useless. As soon as you lay back on all the puffy, downy, goodness... well it get's compressed and then becomes worthless... It will not provide a bit of insulation nor will it provide any comfort. It may as well not be there...

With a quilt, it is not there. A quilt is cut narrower than a sleeping bag since it does not need the extra back side. Also, a quilt loses the zipper because it does not zip together. So, due to these loses, a quilt is (typically) lighter weight, and packs down smaller than a bag. Plus, IMO, I can move around more freely under a quilt than in the confinements of a bag. (Although, I do still use a sleeping bag too...)

However, when getting a quilt, one really needs to figure out which size to get, particularly in width. I have a Hammock Gear 50 F top quilt with a 49" width at the head end and while it would work great for me if I slept on my back all night and didn't toss and turn, this is not exactly the case. I usually move around some in my sleep and more importantly, I end up on my side (usually in something similar to the fetal position, just not to extreme). So, this quilt will still work with me if I am conscious of moving around, I decided I would like something a little wider. So, Tim is fixing me up now!

Also, with a quilt, one needs to carry a good boggin to keep their noggin warm! Quilts do not have hoods like bags do, which is another way a quilt saves more weight over a bag. And if it is cold, you should have a good boggin with you anyway, so now it is double duty! And of course, having multiuse items is a great way to save weight... :)

Anyway, here is a link to my HG top quilt. There are a few pictures of me lying in different ways under the quilt on my NeoAir. The pictures may explain it better than I have... :)

Hammock Gear 50 F Burrow Top Quilt

Aaron,

Man, I love my ZebraLight! Even though I know there are lighter options out there, I just love it. It is simple and just works very well. Anyway, I am curios to see how this DIY job holds up. As long as the elastic holds the material it should be fine, however, I also wonder how long the material will stay as elastic as it is. I wonder if it will lose some of that over time and become looser. I am also going to see if there is a way I can make the headband from my e+LITE work with it since I know it is a better quality headband than my DIY job, although it may be a hair heavier...

And yeah, I think the horizontal baffles will do a good job at helping to hold the pillow and stuff in place.

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Let me know how the headband works out - I'm currently using what may be considered the CR123A version of your light (The Zebralight H31W) which has really worked out well...I accidentally left the light under 3 feet of water overnight at one point (Long story) and it worked just great the next day (Once I found it :D) and ever since. They do have a newer light out using an 18650 battery that I've had my eye on however, the H600 / H600w. The light's high beam settings are much brighter and it offers longer burn times at equivalent light levels compared with the H51 and H31 ... And is rechargeable... I might have to break down and give it a shot.

Edited by Aaron
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Will do. I am planning on using it as long as it still looks like it is holding up on a 3 day hike next month. A buddy and I are planning do to the 72 miles of the AT through the Smokies in 3 days, so we are planning on being up and hiking by 5 each morning. So hopefully I will get some good hiking use with it as well as around camp...

And wow, under 3' of water overnight?! That is impressive. Considering it is just a headlamp, I have been pretty excited about my H51 since I got it! I must though because I know there are lighter options, but I want this one when I head out... :)

It seems like I remember getting an email or something about the new H600 lights...

Hey, how about that light I posted about over on Kickstarter? You see it yet?

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Toller Mom,

Yep, quilts! I love them myself.

:)

Anyway, here is a link to my HG top quilt. There are a few pictures of me lying in different ways under the quilt on my NeoAir. The pictures may explain it better than I have... :)

[url="http://sticksblog.com/hammockin/tqs-uqs/hammock-gear-50-f-burrow-custom-top-quilt/"]

.

Ah, now I get it! This would quite nice for a summer night.

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Ah, now I get it! This would quite nice for a summer night.

They are quite nice! :)

I am now waiting on 2 more to get to me! One will be rated to 50 F such as the HG quilt that I linked to above and the other rated to 35 F. I am looking forward to getting them both and can't wait to try them...

And despite my gram counting mindset, I wanted to go with synthetic this time. They are using Climashield Apex which is currently the most advanced synthetic insulation on the market.

Anyway, now I will have 4 "summer" quilts...maybe I should get rid of one...

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