Redone Whelen shelter set up!

I decided to try for an overnight trip out to Cascadia area in the Willamette National Forest….using my Modified Whelen setup using USGI Shelter Half parts….well. Weather took a turn for the cold and I was unable to maintain core temperatures so I had to give up the overnight part…Oh well! This set up uses 3 whole halves and two cut triangle ends from a fourth half..USGI poles and two steel poles, and 10 stakes. Took a long time to get the fire going…and I used two wool-blend blankets plus a 3/8 inch CCF foam pad underneath my modified USGI Intermediate Cold weather mummy bag….wearing wool socks, wool sweater, nylon pants and a cotton undershirt…as well as the USGI ECW parka inside the sleeping bag, I was still unable to stop the coldness from the ground.

The shelter has one half as a floor on top of an USGI poncho, while two halves are used on the top parts plus the triangle parts as panels in between the two halves.

Here are the photos of the camp set up!

DSCN2154Whelen style/Baker style set up. At first I thought I set it up way too close to the fire, but later in the evening it proved to not be the case.

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Another view of shelter set up

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Sleep area, showing the poles and the floor cloth used, along with the bags for storage of everything. I used my MYOG backpack to carry the complete shelter, and the black MSS bag to carry the wool blankets and the sleeping bag. The blue CCF pad went under the top flap.

DSCN2157Later, due to the smoke coming into the shelter, I took the awning off.

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Another view of the set up without awning

DSCN2159By this time, it was getting REAL cold, and I wasn’t sure if there was going to be some rain or snow, so I set up the awning again, but this time folded the ends over so that the wind will keep blowing the smoke out of the shelter, wind direction was mostly parallel to the shelter face.

For the next cold weather camp trip, I am going to attempt to make either an Ammo Can stove or a Popcorn Tin stove, and order polypropylene long johns for a base layer.

 

Costume finished!

Finished up my Mad Max Berserker Costume! DSCN1587

Mock up design first time around

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Close up of mock up

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Bubble helmet visor and USGI Sun Wind Dust goggles

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Alternative mock up with brown coat

 

DSCN2146Final design done; I went with different shoulder armor and the black Mosaic leather jacket, and changed belt kit layout.

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Shoulder armor; held to the leather jacket by 4 Line 24 steel snaps and an elastic strap around the biceps. The armor is basically a set of kids catcher knee/shin guards. Perfect sizing for shoulder/bicep armor..

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Detail of belt with wrenches attached.

DSCN2149Other side of belt, with old hunting bowie knife

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Berserker helmet with SCOTT face mask and USGI Sun-Wind-Dust goggles

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The face mask used to be a paintball mask; but is now attached to the red helmet using Line 24 steel snaps

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With goggles out of way, and with welders goggles on.

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helmet-less version, black scarf and vintage welders goggles.

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Armored riding boots; the armor pieces were from a catchers shin guard set..knee portions removed and the boots are simply USGI Leather Bellevue boots.

 

MYOG hiking backpack

Unable to afford or justify spending a lot of money on a backpack that has all the features I wanted; I decided to make my own pack bag to use with both my ALICE frame and Civilian Hiking frame; and  presumably is also compatible with MOLLE frames of both types; the MOLLE DEI 1603 (Standard MOLLE large frame) and MOLLE DEI 1609AC (MOLLE Medium frame now issued in USMC)… so I bought 2 yards of fabric, measured and cut patterns, and spent several hours sewing it all together… In hindsight, if I were to order a pack with these features, it would be over a 100 dollars… Oh well! the pack is a little over 55 Liters, and is pretty light…not as heavy as the ALICE pack, but not as light as the hiking backpack, mainly due to the webbing and plastic Fastex buckles..the Side Pouches are sewn like the ALICE pack pockets, basically tunneled so that I can slip long items in between the pouch and pack body. Features are;

Made of 430 Denier Nylon,

Overall size; 20″Wx22″Hx9″L

Main upper compartment 12″x9″x13″

Main lower compartment 12″x9″x9″

Upper side Pouch 9″x11″x4″

Lower side Pouch 5″x5″x3″

Attachment system; Ladder locks and 1″ webbing straps

Webbing for canteens (after finding out not enough room to sew water bottle pockets..whoops)

10 Fastex buckles, 8 frame attachment points

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Pack next to Coleman PEAK 1

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Quarter view of pack showing side pockets

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Webbing for LC canteen covers, can use for other LC pouches

DSCN2134Upper frame attachments

DSCN2135Bottom of pack

DSCN2136Drawstring panel on bottom of pack, I might make an U shaped panel with elastic on bottom to cover the drawstring panel and flap; not sure yet.

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Upper side pouch, it’s based on the MOLLE Sustainment pouch size, and uses two buckles instead of one for better securing; I do not use webbing keepers, since the straps can be used to compress pouches and hold things like folded up sweaters or tarps or poncho

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On the ALICE LC frame

DSCN2142Back view with LC frame, showing attachments

DSCN2139Bottom attachments on LC frame

DSCN2140Lower corner attachment on LC frame; it uses the round hole to attach, just like the standard ALICE pack

DSCN2141Top corner attachment to LC frame

In theory it probably would be more comfortable using either a Canadian pattern 82 suspension or MOLLE Hellcat suspension system…

 

Vintage pack suspension system update, and picked up a good tarp!

Decided I wanted to add a centering strap to my Academy Broadway’s modded suspension system so that it stays in one place instead of being quite floppy….its simply a 1.5″ wide nylon belt threaded through the center piece and attached to the two bars where the straps are attached to…wearing it, I do not notice it at all! With a 22 pound base load without water, it feels very comfortable…DSCN2105 Showing the centering strap

DSCN2101 How the pack sits on me, and how the straps goes down following my back to the mounting points on the lower bar, it also shows the load lifter as it should be used;

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Another view of the set up, but from the side. I realize the load lifters aren’t at the “magic 45 degree” angle, but it is comfortable and I do not feel overburdened.

I also picked up a 9×7 rubberized nylon tarp….it only has 8 grommets, and is thinner than my USGI poncho, but heavier than the silnylon tarp I have….it is in a shade very close to that of Coyote Tan, though according to an older backpacker, it was available at REI and other outfitters in the 80s as a lightweight alternative to the poly plastic tarps and canvas tarps at that time.

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Laid out flat

20140915_133806Showing the material on both top and bottom side

20140915_132316Set up over the 2-man bug tent and hiking poles (improvised from ski poles)

20140915_132306View from the front, the fabric sags pretty heavily in this set up…

20140915_132332From the side, it covers all of the bug screening, and there is plenty of room in between the front/back and the tarp, one could move it back a little and have a porch/awning to store gear under.

20140915_133410I think this is the better set up, no spots for water to pool under…I might modify the bug tent to have only two side pull outs instead of four…so that I can use the same stakes on the sides as the diamond with door pitch uses….

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Side view of the diamond with door pitch;

20140915_132407Center seam on the ridge; I think this is likely the reason for the sagging..not sure myself…

20140915_132414Hiking/Ski poles used to support the tarp. it is the perfect size to hold up through the grommets…I will be getting rubber feet or tip protectors for them so as not to scratch rocks when hiking/backpacking…

And here are the two packs packed up for 3-4 days with the significant other…… minus water.

 

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I am carrying a Full size air mattress plus wool blanket and canteens in the top, clothes in middle, sleeping bag in bottom, food in front large pocket, extra rope in one pocket, fire starting kit in small pocket, first aid kit in other pocket, with the last large pocket being available for miscellaneous things, while her red pack carries her sleeping bag, the bug tent and the tan tarp with stakes, food in side pockets with room for miscellaneous items, canteens in the main compartment with her clothes underneath the sleeping bag…weights are as follows, my big green one is 22 pounds without water, her red bag is 17 pounds without water…a difference of 5 pounds which could be attributed to the wool blanket and heavier clothes, since she is basically half my size.

Whelen style tent from USGI shelter halves

In memorial of the people whose lives were extinguished in NYC at World Trade Center..

After watching this video; I was inspired by the set up shown near the end of a lean to that is based on the Whelen Tent lean to, but using USGI Shelter Halves… so from this video;

[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2AnsFLEHMZ4[/url]

I modified one of my shelter halves, and because I loathe unfinished edges, I hemmed the cut edges on the end triangles, the rectangle awning is already hemmed, so I don’t need to worry about that. The twist from the video set up, is that I don’t have the USGI pole sections, but I have a bunch of metal tent poles from other shelters, and with the correct bottom pole sections, I was able to get the same lengths as the tent’s panels, so I am able to use 4 poles in A-frame format and not worry about knocking poles out from centers…The awning poles are hollow and went right on top of the stakes holding down the triangles, so they aren’t moving anywhere..for actual set ups, I will add the webbing pole pockets from my hammock spreader bar project, and tie them to the corner loops on the shelter halves so that the poles will stay put.

20140910_154758View of the set up;

20140910_154809Quarter view of the tent; showing the unobstructed space between the poles and the main living section. It is wide enough for a full size air mattress should one wish to put in there…it is excellent for setting up right next to a camp fire, as it is canvas and was treated with fire resisting materials, which is probably worn off…

20140910_154827The back view of the tent; it looks like a standard army tent, with an awning added to it.

20140910_154841Interior shot, showing the poles’ layout and the holes in the awning from wear and tear…I will probably patch them up.

Looking at the set up, I think I could get a complete tent system, and put an unmodified half where the awning is, and have the end triangles hang down vertically to where the poles meet at the bottom, and put the other unmodified half on the floor, and use the rectangle awning section as a door, to make for as complete a shelter as possible for two people.

 

 

 

Two Shelter set ups!

Acquired a pair of USGI Shelter Halves, no poles nor stakes, but that was OK with me, as I have poles and stakes to spare…..decided to set up the USGI shelter halves in a format similar to the Whelen Lean-To shelters, and decided to set up the 9×12 poly tarp in a pyramid format with two long poles….DSCN2090

the USGI Whelen lean to set up. If I acquire another shelter half fabric piece, I could cut the triangles off and use those to fill in the gaps on the above set up…and have the rectangle become a small floor piece..

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Another view of the shelter, from the side. it uses 10 stakes and 6 guy lines…a lot of lines indeed.

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Back view of shelter. it is room enough for two to lay in, so it would be a good campfire shelter..might be covered more with the addition of the two triangles if I find a 3rd shelter half.

And here is the 9×12 pyramid shelter set up; it is very spacious inside, and can comfortably sleep 3 persons…or two people and a weeks worth of gear.

DSCN2088Two long poles in a bipod/scissors form, 4 stakes total and entrance could be covered by an USGI poncho tied to the two stakes and the peak. The format is simply that it is suspended at the center of the 12 ft side, so there is 6 feet between the center and the door corner stakes, and it is a little less than 9 feet from door stake to the corner stakes…as that is the 9 ft side..with that much space, one could put two cots, or an air mattress.. and still have plenty of room.

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view from the side, one could in theory put a tie out using a pebble in the middle of the long triangle panel, and pull it out to provide more room if needed.

 

 

 

Customized shoulder straps for the Jasper external frame pack!

While out thrift shop hunting, I found a ratty old Camp Trails backpack; they wanted too much for it in my opinion…but I liked how they set up the suspension; it was a 6 point system in which there were load lifter straps connected to where the cheaper packs shoulder straps were, and the back of the shoulder padding had straps running down to the next lower bar on the frame; plus the two usual connection points near the bottom of the frame; so I was inspired by this system and decided to resurrect a pair of long cannibalized LC-3 shoulder pads (only the pads and two slots of webbing were left on this set)….. ripped some seams in order to attach new webbing straps with new hardware; and reattached the wide webbing to the foam bodies, and then cut the tan straps apart so that I can put the old short green webbing back onto it, for use as the back straps, and cut the 3/4″ wide sleeping bag straps that have grommets for the clevis pins, and sewed ladder-locs onto them for the load lifter portions…. the set up also made use of a random piece of webbing sewn together to make for a H harness connection system, so that the shoulder straps don’t twist around and wrap wrongly. Tested it with 12 pounds of items in the pack, it is SO much more comfortable….. this turns the Academy Broadway Jasper backpack into an useable pack….in fact, I think the only things not modified so far, are the frame and the pack bag itself.

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View of the strap system; showing the Fastex buckles and the load lifter; they are made of one piece each…

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Another view, you can see the green lower straps attached to the clevis pins on the bottom; also, the short 3/4″ webbing straps attached to the upper clevis pins for load lifters;

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view of the attaching middle piece, the grease pencil on it was the price for an Israeli Ephod vest to which this was added to…(unnecessary addition I think)

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showing the load lifters and the rest of the straps without a load holding them up. It looks weird, but it works! I may have to get longer lower straps; if these are too short after putting in 25 pounds of load including water and food……the tape on the top was from when I had a butt pack holding food up top….