Made my own tarp……learnt new things….


Sewn up the material I got from ebay, uncoated woodland ripstop…. after cutting it….well… i did a horrible job cutting it…

the original tarp plan called for an asymmetric hex tarp that used 18 ft of 64″ wide material, and has a 9 ft 9 1/2 inches seam…..with a 12+ ft ridge line…well, somehow I mis-cut somewhere and ended up with a nearly symmetric tarp with the 10 ft 6 inches seam..

Lesson 1; confirm the material’s length. I assumed 6 yards, clearly it is more than 6 yards if the 126″ seam is any indicator… it IS 64″ wide material though.

Lesson 2; get a proper cutting mat big enough and a big enough table……..

Lesson 3; use Catenary curves and cut to curves for maximum tension……
Lesson 4; measure twice, maybe thrice before cutting, and confirm the orientation of the end cuts!
DIY Hex Tarp 1

first set up with seam on diagonal; decent coverage….

DIY Hex Tarp 2quarter view; yes theres floppy edges on the tarp…

DIY Hex Tarp 3view inside…there’s room….its a little wonky looking thing though..

DIY Hex Tarp 4second set up…ridge line is way too long….less coverage too…hmm.

DIY Hex Tarp 5not as much coverage…..although..for the view, it can’t be beat!

DIY Hex Tarp 6Ah that’s more like it! shorter ridge line, 126″ seam, so 126″ ridge line….while theres less end coverage, it still covers the whole hammock, positioned right over the quick links of the hammock suspension to tree straps. And theres more coverage on the sides, so in case of hard rain, it protects more of the person in the hammock!

DIY Hex Tarp 7quarter view, you can see how much wider it is, and how much it covers the ground..

DIY Hex Tarp 8another view, with the black harness clipped to the tree strap. the brown pouch is what holds the tarp, the large green pouch holds the hammock.



Duck hunter camo hammock shelter, no ground stakes!





So I read up on a Vietnam hammock system in which the poncho is tied above the hammock, and the corners are spread apart using a locally sourced stick on each end..and decided to try this with 4 tent pole sections and L stakes inserted in the tent pole ends…it works in a fashion….only issue I felt and seen, is that of wind buffeting the shelter… with wind, its like a kite because only two points on the shelter are fixed, whereas the rest are free standing so to speak….. unless one has a weight on the bottom portion of the shelter, maybe a pack or shoes, I think it would be better to just run lines to the ground stakes and not use the tent pole sections..

DSCN1777side view, it looks like the shelter is too short, thats perspective due to the wind pushing down one side and causing the corner to pitch up

DSCN17743/4 view, you can see how the tent poles are above the hammock. I am able to get into the shelter and zip it up from the inside

DSCN1775L stake inserted into one end of tent pole, through the corner grommet

DSCN1776head on view of the system, there’s enough room to allow me to lay on a diagonal, and the bottom part prevents wind from chilling my underquilt (not shown)

ALICE pack and MOLLE straps on Civilian frame

Well looks like a fellow forumite from Bushcraft USA forums asked for pics and details of mounting an Medium ALICE pack to the wider, taller civilian Academy Broadway frame…along with MOLLE shoulder straps… MOLLE waist belt is not good on this frame though. But the current OEM belt it has is good..had to shorten it a bit due to overestimating my size LOL

DSCN1767pack mounted on large External frame, using the middle 2 bars

DSCN1768detail of pack’s upper mount using short straps to tri glide, also using original shoulder straps

DSCN1769detail of lower pack mount

DSCN1770MOLLE straps onto the frame; you can see where the center wide strap wraps around the lower middle bar

DSCN1771threaded the modified lower straps to the FASTEX buckles

DSCN1772detail of upper MOLLE shoulder strap side mounts, can move an inch up or down..

DSCN1773Detail of load lifter strap and old ALICE buckle mounting to the short pack mount straps; it does not do much to have the load lifter there, but the pack frame does not have stops for the top bar to prevent load lifter straps from sliding onto the vertical bars.


SO.. there you have it, Medium ALICE pack mounted to an External frame pack, and yes there is a lot of room up top to mount whatever you want to mount……

Modified pack straps and belt


Modified the lower straps of the vintage pack, to better fit me, and the waist belt as well; so that the buckle is closer to center, and providing me with the space to put gear on it… Also found one of my tents can actually fit in the lower compartment, with a 9×12 tarp as well, and that the pack can fit the tent poles as well! DSCN1762

the lower straps and the waist belt modified

DSCN1763close up of the ends of the lower straps, and the extra webbing with slots for LC gear

DSCN1764the pack with the canteen pouches, and utility pouches and filleting knife; in the flat pocket on the flap, I have the tent stakes and tarp stakes and lines, in the lower compartment, is a tent and a tarp

DSCN1765the tent poles fit the corners of the pack, with the cut outs on the shelf, there is plenty of room in there for clothes and food, also, the 5 other pockets are empty, so as to enable me to pack it better.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe tent on the Left hand side is what is in the lower compartment, and is made by the same company who made the pack

Hammock Shelter/Bivy and tarp group shelters, Vintage hiking pack


SO I scored a vintage Academy Broadway Jasper hiking pack from a thrift store for cheap, and modified the straps and belt to better fit me…. It is pretty useful, and very roomy..more room than the ALICE Medium packs I own. I loaded it up and put on my MSS bag with the ECW Intermediate bag and Hammock Underquilt on the bottom, there is still room in main compartment for food and such, small pockets hold fire starting kit and folding stove, along with straps and cordage. Pictures are of the pack with the Coleman PEAK 1 and the ALICE medium for comparison. DSCN1724 DSCN1725 DSCN1726 DSCN1727 DSCN1728 DSCN1731 DSCN1732 DSCN1733 DSCN1734


Below is my group shelter, with a 12×9 tarp as main panel, and 3 9×7 tarps as floor and side panels, it is roomy and can accommodate up to 6 people, probably more comfortable for 4. ideally, it would be split into 4 packs for 4 people, so as not to overburden one person with all 4 tarps. DSCN1748 DSCN1749And here is the 12×9 tarp as a hammock shelter; pitched A frame with porch, and with a 9×7 tarp on ground (folded lengthwise) as ground sheet.

DSCN1723And here is another shelter, a duck hunter camo bivy, at first I didn’t know how it was really supposed to set up, until I set it up the way that it was originally set up and noticed that one edge was supposed to be sewn to another edge, so I added a 70″ zipper to that edge to enable it to become a hammock shelter as well as a bivy shelter. it is 8 ft long on the top portion, just shy of 6 feet on the width of the top, and 6 ft long on the bottom, and same width as the top. Below are the first set up pictures, you can see the open edge and the 3 corner grommets that puzzled me until I added the zipper to it.

DSCN1750 DSCN1751 DSCN1752 DSCN1753Sewn zipper to the open edge, and set it up, turns out the grommets on the corners were so that it could become doors, and thus the lines existence became clearly for tying them into doors.

DSCN1757 DSCN1758and I set it up as a hammock shelter, which is the reason for the zipper to be where it is, and it is very much a minimal coverage shelter on the ends, I may add two triangle pieces of Coyote Brown material to the ends, so that I can have more overhead coverage.

DSCN1759 DSCN1760 DSCN1761I haven’t spent a night in the hammock yet, and I will be doing some adjustment to the ridge lines of both the shelter and the hammock structural ridge line.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! :)

Revised Improved Hellcat hunting rig and two standard ALICEs




OK I revised my Improved Hellcat pack, making it for a hunting rig, and moved the ALICE pack up to the top, and inserted a MSS bag that has a GI Intermediate Cold Weather sleeping bag (from the 80s, synthetic version of the M1949 mummy sleeping bag), and attached a gun scabbard to the right of the pack, and two canteens on the opposite to balance it out somewhat. I think this pack should be decent for hunting or target shooting, with a standard hunting carbine in the scabbard (SKS is inserted, but for hunting, it would have a flush 5 round magazine for Oregon State laws)


pack with MSS bag on bottom, SKS scabbard, and two canteens, along with filleting knife. I also added a webbing carry handle to the top, which also loops through the Tri-Glides of the load lifter straps so as to prevent accidentally undoing them.

DSCN1707view of the pack from the back; you can see how I moved the load lifter straps to the outboard top slots, and the webbing handle inserted through the same slots


view of the canteen side; the top canteen has a camelbak straw inserted into a canteen cap I modified by drilling a hole teeny bit smaller than the straw’s outside diameter, this allows a friction fit and prevents accidental leaks

DSCN1710the gun scabbard side, while there is room on the scabbard itself for pouches, I have decided not to put anything on the scabbard, so as to keep the balance of the load as reasonable as possible.

DSCN1713here, you can see the Improved Hellcat hunting rig between two standard  ALICE packs, the one on the left hand side has a green buttpack installed on the bottom, it is a mid 80s, early 90s ALICE MEDIUM pack. The other one on the far right, is a very early model, 1974 contract I believe, the buckles are cam/spring loaded friction buckles, and the fabric has faded quite significantly, it has two 2 qt canteens, one on each side, and a M1967 sleep carrier holding a camo compression sack.


you can see how the frames and the straps are different between the 3, the one on the Left, has the old style ALICE LC ruck straps, 2nd generation I believe with two quick releases rather than one like the 1st generation, the shoulder padding is short on this set, while the set on the one to the Right of the Hellcat are generally considered 3rd generation LC-2 straps, the padding on these are much longer, going from pack attachment all the way past the quick release hardware, it is similar to Tactical Tailor’s Super Straps, but without sternum straps. the kidney pads on the two Standard ALICE Mediums are missing belt portions, the one on the Right used to have a roll pin type of attachment for the belt webbing.

I might modify one of the standard ALICE packs to have Desert Camo MOLLE straps and belt, not sure which one yet.

Coleman Peak 1 framed Hellcat pack; Improved Hellcat

Acquired a vintage Coleman Peak 1 pack with frame; some of the hardware is damaged, and the pack fabric has some wear and tear and seems to be not as waterproof as it used to be; being 20 years old (ITW buckles have dates of 94 on them) ; So I decided to transfer my MOLLE and ALICE parts to the frame as a works without needing to be cut down like other PEAK 1 framed ALICE packs!



side by side of the front/frame side portions of both.



another view from the backDSCN1698

ALICE pack attached to unmodified PEAK 1 frame



front view, showing how the MOLLE components attach to the pack, I reused the PEAK 1 load lifter buckle straps, and used the MOLLE green straps to attach the ALICE pack to the frame in the slotted panelDSCN1700

ALICE lower pack attachment between Waist belt, which is also slotted into the side slotsDSCN1701

view from above, ALICE upper mounts, using the MOLLE short green load lifter strapsDSCN1702

PEAK load lifter straps in OEM positions, with the adjusting straps from the MOLLE shoulder straps threaded into the buckles.DSCN1706

SPEC OPS BRAND HUMP hydration pouch attached to the space between straps/belt and frame, using same slotted panelDSCN1705

lower strap attachment for MOLLE shoulder strapsDSCN1704

frame without pack, showing the geometry and the slotted panel in the center, the slots on the perimeter are ideal for lashing long items or cinch straps to reduce pack volumeDSCN1703


upper MOLLE shoulder strap centering straps slotted into two of the perimeter slots