Vintage Bicycles and Sisters, OR overnighter!

Picked up these two bicycles; a 1973 Schwinn Suburban ladies bike and a 70s Murray 3 speed bicycle, and went on an overnighter in Sisters, Oregon with the Other :)

First up; pics of the Sisters trip; I had forgotten to pack her hammock, so with the extra blankets and such I have, we made a ground sleeping system and the ground isnt hard due to a layer of forest duff; I asked her which she wanted to use, she immediately said the ground with the USGI bivy bag.


view of area, facing the morning sun

DSCN2001the camp site; no rain that night, and super clear bright I had to use a hunting/concealment poncho as a light break to sleep better. Hammock under pad works great in lows of 60s…

DSCN2002old burnt tree, with a new tree next to it

DSCN2003another view of a different part of Deschutes National Forest.


And here’s the 1973 Schwinn Suburban ladies bike; 5 speed GT100 rear derailleur, Schwinn rack which used to be a baby carrier, I removed the seat back and foot peg

DSCN2004view of the bike

DSCN2010other side of bike

DSCN2005Original schwinn rack

DSCN2006Schwinn Chicago headbadge

DSCN2011Original Schwinn Approved seat

DSCN2009Schwinn Approved Shimano GT100 rear derailleur

DSCN2008Dat funky cloverleaf chain ring

DSCN2007Schwinn Approved grips; original to the bike; not commonly found on these things presumably due to being hard or uncomfortable

DSCN2012Weinmann Brakes and cut down front fender

It originally had a WALD 535 twin basket rack, which I put onto the Murray Monterey 3 speed bike for my own use :)

DSCN1976Murray without rack; handlebar is the only badly rusted part on the whole bike, bought it at a church rummage sale for $5!

DSCN1975Other side of rack-less Murray

DSCN2013With the WALD 535 Twin Basket rack mounted; the rack used to be mounted to the Ladies Schwinn via an U bolt, I went to Home Depot and found another U bolt with the right size base plate, and used that base plate to mount the rack to the seat stays.

DSCN2015other side, view of the large rack; I can put my laptop bag in there, with room to spare!

DSCN2014Detail of rack mount

DSCN2016Shimano 333 internal gear hub thumb shifter

DSCN1979Shimano 333 hub with shift cable mount system

DSCN1980Murray head badge metallic decal


Murray metallic decal denoting 3 speed

DSCN1977Monterey script, I think it is actually painted, or it could be printed…not sure….no real sign of decal edges.

Well there you have it! I got a new rim tape to the front tire of the Murray, and the tubes aren’t leaking at the moment, though I have spare tubes just in case…. so far, I have only $5.98 total put into  BOTH bicycles….. The Schwinn ladies was given to me for free from a family was grungy and dirty….the Murray was also grungy and dirty, with flat tires and torn rim tape on the front wheel….I spent around 4 hours or so just cleaning the rust off best I can and washing and waxing the frames….and lubing, oiling what needs oiling, adjusting what needed adjusting and airing them up….they both ride pretty good.

Location scouting and Hammock Underpad design!

Went on a location scouting trip yesterday, and I would’ve stayed the night, if I had brought bug spray and bug netting……oh well. Moose Creek is the location, it is off the same road I went for a day trip a while back, but closer to the main highway and on the creek itself….

DSCN1983The walk in site, which have trees at good distances apart for hammocking, were I to camp with a group,  I would mount the hammock one end on the tree further back, so as not to have the tarp lines too close to the fire.

DSCN1990short walk in trail from the dirt road parking; behind that campsite, is a trail down to the creek;

DSCN1982a view looking out from the campsite;

DSCN1984Looking NW from the dirt road, the main road, Moose Creek Road (or as Google Maps says, Moose Mountain Road) is behind the berm, you can see one campfire ring in the picture;

DSCN1985view looking East; there are three more campfire rings in the area; two far back, and one to the left (North)

DSCN1986one of the campfire rings; the ground is rocky here though, but this is a good place for vehicles, air mattresses, or cots…

DSCN1987The sign at the South West end of the area; next to where dirt road stops at a gate; which means the area South of this and to the East, is not open to unauthorized vehicles ,I am not sure of hikers though.

DSCN1988A Notice posted by Sweet Home Rangers; detailing that some sites in the area may become day use areas or closed to camping due to trash and dumping of things…I did not find such evidence, perhaps it had been cleaned up before.

DSCN1981Made myself a nice little twig fire with esbit as a starter… thing I dislike about esbit is that it leaves a film of gross stuff on the canteen cup….

DSCN1991Moose Creek from the bridge, the campsite I scouted, is to the left, East of the creek, while there are other campsites to the West of the creek, and several more up the road leading North east up into the mountain..

And I decided I wanted to test this hammock under pad I made from a Wal MArt mattress topper; unlike blue Closed Cell foam, Open cell insulates best when not compressed; so hanging it like an under quilt helps a lot…..

Under Pad first testFirst test set up,

Under Pad endThe ends are not against the hammock, so I needed to cut it so that it conforms to the hammock

Under Pad revised 1Ah revised; these triangles are where I cut the material of the foam, so as to make a shape; Also, I cut the pad down to 48 inches long, and it is 50 inches wide, being a Full size width.

Under Pad Revised 2MUCH better; no load in the hammock….I laid in it and it is warmer….some drafts though, but I will be adding the poncho as an under cover, until I can get silnylon for the under cover;

Under Pad suspension triangleDetail of the suspension triangles for mounting hammock under pad and under quilts; I will be revising them to include plastic toggles so I can just loop the under pad suspension to the triangles instead of tying knots.

Hellcat Backpack Rig and backpacking FOOD!

OK So I decided I wanted to see how much room I would have by packing the ALICE pack on top of my system, instead of the small Recon pack; turns out for 4-5 days with a polyester fleece pull over and a rain coat, I have more than enough room in the main pack, and the MOLLE sustainment pouches are now only half full of food; which means I could in theory, bring a lot more foods for a much longer backpacking trip…. DSCN1971I know it looks rather bulky, BUT it holds a lot more than I thought..

DSCN1972everything laid out. Clothes are all in the main ruck, hammock and top quilt goes into stuff sack; canteens and cup goes into two pouches on main ruck, hammock hanging straps, stakes, cordage, and mini stove goes into center small pouch on main ruck, foods go into MOLLE sustainment, hydration bladder, 64OZ/3L goes into a pouch between ruck and frame.

DSCN1973clothes for three or four days, depending on conditions. I can add another shirt and another pair of pants in main ruck and still have room…..

DSCN1974foods and cooking and such;

Ben’s rice, Zatarin’s Rice, Idahoan instant potatoes, Marie Callendar’s Quick Sides, Ramen Noodles and granola bars; all require only hot water to be cooked in; hence the steel canteen cups. small Esbit stove with tabs, first aid kit, wand lighter, knife, and gloves are also shown. I will be adding GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts) along with jerky and possibly candy bars for the backpacking trip soon. Might also add something with more protein, like foil packed chicken and peanut butter….(to spread on tortillas…)

What else am I missing?

Total weight!

with 1 gallon of water, it comes out to 40 pounds or so; which isn’t that bad honestly…clothes made up for 9 pounds, water made up for almost 9 pounds (round up to 9 due to canteens and bladder weight); pack is 11 pounds empty…rest of the weight is in foods and hammock/tarp/top quilt, and misc things. I may pick up a water filter and reduce weight by removing half of the water, may reduce more by getting lighter pants and clothes, foot wraps instead of socks….I’m not sure yet. I walked a few miles with this rig, and it is pretty comfortable…. I could reduce the pack weight even further by going to a different external frame pack but it isn’t as comfortable….so I am not sure.

comments are welcome! :)

Modified a Thrift Store Kelty mummy bag into a top Quilt!

Scored a Synthetic Kelty mummy bag from a thrift store; tested it in store, its a little tight fit in its stock form, so after looking up other designs for mummy bags into top quilts, I found one that works with the Kelty’s shape, because it doesn’t have a peaked hood and a head hole like the other mummy bags, I did not need to remove the tiny “hood” from this one, and I decided to cut it in the middle going down around 50 inches, this gives me a nice foot box to keep my feet warm, and allows me to tuck the sides in. I am not sure which synthetic insulation this one is, but it feels MUCH warmer than my camo Great Land underquilt, and only weights 3 something pounds according to my fish scale….

Kelty Mummy Bag to Top Quilt 1basic Top quilt for hammock camping; top view, the top panel has two layers of insulation, while the bottom panels have only one, it was originally meant to be clipped to a pad of some sort, but because I’m a hammocker, and I dislike having to deal with zippers when in hammock; I cut it in the “back/bottom” and sewn the edges into hems  and now it is just a top quilt with a foot box.

Kelty Mummy Bag to Top  Quilt 2Back view of the topquilt, I didn’t do a perfect job of making sure my scissors stayed in the center of the back panel…..zipper is still on, I will be removing that later on and sewing the panels back together.

Two Hammocks under a single tarp; Bat-wing and Hex shaped tarps!

So after the day outing at Moose Creek, I decided that the Bat-Wing tarp may be large enough to hang two hammocks underneath, and decided to also try the Hex shaped tarp as well for a two hammock hanging set up;

Using 8 stakes, and two poles, The Bat-Wing tarp is set up below, great for summer/dry weather hanging!Bat-Wing Tarp Double Hammock 1

view of tarp and two hammocks under; this is a temp rig with two straps holding both hammocks, for camping, I would be using two long 2″ wide straps with two hooks on each ends, so that it is more effective and sturdy.

Bat-Wing Tarp Double Hammock 2Side view;

Bat-Wing Tarp Double Hammock 3view underneath; the main panel in the middle is approximately 57″ wide, plus 17″ wide triangles with 57″ bases; this provides just enough overhead coverage. And yes I am using whoopie slings on both hammocks, along with the spreader bars.

And with the Hex tarp I made, which still needs to be waterproofed;

DIY Hex Tarp Double Hammock 1SO MUCH COVERAGE. Though it is a bit short on the Ridge line, I think that can be solved by moving the tarp closer to the ground a little bit, so I will be figuring out the tarp suspension for this particular tarp later on.

DIY Hex Tarp Double Hammock 2Half the number of stakes and no poles; this is by far a much lighter option!

DIY Hex Tarp Double Hammock 3A lot more room and coverage, this set up with possibly trekking poles holding one side up in “porch” mode would give the two of us room to sit and cook on stoves, or just sit and chat…..if we aren’t in the hammocks laying and chatting. There is enough room under this tarp for some privacy, though I’ll be bringing a smaller tarp/curtain for privacy screening.

More Hellcat pack set ups!

SO I decided to see just how much I could stuff into the MOLLE sustainment pouches and what the main compartment of the Recon Pack can carry;DSCN1957Front view;

DSCN1958Showing the 2 qt canteens on the waistbelt portion;

in the MOLLE sustainment Pouches; I have the following;

3 pairs of pants all packed into one pouch,

and in the other,

3 pairs of underwear,

4 pairs of socks

3 shirts,

and a Fleece pull over.

in the Compression sack, I have the hammock, underquilt, and a fleece blanket for summertime.

in the Recon pack, I have food, fire starting kit, canteen cups, esbit stove, stakes, hammock suspension, tarp, first aid kit, empty 1 qt canteens for cooking water.

and here is the ridiculously big set up, with an ALICE pack in place of the Recon pack;  I transferred the 3 pocket contents from the Recon pack to the 3 pockets on the ALICE, and filled the main compartment with an USGI mummy bag; I know, it is ridiculously large and bulky hahaha


with the older ALICE pack up top, I notice that the coloring are quite different…


DSCN1960view with belt opened up;

And then here is the minimal set up that would make sense if I have clothes in one pouch, and food in the other pouch;

DSCN1962Basic pack; stuff sack and 2 MOLLE Sustainment Pouches.


Made MOLLE panels for Baby Hellcat pack’s Stuff Sack!

So I decided that If I wanted to carry more gear, I would need a way to attach my MOLLE pouches to the pack, but I didn’t really have any good way to attach them to the pack without going to a new bag, until an idea struck me from the M1910 pack system; and inspired by Kifaru’s MOLLE panel compression system, I decided to make two MOLLE panels that could be attached to a frame and has compressing straps, to go around a stuff sack; which enables me to carry more gear without going too wide or going to a full sized pack system…

DSCN1952MOLLE panels by themselves, 9″ wide, 11″ tall, Triglide attachment straps and Fastex buckles

DSCN1953Mounted to the stuff sack and frame

DSCN1954With MOLLE sustainment pouches; sidelong view

DSCN1955Direct view of vertical set up; very similar layout and feel to the current crop of slim hiking packpacks one could find; though in camo ;)

DSCN1956With panels unbuckled to remove stuff sack.

In theory, one could use just the stuff sack and the panels on a smaller frame for an overnighter/ultra light backpacking system…..similar to the Molly Mac system, though with two panels instead of one.

With this set up, I could push 3-4, maybe 5 days of camping by putting clothes in the large pouches and food into the small main compartment of the upper pack, and add canteens to the waist belt for more water carriage; and still have a slimmer profile than the standard Hellcat with ALICE pack and additional pouches on the outside.