MOLLE II Ruck on Large Coleman frame!

Picked up a vintage Large Coleman PEAK 1 backpack with the large frame; and then got a MOLLE II pack with Main Ruck and Modular Sleep System carrier on Gen 2 MOLLE frame; decided to see how the MOLLE bags interface with the large Coleman PEAK 1 frame…. it works beautifully! I have extra space on the frame for the lashing of other things, or if I remove the MSS carrier, another Main Ruck bag!

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Coleman Peak 1 pack, it is roomy, and very nicely made, just very old. (1989 date on the hardware)

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Side view of the thing.

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Suspension view, the straps and belt are not comfortable at all for me.

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So I put the MOLLE II suspension from the stock MOLLE gen 2 frame on the far right side, onto the large Coleman frame on the far left, in the middle is the small “Junior” Peak 1 frame that is useful with the ALICE series of bags but cannot interface with the MOLLE bags due to the MOLLE bags attachment points being much wider.

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Frames without bags, one could lash a lot of items to the frames if so desired.

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MOLLE Main ruck, with MSS carrier attached to the bottom, and MOLLE Sustainment Pouches attached to the sides, I’ve had the Sustainment Pouches for a long time, going back to my old bike packing system..a few years, and they are still holding up very well!

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bare side to attach to the frame

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Upper pack bag’s attachment points, a short strap on the top, and a metal tab thing midway

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Another view of upper bag’s attachment, mid tab, then bottom tab by the shoulder strap attachments

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MSS carrier bag’s attachments, all 4 of them are in use, and again, they are the metal tab system, and they fit the frame as if the frame was designed for it

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Complete MOLLE II backpack on the Large Coleman Frame; there’s about 9-10 inches of space between frame bottom and bottom of MSS bag for the lashing of items.

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Suspension side showing how the pack looks with the frame attached, theres another gap between top of frame and top of pack, again for lashing items, or as a very convenient carry handle.

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Sideways view of pack on frame, you can see how it is rather large and bulky, but should be excellent for winter trips or group camping! Or long travels as well!

The MOLLE Suspension system is very comfortable, and effective…although it is very heavy, it gives one a feel of being bombproof and able to take on just about anything short of shrapnel damage or flames.

I paid $10 for the Coleman Peak 1 backpack system, plus $50 for the MOLLE main ruck, and I think $15 for the pair of Sustainment Pouches, so the total invested would be around $75, for what amounts to two complete backpacks, and the results is that I now have a very comfortable, very sturdy backpack system, and due to the metal tab attachments, I can quickly remove the pack bags if I need to just lash things to the frame.

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Bushcraft USA 10×10 tarp set ups and one tree hammock hanging system!

Recently acquired a Bushcraft Outfitters, USA (BCUSA) 10 ft by 10 ft coyote tarp in a forum deal! It was damaged with a tab broken off, I got the tab repaired… anyhow… DSCN2338

Coyote Brown BCUSA tarp in brown stuff sack next to el-cheapo pencil organizer that houses my lighter smaller Long Ogee tarp.

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Damaged tab repaired, I used 1″ Cross- Grain ribbon as the reinforcement material and stitched lines to make sure it aint ever coming off!

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Initial set up, Diamond fly configuration with ski poles, 2 stakes only! a little slack in the material but that’s expected of nylon fabric..

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With two hammocks, more than enough space in there…. I know, I hung the hammocks too low like low hanging fruit but it’s just to give one an impression of the space available..

And with this tarp, I’ve decided I wanted to see how it would look in a vastly different configuration than most of the normal square tarp set ups…the basic layout is the same for the next 3 set ups, just the differences are all in the ridge line tie out location and the configuration of the front opening.

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Front view of the tarp tent set up;

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Back view of the set up, What I did is to stake the back wall down first, and then square up the side corners so that the tabs, which are evenly spaced at 2.5 ft between tie out tabs, are able to be staked down at the same locations, and then from that point between the center and the outermost stake, line up the front corners of the shelter to make a rectangle floor print of 5 ft wide and 7.5 feet long.

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Side view. After I stake the sides/corners down, I then raised the front peak up as far as I could do, and then attached the two tarp clips at the points where I wanted to raise the roof/wall points on the back, to make for a nearly vertical rear wall, and then ran the lines to the ski poles and staked them down. Finally, I run the clothesline ridge line through the ridge seam tabs on the tarp and raised the rear peak up, and tied the end of the line to an overhanging branch. This in effect gives the shelter a house like roof from which rainwater will shed very well, and with the vertical walls, gives one a feeling of increased space compared to a typical A- frame.

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Having seen something similar on a same size tarp, I decided to see if it would work with the ridge line peak tie out moved back 2.5 feet to the next tie out tab on the ridge seam..and bungee’d the resulting corners to bring the front down as far as I could… I disliked this set up because it robs the interior of space, and essentially makes it more a shelter you can only lay diagonally, as opposed to straight up and down.

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Another view of the terrible layout. It might be OK if I had done this with the back being a normal A-frame back though.

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So, keeping the same ridge line tab tied out, I decided to see what would happen if I pulled the corners the other way..and supported them with leaning poles and guy lines… this was the result. A much much better set up, and one that gives me the most spacious feel of the interior, PLUS the protection from almost all angles, the front opening is only 2.5 feet tall and 5 feet wide, a poncho or a small 5×7 tarp folded in half would have provided a great awning/door..One could also put a small piece of bug netting on that area and be fine for bug season…

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The side view of it. It is essentially now a doghouse shaped shelter, and with the amount of room up front now that the gable is pulled further out, one could have a good space for cooking/gear and still be protected from the elements inside.

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Rear view of the Doghouse shelter, again it is showing the rear wall layout, but also, you can see how much more open the front part looks to be compared to the first triangular opening shelter.. And the only two changes from that is the relocation of the ridge line peak tie out point and the addition of two tie out/pole points on the front sides.

With the tarp clips relocated to exactly 2.5 ft from the corners and in line with the side tabs and the ridge tab, I would say the shelter is basically a small wall tent with a front opening.
And now for something quite different! Here’s the one tree hammock stand!

One Tree Hammock stand stuff

First, these are the materials you need, from top to bottom;

a hammock obviously, with suspension.

an USGI General Purpose, Medium Tent center pole, telescoping, and it goes out to 10something feet, so if you ever need to have a visual cue on “not touching this with a 10ft pole”, this is it!

then the camo straps which are for both the hammock attachment and a ridge line in between the one tree and the pole,

then finally, a set of 4 cargo straps with 10″ nail style stakes larksheaded to their ends and tied to each other at their centers.

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Hook up the ridge line with the camo straps, then position army pole, only extended halfway, then run the 4 green straps down to the ground, and nail them securely at a 45 degree angle.. the pole is not vertical, because that is not what you want, you want as much of the hammock load to be on the pole, and less on the lines, so angling the pole out that its around 50-60 degrees from vertical, and then make sure its not going anywhere.. then stake the lines as far as possible.. this in effect gives you a tension based system..

finally, hook up the hammock to the pole and tree strap.

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Another view of the system, with my massive lumbar pack hanging off a steel hook I mounted on the tree strap. Sharp eyed readers will note that I have a whoopie sling in between the two straps on the ridge line, this is to make it easy to maintain tension…

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With the 10×10 tarp set up in an almost ordinary set up… first I put the side up with the poles, then I staked the center of the other side to make a half-diamond shape..then I staked out the “door” sides on the covered side. This gives me a good balance of wind proofing from one side, and yet a nice porch mode on the other side… with the amount of space in there, I can have a 2nd hammock underneath if I dare do so, or an army cot, or a camp chair or two..

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Side view of the set up. I did not stake the lefthand door as close to the ground as the other side is, but it still works here. With the short hammock ridge line, the 10 ft tarp covers me very well…only problem is the gear hanging out in the rain, but a poncho over it will give it the protection it needs.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

MOLLE Yucca Pack, modded to a big Lumbar pack!

My small MOLLE Yucca daypack is now doing duty as a beefy lumbar pack on a MOLLE waist belt set up and H harness set up… the main modifications involved were very extensive, basically a whole panel of MOLLE webbing on the back of the pack, plus 4 Ladder-loc buckles at specific locations to function better as a lumbar pack.. With some adjustment on how I attached my MOLLE Sustainment Pouches, I found that it functions better, and gives me some space in the main sack and on the outside… instead of taking up all 12 MOLLE slots on the perimeter for the two Sustainment Pouches, I have spaced it so that each pouch only takes up 5 slots each (for 10 slots), and a gap of 2 MOLLE slots in between for my Nalgene carrier and small misc item pouch. This also provides me with a convenient route for the flap straps..

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The pack. The top stuff sack houses my hammock and bugnet and suspension, while the MOLLE Sustainment pouches each hold the kelty topquilt and the hammock under pad insulation, and the main sack holds my clothing. The nalgene carrier in the lower middle houses an IKEA kitchen caddy turned into a wood burning stove, and the Buschraft Outfitters 10×10 silnylon tarp in Coyote brown.

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View of the waist belt set up; the large pouch holds my food and cook set, while the smaller pouch holds my first aid kit and fire kit, then between the canteen and the pouches are two modified 40mm ammo pouches, one holds my 4.5″ blade knife, the other holds a small 2AA Angle-head flashlight. Obviously there are two water bottles on the belt at the kidney positions.

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Belt opened up, you can see how there’s quite a bit of padding, the belt pad is size Medium, and is basically perfect as a waist belt on this pack system. You can also see the suspension straps for the pack.

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The MOLLE panel for the back, Instead of a normal method of alternating straps, I decided to fill the whole panel with butted straps so that I have basically as many options for attaching it to whatever I want to.

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The upper harness attachment system, what it is, is essentially a load lifter system, the pack’s D-rings are the anchors, while the harness adjuster only serves to locate the top point, and the Ladder-locs on the flap is the main adjusting point.. because I do not have internal stays on the pack, this method is needed to get the pack to ride as close to the back as possible.

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For those wondering how’d I attach the pack to the waistbelt… these are the 4 5″ long MOLLE straps I made up from the scraps I have on hand.

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A pic of the modified 40mm pouch, the only mods needed is the addition of a snap below the original snap to enable me to securely close the flap for better retention of the knife.

ALICE frame modular stuff sack pack system;

Decided to see what the MOLLE compression panels could take, and set up a backpack system in which the main bag is removable and contains all of my hammock camping gear cept tarp and suspension tree straps!

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Pack with everything loaded onto it

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Side view with hatchet mounted

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Other side view with knife and flashlight

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Bottom view, that is a vintage M1967 sleep system carrier being used as the bottom panel.

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Suspension view. Even though this frame is obsolete, and usually not comfortable with ALICE packs…it works pretty good for this load because of the packing system.

The pack contains the following items;

In the WW2 laundry bag stuff sack;

hammock

under pad

bug net

Kelty top quilt

In each of the 4x USMC Coyote brown pouches;

First aid kit (marked with red cross)

cook set and fire kit

food

back up hammock/gear hammock (Grand Trunk UltraLite)

In the MOLLE Water bottle carriers are the water bottles (self explanatory)

USGI M16 pouches carries my tarp in one, and hammock suspension in other

IDF revolver ammo/handcuff pouch houses my compass

Green Buttpack up top carries my clothes for up to 3 days

horizontal MOLLE pouch on very top carries my stakes, cordage, bandannas.

I do have room enough in the WW2 laundry bag to carry more insulation if I need to.

I notice that the MOLLE compression panels will likely need a 3rd buckle in the middle, and 2 more straps to attach to the frame, so that it compresses better around the main stuff sack.

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.

 

 

 

Tested modified bug tent, and made hammock bug net!

Modified an old Stansports A-frame “Scout backpacking” tent that was not waterproof into a bug tent to be more airy…it is 54″ wide by 78″ long, and 36″ tall…. Unlike the original tent design, I added two more tie-outs on the sides, so that I could expand the feel of the tent and make it more spacious compared to original design. I was able to test it with the girlfriend on an overnighter in the Willamette National Forest. It is comfortable and very airy..perfect for the summertime! We put a Twin size air mattress in the tent, there’s still enough room for small gear on the sides, though ideally a Full size air mattress at 54″ wide would be preferable for two people so as not to risk rolling off the air mattress and landing on the ground. With the relative lack of privacy in the bug tent, we set up another small tent, a dome tent for use as changing room, and as back up tent should we need it.

Also made a bug net for my hammock, these pics are of it before I added another section of bug netting to extend it….and the stuff sack holds everything for hammock except tarp and tarp lines/stakes.

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Campsite on NFS 4695 past Humbug Campground; yes that is an army cot in the foreground, I forgot to bring proper chairs so we used that by the fire 🙂

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Another view of campsite, the tarp BARELY covers the tent, for rain, I would probably use a larger tarp.

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The bug tent under the bat wing tarp, the girl is in the tent testing it. I utilized a couple long poles for the support of the tent and tarp, if needed, one could dispense with them and use trekking poles or pitch from trees. The bug netting is 59×84 panel of polyester sheer curtain material from Kmart; I decided one panel is all it needed to make the tent a bug tent.

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Hammock bug net made of two panels of the same polyester sheer curtain material; shown with the under pad and the hammock; not shown is the new extension panel I added to it due to it being too small for the hammock really….. (accidentally ripped one side’s hole a bit bigger…)

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Hammock stuff stuffed into MSS bag; yes that is how bulky it is when not compressed; open cell underpad, top quilt, hammock, bug net, suspension straps are all in there. only the tarp stuff is separate.

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Nice thing about the MSS bag; the 9 strap compression system helps compress the stuff into this basketball sized unit…though on my pack, I don;t compress it as far, since I need it to be slimmer so that my MOLLE pouches and straps will fit.

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A view of the creek next to the campsite 🙂 This creek, I’m not sure which one it is, but it feeds Brietenbush River which feeds into Detroit Lake from the mountain springs.

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DSCN2065Started a twig fire underneath a rotten log end that someone left behind.

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The stump getting on fire….it lasted for about 10-12 hours…..we had hot dogs for dinner that night 😀