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.

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Wall Tent Mod to USGI Pup Tent!

Made a wall tent mod to the USGI Shelter Half pup tent similar to what is described in this article from the Boy Scouts magazine;

http://books.google.com/books?id=4gGnPTm6dicC&pg=PA16&lpg=PA16&dq=Boy%27s+Life+The+Pup+Grows+Up&source=bl&ots=K1JoUu71hr&sig=VT_92khq36DyE38kqHy8Gwt1SmA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ecFuVNWJDMLkiQLphoHwDg&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Boy%27s%20Life%20The%20Pup%20Grows%20Up&f=false

instead of following the cut instructions in the magazine article, I decided to cut the 6 wall panels from two scrap shelter halves rectangle panels, thus making it simpler and easier to attach to the shelter halves for this mod.

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The layout for cutting; bottom piece is full length of rectangle, and 15″ tall while the two corner walls are 16″ tall and 48″ long, the extra width is for making a rolled hem on the bottom of each shorter rectangles.

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Set up using tree straps and cargo straps attached to two trees; this is the lightest set up possible (NO POLES!)

DSCN2166View into the unbuttoned end, showing the V line from single stake to the corner loops.

DSCN2167Side view, you can see the W shaped lines from the loops to the two stakes on each side; plus the V lines from the single stake to the corner loops.

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Closed up end, with single stake. I realize I could have positioned the tree straps higher so that the 14″ walls are at full height, but this is OK.

DSCN2169End opened up (5 stakes now) showing the Intex Full Size airbed, it is a little over 54″ wide, and approx 10″ tall, and 75″ long, and in this “mini wall tent”; there is plenty of space on the sides and back of the bed, with the corners only just touching the back walls, and still covered completely with the end opened up. THis is also a good set up for being in front of a fire or a small tent heater or tent stove for cold nights. The tent is also pretty heavy, so it is again, NOT a backpacking tent, but it is great for cold weather camping!

Hope you enjoyed this post! 🙂

 

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….

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.

DSCN2063Another view of the creek, water is ice cold….brrr.

DSCN2064Different section of the creek.

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 😀

 

 

 

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

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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.

 

Baby Hellcat pack!

After the Moose Mountain trip, I decided the pack I used could carry better by being attached to a frame; so I took off the old ALICE pack off my Coleman PEAK 1 frame and put the little Recon pack on the frame…it carries better, and whats nice, I have the ability to lash whatever I need onto the frame!

DSCN1943pack on frame without sleeping bag;lots lots of room on the lower half of frame!

DSCN1946detail of top mount, I used the same short straps that attached the ALICE pack to the frame, and mounted them to the D rings on the Recon pack

DSCN1944Detail of bottom mount, I used the upper LC pack connection straps, and slotted them into the slotted panel on the middle of the PEAK 1 frame, its almost as if the frame was made for this sizing!

DSCN1949with sleeping bag mounted vertically instead of horizontally, this gives the pack a slimmer profile, and makes it easier to put into cars, and there’s room on the sides for tools if I need to carry them

DSCN1947sidelong view of the sleeping bag mounting system

DSCN1948detail shot of the slots the lashing straps goes into, there are many slots which can be used to lash tools or other items to the sides; this is actually a great frame to use for such things!

the frame is an old Coleman PEAK 1 frame, and I have USGI MOLLE pack straps and belt mounted to the frame, although the Recon pack is not an ALICE, it is shaped and built like one, just much much smaller and with two extra pouches on the top (large box pouch on top, zippered pocket on underside of flap), and has cinching cords on the 3 external pockets for keeping snow and water out.

DSCN1704the bare frame with the MOLLE equipment attached, and with two MEDIC pouches attached to belt.

 

Sleeping bags into hammock quilts! new modifications

So I modified my previous sleeping bag underquilt once again, to a set up I think will be better; by having 1/8″ shock cord running through the long side channels I made, and through the short side channels, it is now more comfortable, and not too tight against the hammock; it started as a rectangle sleeping bag, and I added webbing channels to the short sides and loops for a quick under quilt mod, but with the boot strings I used, it was not comfortable, and the sides kept wanting to fall off, so I cut holes in the corners and hemmed them, and ran shock cord through the new side channels, and the existing short side channels in order to be able to cinch up and suspend the quilt better;

Underquilt mod 1a close up of the cinched end;

Underquilt Mod 2attached to the tree strap with tow hook; the whoopie slings are larksheaded/girth hitched to the hook so as not to fall off easily, while the shock cord is simply looped and attached to the hook, which eventually will be replaced with lightweight climbing carabiners

Suspension whoopie and shock cords to hooka view of how I did the free end of the webbing straps by making a water knot loop on the end and doing a sling attachment point

Tree StrapThat is for the under quilt modification; here is the winter/cold weather top quilt I made out of an USGI Mummy bag; before the modification, it worked, but was a hassle just buttoning it up since it wanted to bunch up on the back side when in the hammock; I made a slit on the back around 44″ to 46″ roughly, and tested it, it is MUCH easier in the hammock, I simply put the hooded head end on while sitting up in the hammock, and then tuck my legs into the foot end before I lay in the hammock, this allows me to keep the front buttoned up and keeps my shoulders and body warm, with insulation on the back now taken care of by an under quilt, and if I need more insulation, I simply add a pad or a fleece blanket on the bottom of the hammock.

For the summer, I use a fleece blanket as a top quilt.

view of the slit I made on the back

Mummy Bag to Top Quilt 1slit opened up;

Mummy Bag to Top Quilt 2view from the front with partially unbuttoned fly;

Mummy Bag to Top Quilt 3buttoned up showing how it is covered

Mummy Bag to Top Quilt 4