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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Tarp shelters for bug tent!

Did 3 different set ups of tarp protection for the bug tent; here is one using the Bat Wing tarp; rotated 90 degrees from the usual, giving it a sort of cartwheeling star shape……

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it provides more protection on the sides than the previous set up; but not by much; as seen below…

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if I attached “beaks” of some sort from where the pole stakes are to where the side stakes are; then possibly one would have more coverage there…but then again, it might be better without the bug tent itself…

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One or two people could lay at a diagonal in this shelter without the bug netting; and that would be more effective.

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Without the bug tent underneath, there is quite a lot of room underneath for two people laying side by side or slightly diagonally.

SO I decided to do a set up with the 9×12 poly tarp;

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It gives the bug tent so much more room; and is very breezy..

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completely covered; and with space enough to hang items off a ridge line above the tent such as a lamp or boots or clothes; however it is heavy due to being poly plastic.

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view from the back; I didn’t line up the bug tent perfectly but oh well. Note that the bug tent’s side pull outs aren’t utilized here, its more to do with time…

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another view looking into the door; the door panels are tied to the tarp grommets so that its easy to let air in, and easy to find in the dark.

And here is the final set up, one I probably would use more often…I just need to get the thing waterproofed; my DIY asymmetric Hex tarp;

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It looks like the corners of the bug tent are exposed, but that is a trick of the eye, looking directly above, the bug tent is completely covered.

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view from the front with doors closed; there is not much of a gap between the bug netting and the tarp; this is due to the tarp being an odd shape and due to my not so perfect seam sewing on the center seam of the tarp. The pull outs are utilized here, with cord running to the tarp’s stakes, so that I do not need to pack 4 more stakes. 10 stakes overall for each of the three set ups.

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View from the back; there is ample room on each side for gear and various items, and the poles are around 48 inches tall I think, so a couple trekking poles at that length would do very well to reduce weight of set up, OR two trees conveniently located in a straight line with a flat surface in between (ha ha ha ha not likely) OR one tree and a car with a roof rack (more likely); Although it would be nice to have a pick up truck or a flatbed truck on which I can simply tie down the bug tent and suspend a tarp over it; that is not going to happen any time soon.

I believe this hex tarp, while normally for the two hammocks, would do great as a ground shelter for this bug tent 🙂

 

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.

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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 😀

 

 

 

Gordon Road location scouting

Went on a location scouting trip for a group camping event…

Found a beautiful location, beautiful site….although if I had driven a bit further, I might’ve found another site near Gordon Lakes….

DSCN2025Campsite area, it is big enough for a few vehicles, tents, and kitchen site.

DSCN2026View of entrance of trail into the woods

DSCN2027Looking downhill on one side of trail

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Another view of the woods

DSCN2028Downhill on different part of trail, several sites in the interior of the woods could be good for smaller tents and so on.

DSCN2030Such beautiful view of the mountains from the trail

DSCN2031Looking up into the clear blue skies.. Yes that tree is still there, It is NOT falling down!

DSCN2032Nice little Madrona shrub growing.

DSCN2033A view of the mountain ranges…Consider that this is not as high an elevation as it could have been from the road….. I am impressed.

DSCN2034Another view of the surrounding mountains

DSCN2035Looking back East towards the campsite trails

DSCN2043Another shot of the forest and its underbrush developing.

DSCN2044Hammock test set up with small tarp, bugnet, underpad 🙂

DSCN2045Looking at the hammock site from a fair distance away, around 50 yards…it blends in OKAY in this terrain, from a helicopter or other mountains, probably not noticeable.

DSCN2046Another view of the hammock tarp set up; I only used 3 stakes, tying mostly to the trees.

DSCN2047A different angle showing the “beak” of one side.

DSCN2048Another growing Madrona tree

DSCN2049Twig fire! I picked up the trash after the fire, since previous occupants left some trash in the firepit.

DSCN2050My dinner for the day; Idahoan instant taters in a canteen cup!

DSCN2036My Hellcat pack system and day trip belt kit; I am a believer in being armed when walking the woods alone.

DSCN2037Other side of pack.

The Open cell foam pad, hammock, Kelty top quilt, straps and bugnet are all in the black MSS bag, while the tarp is in the very top pocket of the small “Recon” pack, which also holds my foods, water in 3 1 qt canteens, fire kit, stakes and ropes. My clothes are in the MOLLE Sustainment pouches on the sides, with one holding just fleece pull over and fleece throw blanket for additional insulation if needed, and the other holding the rest of my clothes.

I also have a small tube sack stuffed with left over open cell foam to use as a pillow for either neck or knees in the hammock.

My first aid kit is in the top flap’s bottom pocket, while I have another quart of water on the waist belt, and a pouch holding my compass, along with a medic pocket holding my trail snacks and granola bars.

 

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…..one 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.

Trip report; Slide Creek camping

SO I am back from a weekend camping out in Slide Creek area in Oregon, part of the Santiam State Forest/Willamette National Forest; a weekend with friends, and a test of the Bat Wing tarp and DIY hammock! I must say, I had a great time!DSCN1852The view of the camp site; my hammock tarp is somewhere to the right in the woods;

DSCN1853Slide Creek from the camp site

DSCN1854My hammock tarp camp site; the trees are barely over 12 feet apart; and I only used two stakes; tied the corners of the ends to the trees

DSCN1855with vinyl ground cloth and my pack and Gilmour bow saw to process dead fall wood for fire

DSCN1876The view inside the tarp; that is my USGI Intermediate Cold weather sleeping bag; I have a blue camp pad inside to keep me insulated on the bottom.

DSCN1856looking out to the parking area and National Forest Road 4695; which leads to Brietenbush Road

DSCN1857a trail going into the woods; beautiful scenery!

DSCN1858the Sun shining through;

DSCN1867here be life and dead wood; such is beautiful woodland.

DSCN1864the natural bridge made by felled trees; these trees fell down from a windstorm a while back, a few have been cut in order to provide some firewood; but the majority are left alone

DSCN1866the root base of one of the bridging trees; it is a large base, and provides a good shelter for animals and critters; the ground is so very rocky

DSCN1868one of the Russula mushrooms; I am not sure which species of Russula this one is;

DSCN1870a Western Trillium that’s aged; it is a beautiful flowering plant

DSCN1873a Fairy Slipper; one of the native Orchids in the Oregon/Pacific NW woodlands

DSCN1871a small tree sprouting out of a large dead stump

DSCN1872further up Slide creek; there is evidence of rock slides and bank erosion from storms

DSCN1878A couple of Harlequin Ducks!

DSCN1879another shot of the Harlequin Ducks

DSCN1860Bushcrafting with my vintage Colonial Bowie

DSCN1861and again with the Buck 103 Skinner; making great curling chips

DSCN1863making a tinder stick with the Imperial Ireland small knife

DSCN1875making another tinder stick with the Imperial R.I. bowie knife; it carves pretty good on white pine

DSCN1859A cup of hot chocolate over an Esbit stove

DSCN1862the campground fire pit; modified a little bit so that there’s a draft and a way to feed the large logs into the fire; they are all dead fall/dead logs

The weather was a typical Oregon springtime weather; spots of sun and lots of showers, overnight temps went down to the 40s; and I was toasty warm in the USGI Intermediate Cold Mummy bag and pad; the tarp kept me and my gear dry!