Kidney pad, Cook pot carrier, and Hi Point 995 Redball satchel

Sewed up a few things over the last few days;

First up, a narrow kidney pad (not waist belt) for the WW2 rucksack frame being used on a much newer, unknown manufacturer custom rucksack that is basically a copy of the WW2 Mountain Rucksack;, and then a cook pot/pan carrier that attaches to the rucksack via the M1910 wire hook. Lastly, I sewed up a simple black 500D Cordura satchel for 5 Redball 20rd magazines and 6 10 round Hi Point 995 magazines, with velcro patch panel, 1.5″ center release buckle, 1.5″ shoulder strap. The magazines are retained by 3″ elastic webbing

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Kidney pad, made with 500D Cordura, 3/8″ Closed cell foam, 1.5″ webbing, 2 D rings, a tension strap

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Close up of tension system using a plastic cam buckle

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Another view of the tension system, lifted from the ALICE rucksack system

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Cook system carrier, 3″ elastic band for the perimeter, 2″ black strap for M1910 hook, 1″ buckle strap with center open buckle

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view of the closure system

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The back of the carrier, showing how it all ties together to maintain positive retention of cook pots

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Showing how the carrier attaches to the rucksack via a M1910 wire hook on the grommeted tabs

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995 carbine magazine bag, made for a customer.

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Interior shot of the magazine bag

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The back of the magazine bag, You can clearly see the diagonals for the Redball magazines on the bottom half of the bag.

6-man USGI shelter half set up

I’ve been quite busy this holiday season…though… I picked up two complete USGI Pup Tents, and have made this 6-man shelter out of 6 shelter halves, 12x pole sections, and four 9ft poles assembled from the Greatland Cabin tent… the external A-frame set up was a pain in the butt to do, but this was all by myself, not with another person which might’ve made it easier to set up…

using this page as a guide;

http://www.hardscrabblefarm.com/vn/tent-pitching.html

 

I followed most of the directions and made the shelter; it is around 12 feet by 12 feet octagon, with roughly 5 feet wide long edges and 4 feet corner edges, and around 8 feet tall, this shelter gives a group of people a lot of space, and depending on what they bring, has room enough for a heater or a wood stove if the pipe can go out somewhere…

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corner shot, the triangle opening is the entry opening, one could do without a 4th wall in the base and use an open face set up next to a fire with the top triangle end folded back

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sideways angle view, you see the Inverted V rope, that is part of a W shaped guy line because I did not check to make sure the top halves have snap buttons on the bottom edges..whoops

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closed up corner view. On building the base, I found I do not need to have a 4th wall to keep the other 3 suspended, so that provides another way to have entrance or one could combine multiple pieces to make for a huge communal shelter.

The whole shelter is very heavy, and would NOT be good for backpacking at all, unless spread out by people. It might be possible to carry all of it on a gear sled in winter, or a wheeled cart in spring and fall…

Well Tomorrow or so I will do other set ups and take pics!

 

 

Vintage pack suspension system update, and picked up a good tarp!

Decided I wanted to add a centering strap to my Academy Broadway’s modded suspension system so that it stays in one place instead of being quite floppy….its simply a 1.5″ wide nylon belt threaded through the center piece and attached to the two bars where the straps are attached to…wearing it, I do not notice it at all! With a 22 pound base load without water, it feels very comfortable…DSCN2105 Showing the centering strap

DSCN2101 How the pack sits on me, and how the straps goes down following my back to the mounting points on the lower bar, it also shows the load lifter as it should be used;

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Another view of the set up, but from the side. I realize the load lifters aren’t at the “magic 45 degree” angle, but it is comfortable and I do not feel overburdened.

I also picked up a 9×7 rubberized nylon tarp….it only has 8 grommets, and is thinner than my USGI poncho, but heavier than the silnylon tarp I have….it is in a shade very close to that of Coyote Tan, though according to an older backpacker, it was available at REI and other outfitters in the 80s as a lightweight alternative to the poly plastic tarps and canvas tarps at that time.

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Laid out flat

20140915_133806Showing the material on both top and bottom side

20140915_132316Set up over the 2-man bug tent and hiking poles (improvised from ski poles)

20140915_132306View from the front, the fabric sags pretty heavily in this set up…

20140915_132332From the side, it covers all of the bug screening, and there is plenty of room in between the front/back and the tarp, one could move it back a little and have a porch/awning to store gear under.

20140915_133410I think this is the better set up, no spots for water to pool under…I might modify the bug tent to have only two side pull outs instead of four…so that I can use the same stakes on the sides as the diamond with door pitch uses….

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Side view of the diamond with door pitch;

20140915_132407Center seam on the ridge; I think this is likely the reason for the sagging..not sure myself…

20140915_132414Hiking/Ski poles used to support the tarp. it is the perfect size to hold up through the grommets…I will be getting rubber feet or tip protectors for them so as not to scratch rocks when hiking/backpacking…

And here are the two packs packed up for 3-4 days with the significant other…… minus water.

 

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I am carrying a Full size air mattress plus wool blanket and canteens in the top, clothes in middle, sleeping bag in bottom, food in front large pocket, extra rope in one pocket, fire starting kit in small pocket, first aid kit in other pocket, with the last large pocket being available for miscellaneous things, while her red pack carries her sleeping bag, the bug tent and the tan tarp with stakes, food in side pockets with room for miscellaneous items, canteens in the main compartment with her clothes underneath the sleeping bag…weights are as follows, my big green one is 22 pounds without water, her red bag is 17 pounds without water…a difference of 5 pounds which could be attributed to the wool blanket and heavier clothes, since she is basically half my size.

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.

 

 

 

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….

External Frame packs and Vintage ALICE Goodness!

Decided to do redo my hiking backpacks and return the Improved Hellcat pack frame to stock format of Coleman PEAK-1 bag, original straps and all; and packed it with stuff for the Significant Other except her clothes….What is surprising is that the removal of the military equipment cut out around 5 pounds of unnecessary weight; though at the loss of modularity….right now with stuff except clothes and water, it weights 16 pounds overall. The big green Academy Broadway Jasper pack is full of stuff except water, and carries extra items for two people, weights in at 22 pounds, but empty, the pack weights around 5.5 pounds, still a significant weight loss compared to the MOLLE equipped Coleman pack frame before. I also decided to return one of my old ALICE bags to a like-new ALICE frame and stock straps/belt (all 1978-1979 vintage and NO SCRATCHES OR DAMAGE!) that was given to me by the S.O.’s mother, turns out empty, it weights 9 pounds….only 2 pounds less than the MOLLE version, and still almost double the empty weight of the Jasper pack and the Coleman PEAK 1 pack.ย  Also did the Bobcat Mod on a camo ALICE bag with camo LC-2 straps, its not bad but not good for heavy loads.

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The three external frame bags;

DSCN2081View of their suspension components;

 

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Bobcat modded Medium ALICE

DSCN2083View of Bobcat modded ALICE straps;

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Loaded up before I transferred all the crap in there to the Jasper pack; here, it weighted 32 pounds O.O (with a full 1 gallon of water and too much food, enough for like 5-6 days hahaha)

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showing the Bobcat mod, which consists of a 11″ long steel tube in the frame pocket and the straps attached around it to the metal rings of the pack. It works OK, but is best for lighter loads than whats shown here.

OK, people are probably wondering HOW is it I have so much stuff in those bags…..for the purposes of pictures, the ALICEs are loaded with extra items I have.

Academy Broadway Jasper pack list;

-blue CCF pad

-12×9 poly tarp

-10 stakes

-bug tent in lower compartment

-first aid kit in side pouch

-granola bars and chocolate packets in side pouch

-fire kit in small side pouch

-2 pairs of pants

-2 shirts

-2 pairs of underwear

-3 pairs of socks

-fleece pull over

-2 2qt canteens (empty right now)

-Kelty top quilt

-Food for 3 days

-canteen cup

-weight currently at 22 pounds without water.

Coleman Peak 1 pack

 

-Down 20 degrees mummy bag (too small for me, but perfect for S.O.)

-2 1qt canteens (also empty)

-canteen cup

-kitchen items; forks, spoons, skewers and pot holder

-2-3 days of food

-granola bars

-weight 16 pounds, no water or clothes

Green Medium ALICE pack

-empty weight; 9 pounds (EEK)

-twin air mattress

-one old sleeping bag

-two empty canteens

Camo Medium ALICE pack; Bobcat mod

-MOLLE straps inside

-MOLLE belt inside

-2x MOLLE sustainment pouches and MOLLE panels

-2x USGI 3 day training packs

-Hex tarp

-Bat-wing tarp

-extra stakes

-hammer

-total weight; 18 pounds

 

Out of all the packs, the Jasper’s modified waist belt fits the best, 2nd only to the MOLLE hip belt, and the Coleman Peak 1 straps are the most comfortable, 2nd only to the MOLLE shoulder straps… the belt it has is too small for me; so its ok for the S.O. for now. The worst straps is a tie between the Jasper straps and the ALICE LC-2 OD straps on the stock ALICE pack. The Jasper straps’ metal buckles are right in front of my armpits, where they should NOT be…..however, the upper mounts is at the perfect 45% angle, so I think I only need to modify the straps by extending the upper mount somehow. Not sure how to best proceed….There is the option of making complete new straps with a set of cannibalized LC-2 long straps similar to the woodland ones in OD, with which I would mount the bottom of the backs to the lower cross bar between the top and the bottom, and have load lifters to the original strap cross bars, this would give me 6 points of adjustment. Ideally if there was another bar below the cross bar, that would be the perfect place for new straps…I am not sure what model Kelty is closest to this frame… Or Jansports for that matter.

As for the Hellcat mods; I think I want to do it again with a DEI 1606AC frame, and probably with new, lighter materials similar to the set up on the Coleman Peak 1 pack, but in Olive or Camo…

For actual bug out bags, it is hard to beat the practically indestructible ALICE packs, especially with the Hellcat mods…..When one considers the need for the fabric to actually stand up to abuses such as dragging in the mud, tossing in the truck, or whatever vehicles have you, and so on….the ALICE and the MOLLE equipment are pretty good for that… BUT….unfortunately, it can also make you a target, hence my decision to pack these two civilian hiking backpacks, which are pretty tough, and also pretty much common everywhere (the Kelty/Jansport style one, not sure of the Coleman but…)…and so will aid greatly in the “gray man” thinking. Out here in the PNW, people do not give second thoughts or focus on the bearded guy wearing surplus winter jackets and a civilian hiking pack; nor do they focus on the obviously large hunting camo wearing guy with the old army backpack and old hunting rifles….In some areas, people are more attracted to the guy who wears 5.11 everything and has a black or coyote backpack with miles of MOLLE; but they do not really notice the guy with woodland/desert MOLLE; nor do they notice the guy with the 30+ year old framed hiking backpack.

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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view of area, facing the morning sun

DSCN2001the camp site; no rain that night, and super clear night..so 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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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 intoย  BOTH bicycles….. The Schwinn ladies was given to me for free from a family friend..it 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.

Acquired another commuter project! burgundy Sears Free Spirit bike

Got this from a guy out in the country….haggled on price and got it for a good price I feel…it’s an early 80s Free Spirit PhysioFit bicycle with 26″ wheels, 10 speed, Shimano Positron stem shifters and FH series derailleurs, Sugino 3-piece crank set, with double chain ring….the original steel wheels had bad axles and dry rotten tire casings, so I swapped the casings and SUMO 26x 1.75 wheels from my Coyote Brown Huffy “bug out bike” project; and spent a few hours with Ajax cleaner and water on the chrome parts….due to the knobbies, I am unable to use the rather nifty half- fenders, but I cleaned them up anyhow, since I anticipate that I will put Kenda K-shield tires on the SUMO wheels…. EDIT: apparently the Shimano FH Derailleur came out in 1982 according to http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/Shimano_Positron_FH_derailleur_%28PF20%29.html

DSCN1825with knobbies put on, and with original half fenders still on; test rode and turns out that due to the knobbies on the shoulders of the tire casings, there’s a rubbing sound from the pinch in the fenders where there’s clearance for the MX brakes.

DSCN1835all cleaned up and fenders removed!DSCN1836Side view, I replaced the WAY TOO wide vinyl “cruiser ” comfort seat for the brown Troxel seat from the Huffy

DSCN1838Head tube with a funky add on decal, added by the previous owner… I like it so I’m leaving it….until I sell the bike.

DSCN1840Sugino chainring/crank set

DSCN1839Shimano Positron shifter; it shifts pretty smoothly even with the extra 6th speed cog in the rear!

DSCN1837DAT RACK. I’ve not seen another that employed 2 bolts to the brake bridge area without eyelets…its pretty sturdy, welded steel rod construction…it was caked with rust and scales….I’ve done my best…but honestly I think it’d be better sandblasted and coated silver…..still, its a nice sturdy rack.

DSCN1835quarter view, the cruiser bars allows for an upright riding position, and while the frame is a couple inches smaller than my former commuter Cycle Pro Oswego, it is still comfortable for me. The frame length is very similar, just shorter…Chain stay length is amazingly 460mm (or 18″), the same as the CyclePro Oswego…In fact, even though it is clearly meant to be a cruiser, I can see myself taking this around town for commuting and possible overnight tours…the frame, I am not sure who made it…..but it is a lugged brazed steel tube construction, and the lugs are pretty good….Heard that the Sears Free Spirit bikes were made by Puch of Austria, and Huffy, and Murray, among others… but I am not sure who made this frame, as it reminds me more of the Taiwan and Japanese bicycles….

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)

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! ๐Ÿ™‚