Backcountry Forum

Make Your Own Gear

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#103471 - 09/21/08 01:04 PM MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
I have been building external frames for myself for several years.

I found one of the old Jansports frames like the one "bigfoot2" used for his MYOG External Frame Pack a couple of years ago.

I took what I thought was the best design idea on that frame - the Wing Things - and adapted them to several of my frames. The last group of pictures shows one that was finished a week or so ago and works very well for the weight I carry. This frame combines parts from several other frames to include a few from Mountain Hardwear - the Harrier Pack. This new frame has been test- hiked with 28 pounds on it.

This picture is one of my early versions of a modified Harrier Frame.

1.


I am all about lighter gear so my total pack weight "might" be 12 to 15 pounds according to the number of days worth of food and how much water I need to carry. My food weight is about 1.5 pounds a day or less and my primary gear weigh is well below 5 pounds most of the time. This does not count during the coldest parts of winter or ANY TIME I am in or around Mt Washington, NH hiking.

The following pictures are the most recent version of my External Frames. The white things that look like pillows are made of ThermoPlastic and help push the frame away from my back. The holes in the ThermoPlastic let air in and around the space between my back and the pack bag. With this version frame they are not necessary and have been removed. The tubes that makeup the side support are mounted in a way that they push the top of the pack away from my shoulders and transfer almost all of the pack weight to the hip belt. This is adjustable.

1.

2.

3.

This picture shows the bottom part of the frame without the blue foam padding. I have been able to carry the frame without any padding on the bottom part of the frame. It is a factor of pack weight. Under 10 pounds I don't need the padding but only save a couple of ounces without it so I just leave it on.
4.

The complete frame but without the pack bag weigh about 1.5 pounds. I am working on a very light but strong pack bag made out of Cuben Fiber that will weigh 2 ounces more or less. The shoulder straps are also made out of a very strong version and light Cuben Fiber. The way I have mounted the shoulder straps no padding is necessary.



The Cuben pack straps (white looking ones) have been well tested carrying as much as 28 pounds and show no signs of wear. Remember I am a "Super Ultra Light (SUL)" weight hiker.

Top
#103472 - 09/21/08 06:25 PM Re: MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach [Re: gardenville]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
The frame in the last few pictures, with the metal hip belt things looks like some kinda bondage device. Is that shape wearer specific? Maybe if you added spikes you could market it to the oldest profession industry. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Also, I would think that an external frame setup would be capable of carrying more weight in a more comfortable fashion. My first pack was a frame setup and although you can lash several items to it for versitility, I'll stick with the internal I now use. I did once consider building a frame out of wood stressed with rods etc. Not sure how it would hold up but would be a cool retro/antique look. I believe that if constucted correctly it could be as lightweight as most metal frames. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

Top
#103473 - 09/21/08 09:02 PM Re: MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach [Re: chaz]
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
Quote:
Hey, Gardenville!

I haven't seen one of your posts for a long time. How are you doing? Well, I hope!

Can I hijack this thread to ask about the pump you had for your balloon bed? I know that you have moved on to some other tubes. The balloons look like they would be cheap and good for occasional usage. I'm thinking stranded in ariports, backups for when I intend to hammock, but a nasty thunderstorm has me heading for a shelter, or the once every 5 years I can get hubby to take a camping vacation and we can't hammock.

I found a pretty small one that looks like about the size and shape that a mutual friend (from Delaware) said is like what you used. It blew up when I let someone else try it. I don't think it was being abused, but I can't say it was handled as I intended, either. I need to find one like yours, I think. That, or see if your poly tube source will sell some more tubes.

I hope you are willing to share these sources, if you aren;t sworn to secrecy!

CamperMom


Hi CamperMom,

I had a bit of cancer removed from my bladder, again, the first of May this year. While doing some tests they also found cancer in my right kidney. They took it out the first of July. My old body just keeps healing so on with life. I am back to walking 6 to 8 miles most days and carrying my pack most of them.

Funny you would ask about the balloon bed. I was playing with the poly tube air mattress a few days ago. I looked for my balloon bed / kilt but it is hiding from me. I am hoping I can get out on the AT sometime in Oct and was thinking about something really light to sleep on. My pump is called the "Twistez" and and sold by "GAYLA IND, inc - Houston, TX". I bought mine at Michael's. The stock pump weight is 2.78 ounces. I cut mine down a bit and reduced its weigh but that may be more trouble than most would want to do.

Look toward the bottom of the page.

Gayla - Twistez

I have thought about calling our "mutual friend (from Delaware)" to see if he has any time for a hike the middle to the end of Oct. I haven't as I am not 100% sure I can go yet. I have a couple of follow-up exams the first and second of Oct. and if they go OK then I have till late Nov. to my next exam. I have thought about someplace like Harpers Ferry south. I would like to try a few days really light and see just how many miles per day my old body can make. Then back off the mileage and enjoy the terrain for as much time as I have left. I am not out for a race but a conditioning check. Sometimes you just got to see what you have left to work with.

I will call the person I was getting my Poly Tubes from Monday and see if he will still sell some. I bought a roll of 3 mil - 6" tubing but have not tried any of it yet. I went with the 3 mil as I thought it might be a bit stronger and it didn't come in 5" width.

The advantage of the poly tubing is that I could put down or other insulation in them for when the ground gets cold. I still have my Warmlight DAM and I am very happy with it.

I should start a new thread for the Poly Tube (Insulated) Air Mattress. I want to try one with synthetic insulation.

Top
#103474 - 09/22/08 08:44 AM Re: MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach [Re: gardenville]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
Gardenville,

Thanks for posting your pack pics. I've followed many of your projects elsewhere. Am looking forward to making something out of Cuben fiber. Just haven't come up with an idea that is good enough to merit the extra cost, however.

Where can I buy cuben fiber and what weight do you recommend.

I was looking at the pattern of your shoulder belts. I use a front bag instead of shoulder belts but my experience is that the pulling forces on the front bag run pretty much along the lines and shape of your shoulder straps. It is almost as if your shoulder straps are hidden in the front bag I use.

Top
#103475 - 09/22/08 10:48 AM Re: Cuben question [Re: DJ2]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Hi, Bill - great to see your new pack. I used to love my old Jansport, so those hip extensions on your frame bring back memories.

I have a question (OK, a few questions) for you about Cuben packs: where do you imagine that any fabric or seam failure would occur? I know that since you are SUL you probably have not seen anything "blow out" as yet but I'm wondering if I were to make a pack bag for my Luxurylite frame, what would I need to look out for in terms of longevity for the bag? I generally carry 18-25 lbs depending on the trip. Do seams tend to tear through the fabric? Is sewing preferable to taping? (what type stitching?) Looking at samples, the fabric itself seems pretty abrasion resistant - is it?

Good to hear that you are recovering well from still more surgery, and still getting out there hiking and designing equipment.
_________________________
dk

Top
#103476 - 09/22/08 12:39 PM Re: MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach [Re: gardenville]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Gardenville-

Thanks for your quick reply. You should be going by "TImex"- Takes a licking and keeps on ticking! I will spare you my whining about the scar on my neck from surgery in May. You would have the right to smack me! The rest of my world can just put up with it, 'cause it is much larger than the surgeon said and did not quite land where the crease will be as my maturing neck wrinkles with age. So, yeah, I'm torqued off.

I will check Michael's. There is one a few towns away. AC Moore, JoAnn, and Hobby Lobby did not pan out as sources when I looked, nor did Oriental Trading Company or eBay.

I should be hitting a piece of New Jersey over the Columbus Day weekend with another friend of our mutual friend in Delaware. The Delaware Dude will be just back from family stuff, so can't make the Columbus time frame. Anyway, if you want to come along with us, we are not shooting for a really strenuous hike. If you want to extend, I can drive back to pick you up the following weekend...

CamperMom

Top
#103477 - 09/22/08 01:23 PM Re: MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach [Re: CamperMom]
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
DJ2:

Question - "Where can I buy cuben fiber and what weight do you recommend?"

Quest Outfitters sells Cuben by the yard.
Where to buy Cuben

I buy most of my Cuben Fiber direct from the company but you have to buy it in 9 yard minimums.

It also now comes in colors - blue and red. Cost is about 10% higher.

====

dkramale:

Hi, Bill - great to see your new pack. I used to love my old Jansport, so those hip extensions on your frame bring back memories.

Question - (OK, a few questions) for you about Cuben packs:
Q-1. Where do you imagine that any fabric or seam failure would occur?

A-1. The only failure I have ever had on a pack was one day when I took a swan dive down a mountain trail after I tripped on a hidden root. I landed on the side of the pack and the pack material tore ( not on the seam) from the impact and my weight on top of it. I would think that the seams would be the weak point but you can avoid that with a double seam on all material edges. When I made my first Cuben Pack Bag I doubled all seam edges. I have carried at least 20 pounds in most of my Cuben Packs. I made one pack for a larger - winter - gear load. That pack has carried 26 pounds but should be strong enough for 35 or 40 pounds. I used a heavier weight Cuben on the stress points and bottom. Some of my Cuben Fiber is really strong and is still much lighter then the material used of pack bags you buy. I have 5 different weigh Cuben Fiber.

Q-2. I know that since you are SUL you probably have not seen anything "blow out" as yet but I'm wondering if I were to make a pack bag for my Luxurylite frame, what would I need to look out for in terms of longevity for the bag? I generally carry 18-25 lbs depending on the trip.

A-2. If I was going to make pack bags for the weight you want to carry I would use a Cuben with a bit higher weight per sq yard. I used a Cuben that was rated at 0.44 oz per sq yard for my Cuben Hammock and it is working great. Then watch how you load the bags, I would guess you do that anyway. I am careful with all my gear. Make a bias tape out of the same weigh Cuben and sew it into all seams.

Q-3. Do seams tend to tear through the fabric? Is sewing preferable to taping? (what type stitching?) Looking at samples, the fabric itself seems pretty abrasion resistant - is it?

A-3. I have never had one of my seams tear. I sew all my Cuben items but only because the tape is heavy vs thread weight. Cuben Fiber is not a magic fabric but a very light and strong material. If something rubs against it - over - time - it will make a hole. Type of stitching - If you get some Cuben or with your samples play with your sewing machine and different stitch lengths. Sew something and try to tear it apart. Don't try to us it as a tow rope and think you can pull your car with it. Just pull easy and then pull a bit more etc, etc and see what happens. Find out how you have to sew it to be strong enough for what you want to use it for.

4. Good to hear that you are recovering well from still more surgery, and still getting out there hiking and designing equipment.

4. Thanks, I am not one to sit on my butt and feel sorry for myself.

I have 9 yards of "BLUE" Cuben (light stuff) on order and expect it any day.

====

CamperMom:

"I should be hitting a piece of New Jersey over the Columbus Day weekend with another friend of our mutual friend in Delaware. The Delaware Dude will be just back from family stuff, so can't make the Columbus time frame. Anyway, if you want to come along with us, we are not shooting for a really strenuous hike. If you want to extend, I can drive back to pick you up the following weekend..."


Thanks for the invite to hike with you/all. Do you know where you will be going? You can PM the details if you want.

I will be driving, I don't fly unless there is a lot of water between me and where I want to go.


Edited by gardenville (09/22/08 01:25 PM)

Top
#103478 - 09/22/08 06:27 PM Re: MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach [Re: gardenville]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Dang, Fella!

You are talking one LOOOOONG drive from Texas to NJ. I'm looking at a section of trail east of the Delaware Water Gap. Either there to Culvers Gap, or just east of there. I still need input from the other friend about how many miles we should do. I plan to accomodate his aging dog so I don't have to admit to my own frailties...<w> There are a couple of long ridge walks between gaps, IIRC.

We could head closer to Port Clinton/Eckville if the weather is cool enough. The terrain is brutal coming out of Port Clinton. I may want to try to slack pack there and definitely want to wait for cool weather. Locals say it is nasty with rattlesnakes. No thanks! They should be hiding out if it is cold...

I may have an old E-mail addy for you. If it works, I will send some trail descriptions as attachments.

Cheers!

CamperMom

Top
#103479 - 09/22/08 06:47 PM Re: MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach [Re: CamperMom]
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
CamperMom,

I can't promise I will get that far north. I may only get to Georgia. I am hoping the price of gas drops back to around what it was before the last storm blew through Texas. That might be to much to hope for.

I have been hang out in my Cuben Hammock this afternoon. It is going to be a nice night and I might sleep out in it. The only problem I have with that is one of my cats likes to jump into the Hammock when I am in it. She tried to get in it when I wasn't in it once, well, think - FLIP. It was really funny. One second she was in it the next second she was flying out of it.

Top
#103480 - 09/23/08 11:35 AM Re: MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach [Re: gardenville]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Yuppers, that is pretty far north.

I'm sending you a PM on this site. We have some half-days and a Veteran's Day holiday in November. Let's talk.

CM

Top
#103481 - 09/27/08 02:10 PM Re: MYOG-External Frame Pack: A different approach [Re: gardenville]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Bill, nice to see a post from you, it's been wayyy too long my friend! Glad to hear that you are regaining your health after some setbacks this past year.

Still at work on those pack designs eh? Guess you'll finally dial one in to your liking after all those crafting sessions.

I know that one of the companies that makes a synthetic insulated pad is now making them with 'integral pumps'. It seems to be a section of one tube is used with a valve of sorts to pump up the mat. it's deflated by a Thermarest type valve I believe. Think I saw it in the Campmor catalog while in the loo (hey, don't laugh, if you run out on the roll there's always the catalog at hand <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />)

I would've thought you'd be done with the AT by now. Not having heard from you since last season when you thought you might make the Georgia trailhead. :confused

Geeze Campermom, you got sick too <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Yikes! seems a few of us around these parts have had a bout of illness to be reckoned with. Sounds like you'll hit the trailhead before any of the rest of us. Don't forget to hit the Ramsey Outdoors discount store out on the way to the trailhead. It's a really odd deal, they have a regular store right next to the discount outlet in the same strip mall <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Some deals in there if you poke around.
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Butane Stove
by Jim M
12/15/17 08:05 PM
Knife, Fire Starter, Ignition Source
by Jim M
12/11/17 07:34 PM
Bivvy bag with wired peak
by Petro1234
12/10/17 01:06 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Greetings - and a question
by valongi
12/11/17 11:35 AM
Just found out about UCO candles
by toddfw2003
11/30/17 08:41 AM
Hitting the eagle rock loop, Ark in 3 days
by toddfw2003
11/19/17 11:31 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Plant based insulation...
by billstephenson
11/18/17 02:58 PM
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
10/22/17 06:13 PM
avalibility of thin ti rod
by the-gr8t-waldo
01/26/17 04:45 PM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 17 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
runningman55, ponchoman, valongi, Atkinson J, Dcarpenter
12471 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com