Fed up with straps dangling all over the place? Here’s a simple solution copied from my Exped Thunder pack. Most of the straps on the Thunder have Velcro keepers.
Any excess strap is rolled up and secured by a Velcro keeper sewn on the end of each strap.
The sleeping pad straps on the base of my Osprey Talon 44 are particularly annoying and dangle down. The solution was to mimic the Exped Thunder keepers.It’s really simple to do. I hand sewed them. It’s worth using a thimble as it’s tough to push the needle through the Velcro. It only needs a few stitches to keep in place as there’s no strain on it. Simple, but effective.
I copied this idea from my Osprey rucksack raincover for my smaller Exped raincover. It only took a few minutes to do with some grosgrain, a glove hook, a side release line lok and some shock cord. It works really well to make the raincover fit better and makes it secure against flying off in a strong wind. Simples.
Yet another tweak on the ULA Ohm. Two removable shock cord top straps. Very easy to do, I used two side release cord locks and two glove hooks with some shock cord. The trouble with a single webbing strap is that anything attached is a bit unstable. The shock cord stabilises a tent or stuff sack. They are removable if they are not needed. I’m looking forward to using my modified Ohm. Unfortunately, there won’t be an opportunity until the end of June.
I visited my mum today. She is an ace seamstress and I persuaded her to replace the webbing on the shoulder straps of my Gossamer Gear Mariposa. Sometimes the webbing has slipped under tension, so I replaced it with a coarser weave webbing, which shouldn’t slip. Very pleased with mum’s sewing. Took about five minutes.
I’ve been making again!
Many moons ago, I made some shoulder strap pads for my Golite Quest pack mid trip because the straps were bruising my collar-bone. While I didn’t have any real problems on Dartmoor with soreness from the Exped Thunder, the straps are a bit thin for my liking. They also wick water badly when it’s raining. If you’re wearing Paramo, this wicks through under pressure. An impervious shoulder pad should get rid of this issue. Thus, the shoulder pad has a dual use.
It was very easy to make. I used a cutoff of a closed cell mat, some Velcro and some Duck tape. Originally I was going to just stick the Velcro on, but I thought sewing it would be more secure. I used wide stitches to avoid pulling through the foam. If I were to do it again, I think I’d sew it onto a strip of grosgrain.
On the flip side, I used a length of Duck tape to secure the Velcro strips.
Despite not being shaped, they fit neatly underneath the shoulder straps. Using Velcro means they can be attached without unthreading the harness, unlike the ZPacks version. It also means it’s very easy to reposition the pad. I’m pleased with the outcome.
My Western Mountaineering Ultralite is a great sleeping bag but it has one design flaw. When the zip is fully closed, the draught baffle doesn’t fully cover the zip puller. Consequently, if you’re lying on your side, sometimes you get a cold zip puller dangling on your cheek. To prevent this, I’ve added a short fleece zip guard. Not the neatest bit of sewing, but hopefully it will work.
This is an issue on most of the sleeping bags I’ve owned. On the WM Highlite, I’ve added a zip baffle. On my Alpkit Pipedream and Cumulus Quantum, I added a snap closure. Yet again, you wonder whether gear is tested properly for these little irritations.
Many of you have taken an interest in my MYOG A frame. I’m indebted to Darren for this latest tweak. He discovered that if you remove the snow basket on a Leki trekking pole, you can screw it into the filler nozzle insert. Serendipitously, the threads match exactly. This gives a very solid coupling, doing away with the need to secure the poles with some cord. It makes the frame even more rigid. Not only does it work with a Leki pole (right in the picture), but it also works with Black Diamond poles (left in the picture). Thanks, Darren. Great suggestion.