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 decided that I’d like the back panel of my ULA Ohm to be a little more structured and less flexible. The obvious thing to do was to add a sheet of HDPE to the foam sheet (a cut down Karrimat) that I was using. I ordered some 500mm x 250mm HDPE sheets from Direct Plastics. The sheets are so cheap I ordered 3 x 1mm and 3 x 1.5mm sheets, in case I want to use the HDPE for any other projects.
The sheets are almost exactly the correct shape. I had to cut the top corners off, which was easily done with a pair of sharp scissors. I used the 1.5mm thickness sheet as I felt it gave a little more rigidity and attached it to the foam pad with some duct tape. The weight is about 160g (HDPE sheet).
I’m pleased with the outcome. The back panel no longer bulges when you pack the sack and I can guarantee that no objects will jab me in the back. I’m pretty pleased with it. I think it will make the pack more comfortable, together with my hip belt mod. I had been thinking about getting an old style Gossamer Gear Gorilla pack (if I could find one), but I’m not sure I’ll bother as the Ohm is basically the same but with better quality materials.
I enjoyed using my Bushbuddy Ultra stove. To be effective, it benefits from a decent windshield. I used a sturdy aluminium one, which worked well but weighs around 200g.
Using some reflective radiator insulator and foil tape, I knocked up a similar sized windshield that is much lighter and weighs only 46g. I’ve lined the inner surface with foil tape to give some protection against stray flames.
To stabilise it, I’ve used three of the lightweight (and useless) toothpick tent pegs that came with my F10 Nitro Lite. Having such a lightweight screen makes the Bushbuddy a much more attractive option, especially combined with a Speedster meths stove as backup.
Twist-lock trekking poles have a nasty habit of jamming. The slippery shaft of the pole can make it difficult to get a firm grip to unlock them, especially if they are wet. Here’s an easy way to overcome that problem.
Cut two rectangles from some rug anti-slip underlay (available from places like Dunelm) or from a car boot anti-slip mat (from places like Halfords). In the picture, the rug underlay is white, the boot anti slip mat is grey. Wrap one piece around each section and twist. They give a far better grip than using bare hands. Weight? Rug underlay 2g, boot mat 7g. The rug underlay is now in my repair kit. Of course, you could use flick lock poles, but they are heavier.
A broken trekking pole is usually an inconvenience rather than a disaster. However, if you are using your trekking poles to support your shelter (e.g. a Trailstar or Duomid), then a broken pole becomes a critical problem.
Now, I’ve never broken a pole, but there’s always a first time. After a short conflab on Twitter, Nigel gave me the idea of making a pole splint from some polypropylene pipe. So, today I nipped down to Homebase and bought some 22mm overflow piping. I cut a 15cm section and voilà, an almost perfect trekking pole splint, weight 12g.
I always carry some duct tape, so both ends can be easily secured. It should be good enough as a temporary repair. When I was looking at pipes, I found that overflow pipes were lighter than ordinary polypropylene plumbing pipes and a lot cheaper. From now on, I shall be carrying one in my repair kit.