Sloooowing down

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Well, it’s been slow in the hiking arena. I have gotten a little spur of interest in a new area, though. After checking out sites like hammockforums.net and diytactical.com I’m really keen on learning how to make my own gear. I’m waiting for a book to be available at my local library. It’s “How To Make Your Own Lightweight Camping & Hiking Gear” by Vick Hines.

I’ve also done something I never thought I’d do. I bought a sewing machine. 🙂 I went looking at some industrial machines last Saturday. Since I’m not an experienced sewer (?) by any stretch of the imagination I certainly didn’t want to spend the $950 they were asking even though it was for a complete setup with machine, table, and electro-servo motor. I called another store with a 60s Singer for $150. I was looking for an older machine with metal gears to put up with the rigors of sewing heavy material like webbing, Cordura, etc. I ended up finding an 80s vintage Singer Merritt 2404.

I’ve done a bit of practicing on ripstop nylon and cotton webbing. The ripstop is a little hard. I really need to get some fabric glue to hold it in place. The stuff slides all over. The webbing caused it’s own issues, though. My intent was to make some longer tree huggers for the hammock. When I folded the ends over to make the seam the foot didn’t sit flush. I finally figured I could use another piece of webbing to get started and that seemed to work well. I got two 72″ huggers made. However, I’m going to do them over. Cotton isn’t really a good material since it’ll stretch when wet and eventually rot. I’m on the hunt now for good polyester webbing. It’ll hold up much better and isn’t as affected by UV either. At least it’s giving me practice.

Eventually I’d like to try my hand at making a DIY hammock. Or, at the very least, buying a Speer kit.

I’m still getting ready for my upcoming hikes. Yesterday I ordered some USGS topo maps of the areas. Hopefully they’ll come in soon. I also had a training revelation. Since most of the Sept hike will be through sugar sand, it doesn’t make much sense to be training on trails that are dirt. So Sat I’m headed to the beach. I’m sure people will be wondering why this guy is walking down the beach with a pack but who cares? I used Google Earth to lay out various distances so I can watch the street signs at the beach access points to know how much ground I’ve covered. I think that’s going to be my new training regimen.

Well, that about covers it for now. See ya on the trail!


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