Friday, 11 December 2009

Making Moment No.1

Well I may have some flashes of inspiration in the future but at the moment I reckon this is the only thing I’ve done which I’ve not seen elsewhere on the Internet.  This is not to say that it’s not been done before.  This is my take on SUL guy lines.  Super Ultra Light?  See here for a insight into the SUL world if you’re not already familiar with the concept.

I like these guy lines, they give me a smug sense of satisfaction that only a kit geek can get when they have an original idea that works.  They’re cheap and SUL.  There’s not really much to them as you can tell.  They consist of a 10p aluminium guy line thingy and some dyneema purchased from a kite shop.  The dyneema is soft and coated which stops the abrasion problem that some coated dyneema lines can create.

From memory this spool of line cost about £15, the 30m length is actually two lots of 30m as there are two lines on the spool, so 60m in total.  The line is attached to the tarp/tent with a half blood knot.  The same knot is used to attach the line to the aluminium slider as you can see in the photo below.  Obviously you’ll need to thread the line through the slider as shown below before tying both ends.

I’ve used these lines on my solo tarp which I’ve had for about three years.  I’ve probably used the tarp/guy line set up about 20 times.  The lines don’t stretch, even when wet, they don’t slide or loosen off even in high or sustained winds and they are surprisingly tough, the photo below shows the slight wear after 20 or so trips.  The line is relatively cheap so there’s no problem replacing them once in a while.  With a 300lb breaking strength, I think they’re strong enough for most conditions.

One other thing they’re really light at 3g-5g for lines 6’-9’ in length, that’s including the slider.  They’re cheap and they’re one of the easiest things to alter on any tent /tarp.  You do have to be careful when packing up.  Make sure that you hank all the lines individually or you’ll have a real mess of tangled cord to deal with when you unpack your shelter.  I find if you fold your shelter so the hanked lines don’t get into contact with each other it makes life a slot easier when you come to re-pitch.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Nothing new or clever here...

Well Hello.

What can you expect from this and the following posts?  Hopefully something interesting enough that you'll come back once in a while and raise your eyebrows whilst making a "tsk" noise and thinking "I've seen that somewhere before?”

Most of the posts on here are my attempts of making kit that I’ve seen on the internet.  For each “Making Moment” post I’ll try and link to where the original idea, or ideas came from, why I may have adapted them and with what success.  Not much if anything is totally original (apart from my ultra light guy lines below.  Well I’ve not seen any like them before, please feel free to tell me otherwise).

There’s been loads of people making and adapting gear for years, each innovator has a brilliant idea and goes on to make a product.  Usually not on a commercial basis and then goes on to share these good ideas with all of us.  I, as well of a lot of other people read through all this information and occasionally find two or more brilliant ideas that’ll go together quite nicely thank you very much.  A Making Moment soon follows.

I’m a proper kit geek, I love making stuff and experimenting with the results, proper shed manufacture and science, nowt fancy you understand.  I’m hoping with this blog to document the making and use of most of my light weight hiking and camping gear.  To see how it can be done, to see how it works and hopefully inspire other people to have a go.  I also like to experiment with different techniques and materials, I really would appreciate any comments about these experiments, good or bad. 

The end result is a load of kit that we’ve made ourselves, the satisfaction that brings, and money we’ve saved.  Oh I nearly forgot the reason I make all this stuff is so I can go places like this…

Next to Red Tarn looking back the way we came.  February 2009