I may be delving into the realm of ridiculously lightweight but if that’s your thing, you may find some good ideas here. The original Buff® truly is multifunctional headwear. Previously on my trips I carried a bandanna as a pot holder, sweat wiper, rag, mud cleaner, napkin, and towel but a Buff acts equally well as replacement for all those uses. Additionally, while a stocking cap is certainly warmer than a Buff, it only serves one single function. The Buff, however, can be manipulated into a balaclava, can be used in warmer temperatures to keep sweat out of my eyes, and can protect the back of my neck and forehead on sunny hikes.
I’m usually a pretty serious advocate of buying brand name gear when your life depends on it. Recently, however, I’ve needed things that are so specific for what I am doing that they simply aren’t marketable. Last year, I made gear to allow me to safely paddle a kayak from Key West to The Tortugas which required a sail, cockpit cover, sea anchor, and outriggers among other things (click the links to see the designs). But recently, I’ve set my eye on a backpacking trip necessitating the lightest gear and have been seriously disappointed with the options currently on the market. I was very impressed with the light weight and affordability of my 7 ounce silnylon Integral Designs Siltarp 1 that I purchased last year. But I figured using a similar rectangle design with Cuben fiber instead of silnylon could drop that weight even further. I did some calculations and figured I could make a Cuben fiber tarp using ZPacks materials that weighed just 2 ounces. Continue reading DIY: Two ounce cuben fiber tarp→
My homemade kayak sail is complete and I just want to thank my wonderful aunt for all her help with it! It looks absolutely beautiful. I have yet to take it for a test run but with all the forethought, I am certain it will sail wonderfully. In the last three days I also added the outriggers and some deck rigging and cleats for the sea anchor/tow rope. I will post about them in the next couple days!