With the prices on outdoor equipment as expensive as they are, along with the fact that not all equipment is as personal as some would like, there are many who’ve turned to producing their own backpacking & hiking equipment. Making your own gear is both fun & challenging, but in the end, the pride & satisfaction that results from using something you’ve made is inexplicable.
Many people have decided to make their own equipment due to their own dissatisfaction with more commercialized products. Some do it for their own personal knowledge & better understanding of how something works, or should work. Ray Jardine, known by many as the father of ultralite backpacking, sells do-it-yourself kits for making things like backpacks, knives, quilts, tarps, bomber hats & more. Ray & his wife Jenny have been on countless adventures around the world, and their knowledge of outdoor activities has helped them in the development of their equipment making kits.
Brian Frankle started Ula Equipment shortly after he through-hiked the PCT. He wasn’t happy with the options that the current commercialized backpacks offered. So, he started designing his own packs. Hundreds of others have followed in his & Ray Jardine’s footsteps. Not all who learn to make their own equipment sell to the public, but that doesn’t detract from their creative desires.
Of course, some equipment is much too difficult for the average person to build on their own. Ray & Jenny Jardine have built their own sea kayaks for touring the oceans. Not everyone has the time or money to spend on such projects. But there are plenty of smaller projects to tackle. Many people have built their own alcohol stoves, also known as soda can stoves. Backpacks, tarps, tarp-tents, stuff sacks, ditty bags, hiking poles & snow shoes are small enough & not too demanding to make for someone who’s never made their own equipment.
If there’s an option on a backpack or a waist pack which yo