Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ultralight compression-sack backpack idea.

I had a crazy idea to use a compression stuff sack as an ultralight backpack. I tested it by putting all my stuff inside. It all fits.

So I tested it further by adding some nylon webbing to the compression straps on the back of the stuff sack to form backpack straps. I also added a waist strap to hold the pack to my body.

The result was a pack decent for a quickie overnighter that weighs about 6lb with food and 8oz of water included. Here is a picture:
picture of my stuff-sack backpack

In real life I would carry a larger water bottle.

Inside the pack is a torso-length of a z-rest pad, a bivy sack, a 20-degree down quilt, toiletries, full roll of TP, jacket for wind and light rain, down sweater, cooking set, fuel, matches, Aqua-mira, a day's worth of food and on the outside is a free-standing bug net. Missing is a poncho to use as a shelter. I don't have one yet. But I think I could replace the whole tarp/bivy/bug net idea with my The One tent anyway. It'll fit, too.

The whole thing works, meaning that I can wear it and my gear fits inside. But it isn't very comfortable. I think if I can find a decent old pack in a thrift store I could put real backpack straps on for a much better fit. As a test, however, it seems promising so far.

As for this post meeting the requirements to be categorized as boring news, the news is that today is my birthday. I'm 44 now. Half my life may already be over.


  1. I too a leaning towards a tent of some sort and ditching the bivy and tarp solution. I will most likely get the 2009 version of the One. The Hubba is too big and heavy for the ULA Conduit.

  2. Yeah, I'm not sure the tarp/bivy thing will work for me, either. I think it's a great solution for Tony and I because a 1lb tarp can replace our 6lb tent. But he has to like the tarp and we haven't tried it out yet.

    I liked the idea of the tarp/bivy/bug bivy because putting up the tent every night was such a pain, and with the tarp/bivy/bug bvy I can decide not to set up the tarp. But I need something for mosquitos.

    I think I can carry my bug bivy and my One tent and have rain and mosquito protection and also have flexibility to set up a tent or not. It's probably the best solution for me with the least amount of fuss. And I won't need the bivy sack this way, either.