This is the final post on the homemade ultralight backpack project. Now that you have an ultralight backpack, you need to know how to take care of it. The main point of ultralight gear is to carry less weight when you go hiking. If you try loading this pack with 50 pounds of gear, it will fall apart on you very quickly. A light pack like this is only designed to hold about 20-25 pounds of gear, meaning that you might need to make a few changes to the rest of your gear before you hit the trail. If you find a very light tent, light sleeping bag, and light bedroll, you can really reduce the weight this bag is going to have to take. A good ultralight tent will weigh 2-4 pounds, the bed roll around a pound (a Thermarest type, the blue foam is only 6-8oz.) and a down sleeping bag will be 2-3 pounds depending on temperature rating. Even all your items are from the heavy end of that scale, you will have a base weight for your big four items of about 9 pounds. This still leaves you with a bunch of room for everything else.
Since this pack is made from ultralight materials, you also cannot throw it around like you can a beefier pack. If you toss this bag on the ground when you get into camp you are risking tearing the fabric. Take the bag off, and set it on your ground sheet or somewhere soft until you can get it into the tent. If you treat your bag well, it will last a very long time and take many trips with you.
Lastly, you will want to seal the seams of the bag with a sealing product you can find in a camping store or online. Or you can make some homemade sealer that I posted on earlier at a fraction of the cost. Sealing the seams will make the entire bag waterproof (assuming you used Silnylon, which is itself waterproof) and let you get away without carrying a pack cover for rain. Get all the outside edges coated and let the bag dry for a few hours before handling it. This will add a bit if weight, but it will be worth it in a rain storm.
I hope you enjoyed making this bag as much as I did explaining how. There is nothing more satisfying than making something yourself. Once you start making your own gear you will not want to stop. It’s a rewarding experience, and you get to control every aspect of what you are creating. If anyone who makes this pack would like to share some pictures, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to see them. I’ll also post any pictures I get to this blog so other people can share in your success.
I’m going to be working on another tent in the near future and will be posting articles on how to construct it as well. I’m shooting for a 2 person triangle style tent with a footprint the size of a full bed, and a covered rain beak on the front. I am working on a way to make the entire structure including stakes, lines, and poles to weigh no more than 2 pounds. It should be a great tent for 2 people and a very roomy tent for one person.