Gear Modifications / Customizations

1:32 p.m. on October 5, 2009 (EDT)
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I thought it would be interesting to see if what kind of modifications or customizations (if any) that everybody makes to the gear they use. Anything from something simple (ie. I take the wrist straps off of my treking poles) to more in depth mods. The mods can be for changing the look of the gear, changing the use of gear, or improving it in some way.

5:33 p.m. on October 5, 2009 (EDT)
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I take with me 4 paperclips ( those spring loaded ones) in case of a big storm. I have cloth on the inside of them, and will attach them to the fly and pole underneath so that the fly will not rub on the pole. Once I even put some tie downs on them to stake down the tent better.

8:02 p.m. on October 5, 2009 (EDT)
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Taking off your straps from trekking poles is like throwing away those silly heavy shoe laces...

learn to use them correctly.

9:37 p.m. on October 5, 2009 (EDT)
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Using trekking pole straps correctly is as important as using ski pole straps correctly,either ski mountaineering,down hill or xc.I add little things,modify,improve or make my own a fair amount.These things happen with time use of the gear in question.From my own runaway ski straps to water proof over mitts.Gaiters for special use and style also.Some items,like soft pack rain covers and stuff sacks,are easy and cheaper to make myself and i can make them the size and style i prefer.My mother was a very good seamstress and as a child i learned to sew.I took a lot of hard knocks for it at the time but it has payed off.

7:49 a.m. on October 6, 2009 (EDT)
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Taking off your straps from trekking poles is like throwing away those silly heavy shoe laces...

learn to use them correctly.

Too each there own I guess ... I usually get annoyed with them. I prefer the ability to quickly take my hands off the pole handles, and the straps prevent me from doing that.

2:13 p.m. on October 6, 2009 (EDT)
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I prefer to make the fullest and most efficient use of the trekking poles, which cannot be done without straps. Without straps, you have to actually grip them in a tight grip, which is tiring over time. With straps, you just control them with a finger and thumb; the straps do the heavy lifting, not your muscles.

I sure don't have a problem taking my hands off the grips; I just let 'em drop! And then, by golly, since the straps are in place, there they are, right there when I want them again.

OK, back to mods: I like to take the OEM guy lines off tents and replace them with reflective Spectra line. (Came standard on my Contrail TarpTent.)

3:02 p.m. on October 6, 2009 (EDT)
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Here are a few mods:

-Cutt off or shortened excess straps, removed an inner baffle, and replaced support bars on a few backpacks.

-I have added legs to hold a fuel bottle upside down when using the MSR WindPro during the winter.

-I have added an inner pocket to a few soft shell jackets in order to carry a water bottle.

-Modified tent stakes in order to attach clips (much easier to remove in winter than a frozen knote).

-Cut a vent hole ifor my mouth in my turtle to reduce fog buildup in my glasses during winter.

-Added measuring marks to a few insulated mugs.

-Removed or added extra mesh pockets to the inside of a few tents.

-Replaced tent poles with lighter or stronger or non-aluminum poles (depending upon need).

-Added additional guy line supports to a tarp tent.

I could go on, but that enough for now...

6:24 p.m. on October 6, 2009 (EDT)
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I have replaced the fiberglass poles on my Eureka 2XT with aluminum poles from a Eureka Pinnacle Pass 2XTA.

I also made my own footprints from tyvek, with a floor extension into my vestibules (plural as I did that for my solo and 2 person tents).

I cut all excess straps, pockets and tags from all equipment.

7:18 p.m. on October 6, 2009 (EDT)
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Yes i also replace all the stake out cords on my tents with reflective cord.Also remove the tags from every thing,yes iam a little bit annal about weight at times.Have added a few extra pull outs on a few tents that i felt greatly needed them.My own home made insulated water bottle bags and see what else i can remember.Gore-tex Anorak,one of my bigger projects and bivy sacks.

9:51 a.m. on October 7, 2009 (EDT)
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I have made my own insulated water bottle bag to hold a smaller 1/2 liter bottle. Great for coffee... Also modified many different coffee filters, a coffee press, and tea bag systems in an attempt to find the perfect system (still working on this one).

Also made a footprint and ground cloth from tyvek.

Replaced the straps on a pair of snowshoes with an easier system to use with mitts.

Added longer zipper string pulls on a few pices of gear to help with mitts.

11:40 a.m. on October 8, 2009 (EDT)
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I use drift wood for trekking poles. I have 4 of them ranging from 8' to a small cane. It depends what I'm doing wich one I take. The 8' is for the tarp. I like wood becouse......well........they just look cooler.

12:13 a.m. on October 16, 2009 (EDT)
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Surfing the other day i found someone that uses shower curtains for footprints. Better stronger ok a little heavier but certainly cheaper

8:41 p.m. on October 21, 2009 (EDT)
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I took a sudden head-first fall with heavy pack while "properly" using trekking pole straps. I ended up head-first, face down on a steep, very harsh old lava flow, pinned down by the strapped-on poles.

The poles and my arms were between and underneath my legs, held by my body weight, the pack and the straps. There was no way to free my wrists alone without rolling over which was a no-no while still on that slope. My wife saved me.

The bus-load of Japanese tourists and their guide far below loved the embarrassing spectacle.

Didja ever pick lava bits outa your hide? Like cactus, without the hooks.

I still use the straps, but not always.

9:08 p.m. on October 21, 2009 (EDT)
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Surfing the other day i found someone that uses shower curtains for footprints. Better stronger ok a little heavier but certainly cheaper

There was an elderly lady who hiked the AT with a shower curtain for a shelter, no tent.

I cannot recall the name, seems like I read about her in Backpacker magazine about the time Ray Jardine came along with his "You're doing it all wrong" bit.

Welcome hhdawrs

9:58 a.m. on October 22, 2009 (EDT)
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The shower curtain lady was Emma Gatewood.

12:08 p.m. on October 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I've made my own waterproof two man bivi bag it has two vents at the top that pull closed with draw cords and plastic closures on vents and bottom. Leather lined the inside of gators around the boot tops where crampons could rip your gators, glued and sewed leather on the old cloth EB rock climbing shoes.
Have added cloth over elbows, knees and shoulders of shirts, pants and synthetic jackets to prevent premature wear.

10:12 p.m. on October 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I took a sudden head-first fall with heavy pack while "properly" using trekking pole straps. I ended up head-first, face down on a steep, very harsh old lava flow, pinned down by the strapped-on poles.

The poles and my arms were between and underneath my legs, held by my body weight, the pack and the straps. There was no way to free my wrists alone without rolling over which was a no-no while still on that slope. My wife saved me.

The bus-load of Japanese tourists and their guide far below loved the embarrassing spectacle.

Didja ever pick lava bits outa your hide? Like cactus, without the hooks.

I still use the straps, but not always.

Sorry to hear about your fall!Hope nothing was more bruised than your pride.Nothing is perfect in all situations,even pole straps,but more often than not i have found them to be very handy.I have been a cross country,down hill and tele skiier all my life and have come to use poles as a tool.When in dangerous or tricky spots i do not use the straps but more often than not i do so i have no reason to remove them.ymmv

10:24 p.m. on October 22, 2009 (EDT)
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The shower curtain lady was Emma Gatewood.

Thanks Tom. I do remember I enjoyed reading her story.

12:09 a.m. on October 23, 2009 (EDT)
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I use Velcro to attach the solar panels for my headlight and water purifier to the top of my pack so that they always face the sun. I also sealed the panels with silicone to make them water proof.

And I never use the straps for my poles... ever.

11:02 a.m. on October 25, 2009 (EDT)
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There were lots of good ideas in the Pimp your Gear thread a while ago.

July 25, 2014
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