Though I’ve done a few tutorials and videos on DIY gear in the past, I’d like to start doing more. With the price of gear creeping ever higher (I’m looking at you Dyneema), a lack of reliable and lightweight gear from large manufacturers, and the wait times we often find with the cottage companies we love, DIY is a great way to get the gear you want for much cheaper than retail. Let’s not forget about how incredibly fulfilling it is to be out in the woods alone, using gear that you have made to survive too! To kick off this new wave of DIY videos on my channel, I figured I’d start with one of the most simple projects around. A project that makes a great intro into the world of DIY (Do it yourself) and MYOG (Make your own gear): A stuff sack. But not just any ol’ stuff sack. A reinforced, cinching, quality stuff sack.

Stuff sacks can come in just about any size you can imagine. From tiny .5L ditty bags to monster 50L pack liners, and the more common 15-20L food bags, even the lightest backpackers typically carry at least one stuff sack. This tutorial will show me making a very specific 4x4x8″ stuff sack, but don’t get caught up in the sizing. Think of this more as a diving board from which you can jump into the world of stuff sacks and DIY. Learn the basics behind building a stuff sack here, then figure out what type and size of stuff sacks you need and build them!

 

As always, I’ll let the video do the teaching here, but here are some key points to think about:

  • I’m using a 1″ seam allowance in this design. If you don’t know what seam allowance is, it is basically an extra bit of fabric, beyond the dimensions of what you are designing, that gives you a place to sew the item without eating into the fabric dimensions you laid out. Though 1″ is quite a bit of seam allowance, it is better to have more than less when starting out. This will give you some room for error.
  • Material choice is completely up to you! You can make quick dry bags out of mosquito netting, water resistant (or proof if you are seam sealing) bags out of silnylon, or just light sacks out of ripstop nylon. If you are using ripstop nylon, you may have to treat the inside edge of the bag slightly differently than in the video, as it tends to fray with time (whereas silnylon is much more resistant to fray due to it’s silicon.)
  • This design can be taken even further and used as a compression bag with some modification (Perhaps I’ll do a video on this in the future.)
  • Ripstopbytheroll.com is an amazing resource for DIY fabrics and accessories. Plus, orders that meet a certain limit from ripstopbytheroll come with free thread! DIYgearsupply.com is another great supply/fabric choice. Check them out!
  • The cord-locks I use can be found on amazon here: http://amzn.to/1VUE5Zq
  • Here is a version of the reflective cord I use for the cinch: http://amzn.to/1VUE7k8 It’s good stuff.

 

Enjoy the video, feel free to comment on the video with any questions you may have:

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