Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Intro, purpose, obligatory remarks

The internet is such a resource. I've gleaned so much from random web searches that start a puddle jumping effect that carries me from blog to forum to website to video, picking up new information along the way.  I've always thought it a great service to present the knowledge that we individually hold, but have been hesitant to actually publish anything myself.  It takes an amount of ego to regard your knowledge as something that other people would want to consume, but, in the world of social media, this barrier seems to be disappearing.

So, what's this blog going to be about and why did I decide to do one?  Well, I take an awful lot of pictures of the stuff that I make, constantly get comments of "How did you make that?" or "Where did you get that idea?"  or "What is that thing?"  Not having a good way to organize those pictures, or to present them to those who would wonder, this seems like a good idea.  Also, it should allow for an assessment of how something turned out over time, provide an outlet to help others the way that I've been helped, and also catalog all of the stuff that is much in need of organization.

My primary topic here will be DIY backpacking gear.  I'm currently on a bent to lower my pack weight while not spending the unforgivable amount of hard earned dollars that one can spend (if one is so inclined) on name brand or cottage manufacture gear.  I think it's important to note that there are a lot of good products out there for those who wish to purchase them, and the quality of those products I'm not about to debate, but the expense is not something that I am able or willing to succumb to at this point unless absolutely necessary.  That said, many of the companies who produce gear, either on a large scale or small, have done their homework and have spent a considerable amount of time and money to research, design, and test the performance of their goods, and to offer a warranty; this comes through in the price, and is completely justified in many cases.  Fortunately for my wallet and lifestyle, I'm willing to test an idea on my own trips; develop, design, debug, and modify my own gear as a new idea comes to mind; and live with the failures and shortcomings that will inevitably arise out of this process.  All of that work is performed for you when you buy commercial gear, and is a benefit that many wish to enjoy.  Nothing wrong with that at all! That said, for those of you who like to have a project tumbling around in the bingo cage of your mind at all times just waiting to come to fruition, making your own gear can be abundantly rewarding. Say you're putting together a cook kit (so much is available on this online), when you realize that you wouldn't have to use/carry your pot stand if you went with a different stove design, or that your cup/bowl can double as the container for the whole kit, or that you don't need a really a long spoon to reach the bottom of the freezer bag if you nest the bag inside that same container (which doubles the bonus since you then won't have to wash the bowl or hold the hot bag!).  The possibilities go on and on, and you just don't get that same experience when you buy commercially available gear with prefab cups, spoons, pot grabbers, etc. nested perfectly into coated pots... point being that some like this and some don't want to bother with it. I do, and if you're reading this, you probably do too.

 Thanks in advance to those who stumble across and like what you read.  Leave a comment if you want, I always appreciate good advice or feedback.

Take it easy,