Custom Made Outdoor Gear

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Having checked with the site administrators I thought I would would post about a sideline I have making outdoor gear. I have always been surprised that, although there are many cottage makers in the USA, there seem very few in Canada. I sew a variety of stuff, mostly for friends and folk I meet but I also produce a number of toboggan packs for an outfitting company based in Ontario.

I have a range of off the shelf designs, like tarps, barrel organiser buckets and paddle joiners plus I like to tackle custom items now and then like an add-on pouch for the back of a pfd.

I do occasionally make clothing but it is definitely not my favourite and I do like to be able to fit the items in person.

I trend mostly toward synthetic fabrics and have a decent stock of Cordura ready to go. I do also sew canvas but leave the leather work to those who have mastered the art. Somethings have a fixed price whilst others I will quote a price for labour plus fabric. Unfortunately I have to order my fabric from the USA so the price goes up and down with the exchange rate.

I'm no Dan Cooke or Bill Ostrom but what I make comes from my own experiences with gear so I try to make things that I would want to use.

I also make a range of stick stoves (a.k.a fireboxes) that are made in the UK and Canada. I wanted one of these myself and discovered that to make laser cutting economical I had to cut several at one time so I made a batch and sold them.

I do have a website www.canoepaddler.me.uk that features my stoves and I hope to put some more gear on there soon.

Thanks for looking. If you'd like more details and/or prices please drop me a PM.
 

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Some cool gear !

Someone posted a nylon chair awhile back that was neat ! I believe it was Rippy. In the bush you make an Aframe, and hang this simple nylon seat on this frame. I haven't seen them produced, but they look like a rectangular piece of nylon with a sleeves sewn in each end? It resembles a sling. Need pictures, I know.

Make one and send to me, and I'll give a review ! ;)


Jim
 
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That's some nice looking stuff. I'm envious of people who can sew and make their own custom gear. For years I've meant to learn how, maybe someday I will. Good luck with your sales.

I really like the looks of those fireboxes. I can see one of those in my future.

Alan
 
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Chris makes those fireboxes with an extra shelf to use with alchohol stoves so they act as windguards and can do double duty as a stick stove...for those of you who are into that.
The pfd pouch is a winner too. If I actually wore my pfd I would get one.

Christy
 
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I have an idea for a canoe cover that could potentially also serve as a sail. Would you be interested in looking at producing something like that? Maybe we could chat?

Momentum
 
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I have an idea for a canoe cover that could potentially also serve as a sail. Would you be interested in looking at producing something like that? Maybe we could chat?

That same thought has occurred to me. I am happy using a simple “Polynesian” vee sail, like the Spirit Sail or Pacific Action Sail, and that is essentially the shape of a bow cover.

It would need battens along the sail edge, which could easily serve to hold the cover just below the outwale, without a lot of snaps or hooks.

Of course each spray cover/sail would need to be customized for a particular canoe’s sheerline width. And ideally the point from which the cover pivots up to become a sail would be a ways back from the bow stem.

The best location I have found for those vee sails is mounted about 1/3 of the boat length back from the bow. The bungee and sheets design of the Pacific Action Sail might work.

http://www.pacificaction.com/

Check the videos for how the PA sail deploys.
 
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That same thought has occurred to me. I am happy using a simple “Polynesian” vee sail, like the Spirit Sail or Pacific Action Sail, and that is essentially the shape of a bow cover.

It would need battens along the sail edge, which could easily serve to hold the cover just below the outwale, without a lot of snaps or hooks.

Of course each spray cover/sail would need to be customized for a particular canoe’s sheerline width. And ideally the point from which the cover pivots up to become a sail would be a ways back from the bow stem.

The best location I have found for those vee sails is mounted about 1/3 of the boat length back from the bow. The bungee and sheets design of the Pacific Action Sail might work.

http://www.pacificaction.com/

Check the videos for how the PA sail deploys.


It could be done but my main worry would be that we would end up with something that serves neither purpose very well, i.e. a bad sail plus a poor spray cover. Ideally when sewing sails you build in some curve to the seam so that when you slide the mast into the sleeve it forces some belly into the sail. This could make it hard to get a decent fit on the cover. Plus you would potentially want to be using both at the same time! For the weight of two yards of kite ripstop it is not worth the weight/bulk saving. You could use Easton take apart tent poles for twin masts.

I have made a v-sail before. The hardest part is the mounting but I got round that using a universal tiller mounting from a dinghy. It worked OK but because we mounted it on the front carry handle there was no way to attach the front bungee cords far enough forward to make deployment easy. Would have worked better if we had added another thwart or on a tandem another thwart behind the front seat is good. This is where we always put our clamp in thwart for our sailing rig.
 
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Just recently I was asked to come up with an oversize firebox by a friend who runs an outdoor ed program at a high school in Winnipeg. We messed around with dimensions and designs to come up with this one.

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The fire pan is approximately 10" wide and 13" long. As well as making it wider and longer than the standard Yukon firebox I sell we added depth to give more control over heat levels during cooking. We kept the double raised floor to better protect the ground plus having the upper grill pan really helps everything burn to a fine ash.The two stainless tubes can be placed either across the firebox or lengthways for multiple pots. The kids use big pots for group cooking. The idea is that instead of one big firebox they will likely use two when cooking for a dozen or so kids on their trips. Alternatively it would easily fit an 8" and a 6" pan for a smaller group.

The first comment I got back after they kids used it on a week long winter trip to the Experimental Lakes Area was " I see what you mean about using less wood than an open fire"

Only downside, it weighs nearly 8lbs so not a lightweight piece of gear. We looked at titanium but just laughed when we found out the price!

I'm selling these for $100Cdn (plus GST for Canadians ) which includes a cordura carry bag. Drop me a PM if you are interested.

Thanks for looking.
 
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Nice fire box, we use the one made by CRCO, and it is 12x19 and I found that is the smallest that is usable for a group of 3 or more, smaller than that and you rather need more boxes, or need to cook for ever. My wife runs a grade 10 outdoor Ed program where they do a lot of paddling and 2 of these box are good for 12+ people!! Smaller and you struggle!!
 
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Do you build them yourself?

I guess the box keeps the heat right under the pots so you would use less wood. Very nice.
 
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I've never seen these paddle joiners. Great idea. I have some cordura left that I cut out of a $2 garment bag I bought at Goodwill. This will be my next project.
 
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Do you build them yourself?

I guess the box keeps the heat right under the pots so you would use less wood. Very nice.

They do use a lot less wood, and heat up the pot content way faster. They are safer to. For exemple, if we have a fire ban in the Yukon we can still cook on the fire box. If you have some thing call common sense, even in hight wind they work great!! Mine is also double bottom, but most of the time, if I'm concern about scorching the ground, I will set it on 2 half of green wood, or rocks in each corners!!
 

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Chris....figure out a way to add legs to that so you dont have to cook on the ground.
 
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Ahhh, now I see why the need for the larger firebox. I think my friend's school group are mostly eating rice, pasta and stews so less of an issue to fit a couple of four plus litre pots on top of the firebox. I also think the "dragon's teeth" help with airflow up and out of the box even when a large proportion of the top is covered by pots. It may not be obvious but the upper floor has slots allowing air to flow in through the holes along the sides then up through the wood, helping to improve combustion.

No, I'm afraid I don't make them myself. I realised that the work required to cut the stainless at the level of precision required was more than I wanted to take on so I draw them on a CAD package then have them cut by a laser firm in Winnipeg. Not only is it precise but far less post cut finishing is needed
 
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I really like the look of it, I should get one to play with it and to use on solo or family trips... Do you always have them in stock?
 
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I've never seen these paddle joiners. Great idea. I have some cordura left that I cut out of a $2 garment bag I bought at Goodwill. This will be my next project.

attach43874.JPG There we go. Again, thank you for the idea. I would have never come up with this by myself. This will come in handy in tarpology.
 

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