Inspired by Jenny Jardine


UltraLite RuckSack


Beyond Backpacking first introduced me to the notion of a superlight pack.  Ray says in the book that the GoLite packs were built to his specifications.  Yet the Gust pack I bought seemed like it was missing a lot of the good things Ray described in the book.


I especially missed the netting on the outside of the pack for drying tarp and or clothing.  Seeing the netting on Jenny's pack in the photo in the book, I took out handy sewing machine and added three pouches of netting on the outside of the pack.  I hiked with that for a hundred miles and found it worked pretty well.


Phase II - Build My Own


Time came to build a second pack for my son or Diane for hiking together.    


I took a yard and a half of 1.9 oz ripstop I had bought for another project in error, the excess netting I bought for the original Gust pack, 2 yards of 1"webbing and one yard of 2" webbing...  About $15 dollars of material, of which I only had to buy the webbing and a couple buckles.  That and it also cost about 4 hours of sewing.




I took the measurements for the panels from my Gust pack, added the netting before sewing and it ended up looking pretty good.  I have not yet tried it out on the trail.





However, I did find that it folds up pretty nicely into the water bottle netting pocket if I want to put it in a suitcase for a business trip!


Pattern for building a JJPack:



A few notes on the pattern:  

-On the pack bottom, the 13 inch side bows in an inch and the 10 inch side bows out half an inch.

-On the Back Side, the 13" side bows out an inch

-On the Back Side, the red is the measurement for the reinforcing patch

-You need two of the shoulder straps and two of the sides.  If the material has a rightside and wrong side, cut the two sides with the pattern rightside up for one and upside down for the other

-You will need about 1.5 yards of ripstop or other material to make these pack pieces

-The easy way to cut them is to mark with a marker and then melt/cut with a red hot knife



In addition, you will need 

- two 3"x3" pieces of ripstop to attach the shoulder strap bottoms

- a piece of closed cell foam 2.5 inches wide and about 24-27 inches long.  From this, cut two equal lengths for the straps

- netting - a yard will do well 

- a yard of 1.5 or 2" webbing

- two yards of .75 or 1 " webbing

- two strap buckles for the shoulder straps

- a two part quick release buckle for the top compression strap

  -- for these buckles, match the width of your .75 or 1" webbing




Shoulder Straps, part one:

- fold the shoulder strap pieces lengthwise and sew the tube with a .25" seam allowance

- turn rightside out and slip/pull the closed cell foam into the strap covers  

- fold the ends over and sew the ends shut


Attach netting:

- rough cut netting to cover the bottom 23 inches of both sides and the front side of the pack

- on one side, you may want to make two pockets instead of one (for water bottle, etc)

- hem the top side of the pocket by turning it down about .75 inches and sewing a hem

- pin to the appropriate piece and sew the bottom and sides with a seam allowance of about 3/4 inch

- cut the edge of the netting to be even with the pack material.  Be careful not to cut the edge of the pack material.


Sew the pack:

-place the netting of a side and the front side together.  Pin the long edge and sew with a half inch seam allowance

-repeat for the other side  (The straight side of the side pieces attaches to the front side of the pack)

-sew the reinforcing patch to the inside of the back piece using a .75" seam allowance on the sides and turn under the edge for the top and bottom of the patch

-sew the back to the other three pieces.  Use care to have the side of the back with the patch showing on the outside while sewing...  the patch is meant to end up inside the pack when complete.

-near the bottom of these two seams, insert a square of ripstop to spread the load on the shoulder strap attachment.  

 --fold the square in half, to make a triangle

 --put the long end of the triangle in the seam between the back and side

 --place the triangle so the open end is upward facing (to receive the strap)

 --place the triangle so it will end up OUTSIDE the pack

-sew the bottom to the 4 sides


Double/Triple sew:

- go over all side and bottom seams one or two more times within the half inch seam allowance


Draw string:

- hem the top edge of the pack with a 1" hem

- melt a hole in the upper edge of the folded over seam and thread a cord through the hem with a safety pin

- tie the two ends of the drawstring together with an overhand knot

- during use, this drawstring can be held shut with an overhand slip knot or with drawstring hardware


Shoulder straps Part II:

Examine the picture of the back of the pack.



- For all sewing on the straps use narrow and short zigzag  (2 wide, 1 long) to "bar tack"

- sew the bottom narrow webbing to trap the adjusting buckle

- sew the top wide webbing beginning at the lower end.  

- include a shorter piece of wide webbing at the last bar tack which will be used for a second attachment point on the pack

- cut sufficient narrow webbing to be attached to the triangle at the bottom of the seam between the back and the sides

- use an XBox to attach the strap to the triangle

- put this through the buckle, turn over the end and bar tack so it does not come out of the buckle.

- attach each of the 4 pads of wide webbing to the reinforcement patch  with an XBox


Placement of the pads should be like this:





Write me and let me know how these instructions can be improved and made clearer.  I would also love to know if you make a JJPack.  Write me at rick AT imrisk dot com 



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