Highlight photo is a shot of Matt and I in the headwaters of Little Elk Lake Creek in the Marble Mountains. (photo by our friend Julia)
Are you sensing a theme? There are a few things that help me get projects done. Either I need it for an upcoming adventure, or I’ve promised a friend I’ll crank it out for them. Big shout out to my friends for being interested in my stuff. They’ve multi-handedly contributed to my progression as a designer (like single-handedly, but there are many of them).
In mid-October, I turned what was supposed to be my Rustbucket Rodeo trip into a 3-day backpacking trip through the Marble Mountain Wilderness in Klamath National Forest. The trip turned out to be excellent: we camped next to and swam in alpine lakes, scrambled up a fairly heinous wall (background of highlight picture) that the USFS erroneously claimed had a trail up it, logged a few spectacular miles along the PCT, and reunited a lost cattle dog with his owner. The dude had a seriously firm handshake.
On the trip, I wore my 1st-revision cross-body bag, as I always do. And both of my friends were taken with it. Matt said he would like one very much, so when I got home, I started work on one. I sent him a picture of the various pack fabrics I currently own and told him to pick one. He chose the Fuschia Challenge EPX200 and I was off. I kept the same dimensions as the original, but upgraded to a buckled webbing strap—for easy removal while wearing a pack—and water–resistant zippers. I experimented with a zipper garage on the front panel to increase waterproofing, but the opening became too small to effectively store my phone in it. So back to rev 1.
I had made a cross-body bag (above) for a friend of my mom’s about a year ago, and had lined it with a light yellow silnylon to make finding things in it easier. I also mounted the front pocket zipper on that one backwards on accident. Oops. I asked Matt if he wanted a lining, and he chose no. Save them grams, baby. A nice feature of the EPX200 is the light scrim on the back side, so the lining isn’t particularly necessary. I did bind the edges to strengthen the seams and make it look a bit cleaner.
Most of all, I’m thrilled with how much my sewing has improved since that first pack. The lines and zipper seams are so much cleaner. It also takes less time to complete one of these and the whole construction process is much smoother. See below slideshow for some comparison shots between new and old work.