Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

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Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Iodo » Sat May 02, 2020 2:18 pm

I have quite a lot to post in this thread so I'll break it up a bit so I dont have to do quite so much typing all at once :lol:


I finally decided to make a snapsack, this is it before it was assembled:

Image

the leather is thicker than I would have liked so I had to make a round wooden thing to get it to seal properly with no gaps. the lining is sewn at the open end and held in place by the string at the closed end, if I need to wash it I can untie the string to pull it out most of the way and should be able to avoid getting the leather very wet, I'm not sure how well it will work, time will tell. Also: Udwin, thank you for the fabric :P

here's it finished:

Image

The closed end can be left tied on to what ever I attach it to, and the open end can be fixed using the toggle for easy access. If I made this again I would make it slightly wider but I was limited by the amount of leather I have
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Elleth » Sun May 03, 2020 1:38 am

Very cool - I like the toggle and loop! I imagine that's so you can hang it up at night?

And I don't think I understand - the wooden spool-looking thing is to plug the bottom opening, is that correct?
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Iodo » Sun May 03, 2020 8:01 am

Elleth wrote:Very cool - I like the toggle and loop! I imagine that's so you can hang it up at night?
And I don't think I understand - the wooden spool-looking thing is to plug the bottom opening, is that correct?

Thanks :P

yep, and to fasten it through another strap, I'll post some more stuff when I've taken more pictures

correct, the wooden spool is in the closed end (shown in the lower left picture) it gives something to tighten the string against, making in more secure, it also seems to make it a bit bigger inside, it's the same as if it were sewn closed, I was just experimenting
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Iodo » Sun May 03, 2020 9:44 am

here's the next update:


When I'm on treks in kit, and I only need to carry enough for an afternoon or a day, the system I usually use is the picnic roll (viewtopic.php?f=36&t=4187&p=44941&hilit), it works well enough but the main problem I have with it is how long it takes to access what's inside, and how much more time it adds to simple things like wanting a quick drink of water or somewhere to put a pair of gloves when I get too hot

after spending a while experimenting, what I came up with was the stuff net (needs a better name :lol: ):

Image

when combined with the mini- toggle rope (thanks for the idea SierraStrider :P - viewtopic.php?f=27&t=4394&p=47420&hilit ) it can be used in any number of ways, the most useful one I've discovered so far is to partly tie it closed across the top, leaving one end open:

Image

and a water bottle will sit inside it while still being accessible, if I tie the top more loosely I can more than double it's capacity, and because it's made from net it's easy to tie other things onto the outside, then it can be worn alongside the snapsack or the picnic roll (or all three things if needed), it works quite nicely across both back and front, and under my cloak if I need to keep it dry

Image

I'm using the straps in this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=37&t=4214&p=45263&hilit
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Greg » Sun May 03, 2020 1:11 pm

This is SO COOL Iodo! The stuff-net (I like the name!) seems very regionally appropriate, as there certainly would be a plethora of nets (or net makers) in the area around the long-lake, and the open weave could make it easy to find something visually before you open it, instead of the typical digging around in one's bag. Very cool stuff!
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Elleth » Sun May 03, 2020 3:42 pm

Neat! I love the net, and yes I think it makes perfect sense for the location.

Perhaps it's because I've been looking at too much German stuff recently with all their endless tinkering - but I'm still pondering that little wooden plug.

I wonder if a clever dwarf might decide to play with it to give the thing a little extra functionality. Perhaps drill out a hole for a candle and have an impromptu lantern-base? Or turn a groove into it as a cordage winder? Or hollow it out and add a lid as a little easy-to-find sundries container?

... it does seem the sort of a thing a compulsive crafter like a Dwarf couldn't leave well enough alone. :)
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Iodo » Sun May 03, 2020 6:16 pm

Thanks so much both of you :P

Greg wrote:The stuff-net (I like the name!) seems very regionally appropriate, as there certainly would be a plethora of nets (or net makers) in the area around the long-lake

that was my exact thinking

Elleth wrote:Perhaps it's because I've been looking at too much German stuff recently with all their endless tinkering - but I'm still pondering that little wooden plug.

I wonder if a clever dwarf might decide to play with it to give the thing a little extra functionality. Perhaps drill out a hole for a candle and have an impromptu lantern-base? Or turn a groove into it as a cordage winder? Or hollow it out and add a lid as a little easy-to-find sundries container?

... it does seem the sort of a thing a compulsive crafter like a Dwarf couldn't leave well enough alone. :)

I'll give it some thought, thanks :P
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby theowl » Sun May 03, 2020 7:13 pm

Love it. The round wood thingy is clever. I can think of several of my projects that I remade which that would have been a good fix for..
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Iodo » Mon May 04, 2020 8:03 am

theowl wrote:Love it. The round wood thingy is clever. I can think of several of my projects that I remade which that would have been a good fix for..

thanks so much :P
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Haradir » Tue May 05, 2020 3:07 am

Very nice and well thought out!
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Iodo » Thu May 07, 2020 7:34 am

Haradir wrote:Very nice and well thought out!

Thanks so much :P


Here's the next update:

I made a vague mention that I was making some blanket roll straps over here: viewtopic.php?f=6&p=47440&sid=2c21805f1936edcce394e63cf511e644#p47440 I had actually started making something frame-pack-ish (only I couldn't figure out how to make that work with a cloak) when I saw this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3KCVTxW2Hc) by Brian Grubbs, that he followed up with a much more detailed video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNL20sE36CY&t=376s and I have to say, I was so impressed by how good this idea is, that I abandoned the previous project and cut up the materials to make a swag instead, here's what I've ended up with:

Dwarven Swag

Image

the theory is simple, the dilly bag (green bag) is attached to the top of the blanket roll at the point of the shoulder strap (that's shorter than normal), some weight is on the users front so it's more balanced that a standard backpack, bulky items like cook-pots don't have to go inside the blanket roll and things like water bottles can be more easily accessed through a slit in the back of the dilly bag without the need to stop to unpack. For me, the best selling point of the system it that it works perfectly with a cloak:

Image

and for a bit more capacity my snapsack can be added:

Image

Dilly Bag

the traditional dilly bag is a simple thin linen or cotton sack (I don't know if the slit is a traditional feature or if it's Brian's invention?) and the principle is that it's just tied around the strap, I had to modify the design a bit to make it waterproof for the British climate. The options for material were waxed canvas or thin leather, I used waxed canvas because the leather I have would probably have been to thick, although I still had to change the pattern a bit to cope with the bulk of thicker fabric. What I ended up doing was making the base of the bag rectangular instead of the traditional circle because the fabric was to stiff to sit comfortably and stood up in a cylinder, kind of like a barrel, even if I only had soft things inside, the rectangle is 10” x 4”. Then instead of it having straight sides I had to taper it up to the top to make it thin enough to tie off, even then it was to stiff to directly tie around the straps so I made a leather piece with a D-ring to feed it through then secure it with a knot. If I wanted it a few inches longer I can pull it through the D-ring up-to the slit and put a stone in the end to stop it pulling back

Image

for an idea of capacity I showed the things I had inside it on the above pictures (bag of tent pegs, cooking pot and a pair of wool trousers) and there was still quite a bit of room

leather work

the shoulder strap is 2” wide (different leather to the other straps because it's what I had and shopping is tricky in lock-down) and adjustable, everything else is 1 1/4”. I've mimicked my belt with the tooling pattern, it's intended to have come from the iron hills since a bed roll is probably something Iodo would have brought with her.

Image

I was going to sew the shoulder strap and the dilly bag fastening to a single piece of leather to thread onto the bedroll strap, so the dilly bag would always be on the left, then after more thinking about it I decided I might end wanting to change it around for reasons explained in the next paragraphs. So instead I opted for the two things being separate, then I quickly found that this didn't work because leather is slippery compared to Brian's linen straps and they just slid to opposite sides of the blanket making the whole thing feel loose. To fix this I had to use my local LARP suppliers solution for stopping things sliding around on a belt (https://darkbladeuk.co.uk/sliced-bread?search=bread) to trap the two straps together. The whole thing results in quite a bulky fastening to the strap which I was a bit worried would dig into my back, fortunately the weight of the blanket pulls it away from my back so I don't feel it, lucky :P

The issue that's discussed a little in Brian's second video (and in the comments) is if it's possible to do archery wearing it, usually because it's easy to take off I would imagine that if it was necessary for me to shoot a bow, I would just drop it, and I don't carry a bow with kit anyway so it won't ever come up, but I still like to add the “what if” scenario when designing kit where weaponry (that I'm not aloud to carry in the UK) is involved

after a bit of experimentation I've proven that it is perfectly possible to shoot but only if the dilly bag is over my right shoulder. The catch is: that's opposite to the way it needs to be to have my bocksten cloak so the split is on my right side to keep my theoretical war-hammer hand free, meaning that I might want it ether way around depending on what weapons i'm theoretically carrying and what clothes I'm wearing

You might also have noticed the random D-rings on the shoulder strap, this is so if I take it all apart, tie a rope between them and adjust it longer it can still be used as a standard bedroll strap:

Image

because of lock-down this is all untested at the moment, but walking around the house and garden it seems ok and I don't think I'd have a problem with carrying it more heavily loaded and for longer distances
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Elleth » Thu May 07, 2020 11:57 am

....iiinteresting.

I assume the "dilly bag" is either an evolution from or a regional name for the older market wallet? It certainly looks like the same thing. And interesting to see it in "trekking" use like that.

(As an aside, I'm coming to the conclusion that large market wallets / pre-modern saddle bags / sleeping-ticks/straw mattress bags we see in 14th-18th c. contexts are all pictures of the same exact item, just used in different ways depending on the situation. Certainly in an era where fabric is all hand-woven and frightfully expensive, that kind of re-use makes sense)

I certainly like the "can put it on / take it off without going over your head" aspect and the weight distribution aspects of that arrangement, but wonder if it would be unstable and floppy if you're doing much other than a gentle walk? (On the other hand, I can see the argument that if you need to run and jump about, you maybe should have already ditched the extra baggage anyhow. )

Also interesting seeing Mr. Grubbs demonstrate it with a quiver. With a standard bedroll, if the quiver goes on first, the arrows are held lower (so less likely to catch on branches and brambles, and you can steady the base of the quiver just with your offhand elbow if you need to go for an arrow. I imagine the same would be the case here, but I've no idea how well the quiver and bedding would play with each other in that setup - I'm curious to hear your experiences!


edit - also love the buckle-adjustable "tumpline" type arrangement! It looks awesomely useful! :)


(edited for grammar/spelling)
Last edited by Elleth on Thu May 07, 2020 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Elleth » Thu May 07, 2020 12:52 pm

Oh - ALSO - I ran across something interesting lately.

My research into "Golden Age of Camping" led me into 19th c. military surplus haversacks led me to early 20th c. American stuff led me to other countries led me to this funny thing:

german-aframe-pack.jpg
german-aframe-pack.jpg (34.92 KiB) Viewed 715 times

German "A frame" of the 1930's I think.
As I understand it, the idea was "we don't trust you guys to not weigh yourself down with every fool thing that comes into your head, so this way your officers can see you're carrying everything you're supposed to and nothing you're not."

I think the thing wasn't that popular in its own time, but there's absolutely an advantage to "a place for everything, and everything in its place" thinking. Also, it reminds me of a more soft-material version of the "Otzi-like" frame pack Viking reenactors use, and seems not unlike the strap arrangement WETA used for Gimli's blanket back in the first LotR trilogy.

Here's a german reenactor setting one up:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp4W7GYwybE

I think a strappy-frame like this doesn't work at all in literary Middle-earth.... but I can totally see this idea worked up in tooled leather with cast bronze or forged iron fittings working *perfectly* in a WETA / "Dungeons and Dragons" dwarven context.


oh: one more thing. The research into late 19th-early 20th century outdoor tools has been an enormously useful study.
It's amazing how many old tricks were common knowledge back in the pre-packaged-everything days! For example, Greg's rediscovery of "the squishy wet spoilable meat products go in the metal cooking container so ook doesn't get all over your baggage and it's also easy to clean" was apparently common practice for half a century and I had no idea.
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Iodo » Thu May 07, 2020 1:55 pm

Elleth wrote:....iiinteresting.
I assume the "dilly bag" is either an evolution from or a regional name for the older market wallet? It certainly looks like the same thing. And interesting to see it in "trekking" use like that.

I researched it a little bit, this is the only decent photograph I can find of the use of the historic "Australian swag" but it seems that the method of carry was popular from 1800 through to the 1920's in Australia, although it seems to be very makeshift, with no one way to do it ever being decided

Image

and I'm not sure weather the "dilly bag" is a repurposed pillow case or sack, or if it's been designed and made for the use? there's a lot of information around about the way of life of the "swagman" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swagman) but very little about the equipment they actually carried, as for it appearing earlier in history or anywhere besides Australia, I have no idea?

Elleth wrote:I certainly like the "can put it on / take it off without going over your head" aspect and the weight distribution aspects of that arrangement, but wonder if it unstable and floppy if you're doing much other than a gentle walk? (On the other hand, I can see the argument that if you need to run and jump about, you maybe should have already ditched the extra baggage anyhow. )

providing I keep the dilly bag short and match the weights (if the blanket roll is heavy you need more weight in the dilly bag and vice versa) it doesn't seem to move much. There is some thought in the comments on Brian's second video about the possibility of a loop on the underneath of the dilly bag so it can be tied off to a belt to make it more secure, I haven't tried it yet but I'm going to, the only issue would be it would make it slower to "ditch the load" if needed, I'm thinking maybe some kind of toggle fastening that can be pulled free in a hurry?

Elleth wrote:Also interesting seeing Mr. Grupps demonstrate it with a quiver. With a standard bedroll, if the quiver goes on first, the arrows are held lower (so less likely to catch on branches and brambles, and you can steady the base of the quiver just with your offhand elbow if you need to go for an arrow. I imagine the same would be the case here, but I've no idea how well the quiver and bedding would play with each other in that setup - I'm curious to hear your experiences!

honestly, all I've done is see if it's possible to shoot wearing the swag, I don't actually have a back quiver so I can't try it, all I have is a modern field quiver for use at my local club. I'd make a video of shooting wearing the swag but I can't because the range is shut and lock-down and social distancing rules make it illegal to go to my grandparents garden where my archery target is

Elleth wrote:Oh - ALSO - I ran across something interesting lately.

My research into "Golden Age of Camping" led me into 19th c. military surplus haversacks led me to early 20th c. American stuff led me to other countries led me to this funny thing:

german-aframe-pack.jpg

German "A frame" of the 1930's I think.
As I understand it, the idea was "we don't trust you guys to not weigh yourself down with every fool thing that comes into your head, so this way your officers can see you're carrying everything you're supposed to and nothing you're not."

I think the thing wasn't that popular in its own time, but there's absolutely an advantage to "a place for everything, and everything in its place" thinking. Also, it reminds me of a more soft-material version of the "Otzi-like" frame pack Viking reenactors use, and seems not unlike the strap arrangement WETA used for Gimli's blanket back in the first LotR trilogy.

Here's a german reenactor setting one up:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp4W7GYwybE

I think a strappy-frame like this doesn't work at all in literary Middle-earth.... but I can totally see this idea worked up in tooled leather with cast bronze or forged iron fittings working *perfectly* in a WETA / "Dungeons and Dragons" dwarven context.

That's interesting, and actually very similar to what I had started to make before I changed my mind in favor of the swag, honestly, I'm in huge favor of the swag over a pack with two straps because it works with a cloak

Elleth wrote:oh: one more thing. The research into late 19th-early 20th century outdoor tools has been an enormously useful study.
It's amazing how many old tricks were common knowledge back in the pre-packaged-everything days! For example, Greg's rediscovery of "the squishy wet spoilable meat products go in the metal cooking container so ook doesn't get all over your baggage and it's also easy to clean" was apparently common practice for half a century and I had no idea.
Humbling! :mrgreen:

agreed, I find that it's amazing how much knowledge about simple things can be lost by the common use of modern technology
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Re: Many ways to carry stuff - Experimentation

Postby Taurinor » Thu May 07, 2020 9:20 pm

My goodness, you've been busy! That all looks lovely!

I played with the swag some (used it on my first overnight outing), and it's a solid system. I actually ended up wearing the bedroll horizontally across my shoulder blades to shift the weight a little bit higher, which was a little more comfortable for me (but the comfort of weight distribution is a very personal thing).

I was attracted to it for the same reason that it seems you were, that it plays nicely with a cloak! But then I found that I wasn't really wearing my cloak (really just a half-blanket) on the trail and that I liked the stability of a pack frame and now I'm looking into pack baskets... you know how it goes! :mrgreen: I didn't stop using it because of some sort of major flaw, though - just gear and preference changes.
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