The Ray-Way Backpack Kit

Make Your Own Backpack!

Ray-Way Products

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Usage page 3 of 19

Pg 3: Usage

Jenny demonstrates closing a 2,200 that holds a medium-sized load.

Note that we are showing an old backpack here; we have since added a draw-cord closure at the top of the backpack where it meets the extension collar (shown more clearly on page 8).

Closing a 2,200 holding a larger load.

The Ray-Way backpack can be easily laundered in a sink (by itself) or washing machine (with the other clothing). Washing it often helps to keep it smelling fresh, especially in hot weather. In lieu of detergent just use a bit of soap or shampoo.

Coffee break on the AT. This photo shows the proper use of the "sock hangers," the two horizontal straps of light webbing on each side of the backpack. The purpose of the sock hangers is to hang freshly washed socks to dry, while hiking. Or in this case a small face towel (or some other article of wet clothing). The two straps are close together in order to secure the socks in place and help keep them from falling off. The upper strap hangs the article, and the bottom strap locks it in place. To hang a wet sock, feed it up behind both straps, then back down behind only the bottom strap.

On the IUA. Each Ray-Way Backpack is, in itself, variable in size, depending what you have loaded into it. With a full load, the backpack looks quite large. And with it almost empty, it looks very small. Here we have just come from a town with a load of food.

The next photo shows the backpack nearly empty of food.

Ray's 2,200 in3 backpack looking small, carrying only lunch and a few liters of water during a training hike.

Ray's 2,200 in3 backpack on the AT.

2009-AT. Heading out of a resupply town with a load of food. Most of the food will fit in the backpack, but I prefer not to load the extension collar all the way up. Instead I usually hand-carry the extra food in a grocery bag where it is more handy. The extra food will not last long; no more than one or two hours and I will have eaten it. (the voracious appetites of a thru-hiker are legendary.) The grocery bag is very light, and when empty of food I can carry my paper trash in it, packed away in the backpack. Then at the next town stop I will dispose of the bag and it's trash in a proper litter bin.

On the IUA, at nearly the end of a 300 mile stretch between food stops. At day's end Jenny is carrying tarp sticks, having just come out of the mountains and into a treeless desert. At this point she had been carrying the sticks for 30 minutes after plucking them from a dead, fallen tree found along the wayside.

Setting up a drinking tube is easy. Rather than use a rehydrating bladder, simply use a water bottle with a tube running out of its top. Carry the bottle in a side pocket, and run the tube externally and secure it to a shoulder strap at chest level where it will be always handy. We have done a few thru-hikes with drinking tubes, but in the end we have always discarded the idea because the bottle itself is so easy to get to, even while hiking.

The story has 19 pages. This is page 3.
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