Ray-Way Products

We Make Kits for Sewing Your Own
Lightweight Outdoor Gear

Contrary to common belief, you do not need to equip yourself with store-bought gear. You can make your own. And when you do, you gain a tremendous sense of freedom from today's consumer mentality - where the products are heavily advertised, expensive, and yet cheaply mass-produced. Making it yourself is about saving money, making it right - without using any cheap materials or manufacturing short-cuts - and owning and using outdoor gear that you can be truly proud of.

Our kits contain only the finest and lightest synthetic materials.

We design our kits for ease of sewing
and provide detailed, step-by-step instructions with many illustrations

Many people believe they lack the ability to use a sewing machine. This is nonsense. Please read Why Sew?

Literally thousands of people have completed our kits without problems, most with no sewing experience. All that is required is a bit of patience, and the determination to follow our instructions carefully.

Why Sew? * A few sewing tips * The Integrity Paradigm

See our Order Form for additional info.

My home-made Ray-Way gear is A+ professional in function, looks, design, and strength! Not to mention lasting over 9 years of all year around heavy use!" - James G., CA

Tuesday, 28th of March, 2017: We are well stocked on materials and kits for everything listed on our Order Form. We have loads of materials, and the insulation is factory-fresh, as always. We usually send out kit orders the same day they are received (if received by 2:00 pm) or the next working day.

Ray-Way Special: $5.00 Discount for including a Tarp Kit, Net-Tent Kit, and a Tarp Book Essential with your order. Applies to any type of net-tent, any color and fabric. Be sure to check the discount box, near the bottom of our Order Form, that triggers the $5.00 off.


Blood Cleaner

Ray Jardine

Our Blood Cleaner is a micro electronic device that kills or disables pathogens in a person's bloodstream. It works by sending pulsed micro-currents through the skin and into the blood vessels. These micro-currents are barely felt by the person, only a slight tingling, but they are lethal to any harmful microorganisms found in his or her blood. In essence, the device electrocutes the germs in the bloodstream, killing bacteria, protozoa, and fungi; and disabling viruses.


"The best backpacking book ever written"
-Robert K.

Trail Life

Ray Jardine's Lightweight Backpacking

(Book) Covers the essentials of Lightweight hiking, including packweight and equipment, clothing and footwear, nourishment and physical conditioning, and the myriad topics that contribute to these basics. There are chapters on the safety of lightweight hiking and on pack-weight evolution. There are several gear chapters, including the Backpack, Tarp, and Quilt.

There are chapters on wilderness skills such as Stealth Camping, Campfire and Cook-fire, Knots for the Hiker. Jenny has written a chapter for women hikers, from a woman's perspective. There are chapters on foot care, creek fording, snow travel, snakes and bears, to name just a few.

"Once every two or three decades a book comes along that fundamentally reshapes how we think. Jardine's is such a work. Page after page, Jardine brilliantly flips the sacred cows of backpacking on their heads. Every suggestion comes from experience: Jardine has hiked the PCT three times, the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. Get a copy. It could change your trail life." -Backpacker magazine

"I love Trail Life! I couldn't stop reading it. It is like reading candy." -Pamela A.


"Trail Life could be the most important book about backpacking that you will ever read.

"There are a few names that have revolutionized the sport of backpacking, Ed Garvey, Colin Fletcher, Harvey Manning and of course the Master of lightweight backpacking Ray Jardine. Ray's book 'Beyond Backpacking' revolutionized long distance backpacking by showing hikers how to cut the weight out and exploding myths about heavy equipment. Much of the lightweight backpacking equipment and styles today were inspired by Ray and his groundbreaking book. Now Ray and his hiking partner and wife Jenny have revised and updated that classic book with Trail Life. Trail Life is chock full of lightweight hiking ideas that will further revolutionize the sport.

"This is the most comprehensive long distance hiking guide ever written.
"The author and his wife have hiked well over 25,000 miles and all the well known trails as well as a myriad of other trails. Their experiences will prove to be an invaluable guide for those who love to hike and those who seek the solitude of the woods."
-Roger W.

Ray-Way One-Person Quilt

Ray-Way Quilt

(kit) is used at camp or home for sleeping at night. It works like a sleeping bag, but is open underneath you. You lie on your foam pad and drape the quilt over you like a blanket. But unlike a blanket, the quilt is contoured, so that it molds to the shape of your body.

Our quilt design is much more efficient in terms of its reduced weight and bulk, because it eliminates the useless part of the sleeping bag flattened beneath you. It is just as warm as the most expensive sleeping bag of comparable thickness, yet can be made at reasonable cost - even by those with little sewing experience.

Our Quilt Kit comes in one-person and two-person models, and contains the finest and lightest synthetic materials, and complete, step by step illustrated sewing instructions. The sewing is not difficult. See Why Sew? and Sewing Tips

"When people are worried about the feasibility of going ultralight, the Ray-Way Quilts are exhibit number one in convincing them that ultralight is not about skimping on safety and comfort. Not only are the quilts lighter than conventional equipment, but they are better: every bit as warm, easier to adjust to comfort, less constricting, and more adaptable to multiple uses (e.g., as a blanket around camp). The kits were straightforward to put together with clear instructions taking you through the process step-by-step. I am an ultra-satisfied customer." -Scott G.

"I have been using a quilt with the alpine upgrade for around two years now. It is my only quilt and performs far better than any sleeping bag I have ever used. The kit was easy to assemble and has greatly improved the way I sleep in the wilds. I find I can regulate my temperature in my sleep and I don't have to wake up to zip and unzip like I do with a sleeping bag. I highly recommend a quilt to anyone serious about backpacking." -Josh E.

Our Quilt Kits also make wonderful "blankets" for beds. You can make them full width and length, and with no leg taper or foot pocket. For use at home, or as gifts to loved ones. Due to its light weight, you might be amazed how comfortable a quilt "blanket" is to sleep under. Fabulous!

Quilt Stowbag

(kit) is for carrying the quilt in a Ray-Way backpack while hiking. This stowbag is ultralight, waterproof, economical, and easy to sew. All our kits include detailed and illustrated sewing instructions.

Qulit Storage Bags

Quilt Storage Bag

(kit) for storing the quilt at home. This simple bag is made with a synthetic and lightweight, and highly breathable fabric - just the thing for storing your quilt between adventures. The storage bag will keep your quilt clean and bug-free, and will help retard mildew and odors. And best of all, the storage bag is large enough that it will not crush the insulation. Makes excellent gifts, or a "starter" project for someone learning to sew.

Sleeping-Pad Kit

(kit) This Kit will allow you to modify a foam pad so that it fits folded snugly inside your Ray-Way Backpack. The kit comes with detailed instructions. Not included in the kit, you will need to buy a foam pad from your local sporting goods or department store for modification with this kit.


Ray-Way Tarp

(kit) for anyone who would like to sleep warmer and more comfortably in the wilds. It is simple in appearance, yet will outperform even the most sophisticated tents in a wide variety of weather and terrain, when used according to the instructions in the Ray-Way Tarp Book Essential. This tarp is about a fourth the weight of even the lighter tents, and it offers at least twice the living space. And even though this tarp is open all around, it is probably warmer than the tent you use. Why? Because of the tarp's superior ventilation. A tent traps moisture (even one with extra-large vents), and on a cold night that moisture saps body heat.

The Ray-Way Tarp comes in Kit form, and includes detailed and illustrated sewing instructions. Sewing this kit is not difficult. Please see Why Sew?

"I just finished my Ray-Way Tarp Kit. It was my first sewing project, the first time I've used a sewing machine, and the first time I stepped out of my, "Oh, I can't do that..." comfort level. The tarp rocks! I cannot believe how easy it really is. For any readers wondering if it'll be too much work please, please go for it! Take it one stitch at a time. The instructions are simply amazing. And the best part: Holding something in your hands that, 1) you made, 2) that you now know you can customize and change, 3) and that you can repair if or when needed. Take it from someone who'd never threaded a sewing machine before... you can do it!" -Zane D.

"This weekend my wife and I took our newly constructed Ray-Way tarp to the desert for its inaugural voyage. We particularly enjoyed sleeping under the tarp which allowed us to enjoy the night without sweltering inside our old claustrophobic tent. Not to mention leaving four unnecessary pounds at home and the deeper connection to the landscape of stars and sounds of the night." -Ben T.

"After a tremendous rainstorm one night, we were totally dry using our Ray-Way tarp. Some friends who had camped in their 3-season tent were soaked. Thanks for a new frame of reference." -Jim H.

"Using the Ray-Way tarp in the high Wasatch Mountains, we experienced the first winter storm. 1.57 inches of moisture in the form of rain, sleet, hail and eight inches of snow. I pitched the tarp using the two pole Ray-Way method. My tarp was one of three structures out of eight that did not sustain any damage and collapse from the wet snow. In the morning I had 18 inches of snow piled on each side of the tarp, but not a drop of water inside! If I had any questions about the design of the tarp, they were answered last Friday night." -John M. Venture Crew 9112 Advisor, US.Army.Mil

Ray-Way Tarp and Net-Tent

Net-Tent

(kit) A lightweight enclosure made of netting that clips very simply under a Ray-Way Tarp for keeping the insects away.

Our Ray-Way Net-Tent comes in several designs and sizes: please see our Order Form.

BatWing

BatWing

(kit) A door that closes off one end of the ray-way tarp, used on those stormy nights when the wind might be slanting rain a ways into the interior. Our BatWing weighs very little, and is quick and easy to set up. It works with or without a Net-Tent or Spitfire, and is adjustable depending on the geometry of the tarp pitch.


The Ray-Way Tarp Book Essential

(book) explains how to camp with a Ray-Way Tarp, safely and enjoyably when backpacking or hiking, sea-kayaking, canoeing, bicycle or motorcycle touring, or scouting.

312 information-packed pages, A few hundred B/W photos, and lavishly illustrated

The book includes the history of the Ray-Way Tarp design, and explains why Ray and Jenny enjoy tarp camping so much. The book describes campsite selection and tarp pitching methods, and includes several photo sequences of knot tying for tarp pitching. There are chapters on bugs and critters and rain and wind - all the questions and perhaps reservations that a person might have in regards to tarp camping.


Rays A.T. Gear Video

(DVD Video) Enjoy an evening with Ray in the Maine woods, as he explains the use of the gear that he carried on his 2010 Thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Filmed the day after he completed his thru-hike. Topics covered include:
  • Site selection
  • Preening of a stealth-site
  • Pitching the tarp
  • Hanging the Spitfire under the tarp
  • Crawling in to the Spitfire (putting it on like a garment)
  • Making a comfortable bed
  • Packing the backpack the following morning
  • Taking down the Spitfire and stowing
  • Taking down the tarp and stowing.

Run time: 93 minutes

Ray-Way Backpack

Ray-Way Backpack

(kit) The majority of highly-touted features on most backpacks actually work against a person. For one thing, they add weight - and of course expense. They also tend to waste one's time spent fiddling with them. Contrary to the hype, most of those features are designed for marketing rather than hiking.

We designed our Ray-Way backpack for thru-hiking, and have used it during all of our many multi-thousand mile backpack trips. Our backpack is extremely light-weight, and yet very durable when taken well care of.

Our kit Includes all the needed materials as well as detailed, step-by-step sewing instructions with many illustrations.

The last Ray-Way backpack I made has done over 10,000 miles, so I'm ordering a new one. Still the best pack out there! -Scott Williamson

I was so impressed at how detailed and clear the sewing instructions for the Ray Way Backpack were. Having zero sewing experience, I really thought I would have to sew the backpack twice. But since the instructions were so great, the pack is by far my favorite pack I've ever hiked with. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge. -Troy A.

I have sewn nine backpack kits. Two for myself, and others as gifts. Still planning on the AT with ALL Ray-Way gear. -Craig H.

Also be sure to check out our Backpack Pocket Kit

Sixteen home-made Ray-Way backpacks at one of Ray and Jenny's outdoor classes

"Your designs underwent a very rigorous six day field trial with sixteen sets of Ray-Way gear (backpacks, tarps, and quilts). To my knowledge there was not one failure and this was by mostly novice seamsters. WOW!" David d.



Backpack Sewing DVD Video

(DVD Video) Shows the full sewing construction of the Ray-Way Backpack Kit.

Jenny demonstrates the sewing while Ray narrates. And during the one hour run time, we detail the backpack's complete construction, start to finish.

The video shows how easily the backpack kit goes together, and it also provides an understanding of the assembly methods, for those who prefer to learn in a visual and audio context.

For someone who prefers, instead, to read and study printed instructions, those that come with the kit describe the process fully, step by step. The video is not meant to replace those printed instructions.


Insulated Hat

(kit) A kit that you sew together yourself. The hat is warm and yet very lightweight. The size medium weighs only 1.1 ounces. And the hat is very packable, occupying very little space in a backpack or clothing bag.

The Hat consists of one layer of Alpine synthetic insulation, which is about 0.9" thick. This insulation is sandwiched between two layers of lightweight nylon fabric. So the hat is fully reversible.

Intended for use with a quilt or sleeping bag, as well as outdoor activities such as camping and hiking in cool to cold weather. The hat is highly breathable, allowing normal insensible perspiration to evaporate - so it offers maximum warmth.

"I think the Insulated Hat Kit is your most under-stated item. It seems so mundane on the web page whereas the backpack, tarp, and quilt kits etc. all shout for themselves. But the times I've used the Insulated hat in a challenging cold/wet/windy situation and it's turned the whole thing around in a matter of minutes. Both night and day, it offers amazing utility for a 1 oz weight. I never go camping without one." -Mike G.

Just finished my Insulated Hat. I love it! I have used a windstopper fleece hat that velcroed under the chin for years. It weighed 2.3 oz and was pretty thin. The Ray-Way Insulated Hat weighs only 1oz.(!!!), is several times thicker (much warmer), and is totally windproof!! The insulated hat is so superior, there is absolutely no reason to ever take the fleece hat again! Fantastic!!!! This was my third Ray-Way Kit. It is so great to see the quality in the finished gear go up as I get better on the machine. Thanks again! -Matt L.

Ray-Way Knife Kit

Ray-Way Knife

(kit) Our knife kit is intended as a beginner's project, and can be assembled with minimal tools and no prior woodworking experience. The four-inch blade is stainless steel, has a very sharp and exceptionally durable edge. Its made of world-class steel, and will last a lifetime - and will run circles around any cheap knife.

The wooden handle comes in pre-drilled pieces that you epoxy together and shape to suit. The finished Knife is considerably lighter in weight than almost all expensive knives with good quality steel in them. This means you can take your Ray-Way knife hiking, backpacking, or whatever, with minimal extra weight.

This is a beautiful knife, and because you made it yourself, this will give your knife much more meaning than a store bought one.

"I loved the kit and the instructions and the way everything went together just as the instructions said. The wood handle is much more beautiful than the pictures can show--it has fiddle and the colors change from a glowing golden yellow to a light brown as it is tipped in the light. I hated to use the sealer on it because now I can not enjoy its smell which was wonderful." -Dick M.

Sheath Kit

(kit) The sheath is the open pouch type, protecting the blade while securing the knife by friction alone. It is meant to be carried in the backpack rather than worn on a belt. This is for reasons of simplicity and safety. Our Sheath Kit contains a full set of illustrated instructions, and a set of patterns for cutting out the leather sheath, the welt, and an optional Lightning Bolt pattern for tooling the leather. After cutting out the leather, you punch holes for the stitching, following our template, then hand-stitch the sheath closed. Very simple!

"The leather sheath kits are superb! The instructions and materials are flawless. Thank you for the continued inspiration and integrity you bestow to this wonderful life. This art is highly rewarding. With gratitude," -Will Lady

Knife Sharpening Kit

(kit) The Ray-Way Knife blade will do a LOT of cutting before it needs sharpening. It started out very sharp, and the steel is uncommonly high in quality. In fact, some of our customer's Ray-Way Knives will probably never need sharpening, if well cared for. At the same time, with a lot of use, any knife will become dull, and the use of our sharpening kits will easily bring the sharpness back.

Knife Stropping Kit

(kit) After you have finished using the sharpening boards using the three grits of wet-&-dry, and have achieved the sharpest blade that you can, then it's time to strop the blade to make it razor sharp. The video shows how this is done.

Knife Sharpening Video

(DVD Video) In this video Ray shows how to use our Sharpening and Stropping Boards on the Ray-Way Knife to achieve the sharpest blade possible.

We produced this video in real time, without repeating takes, so you could see the actual process of sharpening a Ray-Way Knife to a "wicked" degree of sharpness. To make it real, there was no re-shooting and filling in of gaps. And we were very careful to show the specific details so you can emulate Ray's techniques.

Run time: 60 minutes


Atlantic Caper Video

(DVD Video)

A 23-foot ocean rowboat.
No sails, no motor,
just two pairs of oars.
Solar panels to power the watermaker.
A 90-day supply of food.
A husband and wife team
with a desire for adventure
and an intense determination to succeed.

Ray & Jenny's Atlantic Crossing
3,000 miles in 53 days
Video Run time: 48 min.

"I have to say that Atlantic Caper is one of the best documentaries that we've seen!" -R. S.

"Atlantic Caper is a fantastic show! Thank you so much for investing the time and effort to produce this gem of a movie. The production values are surprisingly good, the editing and narration are first rate, and the on-ocean footage is breathtaking." -Brett T.

"Caper Across the Atlantic is awesome! Last Friday night, we sat in awe of the adventure, the sunsets and sunrises, the Ocean. Congratulations, and the professionalism is impressive." -Ben A.

"I've watched your video three times now and I think it's super!!! I must admit I cried when you left La Gomera and I cheered and cried when you arrived at Barbados. Sure was glad you included the Skydiving also! Great!!" - D. J.


Siku Kayak

Paddling the Coast of Arctic Alaska

(Book)

Join Ray and Jenny as they paddle their home-built kayak 1,400 miles to the top of Alaska and beyond. You'll discover more about the Arctic coastline than any tourist ever dreamed of. But get ready to test your mettle: you'll find whales and caribou, tundra and grizzlies, permafrost and puffins, and a beauty and vastness that tugs at your heart.

256 Adventure-Packed Pages
272 b&w Photos, 13 Maps

"I just wanted to let you know what a pleasure it was to read about your adventures in your Siku Kayak book. What will and determination it must have taken to continue on at times, and also to make the decision to not continue further. The pictures were well worth a million words, as realizing that the ice may not let you back to shore: AMAZING...I also watched the Atlantic Caper DVD and loved it as well. The skydiving at the end was quite a finish to the whole adventure, nice landing... Thank you so much for sharing with us." -Steven S.

"I was quite impressed with Siku Kayak. I love the way you kept printing costs down, yet managed to include tons of inspiring photos though your website. Outstanding adventure!" -Ben T.

To everyone who has placed orders for our kits, our sincere appreciation. We hope you are envisioning good thoughts for the successful completion of your projects, and for the enjoyable time you will have using your home-made gear in the wilds. Make sure you tell your friends about our kits so they can discover for themselves the joys of making and using their own home-made ray-way gear.

Hey guys. I've long thought about writing and finally merely decided to say "thanks". Simply - thanks. Thanks for always being there, for your forward thinking, for your inspiration, for proving it can be done, for being bulletproof to the non-believers, for never quitting, for doing it right, for doing it first, for doing it best. With great appreciation, respect, and sincerity - simply - thanks. - J.G.G., VA

"Jenny and Ray, Just to let you know that 'Trail Life' was our number-one book for the year. Congratulations and thank you." - [One of the world's foremost retailers of outdoor gear]

"This morning there came a knock on the door. It was our mailman with a package. I immediately ripped it open to reveal Trail Life. OMG it blew me away. The pictures, the style, the information... You totally understated the book... Wow!!!" -Curtis W.

"Trail Life is of EXCELLENT quality. There are numerous full color photographs. It appears to a novice hiker that it covers MANY, MANY aspects of thru-hiking. It discusses areas that someone without the years and miles of experience that Ray has would never even imagine come into play for their future adventures in the wild. The quality of the book and the photographs almost make it a fancy "coffee table" book, yet it contains very useful information." -Del S.

"It's been said that the mark of real genius is the ability to reduce something to its purest and simplest form. For example, Einstein with e = mc2 or Michelangelo, who, when asked to demonstrate his skill as an artist drew an absolutely perfect circle freehand in one stroke. Well, there's no question in my mind that Ray has done the same thing with backpacking. -Mike W.

I suspect what keeps most--if not all--of us coming back to the "Ray-Way" is a simple thing called TRUST! We know that what Ray & Jenny offer actually works, and does so most efficiently. Without reference to age, they are truly "elder statesmen" -- they've been there, done that and the rest of us benefit from those years of amassed wisdom. In a world of hyper consumerism, it isn't always easy to know who to trust." -Chris A.

"I ordered your Alpine 2-Person Quilt Kit for less than I can find the materials. I'm not sure how you do that, but thank you." -Brian W.

Suggested Reading:

Cannonballs for backpacking

Catenary shelters described

Ray-Way Sewing Thread.
Far superior to commercial threads.

For more info see www.RayJardine.com

"You have the COOLEST products. This is my second quilt from you." Fred W.

"I have just completed my backpack after making a quilt and a stowbag for the quilt plus a knife. I still have a tarp to put together. I really enjoyed making my backpack. As soon as I was done I loaded it with all the gear that I could find, and found that even with the quilt and a bunch of stuff that it weighs less than my old pack did empty!" Eric S.

"It's been a few years since I've tried to sew anything, so I like the step-by-step of the quilt instructions you included. The quilt kit and instructions are excellent. " -Helen A., WA

"Made a quilt last fall, it is fantastic!! Can't wait to make the Tarp (ordered today). Thank you so much!" Matt L.

"If you are considering hiking all or part of the PCT, I recommend you forget all that you know about hiking, especially if it is based on conventional backpacking knowledge. Study Ray's advice and you will learn things the easy way, rather than having to learn from your struggles like I did my first year on the trail." - Scott Williamson

"The kits are packaged very well, arrive promptly and go together as instructed. Completed projects: 2-person tarp, Quilt, Knife kit. In Progress: Knife kit, Stowbag. Thanks again" Larry B.

"I placed an order today for a 2600 ci backback. Thanks, I'm so excited to sew up my new pack." -Matt M., NJ

"I've ordered a tarp kit, net-tent kit, and quilt kit, all of which I've enjoyed immensely." -Nick D., ON Canada

"Love my tarp/spitfire/quilt/pack!" - Brian W.

"Thanks for designing these wonderful kits. I've finished two quilts in addition to the tarp and net-tent. What a great feeling of accomplishment, and empowerment!" David S.

"I just finished up sewing my 3rd ray-way backpack last night, and I've been thoroughly pleased with the packs. I'll be sewing a couple more quilts in the next couple of days, along with another stowbag. Thanks again for the kits and the prompt service! Nothing but praise so far!" Paul W.

"I bought your tarp and backpack kits a few years ago, and am so happy with both." -Noah, ME

"This will be my second Ray-Way backpack. You wouldn't believe all the places the first one's been. Thank you!!" -Melissa

"I just am putting the finishing touches on the backpack kit. When I first read the instructions I was a bit overwhelmed and thought "What have I gotten into." However, by following the instructions one step at a time they made perfect sense. I don't think I have ever worked with another set of instructions that were as detailed and well thought out as yours. The pack gradually took shape before my eyes and the daunting process ended up being a series of small steps. Thanks for all the effort you put into the instructions and the kit. After completing the process I now see the genius in the order and progression. Again superb. I will be ordering some more Ray-Way kits in the future." Ron S., VA

"I gave away the last four Trail Life's I ordered a few weeks ago, now I'm ordering four more. Everyone appreciates the book." Mark F., WA

"Dear Ray and Jenny, First off, thanks for putting together such great products. I just finished sewing the big stack of kits I ordered a few months ago - tarp, spitfire, quilt, batwing, and stowbags for all. I'm pleased to report that they all came out beautiful and professional. I'm an experienced seamstress, but having never sewed with these types of materials, I really appreciated the sewing tips. As an engineer, I found the instructions for all your kits to be a refreshing departure from the norm. The kits are for a through-hike of the PCT this summer, and I am pleased to report that after finishing all the kits, you have a new convert. I've just placed a second order for another tarp and a 2p net-tent, because my husband decided to come with me. He's going to sew the kits himself. :) Thanks again!" -Gwynneth S., AZ

"I just want to thank you for all the knowledge you've imparted for a great cause. Not only innovative and inspiring but also well written. You have changed my life. I sewed a Ray-way tarp and I'm hoping to use it on the AT this summer." Paul E., MN

"I just want to say thanks for the awesome tarp kit. I had a wonderful dry night despite the rain. Your Trail Life book has so many great tips to offer. A huge thanks to you!" -Valerie A., UK

"My shipment arrived very promptly and the instructions are very clear and well-written." Don H.

"I completed my quilt last month. It turned out great! Just ordered 2 more. One for my son, and one for my son in law. I also ordered the tarp book, so that will be my next project! Thank you!" Will N., NZ

"I successfully sewed your backpack and quilt and used them on my hiking trip to the Altai Mountains in Russia. Most notable a 10-day hike around Belukha mountain. Everything worked almost perfectly. Next time I hope to order and sew the tarp kit. Thanks for the site, info and possibility to make my own backpack and quilt!" -Gwen F., Altai, Russia

"Thank you for inspiration and providing a method for a 62 y.o. retired guy to even think and plan an AT adventure." -Jim C.

"Prior to the JF class I purchased and made your Ray-Way pack, quilt, tarp, net-tent, knife and sheath. I brought them all and they performed wonderfully. I was especially impressed with how my pack felt and performed when we loaded 22 pounds of water for the long climb up to our camp above treeline. The pack carried the load beautifully. The instructions were excellent." Rich M.

"This weekend my wife and I took our newly constructed Ray-Way tarp to Anza Borrego Desert SP for its inaugural voyage. We particularly enjoyed sleeping under the tarp which allowed for us to enjoy the perfectly still and balmy desert night without sweltering inside our old claustrophobic backpacking tent. Not to mention the other perks in leaving 4 unnecessary pounds at home and the deeper connection to the landscape of stars and sounds of the night." Ben T.

"Just crossed the Brooks Range 170 miles. Used Ray-Way gear & methods exclusively. We found the Ray-Way gear better suited for navigating the challenges of the Arctic landscape. Our best memories were being all cozy & warm under our tarp & quilt, in a downpour, with all the exploding sights, colors and smells of the late summer tundra all around. Ah the places my homemade gear has taken me! Many thanks!" -James G. AK

"I really enjoyed making my tarp, net tent, and sleeping quilt. I've been rereading Trail Life and the Tarp Book Essential as well. Thank you for making sewing so easy and fun. I'll be working next on my warm hat kit, and then the backpack! I plan to be on the High Sierra Trail this July. Thank you!" - Aika M., CA

"We're having a great time on the A.T. using your gear and system and have met a number of others doing the same." Ben and Lauren T. J.F.

"I just finished the one person quilt with alpine upgrade. It is way lighter than the dinosaur it is replacing. Now I'll need to do extensive testing!!" Jeremy C.

"I just finished the JMT and finally put the tarp to the test. We had some intense storms at Lake Marjorie just north of Pinchot Pass. It was plain awesome! It was the windiest, rainiest and most lightening I've camped in and most intense storm I've seen. I remained completely dry inside the net-tent and under my quilt. I knew the tarp should hold up, but now I know viscerally how strong the shelter system is! Thanks again for producing such great products." - David C.

"I'm ordering more Trail Life books to give to friends...appreciate your sharing your trail-learned knowledge...I'm incorporating more of it all the time. Your Trail Life book is a great value." - M. Feltis

"This quilt kit is for my wife - she tried the one I made this summer (the alpine upgrade, deluxe) and now won't part with it until I make her one too =)." Nickolas G.

"I started using the Blood Cleaner, and it's working wonderfully, as well as making Nano silver I'm getting Great results! I'm so impressed with this unit, and means a lot to me knowing they are hand made by Ray and Jenny, two very intelligent people! I just bought another 300 Blood Cleaner just to put away. Everyone should have one of these, healthy or not! Just makes so much common sense. Once again Thank you both so much!" -Sherry R., Canada

"I used your tarp during a month this summer, in Scotland, and it was amazing! It is so much better than a tent. I was more connected with the nature (well, I had no Net, so I slept with spiders, snails and slugs!), it was a great experience. But now I want to order a net-tent, cause I'm going to explore the world during the next 2 years" - Elsa C., France

"I enjoyed making your tarp, batwing, net-tent, stowbag, sleeping quilt and backpack very much! My fabulus 260 gram light backpack was pretty easy after making all the other stuff :-) I love it!!" Bianca H., Germany

"I recently ordered your 2 person quilt kit, and found the instructions and materials to be of superior quality. The project took a little longer than expected, but the results have been well worth the time and effort. The quilt fits perfectly. As for performance, we hurried off the very next weekend to try it out. The weight savings was incredible, weighing less than one of our traditional bags. The trip was a bit blustery and got down into the 30's but we noticed no loss of comfort. Thank you for such an innovative idea." Jason M.

"People have commented that your thread lasts forever." -Julius D., FL

"Wow, your new knife kit that I received today is really over the top! Your other blades were excellent and I made quite a number of beautiful functional knives with them. Your new blade is what I consider the optimum in shape, finish, grind, thickness, quality and overall design. It is exceptionally sharp right out of the box and after a run through the Ray-Way sharpening method I am positive that it will have no equal." - Fred E.

"Let me again take a moment to thank you for your books and kits. I absolutely adore the gear I've made (including 4 quilt kits) and always look forward to using them." -Kerry, MI

"Thank you so much Jenny and Ray, for assembling and shipping my new life on the trail! Your life of exciting adventure breathes vigor to my dreams." - Chris H.

"We have placed two orders for a trip to north Sweden, laponia. We have heard and read enough about your kits to be absolutely unconcerned about the high quality. Thank you so much for the opportunity to order such great stuff. We are completely amazed by your business." - Eddie and Helene P., Germany

"I decided to try to assemble your deluxe quilt kit on a long weekend. By the second night I was sleeping under it! (Quite comfy, by the way.) The directions were clear, the materials outstanding, and the work involved was not that difficult, despite tri-focals and an el-cheapo sewing machine. I want to thank you for making this wonderful project possible. I am literally a happy camper!!" Greg D.

"Ray-Way gear is hands-down the best gear a wilderness traveler can carry." - James G.

"Dear Ray and Jenny, We've built your tarp, net-tent and quilt and are about to embark on another quilt and a backpack. We just wanted to drop you a line to say thank-you. Before we read your books and started adopting your philosophies and creating our own equipment, we didn't think backpacking with our 2-year old son would be possible. One of us has to carry him most of the way, so the other person must carry almost everything else. We now have a few adventures behind us and are pleased to say it is possible! Thanks for helping allow us to be together as a family in the wilderness!" Simon H.

"I ordered your tarp kit and everything went great. You provide very detailed, yet easy to follow instructions. I also ordered your Atlantic Caper video, which I enjoyed very much. I'm glad you added the skydiving footage at the end...very cool." Calvin H., Ohio

"I am 68 years old and have been camping since the year before I was born, and found your "Trail Life" book extremely informative and very enjoyable! I am reading it again for the second time!" Bob T., TX

"I am really enjoying the process of building your kits. So far I have finished my first quilt and stuff bag. They are beautiful and I can't wait to try it out in two weeks on the Tamarak Trail. Thank you so much for your guidance and your very useful information." -Frank A., NY

"I completed my 2 person split-zip quilt kit, my third, this time using one layer of Woodland. My wife and I tried it out this weekend on a 2 day mountain bike-packing trip. It was absolutely perfect! We stayed comfortable and dry under our Ray Way tarp and Net-Tent as temps dropped from a humid 85F to a breezy 60F during the over night pop-up thunderstorms. Next on the list is completion of our new 2,200 in3 Ray Way packs that should work extremely well for our mountain bike-pack trips. Thanks for making these kits and your knowledge available!" Kerry R., MI

"THANK YOU!!!! i love my pack- this one is for my husband (he said he'd even sew it!)" Elleyne B.

"THANK YOU for all that you have done to make it possible for amateur beginners like myself to make our own quality pieces of gear. I have completed the Net tent, Tarp, insulated hat, and 1P Quilt, and all have been a truly incredible learning experience. The quality of your designs have so many in-built subtleties and details that emerge as the sewing journey unfolds, and yet it all flows naturally with the use of only a simple, carefully chosen materials. The fact that the process has been easy enough for a beginner like me to successfully complete is an astounding design achievement. I am truly in awe!" Raymond Y., Western Australia

"I hiked the John Muir and High Sierra Trails, and once again I used my Ray-Way backpack, tarp, and quilt. The larger Ray-Way backpack handled the large bear can and 8 days of food. The 2-layer Alpine quilt was plenty warm. The tarp was as versatile as ever, in wind and rain, tight spots and wide, with trees or with sticks, always giving me the feeling of being outside while still being well sheltered. Thanks again for encouraging people to develop new skills and seek new adventures." -Mike W.

"I Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate tremendously what you do with your knowledge and products, which totally transformed my and my wife's backpacking methodology. The ideas we learned extend into the rest our lives far further than we'd ever have expected, as we apply much of Ray-Way philosophy to our every day lives. To date I've made 2 Quilts, a 2-person net tent (I added a zipper) for my Ray-Way tarp, 2 bat wings, 1 backpack, several storage/stow bags, not to mention countless repairs and modifications to existing gear, all from the kits/books/knowledge/philosophy garnered from Ray-Way products. I hope you continue to provide your guidance and kits-- much needed in our over-consumption driven society." Kerry R., Michigan

"The careful explanations and innovative approach of your "Sharpening The Ray-Way Knife" are wonderful and much appreciated." - Karl K., NC

"I just finished up a thru-hike on the A.T. using your philosophy and sewing kits extensively. 2183.7 miles (includes the approach trail) in 88 days. Thank you two so much for sharing your thoughts, ideas, and sewing instructions with a backpacking novice like me." Paul W.

"Four thumbs up! I wanted to let you know that this is the 2nd healthcare professional that I've seen within the past week who, upon learning of your Blood Cleaner device, encouraged me to continue using it, saying that it sounds plausible as a treatment for blood-borne pathogens." -Donna C.

"I don't think most people appreciate the deal they are getting from your kits. I was looking up commercial lightweight packs and the closest pack to yours was still 1 lb heavier, poorly constructed and cost $300!!! Well, I'll just add a tip on my next order :) Thank you so much for always being so helpful! You run a great business and I tell everyone I can!" - James G., AK

"I am thru hiking the AT and now under my Ray-Way tarp and quilt in the middle of a thunderstorm 19 miles north of Harpers Ferry and am dry as toast. Lots of people have recognized the tarp as being a Ray-Way product so I must have done an ok job of sewing." James G.

"Thanks again Ray and Jenny for the awesome products you have made available. I have read Beyond Backpacking several times and have given it away several times. I have thought about making my own quilt, tarp and pack but wanted more instruction and *hand holding*. Your kits are the answer. You guys are doing wonderful things. keep it up." Geoff G.

"A couple of years ago I made your tarp and net tent kits, and I haven't used a "real" tent since. Aside from one hastily set up camp on a steep hill where my ground cloth slid slightly beyond the tarp's protection overnight, it's kept me dry even in fairly severe thunderstorms. And the ventilation and roominess can't be beat! On one trip it was raining in the morning, so my hiking partner and I cooked breakfast underneath the tarp. Then, the other two members of our party crowded underneath for a relatively dry meal (of course the net tent wasn't pitched at the time). That never would have been possible in a 2 person backpacking tent. So thanks for providing these kits!" - Brian S., OH

"Thanks for making the kits available--we were in the process of locating and pricing the materials ourselves, but yours are actually cheaper by far, and we live near a sizeable outdoor fabric retailer." Trent H.

"This will be my nineth quilt." Don R.

"My fiance and I are devouring 'Trail Life', which is changing almost every thought we had about our PCT attempt which we are planning for next year. Thanks for a fantastic book!!" -Martyn H., Paris

"I am 14 years old and have recently finished a tarp kit from you. The tarp works great and I plan to use it during my scout troop's 50 miler on the Appalachian Trail. I am going to make a backpack kit next. Thank you for your great products." Ben B.

"My partner and I recently hiked the appalachian trail and used a Ray Jardine homemade tarp for the journey. We love that tarp so much, it was our home." -Rainbow

"Your Trail Life book was a cornerstone in helping my family complete our first backpacking trip, the JMT. Also, the one-person quilt with 2 layers of alpine insulation was a sensation. We swapped quilts throughout the trip and found that the Ray-Way quilt was a great deal warmer than the 20 degree down quilt of equal loft." -Sam J, KY

"Just wanted to say thank you for your great kits. I was a bit skeptic about the Quilt's temperature rating, and i didn't want to freeze, so i ordered the extra layer. I have never used a quilt before (or a high performance lightweight bag either....) so when I finished sewing it I decided to test it. The weather was perfect - cold and clear with just a breeze blowing from the north. There was a thick layer of snow covering everything and reflecting the clear moonlight. I had a wonderful nights sleep there in my backyard on the snow with my sleeping pad and my new warm quilt and nothing but stars above me. I checked the temperature and was very impressed when i saw it was -10C (14F) !!! I felt that the Draftstopper and Gorget really helped me in keeping warm." Jonas N., Sweden

"I sewed my first Ray-Way pack eight years ago, and it has served me better than I could have ever hoped, through week-long trips in the southern Appalachians taken every year; several shorter two to three night trips every year; and all the attendant training hikes on the paths near my home. As well, it's been shuffled in and out of airports as my preferred travel pack. In fact, it's the only backpack I have anymore. I'm looking forward to making and using my next pack. This time I'm getting a slightly larger one to accommodate the Ray-Way Sleeping Pad I've been enjoying - another great innovation. Thanks for the design. I've really enjoyed your gear through many adventures." - Jeff D.

"I've enjoyed making your kits: seven backpacks, four tarps, two bat wings, and three quilts, so far." - Craig H.

"I work at backpacking equipment shop and despite the fact that it's somewhat of a conflict business-wise, I am not hesitant to recommend Ray-Way products as a source of superior gear." Jeff D.

"I have made your tarp (x2), net-tent (x2), quilt (x2), insulated hat (x4) and will order a couple of backpack kits very soon. I have gotten addicted to making my own gear." Matthew L., NZ

"My wife and I recently did a nice 7 day hike on the North Country trail here in Michigan, using Ray-Way Backpacks, Tarp, Net-Tent and Quilt. One of the nights we weathered a torrential downpour during a heavy (but windless) thunderstorm. We had never seen rain like that. We found out from a local person the following afternoon that it had rained at a rate of 5" per hour where we were-- torrential indeed. We stayed completely dry under the tarp, if not kept awake by the extraordinary noise of that rain. Site selection gleaned from your books also played a role-- no pooling to speak of on our elevated site on a very thick bed of pine needles." Kerry R., SW Michigan

"I am hiking the 500 mile Colorado trail this summer and am more than interested in your products. I can't believe your pricing structure is so inexpensive!" -Curt M.

"The quilt kit just arrived and I've already sewn it together and slept in it in my back yard. I woke up and thought I would check the temperature and I was blown away to find out that it had dropped to 37F overnight. The quilt kept me absolutely toasty the whole night, even below the rated temperature and all I was wearing was a t-shirt and cotton pants. I had a blast making it and it weighs 1lb 9oz for the deluxe version. Thank you so much for this great product." Tom C.

"I ordered another Blood Cleaner for mum and Dad. They seem pretty excited by the idea." - Ben D.

"Hi Its Quilt Addic Fred, This Will be my 3rd quilt with you. Thanks a million. The quilts that I have already made are all that I now use to sleep in!" Fred W.

"I’m not a hiker, but a biker. But also for me the information given in Trail Life Lightweight Backpacking is very, very, very helpful. Worth its weight in gold. After all, it doesn’t just help you to reduce gear’s weight, but also seems to help reducing your mind’s weight. Ray and Jenny, I thank you so much! Keep it up!" -Hans A. Germany

"Although I have some sewing experience, I am glad I got the backpack video. The materials and instructions for the backpack kit are incredible - well engineered, elegant design, and much appreciated. Lightweight does not have to be fragile, and now that I have made this pack I can see it lasting for a long, long time. I wish I had this during my boy scout days. Would have made those hikes less painful. Can't wait to put some miles on this pack!" - Brooks P.

"I'm an Eagle Scout from Indiana, and I just got back from a 2 week trip to Philmont scout ranch in New Mexico. I took your tarp and net tent, and they worked great! We stayed nice and dry, and it's much lighter and roomier than a tent. I love your stuff, and I continue to use ideas from your Trail Life book whenever I camp. Thanks for all you do for the hiking/backpacking experience." Mark M., IN

"I finally thru hiked the AT with my son. I was a student of Ray's in a 1975 Outward Bound course. He has been a life long guru to me. Thank you Ray!" - Rob S., NH

"I recently made the tarp, net-tent, and quilt. I'm working on 2 insulated hats. I really enjoyed working with the nice materials and the well thought-out designs." Gail H.

"We used our tarp and the net-tent on our 100+ mile trip of traversing the Uintas in Utah. Both were great and went a long way to lightening our loads. The tarp saved us from several severe soakings on the last few days. We were able to set up the tarp quickly and get out of the rain. Thanks for everything!" John W., UT

"Am enjoying making this Quilt. It is going to a grandson in West Point! Back to number eight!!" -Sharon H.

"I have made your two person tarp, net and insulated hat and have found them to be excellent for use in the Australian climate. It gives a real sense of satisfaction to know that you made it yourself and results in no end of questions from fellow bushwalkers. They all want to know where it came from and how good it is. In Australia we don't have the range of materials available to us from local suppliers and your kits make it possible to get the best and lightest at a sensible price. Thanks for making my walking so much more enjoyable." Duncan C.

"Hello Ray, Jenny! I'm currently putting together several of your kits (I've finished the Quilt, Tarp and I'm about halfway through the Backpack), I can't stress enough how awesome the projects are. I've really gotten to enjoy sewing, and am extremely proud of the projects I've finished. Another bonus is that the instructions are so well thought out and detailed that you're practically given no room to mess up :) I've found that any delays in sewing were due to me not having read them carefully enough, thus spending time with the seam ripper :) And, the triple and quadruple stitching on the backpack shoulder straps almost made me feel like I was putting together a parachute harness! :)" Dan D., Prague, Czech Republic

"I ordered my first quilt kit with much trepidation, due to the fact that my only prior sewing experience was watching my wife make throw pillows! I did the whole thing in about 7 hours!!! Wow. Though there are definate signs this quilt was done by a first-timer, it looks really good. This was a most exciting project and I cannot wait to use it. Thank you Ray and Jenny for a most inspirational project." Wil A.

"I have a backpack I made from your kit and instructions (as well as a tarp and quilt) and I love them!" Tucker L., OH

"The Quilt kit turned out great, only 1.25 lbs per person with the Gorget and Splitzip options. The Stowbags are the only way to go. I just ordered a Ray-Way backpack kit. Thanks so much for making such great kits that are beyond reasonably priced." Mark H.

"We are very happy with the practicality and performance of our 2 Ray-Way backpacks, 2 quilts, tarp, net tent and batwing." -Adrian, UK

"I use Ray-Way camping gear on bike tours. I am really proud of my backpack! Thank you!" -Francois L., Québec

"Just wanted to let you know that I finished sewing the backpack and I'm really thrilled! The instructions were great and easy to follow, even for a guy like me who hasn't used a sewing machine in 30 years." -Daniel P., Switzerland

"Ray and Jenny, THANK YOU for sharing your ideas, inspiration, experiences, advice, insight, philosophy, positive /limitless attitude, etc!! I have always enjoyed backpacking and what you call *elbow* room. However, as hard as it is to admit, I, like many others, have been disillusioned by marketers, advertisements, etc...until now! Early this year Molly and I decided to hike the John Muir Trail in August. We purchased 2 backpacks + the DVD, a Tarp, a Net-tent, a Quilt, 2 spools of thread and a sewing machine. Having never sewn before I was a little nervous, but your encouragement and the success of others gave me confidence. I completed my backpack, tarp, net-tent, quilt, several ditty bags, stwobags for the quilt, 2 umbrella modifications, and a hiker's friend filter. Molly sewed her backpack and dehydrated our homemade food for the trip. In retrospect we are really glad we got these made as they proved indispensable! We were very pleased with the performance of all the gear." Brian L.

"Here's why I love my Ray-Way tarp and net-tent (not to mention my Ray-Way quilts and backpacks...): For "fun" this past weekend, I reverted to an old tarptent from an established small manufacturer of light backpacking shelters, a shelter I had from the days before I made all my Ray-Way gear. I'd forgotten how vastly superior the Ray-Way tarp and net-tent are to the older shelter. Because the old tarptent has only one configuration, there was no way to pitch the roof high enough to prevent extremely heavy condensation on the underside of the shelter. While it didn't rain outside, it certainly did inside. I've never had this happen anywhere near this extent in my Ray-Way setup, and, when there is some condensation under my Ray Way tarp, I know I just didn't pitch high enough for conditions. I won't be making that mistake again, and, really, I knew better in the first place. It's time to make stuff-sacks from the commercial tarp tent. Thanks for having made Ray-Way available. It's truly great stuff!" - Kerry R.

"I have completed my backpack kit. The materials, kit instructions and well engineered, elegant design were much appreciated. Lightweight does not have to be fragile - and now that I have made this pack I can see it lasting for a long, long time. I wish I had this during my boy scout days. Would have made those hikes less painful. Can't wait to put some miles on this pack!" -Brooks P.

"Thank you very much for the great communication and fast shipping! Unfortunately, now I must repackage everything and wrap each item in Christmas paper/ribbons as this is my gift to myself this year!" - doug s.

"Our ($800) order is large because we figured we might as well just jump into the “Ray-way” with both feet. It is perhaps a bit rash to order everything at once, but we’ve read through your website thoroughly and from what we’ve read, to use the Ray-way backpacks we need to pare down our shelter and sleeping bags, so we want to go ahead with the whole deal and try it out as it was meant to be used. I don’t anticipate any trouble with the sewing. And your testimonials are numerous and highly positive, so we are pretty confident! We’re looking forward to getting started on the sewing and to using our new lightweight gear on the next adventure!" -Catherine & Dan 0., BC

"I just finished making the backpack and was really amazed with the end result. I am a crummy seamstress but my backpack looks amazing! Seriously, I am so happy with it and excited to try it out on the trail. Now I am ordering the net tent and tarp." - Elizabeth H., OR

"I took up backpacking but didn't get very far because I was not strong enough to carry all the recommended gear. But adopting your gear with the training I'm doing now, I'm looking forward to a lot of fun backpacking this summer. I'm loving my just completed quilt and am working on my tarp and spitfire. Thank you for your kindness in sharing your experiences and your encouraging attitude." Kristin B., VT

"Just finished reading Trail Life. Wow! Within 30 minutes my way of thinking about backpacking was changed. By the end the read I have a completely shifted view about gear and preparing for and enjoying the outdoors. Thinking for yourself about these things is actually more fun. I have taken my first step toward "commercial independence" by making my own a fleece hat and mittens on my wife's sewing machine. Next comes your tarp. Big Thanks for sharing your knowledge, experience and philosophy. It has made a difference." Dana N., CA

"Just finished a ton of fun trips all over Alaska. I decided to experiment and use traditional backpacking gear for a couple of trips in the northern latitudes of AK. Yet in every scenario the tent failed miserably in multi-day wind, rain, and damp conditions. The whole time, Gena and I wished we had our homemade Ray-Way tarp and bug tent, even above the Arctic Circle. I know from our previous trips in the Brooks Range the tarp would have out performed the tent in all these places. Can't say enough good things about your designs!!! Been saying it for years." -James Gibling, AK

"Hi Jenny and Ray, just finished your backpack kit and tested it on Mallorca / GR221 a few days. It performed excellent without a hip belt. My next project is to sew a quilt." Andreas L., Germany

"I ordered Trail Life and it changed my whole backpacking paradigm. Now after 20 years of health issues, i have been able to hit the trails once again. So I'm putting another order together. Thank You!" -Ron T

"I just finished the the JMT and put the Ray-Way tarp to the test. We had some intense storms. It was the windiest, rainiest and most lightening I've camped in, and most intense storm I've seen since moving to California. I remained completely dry inside the net tent and under my quilt. I knew that the tarp should hold up, but now I know viscerally how strong a shelter system it is! I was at Lake Marjorie just north of Pinchot Pass for the show. It was plain awesome! Thanks again for producing such a great product." -David C., CA

"I just placed an order for some of your awesome thread. I'm about to run out and realize now I should have followed your advice and ordered more than one spool! oh well, I ordered 3 this time because I can't imagine using any other thread for any of my projects ever again." Joel C., IN

"Just ordered a couple more books. Love giving them away." - Craig C.

"Just got back from the Gila Wilderness NM where I used the trusty 2P tarp, net tent and my newly completed quilt. Loved sleeping in the quilt. Regulates temperature much better than a sleeping bag. And a whole lot less fussing with zipper, etc. My new favorite price of gear!" - Brooks P.

"We sewed like fiends for a month--two backpacks, a sleeping quilt, tarp, and net tent along with stowbags--and then took the gear on a five-day alpine trek. Everything worked so well that it was hard not to evangelize Ray-Way to our friends, who may have found our enthusiasm a little tiresome (they were carrying considerably more weight). Thanks for the excellent video guidance and the paper instructions as well as for writing Trail Life and The Tarp Book. We cite you constantly! We can hardly wait to go on our next trip . . . thanks for re-igniting our passion for trail life." -Catherine & Dan, BC Canada

"I just finished my AT thru hike and I am so glad I took the time to read "Trail Life" and make my backpack, quilt, and tarp with your instructions. This was my first backpacking trip ever and I left for it feeling prepared for anything with my 12lb base weight, and I truly enjoyed the whole experience. Thank you!!!" - Elisa Brown

"I finished my knife and sheath, as usual the components in the kit and instructions are of the highest quality. I was surprised how pliable the leather is when wet allowing a custom fit to the knife handle. The knife and sheath came out great. Keep up the good work providing motivation and inspiration." Charles P., CA

"I am very grateful for the insight you provide in your writings, your encouragement that you provide in the kits, and guidance for folks like me who have never sewn in their life - as well as the incredible support you have provided when we go astray. It is obvious you take great pride in your products and truly care about your customers. Thanks again" Michael B., MD

"Just dropping you a note about how pleased I am with the tarp I made from your kit. We took a group of scouts to Mt. Whitney this summer and it held up well through many days of rain keeping us warm and dry. One evening it blew especially hard, but the tarp stood firm. The other scouts and leaders were impressed as well (but not as comfortable in their domes)." Greg Z.

"Thank you very much for these sewing kits--they're awesome!!!" Trent H.

"I watched the backpack making DVD. WOW!, great job, it is really clear, easy to follow and professionally done. I also finished my knife and sheath and am very pleased with how it came out. The steel in these blades seems to be particularly good" Richard M.

"My wife likes my quilt so much that she doesn't want it finished (i. e. close the foot end). So, I'll let her have that one and I'll make another one (this one with alpine insulation). We'll get to try both." Michael B., MD

"I love these projects." Nick R.

"Now that my son has outgrown the pack I made for him almost 2 years ago, he's sewing a bigger one. I'm sewing a higher capacity one for myself at the same time, so we are going step by step together. This is his second sewing project, having started learning on a quilt stowbag. We're going slowly, and we're very thankful for the excellent instructions you guys have developed. Thanks Ray and Jenny." Mike W., CA

"My Ray-Way backpack has been traveling with me around Europe. Not only do I enjoy its many advantages, but I'm also very proud when friends ask me where I have it from. Being so content with this product, I have decided to also make a two-person quilt for an upcoming hiking trip in Southern Italy." -Stefan M., Germany

"We have made tarps, quilts and stowbags with total satisfaction. Keep up the good work." Phillip B., Australia

"I just wanted to thank you for the excellent backpack. I bought your kit last year while I lived in the US for a short while. As I did not have a sewing machine, I made it fully by hand - it took some 2 weeks several hours per day, but it was fun for most of the time - I was constantly mixing inches with centimeters. I took it canyoning for 2 weeks and it behaved extremely well - just some minor scratches, although I never seriously believed that the pack would stand all the abuse it went through. Now I am also using the backpack for hand luggage while traveling, perfect size even more perfect weight, I am going shopping with it 35 kg (70-80 lbs) without problems and, of course, backpacking. This year I am taking the pack ice climbing and on several backpacking and canoe trips." Atis R.

"I just finished a week hiking in the Sedona AZ area. My Ray-Way gear worked great. I have always loved to backpack, and now I use only my home-made Ray-Way gear and I love it. I first bought all the Long Option Kits. but I just ordered all new kits without the Long Option. So I will have a choice which size gear I will use, whether hiking and camping solo or with someone else." -Peter H., HoneyBee Rescue, San Diego, CA

"I purchased your tarp and quilt kits. The instructions are easy to follow and the finished quality is equal to or better than anything store bought. I took my first lightweight trip with my dad and my dogs. The tarp and quilt kept me more than warm in the 30 degree weather. When it is not in use I leave the quilt laying out on a spare bed so that it stays lofted. I also made it a little larger as my dogs like to sleep under it with me, it is probably more of a two person. The quilt is so comfortable that I stripped the blankets and sheets from my bed and use it instead. Camped along Reavis Creek in the Superstition Mountains, this was also the first time I had ever slept under a tarp and it was amazing. Warm, no condensation in the morning, no getting up to let dogs out for bathroom breaks, and I had it stowed and my pack loaded the next morning before my dad made it out of his tent." -Daniel S.

"After doing a 50 mile slog through Kings Canyon in California with my son's scout team, I wanted to try lighter weight backpacking gear. The thought of making it myself with your kits intrigued me. My wife got me started sewing the 2-man tarp on her sewing machine. I heard her laughing and telling my daughter that I was actually sewing. The instructions provided told me everything I needed to know. My son and I tested the tarp out tonight in the backyard with a hose. It's water tight and ready to go! I'm starting the backpack next." Steve S.

"Thanks for the great kits. I have completed the tarp, quilt, hat, backpack, and a knife kit and have ordered a net tent kit. I must say that the instructions in your kits are bombproof. They are extremely well written and make the process easy. You simply do one simple thing at a time. My son and I spent a week on the trail in Shenandoah National Park. The backpack and tarp performed exceptionally. We even weathered a couple of blistering thunderstorms and stayed completely dry. We used many principles and ideas from Trail Life to keep our packs light." Ron S., VA

"Just let me say that Ray is THE God of backpacking in my book. When I read the Hiker's Handbook some 20 years ago I was blown away and you forever changed my outlook on the great outdoors. And you singlehandedly created an ultralight movement and a cottage industry to support it!" -Mark C.

"So far, i've made your tarp, sleeping quilt, knife, batwing, and now this will be my second backpack. You seriously provide the best products of anywhere out there - no competition! I don't think people realize what a huge value your kits are. I would pay double the price of these kits. Thanks for providing such incredible materials, books, and service!" Agnieszka G.

"This is our first sewing project, and we are having a lot of fun with it." Larissa G.

"By sewing my own gear from the kits that you have meticulously designed and refined, I not only now have gear that is of the highest caliber but I also now have the skills to make this gear myself." David d.

"We just completed the PCT using your tarp, quilt and backpack. This was the first time we had really camped with a tarp and found it to be so versatile and simple. We used it in all kinds of weather and situations and every time it was put to the test, it passed with flying colours. The aspects of its simplicity, effectiveness, versatility and weight have halted any desires I have to search for the perfect shelter, as I think it is pretty close. We were so happy with it. This was also the first time we had used the quilts. Like the tarp, it did not cease to impress. At one camp, near Forrester Pass, we endured a significant dumping of snow and temperatures into the single digits (Fahrenheit). Aside from our solidly frozen shoes, we remained quite comfortably warm. The well thought-out design for the backpack was excellent. The pockets were great, directions on packing it from the AT video were excellent. You would probably be disgusted by how much food weight your poor little bags had to endure but they definitely stood up to whatever challenge we could throw at them, although there were a few patched and unpatched holes by the end. We would both like to send you guys are heart felt thanks as the gear was amazing." Ben D. and Kate M., Australia

"Ray and Jenny, Thank you for your tarp design and kits. You've brought the openness of sleeping under the stars together with even greater protection and comfort than a tent. And this at a lighter weight than other gear with the satisfaction of making it oneself. Your Tarp Book Essential is very thorough in explaining how to make the most effective use of the design. Thanks again." Mike W., CA

"Our first Quilt (and also first ever sewing project) only took a weekend to complete--GREAT INSTRUCTIONS, thanks." Blue & Nika M.

"Oh boy. can't wait to get back on the trail w/new Ray-Way gear. I've researched for two years and nothing compares to your designs. (and your low prices are so appreciated.) C U on the AT." -Cecilia M.

"Gena and I just finished the JMT and had a wonderful trip. Wow, those mountains are breathtaking! Well, I stayed up late before our departure but completed the two person quilt and it was clutch. Most nights above 10,000 we awoke to frost on our quilt, but we were toasty warm underneath. Absolutely superb design and function. James G., CA

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