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, 24th of May, 2016: 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.

"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

"Your tips and experiences in your books "Tarp Book Essentials" and "Trail Life" allowed me - 6 years after having replaced my natural hips by artificial joints - to start again hiking with a minimum of package and an optimum of joy." Michael S., Germany

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

"Thanks a lot for your effort! You really offer the finest materials, we both LOVE the Quilts, the lightweight nylon fabrics in their beautiful colours, they have real mood improving qualities! And it's relaxing to follow your instructions, they're so well thought out! Thanks for your good work by which you also improve our lives." Kirsten G., Germany

"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.

"I have been hauling camping gear around in my 10+ year old Ray-Way backpack and have enjoyed it so much. Now I use it to carry groceries from the local farmers market on my bicycle." John G., TX

"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.

"Hi Jenny and Ray, You both are doing great stuff. I read 'Beyond Backpacking' years ago and got hooked on ultralight backpacking. My first project was your Backpack-Kit. Your kits are of outstanding quality and, especially because of the very good instructions, worth every cent! Thanks for sharing your experiences. You both raised a new generation of backpackers - free in their minds, free of commercial influences, thinking for themselves. All the best from Germany " C.F.

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

"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 a fan of Beyond Backpacking (and now Trail Life), and those books have changed my life, thanks for sharing your wisdom. I purchased a backpack kit and it is now done. The kit was great, the instructions were clear and detailed, and I am very happy with the result. Thank you both!" Mark D., Indiana

"My son and I took our Ray-Way tarps to Philmont this year and they were awesome, rain, hail, wind, always dry and what views the entire trek. We use them all year here in MN and wherever we go. It is amazing to see how much better they work than tents, especially for eliminating condensation and we love the open view. Thanks for the awesome design, complete kits and quality materials!" - Ken D., MN

"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 just wanted to make a comment about the thread you sell. After playing with the bobbin tension per the instructions, this thread sews perfectly. It's stronger than store bought, and seems to feed better. Also, virtually no lint buildup in the bobbin case. I've sewed 2 tarps and several stuff sacks with it, and I am a lifelong customer." - Robert G., TX

"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

"Dear Ray, I am writing to thank you. My copies of all of your books are dog-eared from being referenced again and again. I have great respect for the manner in which you share your experience, knowledge, suggestions and opinions. From the beginning I recognized that you were interested in attraction rather than promotion, and this principle seems to be pervasive throughout your writing. You write with respect for the intelligence of your readers; rather than try to "prove" that your way is best, you simply explain what works for you and invite readers to experiment for themselves if they wish. Mostly, I am thankful because your influence has allowed me to enjoy nature far more than I would have otherwise. I feel the purpose of gear is just to work so that it stays out of the way and allows the natural flow of being outdoors to emerge. The Ray-Way has taught me about being present, mindful, and happy in the outdoors, rather than "protecting" me from nature. Finally, I would like to thank you for sharing your life of adventure so thoroughly and enjoyably in your books and on your website. Every trip report makes the world of possibility a bit larger for me. Thank you." John G., Shenzhen, China

"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

"While preparing for our FFT (first Ray Way!), few things have been as valuable as "Trail Life". Early in my studying the book, I started making notes. My notes quickly turned into pages, too large for a web post. So rather than trying to convince experienced outdoor enthusiasts to buy your book, I just started buying extra copies and gifting them. If I hadn't buddied around and climbed with Ray in Yosemite, I might find what the two of you have accomplished as somewhat unbelievable. For the less experienced adventurist, in a one-liner summary I would simply suggest the following: "Ray and Jenny provide not only useful products and trustworthy information to believe - but also, and more importantly - two people to believe IN." You can quote me on that. Thanks again for sharing your experiences, tips and inspirations. I love what you have done and are doing." Craig C., AK

"I just returned from a trip along the JMT and my Ray-Way tarp worked fantastic! There was quite a bit of rain, thunder, lightning and hail but the tarp took it all in stride. My Ray-Way quilt also worked great!" -Darren O.

"I made my first Ray-Way backpack several years ago. It has completed one thru-hike and about 3,000 additional miles of backpacking. I've made a few repairs and it's still going strong!" - Brandon G.

"I recently purchased your quilt and tarp kits. I have finished the quilt, and it was easy to sew and is quite amazingly warm. Thanks so much and keep up the great work with your kits, the directions are clear and they are a good deal!" Rick T.

"Thanks for all of the great products that you provide. Making my own gear has changed the way that I interact with the outdoors. The two quilts I've made are my favorite sleeping bags now, and I'm sure my tarp and net-tent will be just as good. Take care, and keep encouraging and empowering the rest of us to make our own gear!" Ben S.

"I ordered a tarp kit, net-tent kit, Tarp Book, and thread, along with a delux 2-person quilt kit with the alpine upgrade, and two stowbag kits. The box and materials combined weigh less than the tent I use now!! And it's considered an ultralight product." Jason L.

"I love this quilt! I have used it on several trips this year on the AT and will not go back to a sleeping bag. I have slept very warm in temperatures down to the high 30's. It is built with two layers of woodland." - William D.

"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

"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

"I've been a devotee of Ray-Way hiking since I read Beyond Backpacking in about 1999. A few years ago I ordered and sewed a two-person tarp, and I've used it on Outward Bound trips in Colorado these last two summers. It has worked really well! The tarp has even sheltered three people on two courses; I know it's not designed for that, but we were all fairly short, and didn't mind scooting close together when it rained. Thank you for the high quality kit, and for the inspiration over the years!" Priscilla H., CO

"Thanks for providing such awesome, and well-thought kits. My son (now 15) and I made one of your two person tarps last summer. He's a very active Eagle Scout and has been using it exclusively ever since, even in the winter. He says he'll never use a tent again. The tarp is 1/3 the weight of his "lightest" backpacking tent. He camped under it this winter in temperatures below 20F at night and he said he was warmer under the tarp than he's ever been in a tent in winter. He's also read your book Trail Life cover to cover several times and says he learns something new every time. He's one of your biggest fans. Keep up the good work." Scott M., IN

"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 am sewing the kits with great enjoyment and sense of accomplishment. I finished the stowbag, and am now working on the quilt. Planning to do the backpack next, then the tarp & net-tent. I think that your materials, designs and instructions are simply superb. I can hardly wait to get out in the Sierra this summer and use the new gear." Steve S.

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

"Your kits bring a sense of satisfaction that one doesn't get from buying gear! I know you care about others' experiences, so thank you from the bottom of my heart." Elleyne B.

"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, nettent, 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

"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 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.

"I absolutely love the two person deluxe quilt. It's amazing how light it is. I love how you can adjust how it's positioned over you, so you don't have a heat stroke like in a mummy bag. Thanks for putting these kits together and making them available." Jason D.

"I recently finished a quilt kit--thank you so much--it works great! Now that I've made one quilt, the next one will be a piece of cake. Thanks!" Steven B.

"How many times do I need to keep telling you guys you really could be charging folks twice as much for your kits and wealth of detailed design instructions!!! I can't even tell you how good a deal we all are getting for such great kits!! You guys are way too kind. I tried making my own packs and quilt when Beyond Backpacking first came out, and I must say my first go around of equipment was 100 times more functional than the clunker gear of commercial stores, but looked pretty cheezie. After your kits came out, my gear became A+ professional in function, looks, design, and strength!!! Not to mention lasting over 9 years of all year around heavy use!" James G., CA

"I received my quilt kit just a few days after I ordered it. I thought the kit was excellent. It took me exactly six hours to make from opening the box to sewing the last stitch. Just wanted you to know I'm a very satisfied customer." Patrick M.

"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.

"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.

"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 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

"I have built most of your kits over the past few years and find the finished products to be functionally superior to anything on the market today. The backpack is the first one to fit me perfectly. My wife and I will never use a tent on the trail again, as your tarp is vastly more enjoyable to sleep beneath, and the 2P quilt we've used happily for a year now. And the one kit that has given me the most down-right pleasure is the knife kit." - Tom C., AZ

"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

"Hey Ray and Jenny, Just got back from a great weekend hiking in the Buffalo River area with my scouts. Got into a freak windstorm with winds in excess of 50 mph. Lots of tents went down, but my Ray-Way Tarp pitched low didn't have any problems, and later with one side pitched high, comfortably sat 8 wet scouts and leaders along with one grumpy Ray-Way Tarp owner. I told them this could have been avoided if they would get there own tarps! Thanks again for a great design and materials." Curtis W., Missouri

"I've ordered 8 backpacks for gifts and extras for if friends go hiking with me. Am ordering 4 more now. Thanks so much for the ideas and kits, Ray and Jenny!" Paul W.

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

"I am reading your book, Trail Life, and I am so intrigued and excited! We want a backpack that we can use for all types of hiking and after much looking and comparing we came back to your website and without a doubt know we will be forever happy with making one ourselves with your kit!" -Margie G.

"A few days ago I spent my first very rainy night under my Ray-Way Tarp. I was in Washington, just off the coast of the Columbia River. It's impossible for me to have been any dryer. And, with my quilt, I was quite comfortably warm. I got a little nervous when the rain started but the longer it poured the more the nerves turned to pride. I was also using the net tent and shared my under-tarp-space with a stump. Probably one of the proudest camping moments of my life. Though my pitching needs work, I've just finished reading the Tarp Book and have ideas on how I can improve. Thank you Ray and Jenny for the pointers during construction and thanks for sharing all your experiences and ideas. I think we're all richer for them." - Michael P.

"I have enjoyed making you kits over the years and just want to say thank you for such a great product." - Bruce R.

"Hey guys, Just wanted to say that I very much enjoy my Ray-Way Tarp. I've used a lot of products and have the ability to purchase most products at a discount. However, I'd rather use the tarp in most cases. Simplicity is elegance. Solid work on your product design. I want to put together a Net-Tent as well, so my wife and I will be sewing that up." John W., UT

"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

"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.

"Loved Trail Life and had to buy one for my backpacking buddy so she would stop borrowing mine." Heather R.

Previous Article
 News 
 Home   RayJardine.com 
Copyright © 2016
24,933,820 visitors
 
PLEASE DO NOT COPY these photos and pages to other websites. Thank you!
Next Article
   Customer Comments