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

Thursday, 11th of February, 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

"I'm sure you get this all of the time, but I just adore you guys. Not only because of the amazing things you do or the awesome advice you give, but because you do all of these adventures together. If I could pick any two people in the world to meet, it would be you. May you have many more adventures to come!" C. P.

"I just wanted to let you know how impressed my wife and I continue to be with the versatility and functionality of our single layer Alpine 2-person quilt. We easily cover temps to 45 without adding more than a thin hat to our shorts and hiking shirts, impressive for a single layer of 3/4" insulation. Yet we don't get too hot at 75. Sharing body heat is a massive plus; it's amazing how much less insulation this allows us to get away with. The Gorget ensures a lovely warmth-snaring drape. It's amazing how much warmth is felt the second the Draft Stopper is tucked under our bodies and between our necks. The split zip makes it feel nearly weightless in our pack. We love all our Ray Way gear, but the quilt is really my favorite! Thanks for taking the time to refine this lovely piece of gear and make it so accessible through your kits." Kerry, MI

"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

"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

"I love the kits, especially the tarp. I use mine as my main shelter up here in Northern BC. My family doesn't all fit under one tarp anymore! I would like to order another." Dale B.

"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.

"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

"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.

"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

"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.

"I recently completed my first project - a 1P quilt made with Light fabric and the extra layer. It looks great, especially considering its the first time I've used a sewing machine! I had ordered the extra layer knowing that my wife sleeps cold, and figuring that the quilt would catch her eye immediately. I guessed right, so have ordered a 1P quilt kit for myself. So if you've got a list of delighted customers, put us at the top! We'll be ordering the backpack kits next. Thanks for all your efforts." Don H.

"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.

"Thank you so much for offering your variety wonderful kits. Thus far, I have sewn a tarp, net-tent, quilt and stowbags using your kits. I have also recently completed the knife kit and am about to start on the leather sheath. All of the kits produce a great looking final project and more importantly function extremely well while on the trail." James S.

"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

"My sewing is going along extremely well. Now I look back and realize my fear of sewing was only what you call *lack of familiarity*. I sure am glad I'm a little more familiar now. Sewing is fun, and your Ray-Way kits are pure magic! Everything falls into place beautifully, one stitch at a time. Thank you Ray and Jenny, your teachings are truly priceless." Will Lady

"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.

"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

"My 1st quilt was finished last weekend - 5 more to go for family, 2 kits arrived today. Slept in mine for 2 nights @ 36'F - lovely! Perfect instructions." -Cassi Y.

"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

"I ordered the quilt kit last month. What a boost of confidence your clear instructions gave me! I felt like a sewing expert (once I remembered how to thread the machine). I'm looking forward to another fun sewing adventure with the tarp and net-tent kits. Thank you." -NM

"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.

"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

"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.

"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

"I sewed a Ray-Way backpack in January of 2013, and have used it on multiple section hikes (2,215 miles) on the PCT and other hikes. It has worked very well, and has been integral in getting my base weight down to 12 pounds." -Dave P.

"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.

"I just finished the southern 3rd of the JMT and finally put the tarp to the test. We had some intense storms on July 22nd. 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

"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

"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.

"On the hundred mile wilderness, Maine AT, I carried my 2800 Ray-Way pack plus tarp, spitfire, and quilt (and plenty of food :). I am really proud of how beautifully the kits came out. But more importantly they made my successful completion of hike possible. I love the feeling of freedom your light weight kits have given me. I also love how the system allows me to go from hiking to camping in minutes. The simplicity of Ray's roving hitch really makes setting up the tarp a breeze. The illustrated guide to pitching the tarp in the TBE has really improved my pitching skills. I feel confident in my ability to complete longer treks." - John B.

"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 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.

"Hey Ray and Jenny! Just ordered the tarp and net kits for my PCT thru hike this year! Couldn't go wrong with your products, I've heard nothing but praise!" -Mark D.

"The sewing journey I was on the last couple of weeks was an incredibly deep and enlightening experience to say the least! Sewing the quilt, tarp, backpack and stowbag kits, and studying the tarp book, backpack video, and highly detailed instructions with extremely accurate diagrams = A whole new perspective :) Thank you Ray and Jenny" Will Lady

"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

"We are just back from cycling the north sea cycle way - 2768 miles in 61 days - used the quilt I made and it kept us snuggly warm in the cold weather we experienced. My husband was very sceptical but is now converted to the quilt idea. it saved on space and weight. THANKS." Brenda C., UK

"We just finished our tarp (and are just starting the quilt). I cannot imagine sleeping under anything else now. What a tremendous feeling having made my own equipment. Thank you so much sharing your designs and whole new way of looking at things. Or should I say old way of looking at things. Not many years ago our parents and grandparents made everything they used, now everyone buys the things they use and somehow are never satisfied, and thus are depressed and taking pills and the drug conglomerates are getting rich, people are getting more depressed and so it goes. I have never been more satisfied with a piece of equipment. Because, I made it myself and that is satisfying, which is the antithesis of depression. Thanks again." Bruce R.

"I was given a deluxe quilt kit by my wife for Christmas. It was my first time in front of a sewing machine - my wife showed me the basics then left with the kids for the weekend. I finished the foot box as she pulled back in the driveway. It turned out awesome and her pride in my work was a real boost. Thanks for the great kit - As you imply in your writing, learning to make your own gear is empowering, and I have an attachment to the quilt beyond what my expensive down bag ever meant to me. On top of that, my kids love it and want to sleep under it too, so I'm ordering two more quilts and a tarp." Michael M.

"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

"I've been a fan of yours for over 10 years, I've section hiked over 300 miles on the AT largely with your gear, countless trips to Colorado and California on the PCT, and my wife and I are just die hard fans of what you do and the unique position you're in to give back to the outdoor community. Thanks for all you do." - Robert G., TX

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

"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., CA

"I received my order yesterday, and really appreciate your business! Before you made your products available I was always searching for the materials you recommended and settling for what I could find. Now when I order from you I get the very best!" George M.

"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.

"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.

"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 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.

"My package arrived this afternoon! Thanks again for the unmatched customer service and fast shipping. I will definitely recommend you to friends and family!" Joe W., TN

"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

"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

"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.

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

"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.

"I have made a tarp, quilt, stowbag, and storage bag. They came out great!" Brian K., WY

"Thanks for the great products. I've really come to trust your equipment." Thomas C.

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