I was in Luleå for a week and saw in the local newspaper (nestled amidst nail-biting news stories such as ‘Local boy almost injured diving into river’) a poll which asked ‘Do you look forward to the return of Winter?’ (74% saying no). After a week of involuntary blood donations to the Luleå mosquito scene, I was a definite yes. I don’t miss a lot of things about Ireland, but one thing I miss is the near-total lack of winged, biting, blood-sucking insects. Even the Irish horseflies are tiny little midgets compared to the giant armour-plated Swedish bastards.
So I ordered a load of materials from extremtextil.de. This site is completely fantastic, they offer dozens of great textiles, from reliable old nylon to magical kevlar. Connectors, zippers, cords, slings, carabiners, insulation, they have it. Nice customer service and fast delivery too.
My plan is to first make a simple rope tarp for climbing to get some practise. Rope tarps are just big squares of material to stand on and have your rope on when you climb, keeping the dirt off the rope and off the bottom of your expensive climbing shoes. I’m not sure how much work there will be in turning a one metre long square of nylon into a one metre long square nylon tarp, but I’m sure I’ll find some way to screw it up.
If that goes well I’ll try to sew up a bivy. Hopefully something under half a kilo, with decent breathability for these hot Summer nights. It seems a lot more fun and rewarding than just buying something, as well as being a learning experience.
Some other assorted goodies, a waterproof zip, some seam sealer and a metre of breathable fabric.
Now all this project needs is a little bit of careful planning and patience. Neither of which I am remotely capable of supplying, so instead I’ll just give it a shot and see what happens. Things usually work out quite well that way.