|My set up for making gear in the basement. Everything I need to design, plan, construct, and analyze my creations.|
The Make Your Own Gear (MYOG) subculture is perfectly analogous to the DIY movement. Instead of going out to a box store and buying a mass produced product, you take the time and effort to create something yourself, buying raw materials and crafting something unique, just the way you want it.
|This is the alcohol stove I made, along with foil windscreen. You know, just|
in case it gets blustery in the kitchen. You never know.
Besides this esoteric underpinning, there are several more practical reasons why people make their own gear for outdoor adventures. For instance, if you disregard your own time spent, it is almost always less expensive to make something yourself than it is to buy it already built. As an example I recently spent about $120 on materials for MYOG projects. With these materials I will be able to make a hammock, the suspension to hang the hammock, a bug net, a lightweight sleeping bag (well technically it is a quilt, but I will save that for a different post), an under quilt for the hammock (to keep your butt and back warm), some insulated clothing, several stuff sacks, a few other small things, and a tarp to hang over it all and keep you dry. If I were to go to REI and purchase all these things, it would cost me over $700. So the cost savings are not unimpressive.
|Rain Kilt. Keeps the rain the top half of your legs.|
And it looks so good.
Also, it is fun. At least for dorks like me. I get to apply my overly-analytical mind to something I am passionate about. I can plan, measure, calculate, and design my pants off. Figuratively speaking, though pants aren't strictly required for designing a underquilt for your hammock that can also worn around camp as a very stylish and insulated serape. Basically, I get to exercise my nerdiness. Plus I get to brag about how I have made all sorts of things. The only downside to telling people is that no one actually cares. Still gonna do it.
The first thing that I made, the thing that started this whole ball rolling was about as simple as possible: a groundsheet. Literally a sheet of something you put on the ground to keep your stuff and self dry and clean(er) while camping. I made it out of Tyvek, a construction material. After that I made an alcohol stove. And then I was hooked.
|See that ugly white thing my sleeping bag and pad are on? Yeah, that's my groundsheet.|
-Matt "Rain Kilt" Kreider