sewing for the outdoors: gear and accessories for adventurers
Making your own outdoor gear allows you to customize it perfectly to your needs and save money over retail prices. With performance fabrics and specialized techniques, sewists can create tents, packs, pads, and other camping and adventure gear. Learning how to handcraft and repair your own gear can enhance your wilderness excursions.
Here are some of the benefits of making your own outdoor gear:
- Customization: You can tailor your gear to your specific needs and preferences. For example, you can choose the right size and shape of tent for your group, or the right type of pack for your hiking style.
- Saving money: Making your own gear can save you a lot of money. The cost of materials is often much lower than the cost of buying pre-made gear.
- Skills: Learning how to make your own gear can teach you valuable skills that you can use for other projects. For example, you will learn how to sew, use tools, and work with different materials.
- Pride: There is a sense of pride that comes from making something yourself, especially something that you will use to enjoy the outdoors.
If you are interested in making your own outdoor gear, there are a few things you need to do. First, you need to learn about the different types of gear and the materials that are used to make them. You can find this information in books, magazines, and online. Second, you need to gather the necessary tools and materials. This will vary depending on the type of gear you are making. Finally, you need to practice your skills. The best way to do this is to start with simple projects and gradually work your way up to more complex ones.
Making your own outdoor gear can be a rewarding hobby. It is a great way to save money, learn new skills, and customize your gear to your specific needs. So what are you waiting for? Start making your own gear today!
Why Sew Outdoor Gear?
- Achieve customized sizing and features based on your preferences
- Select ideal durable, weather-resistant fabric types and colors
- Incorporate functional details exactly where needed
- Provides entertainment and escape through a rewarding hobby
- Gain self-sufficiency making quality essentials affordably
- Allows replacing only worn components versus entire items
- Make multiples of items like storage bags and first aid kits
- Repair commercial gear personalized beyond mass production
Where to Find Patterns and Supplies
Fabrics – Outdoor specialty shops offer performance textiles designed for weatherproofness, abrasion resistance, insulation, stretch, and more. Consider needs like waterproofness, breathability, or reflectivity.
Find patterns – Specialty outdoor sewing books and websites provide detailed patterns for packs, shelters, pads, and apparel optimized for wilderness use.
Hardware and findings – Source buckles, rings, fasteners, piping, mesh, strapping, clip hardware and more from outdoor outfitter stores or online.
Key Outdoor Gear to Sew
Backpacks – Customize shape, pockets, straps, lining, flap, and closures to your needs and style
Tents – Match size, floor plan, vestibules, and windows to how you camp
Sleeping accessories – Quilts, pillows, sleeping bag liners all benefit from personalized sizing and fabrics
Outdoor apparel – Make performance coats, pants, gaiters, and base layers for specialized use
Accessories – First aid kits, dopp kits, storage sacks, hammocks all sew up easily
Advanced Techniques for Outdoor Sewing
- Adding mesh, insulation, or coated fabric layers
- Binding edges with protective tape to prevent unraveling
- Using corded seams and edges for structure on packs and shelters
- Installing grommets and metal rings to reinforce holes against frequent use
- Sewing in durable elastic, cording, or webbing to create adjustable ties and gatherers
- Laminating and welding fabrics together for waterproof seams and fabric combinations
Here are some of the things to consider when choosing fabrics for outdoor gear:
- Durability: The fabric should be durable enough to withstand the elements. It should be able to withstand rain, snow, wind, and sun.
- Weight: The fabric should be lightweight so that it does not add unnecessary weight to your gear.
- Warmth: If you are making gear for cold weather, the fabric should be warm. It should be able to trap heat and keep you warm.
- Waterproofness: If you are making gear for wet weather, the fabric should be waterproof. It should be able to keep water out and keep you dry.
- Breathability: The fabric should be breathable so that you can sweat and stay cool.
Once you have chosen the right fabrics, you need to learn how to sew them together. There are many different sewing techniques that can be used to make outdoor gear. You can find information about these techniques in books, magazines, and online.
With a little care and attention, you can hand-make gear that will keep you safe and comfortable in the outdoors. So what are you waiting for? Start crafting today!
Here are some additional tips for making outdoor gear:
- Start with simple projects: If you are new to making outdoor gear, start with simple projects. This will help you learn the basics of sewing and working with different materials.
- Use high-quality materials: Using high-quality materials will make your gear more durable and long-lasting.
- Test your gear: Once you have made your gear, test it out in different conditions. This will help you make sure that it is working properly and that it is comfortable to use.
- Have fun: Making outdoor gear should be fun. If you are not enjoying yourself, you are less likely to stick with it.