Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Paper Dolls For Backpackers

Harmless fun for codgers.

Semi-traditional rectangular design.

Probably nothing new here.

Bent now, an attempt at headroom and vertical side walls.

But if you insist on making your own things, and get itchy to sew pieces of fabric together, you have to start with an idea.

A long and narrow design.

Well, not exactly true, but if you want to end up with something that has a chance of an independent life, you do. Otherwise you get a bunch of flappy bits of fabric joined at the hip, in a pile. Which is OK in itself, but makes a poor shelter.

Vaguely like the Gatewood Cape from SMD.

Shelters. I'm fascinated. Have always liked them. I've spent hours and hours playing with drawings, getting out a bunch of straight pins a hanky and a pencil for support, and tried making different layouts on the carpet.

Would have had a "side" entry point.

Drawings are fun, but you never can tell. By using a hanky or some other piece of cloth you're stuck with the shape you start with, and it's saggy. After the first couple of failures you decide to quit cutting them up.

Back to the stubby rectangular design.

On the other hand, you can start with a piece of paper and fold it. Stand it up, see what it looks like. If one square sheet or rectangular sheet can't be folded right, just cut another piece and tape it on. Measure one inch to the foot, and you end up with a scale model of something you could actually put together. For real.

Side view.

You still need a pattern but it's easier to scale up from a model and add hem allowances than to imagine each piece as you go. Or to develop a pattern from a drawing only to find that it can't be made without access to extra, normally invisible dimensions.

Front view.

I have enough problems sleeping on the ground as it is without trying to get comfortable in 7-space.

Different. Would have one support, an open entry...

So given those constraints (mostly my aging and stiffening spine) I use a hammock, though that doesn't mean I still don't pretend that I can design the perfect bitsy, weightless shelter and find bliss.

...and a sort of internal vestibule at the back.

And if not me, then maybe you.