I thoroughly recommend the Thru-Hiker.com website. I first came upon this site from the Hobotraveler.com link to Rodney Liwanag’s LAB backpack construction guide. Thru-Hiker.com is a website dedicated to sharing ideas and tactics for traveling on the cheap. It has plenty of tips, advice, and instructions on how to make your own traveling gear, as well as the materials that you need to do so for sale right through the site.
Thru-hiker.com is divided into six sections: Kits and Materials, Thru-Hiker Store, The Workshop, Articles, Gear Reviews, and a Message Board.
The Kits and Materials section begins with the following bold statement:
“Free yourself from Commercial Gear Lock-In with Thru-Hiker’s Kits, Fabrics, and Materials!”
This essentially seems to be the Thru-Hiker mantra. The kits and materials section of the website is full of just this: kits and materials to make cheap and durable outdoor gear to travel with. I just hope they also provide instructions on how to make this stuff as well haha.
It has kits for sale to make:
Down jackets and coats
The materials portion of this section of the website has many of the materials that you will need to construct outdoor gear that works:
Breathable fabrics- Nanoseeum, Momentum Ultralight Ripstop, Downproof Ripstop with Teflon DWR, and Nylon Ripstop.
I can not tell you what these materials are, but I rest assured that they are probably the stuff that all of those multi-hundred dollar jackets are made from in outdoor stores.
The materials page also has coated fabric, insulation, zippers, roll goods, and hardware for sale. Check it out to find out more.
I must ask this question: What could be more satisfying than making your own traveling equipment? Now when people ask, “Where did you get those fancy outdoor pants?” You can look at them and smile while replying that you made them yourself. When traveling, I feel that your very self and the knowledge you have is the most important resource you can have.
Another great advantage of making your own traveling gear is that you should know a little better how to repair if when it breaks down. All travel gear rips, breaks, and falls apart at some point on the road, I think it is a good idea to know how to fix it when this inevitably happens. I say, if you can make something, you can fix it!
Thru-Hiker.com also has a store where you can purchase outdoor supplies that they made themselves:
and Water gear is all sold here for reasonable prices.
The Workshop section of the Thru-Hiker.com site is perhaps the most useful. It is essentially a large instruction manual from which you can learn how to make your own travel clothing and gear.
It has detail instructions, complete with photographs and diagrams, on how to make your own:
Stoves (this is really awesome)
. . .as well as tutorials on sewing techniques and instructions on how to make little additions like topstiched French seems and manual buttonholes.
If you have a little downtime in your travels and want to learn how to be a little more resourceful, then this portion of the Thru-Hiker.com site offers practical instruction that can be utilized to be a more independent traveler.
The articles section of the Thru-Hiker.com site has a large amount of how-to hiking/ gear/ strategy information and tips that can be readily used by a traveler.
The Gear Review section is full of reviews on various pieces of hiking and travel equipment.
Reviews on the:
Gregory G-Pack vs Granite Gear Vapor Trail
Western Mountaineering Flight Down Jacket
Frogg Toggs Rainwear
Integral Designs Sil Poncho Review
Snow Peak GigaPower Stove Review
Wenger Esquire vs Victorinox Classic
And many more reviews on gear the is pertinent to the traveler.
Simply put, I have found the Thru-Hiker.com site to be a great travel resource for those wanderers who like to take their meals on the run and camp aimlessly in the bush.