Saturday, January 17, 2015

Handmade Ditty Bag From Old Cargo Pants

Handmade Ditty Bag From Old Cargo Pants:
If you know me and are reading this post.... no I'm not sick :). Now onto the content- As part of the Bushcraft USA Bush Class Intermediate Certification I was tasked with making a few types of ditty bags (don't worry I will only subject you to one more sewing project when I reveal my handmade clothing item from the advanced certification course). To achieve this task we were asked to use the leg of an old pair of pants, so I found a pair of rip-stop 5.11 BDU's that were no longer in use and made myself a tactical ditty bag for all of my woodsman needs. A few things I learned along the way: 1) I haven't got any better at sewing since the last time I tried in home economics class (at least my cooking has improved by leaps and bounds); 2) rip stop material is difficult to work with and probably isn't the best choice of fabric when sewing for the first time in ~15 years; 3) I was surprised it turned out as well as it did as my bears back in home economics looked like a jigsaw creation from a horror movie; 4) BDU's make the perfect DIY pack as you can re-purpose all of those amazing pockets and not only double your storage but add next level organization to your bag; and 5) This took an entire evening, if you are planning to sew my only advice is to practice so your stitching isn't as bad as mine and your able to do this process much faster.

Process In Pictures:
1) The starting point was this pair of 5.11 BDU pants (moment of silence as they were great pants in their day)! I chose these pants due to the ripstop material, water retardant treatment and abundance of pockets.
2) No going back now (glad my new years resolution wasn't to get back into these pants). All of the main pockets were salvaged and will find a place on the pants before we are done.
 3) First item to go on was the 2nd BDU pocket on the same side as the current BDU pocket.
 4) One Side complete
5) On the opposite side i decided to place the deeper pocket on the bottom to act as a tinder collection pocket or something to that effect. I would also place the phone/leatherman pocket and the key ring on this side as you will see below.
6) After securing all of the exterior additions to the pants I then sew the bottom of the pants together to create a bag.
7) Last step is to add a cinch closure to the top of the bag by sewing in a piece of shock cord which will become my draw string.
 8) Quick look into the interior of the bag prior to trimming up the spare material

9) bag containing a thermarest mattress, inflatable pillow, grabber tarp, 6 tent pegs, 50' paracord, bungee cord and a few other assorted items.
10) Side 1 which i place both of my cargo pockets on.
11) Side 2 contains the large slit pocket, key ring and phone/leatherman pocket

Something I learned immediately is for it is better to buy quality gear instead of making my own gear as I don't have the level of sewing skills to make something I would be willing to bet my life on. With that said if I'm making an article of clothing I may need to practice a little before I go and attempt that as I have a feeling it may be a boreal coat from an old wool blanket I have laying around. While this ditty bag is far from pretty it does fill a void  I had in my current kit a place to throw all of my shelter elements in one place with multiple storage options. I believe this will be a shelter supplement to my 10 C's haversack (SEE MORE HERE- LINK) when hunting that can be dropped in camp and will free up a good bit of room in my haversack. So have any of you re-purposed some of your old clothing and if so what did you decide to make?

Have something outdoor/bushcraft/trapping/preparedness/hiking/camping/fishing/hunting related you want me to make a post about? Leave me a comment and I will see what I can do! As always feel free to leave your questions and comment below! Also if you enjoy the blog please vote for us on the following websites to help us reach a wider audience:
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