Thursday, November 15, 2007

New hipbelt and food update

I ran through food calculations a few days ago. After determining that I would need 3500-4000 calories per day, I came up with the following daily menu:

2x PopTarts (two packages)
Gorp, mixed 1:1:1:1:1 in 1/4 cup proportions of granola, honey-roasted peanuts, M&M's, honey-nut Cheerios and raisins.
2x Pitas
Peanut butter, 1/2 cup
Honey, 2 tbsp
1x Snickers, currently the 2.07 oz versions
Mac & Cheese, 2/3 box/day
Butter, 2/3 stick/day

That's ~4000 calories/day for about ~2 lbs/day. I'll also be carrying an extra day of Gorp, so the total food weight is just under 21 lbs. Here's a more detailed breakdown. You'll notice that all of the meals are very calorie-dense, as the average cal/oz is over 128 cal/oz.

TOTALS Cal Cal/oz
Cal/day 4097.40
breakfast cal 800.00 108.9918
gorp cal 730.30 135.847
lunch cal 1232.50 117.0465
aft snack cal 280.00 135.2657
supper cal 1054.60 139.4974
cal/hr (24) 170.73
Cal/hr (10) 409.74
oz/day 32.88
lb/day 2.05
total oz 334.13
total lb 20.88
average cal/oz 128.47
extra gorp oz 5.38
extra gorp cal 730.30
Cal/trip 40974

In light of this this food weight, I designed and constructed a hipbelt for my backpack (a sil-nylon frameless rucksack designed by a friend). It was quite simple. The idea was to sew a piece of fabric to the pack between the bottom shoulder strap atachments. The belt would slide into this sleeve and be held in place by 3" velcro strips.

I cut a 4x8 piece of sil nylon and attached the some velcro (loop side) to the patch. I sewed the long sides to the pack in between the hipbelt, with the velcro facing the pack. I then sewed the belt, 3x25 with ~23 inches of foam in it; the portion of the belt facing me is a coated cordura that has a rough face to it. It grabs my hips well. The outer portion is sil nylon (same as pack). The buckle is one with room for four slots of 1" fabric. It is similar to having four ladder lock buckles attached to a side-release buckle.

To test, I placed a blue foam pad in the pack, stuffed a blanket on the bottom and then set eight textbooks, each with at least 800 pages, in the pack. The belt worked well and effectively took weight off of my shoulders. I would like the pack to be a little deeper (may two inches) to create a more effective belt that would allow the weight to rest at the base of my back, but I don't want to remake the pack. That was pain enough in itself.

The sleeping back is on temporary hold until a project or two gets finished.

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