Sunday, May 21, 2017

Carrying a PFD for Packrafting

You know how much of a PITA it is to carry a PFD.
Bulky, so they take up room in your pack, same goes for the exterior, and they are always snagging bush.
If you own an HMG Porter, this system works well.
The Porter Stuff Pocket is a pretty much necessary add on to these packs, and if you have one, stuffing the PFD behind it is a great way to keep things sleek.
However, the plastic gimcracks that hold the pocket to the daisy chains on the pack are fiddly at best, and pretty much eliminate any sort of quick release function.
Solution: use some accessory 'biners (I like the plastic Black Diamonds)to attach the pocket to the daisy chains.  You can cut the old plastic ones off if you like.
Now, you can place the PFD under the pocket, and use the pocket to hold the FD in place and out of the way.  Depending on the PFD, you can vary the placements of the pocket straps to the daisy chains quickly and easily.
Speaking of PFDs, while the Astral V8 seems to be a standard light weight, it does lack back protection and a bit of buoyancy.
You can pick and chose from many excellent (heavy, bulky) rescue PFDs, but for remote trips, my own philosophy is that if you are getting into situations where a rescue PFD seems like a necessity, you are either willing to carry a lot more weight and bulk than I am, or, maybe consider scaling back the gnar.
Regardless, after much research, I settled on the NRS Ion as a good compromise PFD.  Its not a rescue PFD, but it does have good back protection and high buoyancy.  Bonus, its not much heavier than the V8, and its not bulky.  No zippers to mess with either.
This can be tidied up by tucking the straps behind, but you get the idea.
BD accessory 'biner.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tubeless Surly Clownshoe

There are quite a few ghetto DIY tubeless setups for CS out there.
Split tubes have their own draw backs, and sourcing the right size tubes can be a pain.
The Gorilla Tape version seems to be the most popular, but, as with any tape based CS tubeless setup, the major fail point is the longitudinal seam that any tape less than 4" (100mm) will have.
At some point, sealant will penetrate the long seam and mess up things.
However, there is an alternative.
Siga tape.  Siga makes building membrane sealing tape in a variety of types and sizes.
The one to get is the Wigluv 100.  Its 100mm wide, sticky as hell, fiber reinforced and can be found at most building supply centers.  Kilrich has it here in YXY.  Drawback?  At $100 a roll, make sure you have some friends who want to go tubeless as well.
Another drawback is that it DOES stretch.  Tony put me onto the Wigluv, and hes had it on his tubeless CS/Bud?lou set up for a while, but with only the rim tape backing it, and running the wheels at hard condition PSI, he finally had a bulge fail.
In a nutshell, I have about 300 Km on this system now, and its been bombproof, touch wood....
So, bearing that in mind, the install that seems to be solid is as follows:

An early attempt using Tyvec Tape.  As can be seen, Stans sealant gets everywhere.

Essentially, in version 1, the sealant got through the Tyvec layers and only the rim tape was sealing.  This can happen with the Gorilla fiber tape as well.

Gorilla Repair Tape.  Strong, light and clean.  Needed to prevent bulging of the rim tape.  Seems to be better than the Black duct tape like Gorilla tape as it doesn't leave residue behind when you remove it.

After you have cleaned the rim tape and surface, run a single strip of Gorilla repair tape down the middle.  Important!  Use a heat gun on low to ensure good adhesion.  This is key.

After the first middle strip of Gorilla repair tape, add a strip to either side of the rim channel, ending it on the shoulder, then add one more on the middle.  This adds strength and prevents bulging and therefore strain on the Siga tape.
Use heat on all strips.

A thing of beauty.  100mm of WigLUV!  Use heat on this as well, low heat, gently.

The final bit; 1" Gorilla Tape to build up the shoulders.  In hind site, I think I would have used the Gorilla repair tape.   Again, apply with heat.
It seems like lots of tape, but the stuff is lighter than the Black Gorilla tape.
So far, so good, no bulging of the rim tape and I've been running pressures to 17 PSI.
Note: in the above image, you can see some Wigluv outboard of the Black tape.  Take a sharp Olfa/razor blade and trim it.

Rabbit River Video

From our trip last summer.  Not too much longer 'till summer....

Packrafting the Rabbit River. from Yukon Frolics on Vimeo.