Making Your Own Outdoor Gear – 5 Tips & 5 Benefits

July 15, 2019

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Whether you’re a veteran backpacker or a newcomer on the trails, making your own outdoor gear is a rewarding, cost-effective way to meet your backpacking and camping needs.

Starting a new activity, like do-it-yourself (DIY) camping gear, can be challenging at first. Embrace the opportunity to learn new skills, including how to use a sewing machine. You’ll be rewarded with high-quality camping equipment built according to your specifications.

Wholesale backpacking equipment can be found here.

5 Tips For Creating Your Own BackPacking Gear

Here are five tips and tricks as you dive into DIY outdoor gear.

1. Embrace the Learning Curve

When it comes to creating your own gear, passion is more important than sewing experience. You might be a natural-born sewer or may have never used a sewing machine in your life. Either way, you’ll likely encounter a learning curve. Stick with it — creating your own equipment pays off with an innovative product you can be proud of.

2. Start Small and Work Up to Bigger Projects

Practice really does make perfect. You may be itching to create a quilt or make your own bridge hammock, but we recommend honing your skills with smaller projects first.

Start by sewing a Climashield pillow, pack cover kit or drawstring backpack. Then, enjoy the fruits of your labor on your next backpacking trip. These beginner-level DIY projects are the perfect starting point.

3. Get Creative With Your Backpacking DIY Projects

Making your own outdoor gear gives you the chance to be as creative as you wish. You can choose from a variety of fabric colors and patterns to fit your style. DutchWare’s Print2Fabric gear includes a range of designs for hammocks, tarps and more. We can even customize Print2Fabric gear — simply contact us online.

4. Measure Twice, Cut Once

When measuring your fabric, use a sturdy ruler and mark the fabric with chalk. It’s good practice to leave extra room for seam allowances to avoid having to recut the pattern. When in doubt, measure again!

If you’re new to working with fabric, buy 25% more yardage than you expect to use. That way, when you make mistakes, you won’t have to put the project on hold to order extra fabric.

5. Ask for Help

As a new member of the DIY outdoor gear community, you have many resources to help you navigate challenges while designing and building your own equipment. Plus, if you know someone with sewing experience, use them as a handy resource to grow your skills.

rolled goods

5 Benefits of Creating DIY Camping & Backpacking Gear

Making camping and backpacking gear on your own can be a fantastic experience because it helps you realize just how capable and courageous you really are. It’s empowering to know you don’t actually need constant access to technology or plumbing, or even to sleep in your own bed. In fact, you can be just fine in the wilderness — even without specialized camping gear.

Homemade backpacking, hiking and camping gear comes with several perks, including:

1. Lower Costs

DIY camping and backpacking gear is often less expensive than commercial equipment. These days, it’s entirely possible to make a comparable piece of equipment for far less than what it would cost to buy it.

2. Aesthetics

DIY camping gear challenges your skill, creativity, and discipline, much like any other do-it-yourself project. Aesthetics here refers to the way something is done — and the joy of that journey often trumps the end result.

3. The Joy of Customization

Make gear that meets your specifications, including color, fabric type, sizing, and other features.

4. Innovation

Much of the recent advancements in ultralight camping and backpacking gear can be attributed to DIYers and other businesses not afraid to play around with unconventional designs. As a beginner or expert, making your own gear will put you up there with those individuals striving to make outdoor fun more cost-effective, creative, and personalized.

5. Simplification

DIY camping gear allows you to remove extra features on an item and strip it down to its primary functions. You’re not held captive by market trends when you exercise self-sufficiency in making your own gear. For instance, maybe all the major camping gear companies came out with bigger and better hip belt pockets to outdo one another and vie for your attention — but hip belt pockets aren’t your thing. Well, you’ve just simplified your gear to meet your own preferences.

DIY wholesale fabric

Make Your Own Backpacking Gear With DutchWare

We carry a wide selection of durable, reliable components for hiking and camping gear. At DutchWare, you can find everything you need to make your own outdoor gear, all in one place. We even offer a quality and satisfaction guarantee. Browse our DIY materials and find the perfect components for your next project. 

From basic equipment to specialized, customizable gear, our inventory offers innovative, high-quality products for any skill level. Our use of cutting-edge materials reduces your gear’s weight for ultra-light backpacking.

Want to bring your unique vision for DIY gear to life? Reach out to us online. For the latest DIY tips, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Check Out Our DIY Guides

If you’re ready to get started with making your own hiking gear, check out some of our DIY guides below:


hammock camping versus tent camping



Reviewed By: Dutch (Thom Ressler) - Dutch started Dutchware after thru-hiking the entire 2,200-miles of the Appalachian Trail with a hammock. During his journey, Dutch learned that there wasn’t high-quality hammocking gear available on the market so he began to create his own.

He began manufacturing the Dutch Clip, which he invented to connect the webbing suspension around the tree. Next was the Chameleon Hammock which offers superior flexibility for hammockers. Today Dutchware sells over 1,000 outdoor gear products to provide backpackers with high-quality equipment that allows them to enjoy the outdoors with a minimalist approach.

Dutch is passionate about providing the hammocking community with the highest quality gear along with the highest quality information to ensure they have the best outdoor experience possible.

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