1. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Question for any Tailors or Campers

    Discussion in 'Research' started by zoupskim, Jun 9, 2016.

    I have been playing with a concept for my WIP, and would like some advice on it.

    The idea is that a soldier would carry one outer garment that served multiple roles. Using, for lack of a better word, an origami-style system of folding, the soldier could shape his garment into a sleeping bag, a poncho, a water bag, a backpack, gun bag, tent, and really anything he could think of. It would be made of strong material and be medium in weight, but ultra thin to help with carrying or folding.

    This kind of thing already exists with tents and ponchos, but in my WIP it's like an exaggerated version of that. The garment is basically able to be folded and compressed to be as small as a tablet or DVD box, but big enough when unfolded so that you can sleep in it.

    I am mostly curious about the modular folding idea. Is there a certain shape or material that would be ideal for what I am describing? I have experimented with 5x5 ft squares and 5x6 ft rectangles of water resistant material, and with a little creativity and strings I can achieve most of the items I want, and with a compression sack I can get it as small as I describe. I was wondering if there's something like this in real life I am missing. Is there a shape ideal for folding? Are there materials that are perfect for shaping? Is there an arrangement of buttons or loops in the material that is ideal for attaching wires or stakes?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
  2. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    The rain ponchos US Marines carried in the early 90s (they might still, not sure) were probably about 6'x6', had grommets at all four corners and a couple in the middle that could be used as holes for tent pins to make a small one-man shelter. We also carried a poncho liner, which was a matching sized thin quilted sheet with some sort of synthetic insulation in it. It had little string ties that matched up to the grommets on the poncho so that they could be tied together to make a sleeping bag. All of it was pretty low-tech, if I recall, we just carried them rolled on top of our packs (I had little field and zero combat experience) for easy access if it started to rain. I'm not sure how strong they were, but it was supposed to be possible to fold one over a couple of long poles to improvise a stretcher.

    Hope this helps, I'm sure there are others who can add more detail and correct anything I've misremembered.

    <edit> Good lord, the typos!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
    zoupskim likes this.

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