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Looking for a better way to fasten a tripod, ice axe, shovel, or trekking poles to your pack? Tired of that gear flopping around back there? The tool tube is the easy-access, snug and secure answer to loads of idiosyncratic strapping problems. Making your own is a snap. All you need is about a half-foot of 2-inch-wide hook-and-loop fastener (available at craft stores and most outdoors stores for about $1 per foot), 3 inches of webbing, and some strong thread (about $1.75 for a 150-yard spool).
Step 1: Cut the hook (bristly side) and loop (soft, woolly side) strips to the lengths indicated, and lightly sear the cut ends with a candle or lighter. Attach the two sides face to face so they overlap 21/4 inches at the center.
Step 2: Sew the end of the loop strip to the center of the hook strip, using a standard straight stitch (at a medium or greater stitch-length setting if using a sewing machine, or at 12 stitches per inch if sewing by hand).
Cut a webbing strip to 3 inches, and sear the ends.
Step 4: Fold the webbing end to end. Sew the cut ends together against the fabric side of the loose end of the loop closure strip, using a tightly spaced zigzag stitch or several parallel straight stitches. The webbing loop should extend out from the end of the loop strip as a pull tab.
Try it out! Feed the tab end of the tube under any vertical strap or daisy chain on your pack; secure it in place with the central, overlapping hook closure flap; and then wrap the ends of the tube around your shovel handle, trekking poles, or tripod.
- one 41/2″ long, 2″ wide hook closure strip
- one 51/4″ long, 2″ wide loop closure strip
- one 3″ long, 3/4″ to 1″ wide strip of light-duty webbing
- heavy synthetic thread, such as nylon upholstery thread
- sewing machine or size 9 needle, if sewing by hand