Double Stuff-Lite - The Creation of Lightweight, Double-Sided, Camping Stuff Sack
Literally I am stuffed, we had a great thanksgiving this past week. So much to be thankful for! To be able to worship our Savior Jesus Christ in public and openly thank our Heavenly Father for love, forgiveness, grace, and life. It's so crazy to have clean water to drink whenever we want it, a warm house that shelters us from the outside, a beautiful world to explore and great friends to go with us!
Crazier still, this past Friday marked the end of something in my life, my Federal Engineering career. I did something I don't often do, QUIT. I have been working hard since I was a little guy, like 8 years old - little. I was part owner in a lawn care business at the age of 13. Mowed grass, worked in welding shops and steel yards throughout high school. I started my engineering co-op job with ERDC (Engineering Research and Development Center) during college in 2005, and then started at ERDC full time in 2008 when I graduated from Mississippi State with an undergraduate in mechanical engineering. ERDC was a valuable time for me and I learned a lot. At ERDC my research was focused on explosive effects - and that's really all I can tell you :). But on November 28th I resigned - I have been running Sierra Madre Research, SMr ILLUMINATE, and a Project Manager at ERDC since 2011 and boy does that take a toll on you. I am excited to be 100% dedicated to SMr / SMr ILLUMINATE, it has literally been a dream since 2009 - and now here we are! Well enough personal mumbo jumbo, you came here to read about Product Development, haha.
This week I worked on prototyping a SilNylon stuff sack, with an opening at either end. We have dubbed it the "Double Stuff-Lite" no cream filling inside but at ~1 ounce it is fairly lightweight. It's a handy dandy stuff-sack to have for hammock camping because (like your Nubé Duro Sack) it has two openings, one at each end. This allows you to place your shelter/hammock ends at opposing ends of the sack for a quick deployment and then the sack can actually encompass one of your EZSling straps (so you don't loose the sack). This stuff sack is a useful item for stuffing your Nubé / Hammock when you are really trying to save on weight (saves 3.4 ounces) but one draw back is - you need more space available in your pack (no compression system, so it's much larger). It's also useful to put your clothes in or other commodities that would enjoy a weather resistant design. We'll be using the same beefy 40D Nylon ripstop (4 coats of silicone) fabric as we use on the Nubé, so durability will be high.
Even though this is a new product for SMr ILLUMINATE there will be a seamless transition into manufacturing it, because of it's similarities with the Nubé Duro Sack. After designing and specking out the prototype I then have to communicate the build parts and construction of the product very clearly with my GM in Nicaragua. I do that with two documents 1) the Bill of Materials (BOM) and 2) the Product Design Manual. I have attached an example of a BOM to show you what I mean here. The BOM lists everything you need to make a product and details very specifically each part used and its cost. The Product Design Manual is usually a very time consuming document, and this is where SMr builds in all of our Quality Assurance to the product. Every backstitch, thread per inch (tpi - which varies according to fabric used), and double stitch must be accounted for here. I was able to finish all needed items this weekend so we'll be able to start production on December 10th. Which means SMr should have about 1,000 of these for sale in late January or early February, so be on the look out!
Double Stuff-Lite Camping Sack Specifications:
Length: 16.5 inches*
Width: 6.5 inches*
Weight: ~ 1 ounce
* Dimensions with Nubé inside.
Tell me what you think!?
Enjoy the Adventure,
Richard G Rhett Jr.