The next great frontier in gear . . .. Is it gear that sheds precious ounces of weight? Is it the latest materials (e.g. eVent, possumdown, titanium, etc.)? Is it gear purchased exclusively from cottage manufacturers? No. It’s gear that you’ve made your own-freaking-self. We’ve already started making our own boil-in-bag cuisine, so why not explore more challenging pursuits.
Franken is already experienced at fashioning items using mylar, empty soda cans, hollow aluminum, and lightweight rope. This includes an ultralight tarp, stakes, stoves, and a bear bag. These may seem easy compared to the next echelon of homemade equipment: sleeping bags, packs, and bivy sacks.
There are many useful sites on the interwebz that specialize in making your own gear (MYOG). As examples, Thru-Hiker provides kits, fabrics, and materials for making your own shite and Backpacking dot net provides a plan database for gear construction.
One particularly interesting design, in light of many recent posts on bivy sacks, is the meteor bivy provided by Six Moon Designs.
At any rate, this is just a taste. All of this is food for thought if that “perfect” piece of gear that you require is not yet available in the marketplace . . ..