Thursday, March 24, 2016

My craft foam sun visor for ultralight backpacking

In the desert, with my sun umbrella and sun visor
I get big kick out of making my own backpacking equipment, and this was a fun little experiment which turned out well.

Before I went on a desert backpacking trip to Joshua Tree with my friends Jean and Kelly, I made this sun visor, which weighs in at 8 grams. It's made of craft foam, which you can buy at Michael's or Walmart for about 15 cents a sheet (which is enough for one visor). Here's a template that you can use to cut it out.

Once I had it cut out, I poked a hole in the ends, and strung some elastic through, so it would fit on my head properly. It worked really well, and was much sturdier than I thought it would be. Another part of my defense against the sun (very important in the desert!) was a very lightweight umbrella, which I just held in my hand as I hiked.

One thing to consider when using this is that it doesn't protect the top of your head, in case you sometimes get a sunburn on your part. That wasn't a problem for me because I was also using the umbrella, and this visor was just a backup.

Me with my ultralight visor


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