I was given a shoulder bag during my time with St. Joseph. Their 50th anniversary fell during my tenure with the company, and a variety of gew-gaws were handed out to commemorate the event. The bag wasn’t terrible by any means, but it wasn’t a Mystery Ranch product either. I made some mods to it - removed a reflective panel on the front and replaced it with some velcro for patches, added some sinnets for zipper pulls - but other than that I never really used it. It sat in my bin of excess gear - okay it’s really two bins - until an idea hit me.
I had bought my nephew a small hydration pack a few years ago. (It was an MEC product that is no longer made. And I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it.) The shoulder bag was about the right size....what if I made it into a beaver tail pouch to fit on the front. Add some more volume and also provide a way to stash a helmet or a sweater or a rain jacket.
This was embroidered on the front. You can see that I already tried to subdue it with a marker.
And here in this not very good, slightly blurry photo you can see how I covered it with some Veclro and also the section of Velcro I added earlier above that.
On the inside of the front compartment is an admin section for various odds and ends and on the inside of the main compartment is a zippered sub section.
On the sides and bottom of it I opened up the seams and added tabs and put Siamese Slik-Clips through them.
On the backpack I also opened up the seams and put tabs in the corresponding spots.
Then I made some straps, one a short section with a ladder lock and a loop to put another Siamese SlikClip through, and a longer section, also with a loop at one end for the Siamese SlikClip on the pouch.
Some time during the process of sewing this, he jokingly mentioned that he would like a platypus as a pet. While it’s not anything he’ll ever get, it gave me an idea for a name. Rather than a beaver tail pouch, why not a platypus tail pouch.
Didn’t take me that long to do, and it makes a decent little pack a bit more useful. And it removes at least one item from my unused gear bin. If he finds he’s not so keen on it, or doesn’t need to use it on a given day, it’s easy enough to take off. As long as he keeps it in his gear bin.
Oh and it was all sewn by hand.