PiCharPaK WorkSHop Unboxing

Recently, Jason Hung from Picharpak Workshop had posted over on FaceBook that he had picked up a large amount of carbon felt. I sent him a PM and found out that he was more than willing to sell me some of his excess carbon felt at his cost, so I jumped on it. Then, after talking with Jason some more about some stoves, he offered to send me a stove that he had recently started making. As well, he also offered to send me one of his 1 person Spinnaker Cloth tarps to check out. He is trying out different designs using the Spinn material until he settles on one that he likes, and then he wants to make some of the tarps from cuben fiber. So he told me that he would send me one of these Spinn tarps as well, and simply asked me for my feedback on both the shelter and the stove. 

This worked out pretty well as far as timing is concerned. I have a trip coming up this very weekend in which I will be hiking from Fontana Dam to NOC with Brian Green from Brian’s Backpacking Blog, Joslyn from UltraLight Backpacking or Bust!, the infamous Gizmo Joe and my buddy Charlie (AKA: Hiking Shoes). So, I am looking forward to bringing some new gear out on the trail with me for this kick-back and enjoy ourselves hike!

So, when the box arrived today I was very eager to rip it open and check out all the goodies that Jason had sent me…but I held myself back for a bit. I figured that I would share this box of goodies with everyone by doing an unboxing video…

When talking with Jason about the tarp in the beginning, I told him that I would love to use this tarp with my hammock for this trip, however, he informed me of the dimensions and told me that he felt that the tarp would be too small to use with a hammock. I also ran the numbers by Joslyn (being the dedicated hammock lover that she is) and she also agreed that this tarp would be too small to use with a hammock. I am not going to lie, as much as I trusted them both, I crossed my fingers and secretly hoped that I would be able to make it work with the hammock somehow…but now that I have it, I must say…they were right…

Here are the listed specs along with my measured weights:

  • Material: 0.75 oz/sqyd Spinnaker Cloth
  • Ridgeline Length: 103.9 inches (8.65 feet)
  • Front Width: 69.3 inches (5.77 feet)
  • Middle Width: 42.5 inches (3.54 feet)
  • End Width: 48.8 inches (4.06 feet)
  • Measured Weight of Tarp Only: 6.3 oz
  • Measured Weight of Stuff Sack: 0.4 oz
  • Measured Weight of Guy Line: 0.9 oz

As seen in the video, Jason sent about a mile of some very nice reflective cord with the tarp. Not only did he send some that was precut, wrapped up with the tarp, but he also sent another package of some of his 1.1 mm diameter cord and a package of his 1.5 mm diameter cord. He also threw in a set of his Glow-In-The-Dark LineLocks too (although, I will admit, I have been more of a knot kind of guy rather than a line-lock kind of guy). So, after I finished tying some bowline knots in one end of each of the precut cords I took the entire set up outside to set it up.

Here are some pictures:

As can be seen, this is a “relatively” small tarp. However, as I mentioned in my video, I have also ordered a Borah Bivy which should be here the very day that I leave for the hike (shew…that is cutting it close…) So, I am really hoping that this Picharpak Workshop Tarp and the Borah Bivy makes a great pair… because when I checked the weather forecast for this hike earlier today, it is calling for rain each day we are there…

So, I will see, and you can be sure that I will have more about both this tarp and the Borah Bivy in the near future…

As well, being the alcohol stove lover that I am, Jason also sent me one of his “JC250” Alcohol stoves (which I assume to stand for Japanese Coke, 250 ml). This stove is a top burner, just like the Mini Atomic, however, this stove has fewer and smaller jets. Also, the way that this stove is built is very opposite of the Mini Atomic… however, I compare it to the Mini Atomic simply because it is made from a small can and is jetted on the top of the can, but on the inside ring rather than the outside ring. This will allow the flame to be focused in a much finer point, which should make a great stove for those cook pots with smaller diameters.

However, for this trip I am planning to use this stove with a wider diameter, 0.9L Evernew (ECA 422) cook pot. I did a trial run with it earlier today just to see how it did, and it did well. Although, the stove wasn’t all that was new… I also cut a 4×21 strip of the carbon felt that I bought from Jason to use as the windscreen. All in all though, I was very pleased with this set-up after my initial trial run. (I do plan to do a couple more though before I leave, just because this is so much fun…)

For my trial run, I will admit, I did not time the boil, and I did not measure out the fuel with a syringe. However, I did use a fuel bottle that I have markings on to measure the fuel out (as I would in the field). I measured out 1 oz of S-L-X Denatured Alcohol into the JC250 stove and filled the cook pot with 3 cups of water from the tap (which to be fair is not all that cold…) I then set it all up, lit it and then watched it like a hawk…

As I said, I did not time it, but it “seemed” about normal time (as compared to using my other systems) for the water to come to a boil. And then it boiled, and boiled, and boiled…that was the amazing part…it seemed like it boiled for well over 5 minutes after reaching a full, rolling boil. And the boil was right in the center of the water too, and stayed there, so the carbon felt windscreen did a great job at blocking the wind (which by the way, it was pretty windy outside today as a small storm was rolling in when I was doing this).

So, I do need to do some more “testing” with it, but right off the bat, I am happy with it. The stove along with the carbon felt primer ring and the stuff sack weighs almost twice as much as my DIY Mini Atomic knock off, but at this time, it seems that it may be just a little more efficient, although, this may have something to do with using this stove with the wider diameter cook pot rather than my narrower diameter cook pots too…

Anyway, I am really excited to take these items out and give them a go. And on this upcoming trip, there will be some other well-known “experts” with me to lay their eyes and hands on these items too, so I should get some good feedback…

Until then, thanks Jason for sending me these items, and thank you (reader) for your time!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: Jason Hung from Picharpak Workshop sent me both the stove and the tarp (along with the guy line) free of charge and simply requested me to give him some feedback on these items. I am under no obligation to “review” these items. On the other hand, I did use my own, hard-earned money to purchase the piece of carbon felt from Jason.

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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11 Responses to PiCharPaK WorkSHop Unboxing

  1. H2oBoy007 says:

    Hey Stick!
    You have any more impressions on the Picharpak 1P Tarp? Is it big enough to low pitch for nasty weather? I have a MLD Grace Duo and I’m thinking about grabbing the Picharpak, but I want to make sure that I stay dry on the Wonderland.
    Thanks.

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    • Stick says:

      H2oBoy,

      I have tinkered with it in the yard some, and carried it with me on a car camping trip one time. For me, I just don’t think I could make it work, at least not in any substantial amount of rain. The cat cut’s are very deep, and it is not very wide. If I were using a pretty water resistant bivy underneath it, I think it would be ok for some, but maybe a little claustrophobic for some.

      However, for my kids, it would work fine for them! 🙂

      ~Stick~

      Like

  2. Brian Green says:

    I’m gonna bring the heaviest, oldest Coleman camping gear I can find. “Experts!” – LOL 🙂

    Like

  3. Jim Henegar says:

    Hey Chad, I posted earlier in your bivy thread about the warmth of your bivy. Surely this will help in staying warm, kinda like a wind barrier or such? Probably help in higher elevations but wondering if it would be to hot at lower elevations with the heat we experience down south. Hope you can get that tarp lower, looks like plenty of rain for sure this week, thank goodness. We sure need it

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    • Stick says:

      Jim,

      That is what I am going to find out. I imagine that I can simply push the quilt off of me inside the bivy and just have the M50 top lying directly against my skin. Or, if bugs are not an issue (and they weren’t on our recent trip) then I can just lay on top of it.

      However, considering it will be raining (more than likely) I will stay inside the bivy (if it gets here in time anyway…) The tarp can go to the ground and it will only make that much less room under the tarp. However, I am depending on my bivy to shed some spray, so I am not too worried about getting the tarp much lower than what it was… At least I hope not…but hey…if I get wet, it will only be for a couple of days…and I am pretty sure I will dry out… 🙂

      ~Stick~

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  4. Joslyn says:

    And I thought I was cutting it close when I ordered some stuff a week and a half ago! I’m really excited to see all the cool stuff everyone is bringing with them and I’ve got lots of gear to test this trip myself. If you are thinking about selling off some of that carbon felt, I wouldn’t mind buying a square of it off ya for a few stoves I’m toying with. I don’t need much and didn’t really want to pay 5 bucks to ship a small amount.

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    • Stick says:

      Joslyn,

      I usually don’t order stuff to have it come in this close. It just kind of happened that way… The Borah Bivy should be here Thursday (finger’s crossed) so as long as it gets here then, it will be great! I am looking forward to checking out everyone else’s gear to though… 🙂

      I will bring you some of the carbon felt, no problem.

      ~Stick~

      Like

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