Switch to "freezer bag" meals
On day hikes ..the wife likes making sandwiches and packs/carries a bunch
of food(why should I argue!
) and we usually eat those and have time for coffee..that's about it.Occasionally we do make up some noodles or something along with the coffee and have fired up some muffins,cookies, or something if berries are on the trail..for day hikes.Overnights we do make noodles,rica and beans,or something.This year really sucked for berries..non-existent..so a couple sandwiches,trail mix,pepperoni,beef jerky,chocolate,and dried fruit were fine along with coffee.
Selling packs..You'll probably end up making about $1 an hour..be extra careful with that idea!..unless you are using imported labor.Did you keep any records of how long it took to make one?Cost of materials?
I find it isn't worth my time to make/sell gear..I'd rather be out hiking or thrift shopping for materials...
I picked up probably 100-120+' of nylon black strapping in rolls today in 3/4,1",and 1-1/2" for about $10.(One of my lady shopping "friends" found it for me while I was at the register checking out all my other goodies,pretty full cart)
Back pads..I tore apart a North Face 'suitcase' type backpack(6-7lbs!) and it appears they used some 3/8" thick "memory foam"..about 3-4 pieces per side.I used their cut outside material and used 1 layer in mine to cut down the weight.I usually add a sleeping pad for support inside anyway.
One more thing..any packs I make from now on..are going to have a "pattern" cut first.That way I don't need to rethink the entire thing or measure off ones I've made previously.I goofed on the day pack pattern and made it for the wife's torso measurement instead of mine which is quite a bit larger.From now on,I'll make a larger size that will have center fold sections that can be matched for shorter sizes..say for her I need to fold point A to A and accordion a couple inches out of the middle for overall length between the shoulder strap and waist belt points.One pattern of pieces for all sizes with the pattern at the longest I'll make and be able to be shortened.
I also noticed the go-lites don't use waist stabilizers,additional straps to points on the backpack over a waist belt to stop the pack from swaying left and right.Their system seems to be triangles with front pockets on the waist belt which seems to eliminate that problem,reduce weight,and gain a little more storage..however..I don't seem to use those pockets except for maybe a small MP3 player sometimes(longer solo hikes).I pack at most about 25 lbs with about 4-8lbs of that being water..which is getting eliminated with a lightweight gravity filter setup..for 95% of the journey.