Trudging through the forest on a 5-day hike through the Catskills may leave you yearning for that comfy recliner, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the great outdoors and camp in comfort at the same time. Jason Foutch is a Project Engineer at Toyota Motor Engineering & Motor Manufacturing North America. He’s also an avid hammock camper who knows a thing or two about surviving in the woods, tying knots and camping in style. He created the APASAC, a four-in-one backpack that hides a hand saw, converts into a seat and can even be used as a hammock.
Camping in Comfort
Jason came up with the idea after becoming obsessed with trying to lighten his load. The design evolved from an idea that started, quite appropriately, around the camp fire. Looking at all of the equipment he and his friends had carried on their backs for miles made it obvious. Everyone had a chair or cushion and no one was comfortable.
I started out just wanting to design an ultralight, comfortable chair that would recline and support my head. This particular group I go camping with always winter camps, sunset comes early in the forest, and many hours are spent around the fire. Not always, but sometimes a nap is a good escape from slow conversation. You just have to be able to recline to be comfortable. I began drawing things up at work the next week. At the time I was machining artificial knees from cobalt chrome, so I had a long cycle time and plenty of time to draw. As I built several prototypes I suddenly realized the seat of the chair reminded me of a saw I had seen for sale, the Altrec trail blazer saw. My first design actually had all of the basic components of the trail blazer, but I eventually eliminated the need for the tension rod. I spent over a year designing, testing, etc. I bought a sewing machine and rekindled some skills my grandmother taught me when I was little. All that was left was a name and a logo. I had some doubters, but I like APASAC.
Here’s the catch, the APASAC is only a concept at the moment, with a limited number being enjoyed by Jason’s friends. I know some of you have reached out to product developers we’ve featured on the site to provide suggestions about manufacturing and getting a product to market. Feel free to contact Jason via the APASAC website. Personally, I think this is a great contender for a Kickstarter project.