KEN'S GEAR 

EPISODE 2

CUSTOM MALAGASY LEATHER SPEAKER BAG

The first episode covered my preferred speaker. Given a speaker's importance in a guide's arsenal, it's also crucial to keep this piece of gear safe and secure. 

To accomplish this, I turned to the remarkable skills of a friend who is a leather craftsman here in my adopted home of Madagascar. 

One of the things I love about living in Madagascar is that high-quality handicrafts can still be bought or commissioned  here for an affordable price. 

To create this speaker pouch, I gave my friend the details of what I had in mind, and left the speaker with him so that he could perfectly mold the front part to house it. 

He ended up making the bag out of a mixture of zebu (Malagasy breed of long-horned, large-humped cattle) and ostrich leather. I like the decorative details that he added, though we decided to largely stick with the natural leather color. 

What's great about this piece of gear? Where do I begin?! Here are a few of its good points: 

 

It keeps my speaker, iPods, and other valuables dry, and also protects them from dust, sun, and other elements.

 

It can easily be used with any belt, though I usually leave it connected to the belt shown here, making for a convenient unit that I can quickly grab or stick in my backpack when I'm heading out for a day in the field.

 

It's sturdy, verging on indestructible, as is typical of things made from leather.

 

A great thing about having a speaker pouch in general is that it allows you to use your hands for other things, like raising a binocular or camera, rather than having them occupied with speaker and/or ipod. 

The only minor problem I've had is that a bit of mold can grow on the outside during the hot and wet months of the year. So I have to bring it outside for an occasional dose of direct sunlight and air.

Referring back to the first installment, part of the reason why I'm so committed to Creative TravelSound 200 speakers, is because I have this custom bag designed to fit it! I'm dreading the day when all my speakers break and I'm unable to find any more on eBay!

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Many folks have commented that the bag looks a bit like an owl! Takes an owl to call one!

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The front part of the bag is customized to perfectly fit my preferred model of speaker. The flap on top keeps the speaker well protected from a light rain. 

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The larger pouch has a zippered slot for valuables like money or a passport. 

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The front side of the main pouch has slots for iPods (another piece of gear that will be covered in a future installment!)

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The speaker connects to iPods via a short cable, and if necessary, while being used, iPods can be stashed inside the main pouch to keep them dry.

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Here's to you custom leather speaker pouch!