How to Make Your Own Improvised Backpack

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Throughout my time traveling I’ve witnessed how incredibly reliant people can be on the gear they take with them, and I sometimes wonder how they’d cope without it.

Don’t get me wrong – gadgets and gear can be a great help when camping/traveling if used properly and in moderation and you don’t have to be a fully-fledged boy scout to be able to survive away from home, but having some basic knowledge of outdoor skills or improvisation can do wonders in a sticky situation.

Brian Green from Brian’s Backpack Blog has written an interesting (and highly detailed) article about making your own improvised backpack.

improvised backpackBrian points out that being able to make your own improvised camping/traveling gear is better than having all the latest equipment, as it enables you to become more self-sufficient and un-reliant on things that could break.

He shows you how to make an external frame backpack using only tree branches, paracord, a tarp and a set of shoulder straps (presumably taken from your old, broken backpack). The end result is surprising effective! Brian goes on to say:

“In a matter of a few decades, our packs have become exponentially lighter, allowing us to move faster, go deeper into the woods, and visit locations previously unthinkable.

So, you find yourself on one such adventure. For the past three days you have been pushing into the forest, with each day setting a new personal best for the number of miles traveled. The trail is becoming less and less noticeable with each mile traveled. And of course, that is when it happens; a rock gives way under your foot, you loose your balance, and tumble down the side of the road, right into a patch of huckleberry bushes.

You get up and dust yourself off. Luckily you are just fine, but you can’t say the same for your pack. The bushes have ripped it to shreds; the contents of your pack littering the hill. For a moment you start to miss your pack from your glory days as a boy scout-the one with the triple reinforced external frame that weighed 8lb.

You quickly shake those thoughts out of your head. There is no need for such drastic measures. A little bit of improvisation will do just fine. After all, worse case scenario, you can just gather the contents of your pack into your poncho or tarp, and sling it over your shoulder.

There is however a way that you can make the trip back home a little bit easier. With just some minimal effort, you can put together a very serviceable backpack for the trip home.”

Making your own backpack basically consists of tying three tree branches together in a triangle shape (to make the frame), then using the paracord to create a net in the middle of the triangle, then storing all your gear in a rolled up tarp that’s placed in the middle of this net. Your shoulder straps are then attached to the tree branches, and voila!

For full instructions of how to make your own backpack, click here to read the full article.


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  2. How to Protect Your Backpack from Thieves
  3. Should You Swap Your Backpack for a Suitcase?




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