Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to design & build my own pack.
I'm going to buy the raw materials and make mock-ups.
My wife will probably end up doing most of the sewing.

I'm going to take into account what I will use it for, what features I need,
what features I want, how light I can make it, how tough I can make it and
I'm going to take into account what I will be carrying 90% of the time as well
as what I might occasionally carry (depending on season, length of use, etc...).

Materials:
Leather
Canvas
Rubber
Nylon
Frame

Features:
Pockets
Interior Compartments
Hydration Bladder Sleeve
Multi-Use
Waterproof
Breathable
Flame Retardant
Quick Access Pouches
Removable Sack
Modification Friendly
MOLLE/PAL Compatible
Field Repairable
Top & Side Handles
Stand Alone Base
No-Touch Back (like the ALICE)
Fold Seat Platform


Please, feel free to suggest what features I may find useful, what features you wish your pack(s) had,
etc... Pleas tell me what type of backpacking you do and what you find useful and what you find to be
a waste. This is going to take a long time. I know. Hopefully, I'll have it completed by the winter. But,
I have a feeling this'll be my best project yet.

Thanks for any suggestions.


source
 
  • Like
Reactions: endl3ss

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
Add an extra buckled strap to the top 1/3rd and bottom 1/3rd of each side. Add in Mollee strips between all side straps. Possibly use a legdrop platform on the very front, either on the flap or on the bottom area. Add a chest strap and Alice/Mollee strapping to each pack strap so they are accessable in the front. Make a wayerproof cover built-in on the very bottom. Side pockets are nice. Have fun. :thumb:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Don't forget a waist strap ;)

I look forward to this!
Absolutely.

I'm going to experiment with several styles (both military and civilian)
and I might even just completely mount an existing strap system to my pack.

Right now, I'm on MOLLE II straps & kidney belt.

The ILBE set-up looks super comfortable and I know that there'll be replacement
parts from surplus military gear if I manage to wear my pack's components out.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Feature adds...
  • Top & Side Handles
  • Stand Alone Base
  • No-Touch Back (like the ALICE)
  • Fold up frame that acts as platform for sitting on pack with the weight being distributed through the frame.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to fabricate the frame from scratch.
Aluminum is going to be the only material I'll consider. It's light,
waterproof, can be welded and formed into any shape I need and
it's field repairable with basic equipment.

I have to have an external frame. It's ridonkulous how many options
I have with the ALICE pack's frame as far as mounting tools to it goes.
I drew my first draft of the pack and I basically redesigned my current
ALICE Hellcat Pack! LOL But, then I began to customize the exterior.
Now, it's morphing into a MOLLE II/ILBE design.

:D:
 

·
Get Out There
Joined
·
166 Posts
Drop the internal compartments. It's added weight you dont need. Plus it can limit the types of items you can carry. Zippers also are often a failure point on packs. If you can avoid them, then I would, unless you can get your hands on some tough zippers, like the ones made for wetsuits.

Here is a useful tip for you. Go buy a waterproof sack or DryBag that is the same size as the main internal compartment or the size you would like the main compartment to be. Then design the backpack around the sack. Now no matter what happens to the pack, your contents are protected. Make sure any pockets on the exterior of the pack are sewn with extra fabric so they are loose, classic mistake first-timers make. Don't forget to install compression straps on the pack.

You don't have to make a frame. You can buy an external framed pack on craigslist real cheap and steal the frame and your done.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Drop the internal compartments. It's added weight you dont need. Plus it can limit the types of items you can carry. Zippers also are often a failure point on packs. If you can avoid them, then I would, unless you can get your hands on some tough zippers, like the ones made for wetsuits.

Here is a useful tip for you. Go buy a waterproof sack or DryBag that is the same size as the main internal compartment or the size you would like the main compartment to be. Then design the backpack around the sack. Now no matter what happens to the pack, your contents are protected. Make sure any pockets on the exterior of the pack are sewn with extra fabric so they are loose, classic mistake first-timers make. Don't forget to install compression straps on the pack.

You don't have to make a frame. You can buy an external framed pack on craigslist real cheap and steal the frame and your done.
Thanks for the info. Great ideas. The compartments would be for items I will always carry
(maps, books, IFAK, electronics, etc...). IMO, there has to be some areas that are just always
"there" in a pack for those items that I wouldn't go into the wild with. And,they have to be
protected areas (from shock, weather, being crushed, etc...).

Plus, these compartments are going to be separated by what I'll need at
bed time, what I'd need during the day and what I might not ever need.

Ha! Actually I was looking at SealLine Packs today which are basically what
you describe and thinking "what a great idea! Instead of using a Dry Bag,
work around the Dry Bag!"

And absolutely agree on "no zippers". I'll use plastic buckles that can be replaced
with toggles & loops if TEOTWAWKI happens and I can't order any more Fastexes
from some surplus online. No zippers and Leather Belt/Buckle systems are what I
personally prefer.

:thumb:
 

·
Numquam Succumbe
Joined
·
4,173 Posts
Where are you getting your patterns from? I look forward to this! I've wanted to do this for a while, now, but it's been on the backburner forever!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Where are you getting your patterns from? I look forward to this! I've wanted to do this for a while, now, but it's been on the backburner forever!
I'm going to literally form it by hand as I go along once I've whittled down my packing list.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with Canvas & Leather and will be leaning towards a traditional look.
I have a preliminary drawing done already, but again, the packing list is going to determine the final rendition.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twyggy

·
Get Out There
Joined
·
166 Posts
I'm going to literally form it by hand as I go along once I've whittled down my packing list.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with Canvas & Leather and will be leaning towards a traditional look.
I have a preliminary drawing done already, but again, the packing list is going to determine the final rendition.
Me personally, I wouldn't go canvas. I would go 500-1000D Polyester Fabric paired with Ballistic Material. Canvas Rots. Make something that lasts. Go Synthetic. Canvas is junk, that is why it isnt used anymore. Leather is great but heavy. Id swap leather straps for poly webbing. Should last much longer.

Hope your thread injector is sturdy. I've been making my own hammocks and suspensions along with a super shelter and I have had to upgrade thread twice now. Broke 2 needles already.

I wouldn't make the pack without making a pattern or getting one. Formulate a good design then tweak it for a few weeks until you rule out as many flaws as possible then make the main chamber and build off of that. Remember K.I.S.S. Its your friend and will keep you from falling victim to your own over-intricate creations.

Here is a good place to find some material your looking for. There is 4 categories to choose from. HeavyWeight Fabrics
 

·
Numquam Succumbe
Joined
·
4,173 Posts
We have similar goals with our packs, so that's the only reason I mention this.

I've looked high and low for a 700 denier nylon pack that's ~3300 cubic inches, and I can't for the life of me find one. If I were going to make my own pack for extended wilderness living, it would DEFINITELY be a 700 denier nylon that's ~3300 cubic inches.

Your mileage may vary, though. Take it for what's it's worth. You know I've got a lot of experience beating packs up. :thumb:
 

·
Get Out There
Joined
·
166 Posts
We have similar goals with our packs, so that's the only reason I mention this.

I've looked high and low for a 700 denier nylon pack that's ~3300 cubic inches, and I can't for the life of me find one. If I were going to make my own pack for extended wilderness living, it would DEFINITELY be a 700 denier nylon that's ~3300 cubic inches.

Your mileage may vary, though. Take it for what's it's worth. You know I've got a lot of experience beating packs up. :thumb:
They make some real tough Nylon fabrics. Just remember Nylon starts to degrade when exposed to UV Light over time. It also WILL mildew if it stays moist. Poly will not do either. Do alittle research on the different types of fabrics out there and determine the right one for your pack. I recommend a combination of various fabrics for the pack. The base should be a water proof heavy duty material. The part against your spine(back of pack) should be a medium weight material reinforced with strips of Poly and you sides and front of the pack should be a heavy duty nylon or poly. The top of the pack should come down over the rest of the pack alittle and be a Poly based material. Don't forget your compression straps. They really help alot to snug a pack down. If you decide to go nylon you can always just make a pack cover out of poly and not worry about the UV Light and water proofing material.

Also Nylon, if not coated, is prone to sun bleaching.
 

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
5,216 Posts
Just a thought: If you sew pockets and straps and such to a dry bag, it is no longer a dry bag. Of course you can seal the seams, but that doesn’t guarantee they won’t leak after some flexing and pulling.

IMO it might be easier to simply find a pack you like. There are thousands of styles, sizes, materials, and configurations. You might find one you like and add a few features. I put everything in ziplock bags, the kind that actually seal. I ordered about 8 different sizes of smaller ziplock bags so there is a bag to fit anything. The total weight of all the ziplock bags in the pack is probably about one ounce and take up virtually no space. For some items you hope you will never need or might use once, a Seal-a Meal vacuum packing can also save space. Larger ziplock bags also make it easy to organize things in groups
 

·
Get Out There
Joined
·
166 Posts
Just a thought: If you sew pockets and straps and such to a dry bag, it is no longer a dry bag. Of course you can seal the seams, but that doesn’t guarantee they won’t leak after some flexing and pulling.

IMO it might be easier to simply find a pack you like. There are thousands of styles, sizes, materials, and configurations. You might find one you like and add a few features. I put everything in ziplock bags, the kind that actually seal. I ordered about 8 different sizes of smaller ziplock bags so there is a bag to fit anything. The total weight of all the ziplock bags in the pack is probably about one ounce and take up virtually no space. For some items you hope you will never need or might use once, a Seal-a Meal vacuum packing can also save space. Larger ziplock bags also make it easy to organize things in groups
I dont think his intentions nor my advise, meant to suggest to stitch to the actual drybag. It was instead suggesting to conform the pack to the size of the dry bag. As for finding one already made. I agree but the type of pack I think he is looking for would run in the $300 range and he is trying to make something by hand for a much cheaper price. It may not be as well made as say a $300 tactical pack but it will be close to what he wants and it is something he made himself, which in it-self, has some desirable appeal. I am a DIY(MYOG) kind of guy also, so I can empathize with the desire to MYOG over buying a pre-made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,991 Posts
I have an old freighter frame with pack. It will hold more than I can carry. External frame offers a lot of lashing area. One is tempted to lash on everything but the kitchen sink. It gets real heavy real fast. An internal frame can help with than issue. You can purchase packs from thrift store and check out several designs that way. If you are in great shape 20% of your body weight is a lot. the more it weighs the less you are going to walk, A breathable fabric will dry out quickly. You can protect you stuff with plastic bags. outside pockets are great!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Just a thought: If you sew pockets and straps and such to a dry bag, it is no longer a dry bag. Of course you can seal the seams, but that doesn’t guarantee they won’t leak after some flexing and pulling.

IMO it might be easier to simply find a pack you like. There are thousands of styles, sizes, materials, and configurations. You might find one you like and add a few features. I put everything in ziplock bags, the kind that actually seal. I ordered about 8 different sizes of smaller ziplock bags so there is a bag to fit anything. The total weight of all the ziplock bags in the pack is probably about one ounce and take up virtually no space. For some items you hope you will never need or might use once, a Seal-a Meal vacuum packing can also save space. Larger ziplock bags also make it easy to organize things in groups
Who would sew pouches onto a dry bag? LOL

I can actually produce my own drybag with Roofing membrane (PVC) and
can heat-weld various pouches to it's exterior. But I wouldn't do go that route.
For that, I might as well just buy a SealLine that's already built.

HOWEVER...I would form a PVC membrane bottom for my pack
so that I can sit the bag on the ground without it getting soaked.

For my Hellcat, I have a USGI Dry Bag + a Military Pack Cover.
The pack cover resides in one of the outer pouches so that it can
be whipped out immediately (in the pouch next to it is a USGI
Poncho which itself is big enough to drape over the pack as well).

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
688 Posts
Make the shoulder straps easily adjustable like the Alice, makes it quick and easy to get a snug fitting pack, and do the same for the waste band. Having your pack move in you sucks!

Just some ideas :)
 

·
Get Out There
Joined
·
166 Posts
Make the shoulder straps easily adjustable like the Alice, makes it quick and easy to get a snug fitting pack, and do the same for the waste band. Having your pack move in you sucks!

Just some ideas :)
Forget that..Alice pack suspension is out dated. There is a reason the Military doesn't use it anymore. They have adopted new methods that a typical hiker pack uses for suspensions. Mimic a real hiking pack's suspension.

Modern Military Pack






 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top