If you get stranded in the wilderness, you most likely want your hands free. This is an extremely quick and simple to make pack for carrying your outdoor essentials. It is ultralight, water resistant, made from relatively easy-to-find materials (the hardest part will be locating the fabric), and is easy to assemble in an emergency. As long as you have rope, rocks, at least 3 square feet of fabric, and 5 minutes you can make this pack. I've used it several times on short hikes just to test it out, and while I may have received a few strange looks, I found that the pack is surprisingly comfortable. Bonus: it can easily be turned into an emergency shelter.
Step 1: What You Need:
- At least 3 square feet of strong fabric, preferably a bedroll or tarp (I used a roughly 6' by 6' tarp; I recommend that size if possible)
- 2 small, spherical objects, such as stones
- A 3' length of paracord
- A 4.5' length of paacord (If you don't have any paracord you can use rope, your shoelaces or make your own rope)
- A fish bone gear tie (optional)
Step 2: Prepping the Tarp
*If you only have a 3' by 3' section of fabric you can skip this step*
- If you have more than 3' square feet of fabric, you will have to do some folding. Fortunately, those folds can be put to use!
- Fold your fabric into a 3' by 6' rectangle.
- If you have any clothes or flat, flexible objects, lay them out on the fabric.
- Fold the fabric into a 3' by 3' square.
Step 3: Packing Your Gear
- Lay out the 4.5' section of paracord on a flat surface.
- Place your 3' by 3' square of fabric on top of the paracord with the paracord stretching diagonally from one corner to another.
- Place the contents of your pack in the center of the fabric in line with the paracord. If possible, place smaller items in a container.
- Place your two rocks (or whatever) in line with the paracord as well, about 3" to 4" away from the contents of your pack.
Step 4: Making the Strap
- Fold one corner of the fabric over one of the rocks.
- Tie a poacher's knot in the end of the paracord that was under the corner you folded over.
- Locate the rock you folded the fabric over.
- Tighten the poacher's knot underneath the rock. Make it as tight as you can.
- Repeat for the other corner.
*You may want to add more lengths of paracord or stick two strips of duct tape to either side of the strap to make it wider and more comfortable.
Step 5: Closing the Pack
- Fold one corner of the tarp over the contents of your pack.
- Roll the pack up tightly. take care to avoid rolling the shoulder strap up with it.
- Try out the pack. If the strap feels too loose, undo the poacher's knot on one end and tighten the strap.