The packSo, this weekend, we decided to take them for a spin. We've played with blankets tied around our waists on a couple of trips now http://www.blog.smalladventures.net/2012/07/backpacking-without-backpacks.html and found it to be *okay* in nice weather, but a bit uncomfortable. So, how about something in between? My mom told me stories about how she used to backpack with a piece of canvas tied to a pack frame using a diamond hitch. So we decided to give it a try, but with a large blanket instead (larger than is comfortable around the waist). So... why was this idea appealing to us? We're always aiming to carry less *stuff* and be more dependent on and involved in the environment we're in. We've also seen some great designs for pack-frames made out of sticks. If you can make the frame, the string, and the straps, and you have something warm to sleep under... You have a pack that can carry a few more items. Here's a descent description of how to tie a diamond hitch, and the one I learned from on friday, I found this by doing a quick search. http://www.itstactical.com/skillcom/knots/hitches/versatile-option-for-securing-a-load-with-the-diamond-hitch/ I feel like it's *almost* right but I feel like you should complete the diamond. So Jess and I both ran the twine back up the far side at the end making the whole shape balanced. And what we got was this: FYI: This frame is unusually small, which is part of why I bought. That was my first attempt, after tying it several times a day over the weekend I got a bit better and much faster. We discovered in using it that it works slightly better if the strings go over the bottom panel. Note that the flap on top is also on top of the pack, this lets you "open" the pack and re-close it by tucking it back under the strings. It's surprisingly easy. Sorry I don't have any pictures from the trip, I forgot to bring a camera. I brought:
- shirt (forgot to leave it behind), shorts, boxers, socks, shoes
- sweater, hat
- pack frame
- cookpot, spork, sparker, alcohol stove, bandana
- knife, iodine, salt, bandana, emergency bivy
- fishing kit
- "emergency kit" (needle, twine, knife sharpener, pills, keys, etc.)
- 3 meals and some snacks
How'd it work?
Getting things in and out
This was surprisingly not annoying. The flap isn't much harder to open than many backpacks are. This is what we usually did when getting water bottles, knives, or other smaller items. When we had to get out say, the food and cookpots, it was usually easier to undo it and retie it. This takes a minute or two to tie and untie, but really... 2 minutes isn't a big deal. From this perspective I would do it again.