Tents / Tarps / Bivies
Wild Camping

Lightweight Backpacks
Sleeping Bags

Wilderness Survival
Hiking Adventures

Edible Wild Plants
Survival Kits

Making a Backpack

(Adapted from the U.S. Army Survival Manual)

Backpack Construction

The materials for making a backpack or rucksack are almost limitless. You can use wood, bamboo, rope, plant fiber, clothing, animal skins, canvas, and many other materials to make a pack.

There are several construction techniques for rucksacks. Many are very elaborate, but those that are simple and easy are often the most readily made in a survival situation.

Horseshoe Pack

Making A Backpack

This pack is simple to make and use and relatively comfortable to carry over one shoulder. Lay available square-shaped material, such as poncho, blanket, or canvas, flat on the ground. Lay items on one edge of the material. Pad the hard items. Roll the material (with the items) toward the opposite edge and tie both ends securely. Add extra ties along the length of the bundle. You can drape the pack over one shoulder with a line connecting the two ends (Figure 12-9).

 Steve's Notes: A simple way of making a backpack is to use a jacket, if it is warm enough to get by without wearing it. Zip it up, cinch the bottom shut if it has a drawstring (or pin it shut), and tie the ends of the sleeves to each other. You can then carry things in it by slinging it across your body diagonally, switching shoulders from time to time.

Back to Survival Tools.

Back to the main page of the Wilderness Survival Guide.


The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Making a Backpack