13 December 2011

Home Stretch on the Basket Pack

Back in early November I picked up a 20" pack basket from Frost River. Originally I got it to go in my Frost River Timber Cruiser pack. After using it a few times on its own I became quite enamored with it. Light weight, easy to use, holds a ton.

I tend to be categorical with my kit. There is a shelter kit, a cordage kit, a kitchen kit, a fire kit, and so on. Each kit has its own container, be it a simple leather or canvas bag, I keep each in its own. With the basket pack, that stands upright on its own, I put lighter kit in the bottom and get heavier as I go up. This just works for me and feels best. Now I'm just tossing kit into the pack in the same order but it seems a lot easier than before. That probably didn't make a lick of sense but in a future post I'll get into the details.

While I really liked the pack as it came, I knew I was going to modify it. The cotton webbing harness it came with, while serviceable, it lacked some refinements. I also wanted a cover for it, for when there was snow or rain or just walking beneath snow laden boughs.

I'm happy to say I am coming into the home stretch, though I must admit I am enjoying tinkering with this pack as much as I've enjoyed using it. There are still some alterations in the works but here's where I am as of today.

Probably tough to make out my amateur burning on the leather. We've got a kind of frozen mist hanging in the air today and the lighting was bad. Pine cone, Deer track, Bear track and a wolf, I was feeling artsy so I burned those into the straps on the front of the pack.

The cover is tanned deer leather, I also burned that moose and whatnot on the cover. It's heavily treated with mink oil and will bead water. Keeps my kit dry. I'm not happy yet with the cord that keeps it in place, that's on the list to improve.

The straps I used to replace the cotton webbing are heavy saddle leather I picked up locally. I've got to finish the edges but the stuff is heavy and very durable. The horizontal canvas strap that the pack straps themselves connect to is an old waist belt from a Frost River pack. It fits perfect, lets me get that upper strap nice and tight and provides a broad platform to connect the pack straps to.

The padded leather slides are from another bag of mine, being put to good use.

Over all I am very satisfied with the pack and my efforts. I've had a lot of fun tinkering with it. None of the pictures show it but I started recording information from my outings, hikes, and hunting excursions on each of the individual squares created in the weave. Temps, weather, location, wind direction and so on. Over time it will become a sort of living history of my days afield.

Thanks for looking!

1 comment:

  1. Great job on the pack basket! I have the same basket and TC pack, and have thought of doing similar things with my basket.
    You may consider just using a leather thong/cord to replace the paracord cinch. I've used it on the sides of my Isle Royal Bushcraft pack, and it works pretty well. Crazy Crow sells them pretty cheap.
    Does your basket sit well against your back without rubbing? I've thought about putting some kind of pad there- sheepskin?
    Anyway, nice work! I'll have to keep your ideas in mind as I work on my own basket.