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SnowClaw back support & Garbage Bag Pack
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(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
SnowClaw back support & Garbage Bag Pack on 12/19/2006 14:39:43 MST Print View

I held my SnowClaw up against my back and it fit perfectly at the base of my spine. That led to the thought, can I use it for a back support in a frameless pack? That is a big issue for me because of a bad lower back.

Since I didn't have a frameless pack to experiment with and I had time on my hands I decided to try to make a pack to take snow hiking which could carry my extra clothing and dry gear in order to test the SnowClaw as pack frame idea.

I got a white plastic garbage bag. Put the snow claw in it. Held it up to my back. Seemed to fit and might work.

Cut two slits in the garbage bag at the upper ends of the holes in the handle openings of the snow claw. Slipped my home made belt with slip together clips through the slits so the belt held the bag to the snow claw and would hold the snow claw to my back when buckled.

Garbage bag pack and SnowClaw inside

Next went and rummaged through the suitcase and travel bag closet and found two tote bag shoulder straps that were the same length, adjustable with swivels on either end and clips. Attached them to the belt and adjusted length so they were the same and the belt would ride just over my hip bones.

Garbage bag pack and tote bag straps, belt

Put on the contraption and realized the back straps had to be fastened to the bag. (Actually I learned a lot about the dynamics and issues in pack building.) So added duct tape over the straps taping them to the bag.

Garbage bag pack empty back and harness

Stuffed it, and it sorta worked.

Added a piece of duct tape at the bottom for reinforcement (since then I have added a strip of tape at the bottom where the SnowClaw was going to cut through) and three rounds of tape to hold the bag in shape and strengthen it. Weighed it at 18 oz., which of course means the ULA Relay, SMD, GG and other light weight frameless packs look real good by comparison w/ my garbage bag model. While this was fun, it taught me I am going to rely on the pros to design, build and construct a light weight frameless pack or, if I ever wanted to build / sew my own, to follow one of their patterns -- like in the recent series of BPL articles.

Garbage bag empty front and tape sizing

Restuffed it and it worked way better with the duct tape keeping the shape. It held all the gear I needed it to hold at a total of 4.5 lbs. Here are pictures of my Garbage Bag SnowClaw Pack from the back when loaded, side, and front when loaded:

Garbage bag pack filled back side w/ harness and waist belt

Garbage bag pack full side view

Garbage bag pack full front view

Walked around with it and the SnowClaw is great on my back. Gives me hope I can use a frameless pack if I can rig it with a SnowClaw, at least in the winter snows when the Claw has its uses and necessity. It carried all my extra gear for staying dry and warm:

Garbage bag pack gear contents

Thermawrap pants, GoLite Ether windshirt, Wind/Rain/Snow pants,
DropStopper jacket, Mountain Hardwear balaclava, extra dry capilene top, high loft fleece upper, waterproof insulated gloves, capilene glove liners, trekking 3/4 gloves, vinyl waterproof gloves for digging or using fingers and hands in snow, plastic shopping bag to hold wet gear and gloves.

Edited by bdavis on 12/19/2006 15:26:13 MST.

Gene .

Locale: New England
Back support for garbage bag pack on 01/15/2007 11:51:28 MST Print View

BD, the other day I was in a Chef supply store and I noticed that they carried 'flexible cutting boards' in different thicknesses and dimensions. It would seem the stiffer ones could be cut to shape for your needs; and be lighter than the Snowclaw and multi use as a food prep surface.