Picture of Duct Tape Backpacking Pack
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This is no wimpy school backpack.  This pack can hold everything you need for a week-long backpacking trip for about $25.  Made mainly of duct tape and some PVC pipe it is light weight yet durable.  Making the backpack does take some time, but it's not too difficult. 

Materials Needed:
1 - 10ft length of 3/4'' PVC Pipe   ($1.60)
4 - 3/4'' Elbow Connections   ($1.30)
4 - 3/4'' Tee Connections    ($1.30)
3 - 45 Yard Rolls of Industrial Grade Duct Tape   ($18.00)
1 - Can of PVC Pipe Cement    ($2.00)
1 - 2" Buckle   ($2.50)

Spray-paint for the frame
Buckles for bag openings
Foam padding for the waist and shoulder straps (The stuff I used was not high-grade, it still works great)

Skills Required:
Very basic PVC bending skills.

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Step 1: Cutting and Bending the Pipe

Picture of Cutting and Bending the Pipe
Cut your 10ft length of pipe into sections.

2 x 19cm - lower sides of frame
2 x 24cm - upper sides of frame
6 x 36cm - middle sides of frame and cross pieces of frame

It's not as important to use these exact lengths as it is to make sure the pairs are exactly the same.  Otherwise the frame will be lopsided, and feel funny on your back. 

Now take four of the six 36cm lengths, and bend them to your desired angle.  I bent mine with a 5 gallon bucket, but you can use whatever round object you may have. 

eHow had a great explanation of how to bend PVC, so I'll include the link to their instructions.

My bent lengths are now about 33cm on a straight line from end to end. 

Step 2: Fitting and Assembly

Picture of Fitting and Assembly
Assemble frame, gluing the pieces together with your PVC cement.  Push the frame and connections down tight to make sure the fittings are secure. 

If you want to spray paint the frame, do it now.
selstonator3 years ago
how much does this weigh?
about how many rolls of tape did you use to make this?
probably 1
EnigmaMax3 years ago
Just curious, how much does this weigh?
cacj131 EnigmaMax5 months ago
not much very lightweight
siafulinux3 years ago
How has this held up? Is it something that could be used for a long time (year or more) or would it wear down in a relatively short amount of time?
for a while
How much weight can it hold and are the straps comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time?
weight? dude, if you double over a piece of duct tape, you can pull a 2,000 pound car out of a ditch
ya, i'm not being sarcastic. duct tape is really strong
If you're using the right kind. Don't use the Duck brand duct tape for this kind of stuff; those are designed for decoration, not strength. I recommend Gorilla Duct Tape; I hear it's super strong. Don't duct tape yourself to anything.
yah its really strong
murple (author)  rabidsquire24 years ago
The straps are quite comfortable, especially with a little padding. As far as weight goes, I loaded it up with about 55 pounds just to test it out, and the backpack handled it just fine.
Wow! Great job! Have you brought it out on any trips? How long did it take to make? Thanks sharing this project!
Ferguson1993 years ago
The camouflage ducktape would look awesome I think.
sites234 years ago
its amazing to know that you can make almost anything with ducktape
you can't make ALMOST anything, you can make ANYTHING. it's like legos, and k'nex.
well you cant make it into an organic substance thats what i meant by ALMOST.
i don't know....
The Sensei4 years ago
this is excellent! my only skepticism about this is how it compares to an average backpack in weight. i gotta say tho, its a great application of duck tape; its waterproof, customizable, and easily repairable. very well done =:^b
yea,it doesn't look trashy if you make a patch job with tape!! wait, duck tape never looks trashy.
I CAN'T BELIEVE I CAME ACROSS THIS!!!! i had made an industrial strength duck tape book bag in 5th grade!!! i used it all year, and it stood the test of time. i didn't use pvc, because one, i vowed to ONLY use duck brand duct tape, and never to use any other object for support. but i thought that it was the only one of it's kind, but i never thought someone would make an instructable of it! it looks like yours would work very well, if not better, since it is strengthened with piping. one thing that you could do, is wrap it in camo and brown duck tape. that might give it a woodsy look.
iamlopainus4 years ago
This is awesome! Well done.
ReelTym4 years ago
Now all you need is a duct tape tent to go with it. ;) See you at the trailhead. - Uncle B
optiblah4 years ago
Brilliant! I would only add a thin adjustable buckled strap which goes across the chest and holds the shoulder straps in place. Adds comfort and is easier on the shoulders as the chest carries some of the weight then.