Introduction: The Hiking Ukulele - How to Strap a Soft Ukulele/guitar Case to a Backpack
I’m planning on a 3 days hike with my best buddy in two weeks. We have minimalist yet comfy approach while getting our gear : no tent, one clothing set, a sleeping bag and survival items (fishing hook, knife, Swedish firesteel, etc.).
We’ve decided to add some fun gear, for early nights around the fire. We are taking our instruments with us! My mate is playing the harmonica so he has not many troubles on carrying it along. I play the ukulele so the challenge is quite different.
Step 1: The Ukulele
My ukulele is a soprano, which is the smallest amongst ukuleles. The case is made from abrasion resistant fabric (probably cheap cordura), has two back-straps to carry it as a backpack and was clearly not designed for my specific purpose.
Step 2: The Backpack
My backpack is from The North Face, a Terra model with 35L capacity. The key feature used in this mod is the presence of two straps with buckles on each side of the pack.
I’ve tried to attach the two straps on my bag but this method keeps the whole case loose, swinging at each step, creating a nasty momentum feeling while walking.
In order to bring it with me on the trails, I’ve decide to attach the ukulele case with minimal interspace between the latter and the side of my backpack.
Step 3: Material Needed
- Inner tube of a bike tire
- Heavy duty thread. I’ve used linen thread for the perfect combination of thinness and resistance.
Step 4: Tools Needed
Place the case on the back as it will be in the end and mark the position of the straps.
Cut the inner tube at the width of the case.
Cut in half.
The inner side of my ukulele case is made with a soft and foamy material to protect the wood of the instrument. As much as I customize the case, I wished to keep that interior in that state, i.e. no dirty seams.
So I did sew in a horizontal way. There’s surely a pretty name for that kind of seam, but I’m a 27y male so I give a darn, I just sew.
Every 3-4 passages, pull horizontally on the thread to tighten the tube on the fabric. Using tube allows to manipulate it without much care.
At the end, tie a knot, it does not have to be pretty, just efficient.
Place the other side leaving enough gap to pass the buckle, and repeat sewing.
Step 11: Case and Bag Attached
Here is how it looks like with the two straps through the tube.
This design allows to open the buckles in order to access the small net containing my rain-proof bag protection.
Step 12: Finished Look
The bag and the case. The case and the bag have the same exact height which creates a feeling of complementary. Note the weight balance with a canteen (canteen shall stay at same weight since my main source of water is a 2L reservoir inside the pack).
Step 13: Additional Info
FIY all photos are taken with a Sony Nex-5 and a Sigma 28mm f/2.8 Mini-Wide Macro.
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