- Carving Knife
- Wooden branches
- Foam Roll of some kind, I used a military surplus bed roll
- Lots of spare time and patience
Step 1: Step 1
In my wilderness program, we had access straight to the trees. You might not have that same access, so you don't have to cut straight from the branches. If you can, go to a lumber store and get four wooden dowels about an inch or two inches thick in diameter. Four of them need to be about 1.5 feet long, and the last two need to be about three feet long.
Step 2: Step 2
Lay the two longer rods vertically and the four shorter rods horizontally. Two towards the top and two towards the bottom. Mark where each rod intersects. Notch these parts to fit together smoothly.
Step 3: Step 3
Cut 1/3 of your leather into long medium width strips. You will be using these to tie the rods together at the notchings.
Step 4: Step 4
Wrap the strips in x shapes around the notched wood to hold them in place. Do this for all all eight notchings.
Step 5: Step 5
Measure out two shoulder pads, a back pad, and a waist pad from your bedroll. Double the layers and cut them out.
Step 6: Step 6
Cover the pads in the remaining leather, using thinner leather strips to sew them together over the pieces.
Step 7: Step 7
Cut two slots into each of the shoulder pads, the waist pad, and two slots on each corner of the back pad. Use leather strips to attach them to the wooden frame.
Step 8: Step 8
Take your longest leather strip and cut two more holes in the waist pad, one at each end. Thread the leather strip through the two holes and use that to tie the backpack to your waist.
Step 9: Step 9
Try out the backpack and make sure it fits correctly, making adjustments where needed. Add any additional padding you find necessary.