Deconstructing a Back Pack




About: I live with my wife and children in Fort Worth, TX. We enjoy day-trips and junk stores. I'm a firm believer that homemade food tastes better and I love to try new recipes. When I can, I like to head out to t...

On the sad occasion that you have a backpack that has reached the end of it's service life, you generally have three options.

1. Try to repair it, again.

2. Throw it in a closet and forget about it.

3. Throw it in the garbage.

However, I am here to offer a fourth option.

Deconstruct it!

That's right. We are going to harvest the useful parts, so they may live on in a useful way in some other project.

Step 1: What You'll Need.

An old backpack and some suitable tear-down tools.

This particular bag has been in my possession for 9 years and has been a faithful traveling companion. However, on a recent trip, the top decided to split nearly in half. A quick duct tape repair got me home, but, sadly, this bag has failed me for the last time.

Step 2: Cut It Up.

Start by cutting you bag into manageable parts. Take care when you make the primal cuts to not damage anything you are attempting to salvage.

Step 3: Fine Work.

Your next step is to locate the factory seams. You want to carefully cut the threads with either a razor blade or seam ripper. Once you have exposed enough of the seams so you can get a grip, you can pull firmly to dislodge the stitching. Don't bother removing all of the excess threading at this point. Mainly we are trying to break the back down as quickly as possible.

Step 4: Backstraps.

A note on the back straps. You are free to leave them as they are and stick them on another bag to make some other backpack type things. Me, I chose to just tear them down with the rest of the bag.

Step 5: You Are Done!

So, after working for a couple of hours, I ended up with quite a haul. Of course, individual results may vary.

From this particular bag,

1. 7 Zippers ( one is 5 feet long)

2. 9 D-Rings

3. 2 aluminum bars (back support)

4. 3 nylon handles

5. 9 compression clips with straps

6. Misc bits of Velcro, etc.

Dispose of the waste and store the saved material as you see fit. I know not everyone will yield as much usable material, but I'm happy to think that maybe I will have inspired someone to reduce the amount of materials that end up in the landfill.

Use the salvaged materials in whatever way you see fit. I for one, intend to use some of those zippers and clips on some tool storage bags.

Thanks for reading!



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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Great deconstruct. I have an old backpack (14 years) that at some point it'll come to this.


    4 years ago

    well thought out. i have a backpack that the straps tore off, now is attached to the side of a gear box to hold smalls and minor essentials. plenty of parts i can scavenge when its done.