Introduction: Backpack Swing

You love long hikes and when you've found that one perfect spot you want to stay there for a while. Or you just love playing outside with the kids and you have lack of a tree in your own backyard. Whatever your reason for clicking this instructable might be its deffinately worth reading.

I'm a freshman at Howest in Belgium where i study industrial product design.

for our last assignment of the semester we had to design a swing, this swing had to fulfill 3 requirements :

- It had to be strong and durable.

- It should be easily portable.

- it had to be lightweight (5 kg max).

Having lightweight and portable in mind i came up with the idea of making it into a backpack. I knew i had an old one laying around at home so i could use that as a base. using this idea i already solved the problem of having to deal with loose ropes getting tangled.

So now we have the idea what do we need to make this swing?

- climbing rope ( or any rope that will cary your weight with some reserve will do).

- A thinner rope to pull the padlo

- An old backpack (zipper can be broken you just need the base and the straps).

- around 2 meters of velcro.

- some cloth to adapt the backpack.

- 2 padlocks (used to lock the backpack and to reduse the amount of expansive carabiners).

- 2 carabiners.

- Wooden plank (preferably pine becouse its light) the dimensions depend on the size of the backpack.

Step 1: Measure the Backpack

To find out how bigg we have to make the plank for our swing we need to measure the backpack for dimensions.

The part you need to measure is the part that's agains your back since thats the only thing we are gonna use of the backpack. we need to get oure measurements as close as we can, but since the bagg is cloth we have some room for errors. First measure the base with of the backpack. Then measure the height from the center of the base. Finally al we need now is the radius and center points of the curves. If we have good measurements we can continue to creating the seat.

Step 2: Creating the Seat

the cheapest way to create a lightweight wooden seat is by buying 1 long peace of wood, Cutting it to the right size and laminating it together. This proces is extremely simple and only requires some basic tools.

What we will need are:

- All the bar clamps you have.

- A saw.

- Wood glue.

first cut pieces as long as the height of your backpack. the amount of pieces will vary depending on the width of your backpack and the width of your plank.

Then cut 2 pieces the width of all the previous cut planks combined.

Now glue them together like in the picture. make sure to fasten your bar clamps tight to squeeze the glue out. After its assembled let it dry for a while.

When its dry draw your backpack's shape on the side of your board that's facing downwards in the picture,and cut it out using a bandsaw or a jigsaw. Then sand it till its smooth. Finally drill a hole in every corner. make sure they are at least an inch away from all sides but far enough out to have a stable swing. The hole diameter is the rope diameter +2 mm.

Step 3: Sewing the Backpack

It's difficult to explain how to make your backpack since every backpack is different.

Yet the idea remains the same. Imagine laying the backpack on the floor like in the picture, with little imagination the fabric standing up are the "walls" on my backpack these "walls" where to small to hold all the ropes so i had to make them taller. It might be that your backpack has much higher walls so you dont need to make new ones.

keep in mind : The walls have to be the amount of space you want + the thickness of your seat at its thickest point.

If your walls are done its time to add some velcro. Add it to the edge of your board and on the inner edge of your backpack like in the picture. To make sure our seat wont fall out of the bag we are going to make a cover. the cover is connected to the bottom of the bagg like in the drawing and has two holes in the top. these holes are there so you can put the loops trough and close the bagg with the paddlocks.

Step 4: Ropes, Knots and Installation

The first thing you have to do before opening the video is cutting your rope to the required lengths.

First cut 2 pieces of 2 meter, make sure to melt the ends together with a lighter so the rope ends wont split up.

The remaining rope has to be cut in half.

Finally 2 pieces of your thinner rope with the same length as each of the main ropes.

Step 5: End Result

Thank you for visiting my instructable. I hope you enjoyed reading it and enjoy it even more making your own.

feel free to leave a comment with suggestions.